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Website Hosting - Subdomains are the Answer!
By : John Michaels
owners find themselves in a quandary over the ways to make the most of their
company's web site. This is especially true of those who have the need to
maintain more than one web site but do not wish to pay for multiple hosting
accounts. If this is you, a subdomain may be the answer.
Subdomains are sort of a site within a site. They are not, however, simply
additional pages of an existing web site. The subdomain can have a web site
all its own, completely separate from the site located at the main domain
To understand the use and purpose of subdomains, it may be necessary to
first understand the concept of an internet domain name. Every web site that
is active on the internet (and there are literally billions of them now - it
was estimated as long ago as 1996 that there were more web pages in
existence than there were people on Earth) has a unique domain name. There
can be only one Ebay dot com, for example, on the entire internet. The
domain name, however, is really just a way for humans to relate to the site.
Internet servers see web site names as unique I.P. addresses. It is the
domain name server that translates those numbers into names and back again.
A subdomain is simply an offshoot of your web site's domain. In terms of the
way it appears on the server, the subdomain is simply a folder or a sub
directory located within your domain's root directory. Any sub directory can
serve as a sub domain. For example, if your web site is "www.mycompany.com"
and you store the images for your site in a directory called "images," then
you could, if you wished, create a subdomain at "images.mycompany.com". As
long as you put an "index.html" page in the folder you should be able to
pull it up in a web browser that way. In most cases you will create a new
sub directory to be associated with a subdomain and some web hosts do not
support subdomains on their servers or put a limit on the number of
subdomains you may associate with your site.
The benefits of using subdomains as opposed to opening multiple hosting
accounts are twofold. First, you get the obvious benefit of only having to
pay for one hosting account. You also benefit from being able to have a
completely separate web site, but one that your customers will easily
recognize as being associated in some way with your business. Some companies
will set up subdomains for various divisions (xyz.com may also have
sales.xyz.com or support.xyz.com) and some will use subdomains for various
businesses that are all offshoots of the same parent company.
That association could be a downside to using subdomains as well. If you
want to keep the relationship between your companies under wraps (like
Disney tried so hard to do with Touchstone Pictures so many years ago), you
may want to use multiple accounts rather than subdomains. The web address
clandestineproducts.megamall.com would clearly betray that there was some
connection between Clandestine Products and Megamall, whether you wanted
that information to be known or not.
About the Author :
John Michaels is a freelance author for
WebHostPacks.com where he regularly publishes articles on how to find a
cheap web host and reviews of
cost web hosting services.