What is sub-domain?

Sub domains are part of the main domain name they don’t need to be registered as they belong to the same owner as the main domain name. However you do need to create them and associate them with the hosting space just like you would a normal/main domain name. Any Domain name can be subdivided into smaller units called Sub domains.

In order to really understand this concept you need to understand exactly what a domain name is.

Firstly domain names vary in the number of levels depending on whether they are non-geographic (.com, .net, .org etc) or geographic (.uk, .de, .us etc).

Non geographic domains like .com; which is the most common, have 2 levels with each level separated by a dot (.). Examples are:

• manashosting.com
• yourname.com
• mycompany.com

Notice that there is no www proceeding the domain name as www is in reality a hostname.

Most websites can be accessed using the www as a prefix e.g. www.ibm.com or simply as ibm.com.

Now once you register a domain name you are free to divide that domain name further into sub domains by creating a third level.

The names for the sub domains are decided by you and do not need approval of any Internet authorities.

As a example assume I register the domain name- mydomain.com. I can now create sub domains like:

• sales.mydomain.com
• marketing.mydomain.com
• support.mydomain.com

Understanding the www Most people give out the address of a website starting with www. Ask someone the address of the abc website and they would probably tell you it is www.abc.com.

If you type this address into a browser then you will reach the abc website.

However if you type in just abc.com you get to the same website.

When abc registered that domain name they registered abc.com and not www.abc.com

The use of the www prefix is just a convention and the www is in fact a default hostname alias which points to a web server in the abc.com domain name space.

Sub domains allow you to divide your domain name/website into sections or separate areas.

As an analogy if you go to any medium to large company office you will see it divided into various departments like accounts, sales, product development.

People who work in these various departments are all located near to each other maybe on the same floor or office section.

You can do the same with your website. If you have a medium/large company you may want to have a separate website for the sales, and another for the Marketing side.

Rather than having totally separate websites you can section or divide your main website just as you would a normal office.

However you don’t actually need to create a sub domain to achieve this there are actually two main methods used:

• Use separate folders
• Use Sub domains

Using Separate Folders to Sub Divide a Web Site
This is the most common method and is easy to implement on almost all websites. Here the main domain name is abc.com. to access the website you type in http://www.abc.com or http://abc.com (not always possible).

When you do that you get the index.htm file showed circled in yellow (below) for that website.

You can now create folders underneath the main site (here sales and MTG) and each folder will contain files relevant to that department.

You can tell you sales customers to access the this folder by giving them the URL of the folder: http://www.abc.com/sales or http://www.abc.com/mtg.
Here when the visitor types http://www.abc.com/sales into his browser he gets the home page for that folder – the index.htm file circled in red below.

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