This is a question many first-time — and even some seasoned — bloggers ask. Some believe dedicated domains are better suited for blogs, simply because they provide greater freedom and accessibility, whereas others prefer subdomains. If you can’t decide between the two, keep reading for a break-down of the pros and cons associated with dedicated domains and subdomains for blogs.
Dedicated Domains vs Subdomains: What’s The Difference?
Let’s first go over the basics of dedicated and subdomains, as this a topic that confuses many people. A dedicated domain is exactly what it sounds like: a standard www.yourwebsitesnamehere.com/net/info/org/etc. A subdomain, on other hand, is a website attached to an existing domain, such as yourblog.yourwebsite.com. Subdomains are usually created through web hosting software like Cpanel, meaning you can theoretically create hundreds of websites using a single domain (if you create them as subdomains).
Matt Cutts, Google’s Webspam team leader, discussed subdomains on his blog. “A subdomain can be useful to separate out content that is completely different. Google uses subdomains for distinct products such news.google.com or maps.google.com, for example,” wrote Cutts.
Dedicated Domains are Easier to Remember
While subdomains are certainly useful, one of their biggest disadvantages is the simple fact that most people cannot remember them. If a user wants to visit your blog that’s attached as a subdomain, he or she would have to type in the full address, such as yourblog.yourwebsite.com. If they only type the first or second part of the blog into their web browser, the user won’t be able to reach your blog. This, of course, is a serious issue that can hurt your traffic, as well as percentage of returning visitors.
Subdomains Cost Less
Let me rephrase that: subdomains are practically free with the exception of the cost of the original domain. If you plan on launching your blog as a subdomain, you won’t have to register a separate domain. Just attach it to an existing domain and you are good to go! The low cost associated with subdomains has made them a popular choice among first-time bloggers, as the investment is minimal at best.
Search Engine Visibility
Now let’s talk about the nuances of search engine visibility between dedicated domains and subdomains. Generally, Google treats subdomains much like a dedicated domain, which is in stark contrast to a website that’s placed as a subdirectory. This means you can obtain rankings for a subdomain blog that are entirely different from the dedicated domain to which it is attached.
So, should you choose a dedicated domain or subdomain for your blog? If you are serious about blogging and want to make a positive, lasting impression on readers, stick with a dedicated domain. Domain name registrations are dirt cheap today, with many registrars selling .coms for as little as $10 bucks per year with free privacy protection included.
Which type of domain does your blog use? Let us know in the comments section below!