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To sub-domain or not sub-domain

  • # May 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Hello everyone, let me thank you in advance for any help or advice you may have. Here is the deal I have a website that has become or is becoming rather large and navigation becoming rather cumbersome. I am currently debating dividing the site into "categories" by way of a sub-domains. Would this be the most logical/valid/"best practices" means of organization. Or is there a difference at all?

    Examples:
    Current site (doesn’t exist, just an example):
    http://www.artist.com/drawings.html
    http://www.artist.com/gallery/drawings/index.html

    http://www.artist.com/painting.html
    http://www.artist.com/gallery/painting/index.html

    Future site:
    http://www.drawings.artist.com
    http://www.drawing.artist.com/gallery/index.html

    http://www.painting.artist.com
    http://www.painting.artist.com/gallery/index.html

    Thanks again,
    Jeff

    # May 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I was toying with something similar on a site a while back, using the subdomain for the town, which would then have the same function files coming off each other. I think if you want to split the site up into very definite sections, then it’s a good way to do it.

    However, you can drop the www’s, and simply use http://drawing.artist.com and http://painting.artist.com which makes it look tidier.

    # May 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    For something like this, I really wouldn’t suggest it. (that is, only if your filler text of "gallery" and "drawings" was actually what you were intending it for)

    A subdomain should be use for more distinct entities.

    For example:

    http://www.nike.com

    store.nike.com

    or:

    http://www.bc.ca

    vancouver.bc.ca

    # May 28, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    A bit of additional information. The site would consist of approximately 5 sub-domains each containing 5+ unique pages of content including a gallery, blog and contact form corresponding email address unique for each section.

    # May 29, 2009 at 6:03 am

    I’m trying to think of any reasons why it might cause a problem.. I think for larger sites yes it should be used for completely separating sections further than you are, but as it’s a small site I don’t think you’ll have any complaints from endusers and I don’t *think* it will hurt your SEO (but it’s worth looking into that).

    The one issue you might get is, apart from FireFox, you might get some problems with the autocomplete as people would have to remember to type the subdomain out rather than the domain if they wanted to get to a section. I think it’s a case of – go with it if you like it.

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