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Author Topic: Subdomain or sub-folder - what do you think?  (Read 3128 times)

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« on: May 01, 2009, 20:42 »
0
I need a help from you guys who are much more experienced than me in this.

As I am working on my new website, I was thinking if I should use subdomains to separate different areas, or merely folders.

I have a personal website and a photo website (I have a third website that I will merge into my personal).  In the future I plan to create a site/forum/whatever for my university colleagues, and that will be a password-protected area for privacy. It is a future plan however, but something to consider at the moment just for planing.  I might add some areas also for family albums and other stuff.

So, I could create subdomains:
personal.mariadelaidesilva.net
photo.mariadelaidesilva.net
university.mariadelaidesilva.net

Or simply subfolders of my main domain:
www.mariadelaidesilva.net/personal
www.mariadelaidesilva.net/photo
www.mariadelaidesilva.net/university

In my ignorance, they are basically the same.  Is there any advantage or disadvantage in either of these strategies?  Will they both work if one day I change host and transfer everything to the new site with the help of cPanel?  Will they both work in the case of the password-protected area?

Regards,
Adelaide
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 20:44 by madelaide »


« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 21:37 »
0
Is there any advantage or disadvantage in either of these strategies?

Privacy. I don't like my different activities to be mixed up, like political actvism and microstock activity. If you're sometimes outspoken, you will attract the lowlife stalkers and they can do you much harm online, as Google is our enemy. On Google, you will have to present a clear simple concept, like photography, and when you mix it with other areas of interest, you might weaken your SEO.
I would separate personal/business by different domains. An extra domain is only 9$/year. If you pick one of the hosters that allow more than one domain on the same account, you don't need an extra hosting account.

« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 14:18 »
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Flemish,

My "photo" website is not business, it is just a gallery with some of my photos, several photo links, stuff like that.  I do have referral links to the sites and some galleries using embedded code provided by FP and SP, that's the more commercial part of it.

Anyway, what are the practical differences between using sub-domains vs sub-folders?  That is what is unclear to me.  They just look like the same thing presented in two different ways.  Will they both work if one day I change host and transfer everything to the new site with the help of cPanel?  Will they both work in the case of the password-protected area?

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 14:31 »
0
As far as I know, the only advantage of using a subdomain is that you can make different subdomains point to different servers which is useful for sites with high traffic.

But I guess that having multiple servers are not an option for standard web hosting plans, so sub-domain or sub-folder are basically the same.

I would say however that it is not that common to have an URL which does not start with "www" and it may be confusing for some to have to remember a subdomain address.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 14:37 by araminta »

« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 14:39 »
0
Adelaide,

I don't know if I"m the best one to answer you because, even though I design websites, because I have the same question.  Why the big deal about sub-domains?

In reality, they really are the same -- just  a different way of writing out the address.  So, use whichever you think is easier to type, or remember -- photo.mariadelaidesilva.net or mariadelaidesilva.net/photo

Both should work equally well password protected.

« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 14:44 »
0
<snip>
I would say however that it is not that common to have an URL which does not start with "www" and it may be confusing for some to have to remember a subdomain address.

the WWW is really obsolete these days, and can me included, or left off any url, including subdomains.

www.photos.whomever.com is the same as photos.whoember.com

The only difference is that some programs, like the text editor on the forum and my email program, use the www. to identify something as a link while your type and automatically ads the <a> coding.

« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 21:53 »
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Anyway, what are the practical differences between using sub-domains vs sub-folders?  That is what is unclear to me.  They just look like the same thing presented in two different ways.  Will they both work if one day I change host and transfer everything to the new site with the help of cPanel?  Will they both work in the case of the password-protected area?

On Hostgator, subfolders and domains are physically the same. You will just have to declare in your CPanel that a particular folder is actually an add-on domain. The name of the subfolder should be the name of the domain. With your registrar, you will then have to declare the nameservers of your host, but the mapping from the domain to the subfolder is done by the host. For the Net, it looks like two separate domains though.

The advantages are purely SEO. Google doesn't like mixed sites that much, and you will easily exceed the optimal number of keywords and the simplicity of the description. One of the exceptions is when one of your subfolders is a blog, related to the main topic (ic photography). A blog always draws more traffic than a gallery and the traffic might spill over to your gallery.

Yuri Arcurs does it the other way round. Arcurs dot com is a blog, and the portfolio is a subfolder of it. The same holds for Lee Torrens. Reading comments around the usefulness of online galleries, most agree they are not useful at all, certainly not when they are in flash. Our agents do a fine job exposing our ports on Google. Only if your gallery contains images not available on stock, like assignments, events, weddings, specific editorial, sports, and you have a local direct sales option, a personal gallery might be worth the time and effort involved.

Just my 2 centavos.

« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 03:58 »
0

You can have both if you want.

However, the main disadvantage to sub-domains is that if you ever wish to secure all three sub-domains with an SSL certificate, you may be charged extra.

Setup the sub-domains and re-direct incoming requests (HTTP Header) for personal.mariadelaidesilva.net to www.mariadelaidesilva.net/personal.

If anyone tried to reach 'www.mariadelaidesilva.net/personal' directly, you could accept or reject the request based on the URI used by the client.

You could setup a default re-direct for those typing in 'mariadelaidesilva.net' or  'www.mariadelaidesilva.net'

Remember too that most browsers provide a short-cut for .com addresses.  Just type the domain name in the address bar and hit CTRL+Enter and it will wrap www. and .com around the name.



 

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