NameHero allows you to host unlimited subdomains with every hosting plan. You can use this freedom to streamline your site operations, and create a safeguard against some reputational hazards as explained below. A subdomain has many uses!
1. Use Subdomains for Email
Most people just send e-mail from their primary domain. So if your website is “mycompany.com”, then you’ll have email addresses like:
While this obviously works, it’s not ideal. The reason is reputation management.
Protecting your Primary Domain Name
If you’re sending out a lot of e-mails – especially marketing ones, chances are that you’re going to go into a blacklist sooner or later. People tend to think that this only happens to bad players, but that’s not the case. Even if you’re a perfectly responsible marketer, all it takes is for some people to click on the “Spam” button instead of the “Unsubscribe” button for you to go onto a blacklist.
And if that happens, you don’t want it to ruin the reputation of your primary domain from which you may want to send important announcements, including legal notices.
Using a subdomain for specific e-mail purposes, isolates the individual accounts from one another. So you create an email ID like this:
And if by some chance that email is blacklisted as spam, then you can discard it and create a new subdomain without it affecting your main domain. In fact by doing this, you should create a separate subdomain for customer service so that even if your marketing efforts are blacklisted, you can still help your customers without interruption.
2. Use Subdomains for Shopify or Other 3rd Party Integration
Shopify is an example of a 3rd party online store. For a certain fee a month, you can host your products and sell them online. But what if you already have your own website and want to integrate the online shopping experience using Shopify? You don’t want to let go of your existing host and have to redesign your site.
Instead, you can use a subdomain for your online store and link that to Shopify. So when someone visits your subdomain, they get the Shopify experience. This is a great way to partition your site into sections and have different experiences depending on the subdomain. Similarly, you can have your entire customer service section on a subdomain that’s separate from your main site. This is common practice in many big organizations, and you should have it too.
3. Use a Subdomain as a “Test” Site for Changes
I personally use a subdomain to test out different themes and changes instead of my main site. I ensure that it’s not going to be indexed by search engines, so there’s no conflict with duplicate content. It’s a fun, risk-free way of making changes to your site without consequences.
Of course, NameHero also has a “staging” environment where you can create working copies of your site and push the changes when you’re ready. But I feel that a test site on a subdomain is a lot faster and more casual for quick and dirty experiments. Want to see how a new font will look? Want to try out a new plugin without the hassle of creating a new site? All these are great use cases for a subdomain.
Don’t Confuse Subdomains with Subdirectories
I’ve written before about the difference between subdomains and subdirectories. If you’re starting a blog, I suggest you use a subdirectory instead of a subdomain. The former is linked more closely to your site, and shares its reputation, whereas the latter is treated as a separate site by search engines and security software.
I hope the above three examples of using subdomains gives you a feel of the kinds of applications your can put them to. But don’t use them if the situation calls for a subdirectory instead!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!