O.k. I understand how subdomains work. My only question is what benefits to the give and when should I use them?

Say I have a site.

I want to add a photo blog, or let my kid brother have his own site.

I can just make and put an index page in the folder. Same with my kid brother.

What would I gain my instead going to

I understand subdomains would have their own ftp passwords, so if I don’t want to give kidbrother access to my whole site, subdomains would be the way to go. But other than security, do I gain anything by using subdomains?

Thanks for any replys. is easier to remember than

Also, it’s easier (at least with our setup) to delegate access to different users for subdomains; in other cases, there are other reasons for doing this (for instance, if the subdomain is on a different machine, IP address, or Apache instance from the main domain).

Thanks bob. You answered a lot of my questions.

For what I was thinking of using the subdomain for there’s no chance of my moving it, or uploading it for any client, and I don’t really care about it’s search engine ranking.

So for me, it just seems easier to go the easy route instead of breaking up the domains into subdomains.

Thanks again.

One other benefit (that may be specific to how we do things) can be found for people who are wanting to test things out before transferring their domains to us from another host, or have done so but want to test things out before the domain propagates.

For example, a person who hosts “” with another host may want to set up a test copy of that site at my “” until they know they like our service (which INVARIABLY happens, right? :>) and are comfortable making the switch.

The biggest benefit of a sub-domain, though, is in branding. Something under a sub-domain seems to look more ‘important’ than something in a sub-directory. Also, with sub-directories, you would almost expect it to be a portion of the root site under that domain, rather than an entirely different site.

Sure, these may not be super great benefits, but we give so many sub-domains away with our plans it usually doesn’t hurt to use them.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

Like some others here, I also see use of subdomains vs. subdirectories as a logical structural issue… if I want a subsite to be considered to be a part of a bigger site, a subdirectory would make sense, while if I’d like it to be considered a distinct entity (only loosely associated with the parent site), a subdomain communicates that better (e.g., my own,, and sites). To absolutely and completely dissociate it from all other sites, though, you’d need a completely separate domain.

Another neat thing you can do with subdomains is make them redirect to pages outside your site; you can set up an unlimited number of mirrored or redirected subdomains (as opposed to fully hosted ones) without their even counting against your Dreamhost quota, so you can create subdomain addresses that redirect to related things hosted elsewhere, e.g., a Yahoo Group you created as a companion to your site. This lets you give out and link to an address that relates to your site (and is usually shorter than the external address, and less subject to change) for such items.

– Dan


You can create a stand alone site which uses its own index page. This is less complicated, easier to administer and has a better url then creating a folder with an index page inside.

Of particular interest to me is: a) hosting someone elses site separate from my own (they can use their own FTP) which includes their own email addresses, b) showing off student or experimental work, c) search engine placement.I’m sure there are other reasons out there


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