When To Use A Subdomain Or A Subdirectory For Your Blog

by Alex Harvey September 30th, 2011 


What are the physical differences between the following two options:

  • Blog.mydomain.com (subdomain of mydomain.com)
  • mydomain.com/blog (subdirectory/folder)

One way that I like to imagine this is to regard a subdirectory as being similar to a label which describes the meaning of a page or a group of pages on a website; whilst subdomains are actually separate sites. With a subdirectory, you would be building up an existing website or blog with more content, whereas with the subdomain you are effectively starting from scratch.

My personal preference on subdomains vs. subdirectories is that I usually go with the convenience of subdirectories for most of my content. 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.

Benefits of the Subdirectory Route for your blog

So what would be the benefits of selecting the subdirectory route for your site when considering where to introduce your blog?

  • Organization - Subdirectories are ideal for organizing content into meaningful, descriptive URLs. If you're looking to grow your site and categorize content in a meaningful, logical way then subdirectories are a good way to make your URL path's more search friendly.
  • For relatively smaller sites, keeping your content in one place will help your site to build authority, and in terms of your blog, will help to pass any power and link juice that has been gained over time.
  • Building power over time " As the power increases so does the authority and trust, enabling a site to ranks new terms more easily and quickly. Any new content can be created and organized efficiently in subfolders.
  • Link Bait - When using the blog to post great content that could be seen as link bait, having the post on the main domain will ultimately benefit the whole site, as a percentage of the power that is derived, is then disseminated to other pages around via good cross linking techniques the site architecture.
  • Easier to manage - Using subdirectories can be easier to manage than subdomains for those with less technical experience.
  • Subdomains " it is not possible to say that subdomains always inherit the positives and ranking ability that can be seen with other subdomains on root domain.

In conclusion, if youd like to build the equity and power of one web site, I would suggest the use of a subfolder. If youd like to build an entire new site with its own equity, launch a subdomain.

Alex Harvey

Alex works for Fresh Egg, an SEO and multi discipline search agency. He has an extensive background as a web developer.

SEO & Web Design Blog

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3 Responses to “When To Use A Subdomain Or A Subdirectory For Your Blog”

  1. Wasim Ismail says:

    I prefer to go for a sub directory over sub domain, so that the whole site benefits, and it's just one domain, where else having a separate domain from your main site, will mean its a separate entity in its own right. Now days I have also seen some blogs and sites all in one directory, so there's no sub domain and no subdirectory.

  2. Thank you for the clarification…I was about to tackle a sub-domain but after reading your post, I've concluded that a sub-directory will probably work just fine…though I might need some menu help to make it work????

  3. Scott says:

    As a final clarification, would you suggest to host the blog in the root directly, as opposed to a subdirectory?