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Is a Subdirectory or a Subdomain Better for Blogging?

You can’t start a blog without choosing a location for it. Assuming you already have a website, you can either publish your blog in a subdirectory or on a subdomain. Uploading your preferred content management system (CMS) to either of these locations will allow you to start blogging from your website. While subdirectories and subdomains are both connected to your website, however, they offer different advantages when used for blogging.

The Difference Between a Subdirectory and a Subdomain

Subdirectories and subdomains are different parts of a website. A subdirectory is a folder that’s at least one level down from a website’s root folder. A subdomain, on the other hand, is a lower-level domain that’s connected to a website’s primary domain.

All websites have a root folder, which is found at the top of a site’s file hierarchy system. Many websites also have folders within their respective root folder. Each of these folders is considered a separate subdirectory.

Subdirectories use the following format: example.com/subdirectory or example.com/subdirectory-one/subdirectory-two.

In addition to a root folder, all websites have a primary domain consisting of a name and a top-level domain (TLD). Subdomains are simply new, lower-level domains that are added to a website’s primary domain. You don’t have to register them, nor do you have to pay extra for them. You can add a subdomain to your website through the control panel offered by your web hosting provider.

Subdomains use the following format: subdomain.example.com.

Benefits of Blogging in a Subdirectory

Your blog will probably get crawled and indexed by search engines more quickly if you use a subdirectory. When Google and Bing visit your website, they’ll work their way through your site’s folders to discover your blog and its posts. As result, your blog will be crawled and indexed quickly.

It can take search engines longer to discover your blog if you place it on a subdomain. Unlike with subdirectories, they treat subdomains as entirely separate entities. Even if they crawl your website, they may not find your blog unless you link to it. For faster crawling and indexing, there’s no substitution for blogging in a subdirectory.

When placed in a subdirectory, your blog will share most of its ranking signals with your website. Your website’s backlinks, for example, will benefit your blog. Search engines will view your blog as being an intrinsic part of your website. Therefore, backlinks pointing to your website may boost your blog’s rankings and vise versa.

More visitors may return to your blog if you place it in a subdirectory. It will feature a uniform URL format with which most visitors are familiar. Placing your blog in a folder named “blog” will make it accessible at example.com/blog. Visitors will likely recognize and remember this URL, thus increasing the chance of them returning to your blog.

Subdomains feature a more confusing format because they contain two dots, such as blog.example.com. Furthermore, subdomains can have their own subdirectories. A post might be published at blog.archives/post-title.example.com, which can confuse visitors. Some visitors may not remember the URLs of your posts, in which case they won’t come back.

Benefits of Blogging on a Subdomain

While many bloggers prefer subdirectories, there are still reasons to use a subdomain. It’s easier, for instance, to install a CMS on a subdomain than it is to install a CMS in a subdirectory. In just a few minutes, you can get your blog running on a subdomain.

Subdirectories support blogging-based CMSs as well, but they can create conflicts with other files and resources. You can’t just upload WordPress to a subdirectory to install the CMS on your website. WordPress uses permalinks that will change the URLs of all of your website’s pages. To prevent this native function from breaking your website, you must configure your site’s .htaccess file, which can be complicated if you’re not familiar with this configuration file.

You’ll have a far easier time installing WordPress on a subdomain. Adding a subdomain to your website will result in the creation of a new root folder. You can then upload WordPress or any other blogging-based CMS to this new folder without messing with the .htaccess file. The files placed in your subdomain’s root folder won’t affect those placed in your website’s root folder.

It may take longer, but your blog can still earn high rankings if it’s placed on a subdomain. There are hundreds of high-ranking blogs on subdomains. Even the HubSpot blog is placed on a subdomain, which you can access at blog.hubspot.com; subdomains just don’t share their ranking signals with their overlying websites. Your blog can still rank high on a subdomain if you promote it and build backlinks to it.

What About a Standalone Domain?

A third option is to use a standalone domain. Unlike subdirectories and subdomains, standalone domains aren’t connected to an existing website. Rather, they are new and separate domains. You can register a new domain to use exclusively for your blog.

Blogging on a standalone domain is similar to blogging on a subdomain. In both scenarios, search engines will treat your blog as a separate entity from your website. You’ll essentially have a blank slate with which to work.

When compared to subdomains, though, standalone domains typically feature a cleaner URL format. They consist of a name and a TLD. This clean and simple format makes them easier to remember. More visitors will remember your blog’s URL if you place it on a standalone domain. The downside to using a standalone domain is that you’ll have to spend money registering and renewing it, and you’ll also have to perform search engine optimization (SEO) more aggressively to get your blog noticed by Google and Bing.

You can add a blog to your website by placing it in a subdirectory or on a subdomain. Subdirectories are sub-level folders, whereas subdomains are sub-level domains. Only the former, though, share their ranking signals with their overlying websites. Starting a blog on a subdomain is easier, but using a subdirectory will help your blog rank higher and faster.

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Blog on Subdomain or Subdirectory

Last Updated in 2022-06-10T19:43:13+00:00 by Lukasz Zelezny