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Hosting - Subdomains are the Answer!
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 name.
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
low cost web hosting services.