What Is a Subdomain and Why Would I Want One?

So, you need to have WordPress on a subdomain and want to know how to create a WordPress subdomain.

Creating a WordPress subdomain is a fairly straight forward task. But first things first. A subdomain is a separate entity from WordPress. You can have a subdomain that you could put a web site on, a forum, a WordPress blog etc.

So first things first, you need to create a  subdomains  subdomain on your web site where you can install WordPress.

Creating a subdomain

To create a subdomain you will need to log into your web hosting account. I am going to cover the cPanel interface here but most interfaces will be fairly similar.

‘Subdomains’ option in your cPanel account on your web host. This will be located under the ‘Domains’ category in cPanel. You should also see options for ‘Addon Domains’, ‘Parked Domains’, ‘Redirects’, and ‘Simple DNS Zone Editor’ in the ‘Domains’ category. Obviously we are going to select the ‘Subdomains’ option.

After you click on the Subdomains  subdomains  option you will see two text boxes. The one to the right contains your domain and the one to the left is empty. The text box on the left is where you will enter the name that you have chosen to be your subdomain. This can be any name you like. You should try to keep it either short or rich with keywords. Preferably both if possible.

So say our domain name is widgets.com and we are going to name our subdomain ‘blue’ then we will end up with ‘blue.widgets.com’ with our subdomain added. You could put in ‘green’ for ‘green.widgets.com’ or ‘pink’ for ‘pink.widgets.com’, well you get the idea.

Once you have picked your name just type it in the text box on the left and click the ‘Create’ button. That’s it! You now have a subdomain.

But your thinking that’s great but  subdomains   you want WordPress on your subdomain, so that is where we’re heading next.

Installing WordPress on your subdomain

Go back to your cPanel home page and find the ‘Fantastico De Luxe’ option. This should be located under the ‘Software/Services’ category. It has the smiley face icon above it.

Look for the ‘WordPress’ option which you will find located under the ‘Blog’ category. After you click on the ‘WordPress’ option you should see an option for a ‘New Installation’.

After you click on ‘New Installation’ you will see numerous options. The first option will be the ‘Install on domain’ option.  subdomains  You will notice a dropdown box next to this option. When you click on this dropdown box you should see your newly created subdomain listed as an option. In keeping with our example you would see ‘widgets.com’ as the default address and ‘blue.widgets.com’ in the dropdown box. You will want to select your subdomain.

If you do not see your subdomain then it was not created correctly and you will have to go back to your cPanel home page and create your subdomain again.

After you have selected your subdomain to install WordPress in, you will want to fill out all the other options. I would suggest leaving the ‘Install in directory’ option blank so WordPress installs  subdomains  into the root directory of your subdomain.

So if your domain is widgets.com and you want your subdomain to be ‘blue’ then your WordPress blog would be located at blue.widgets.com provided you left the folder name blank to install into the root directory of your subdomain.

If you install WordPress in a folder on your subdomain, say we name this folder ‘plastic’ then your WordPress blog would be located at ‘blue.widgets.com/plastic’.

It can get a bit confusing which is why I would suggest leaving the box blank and installing WordPress in the root directory of your subdomain unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.

Be sure once you have completed the installation that you enter an active email address so WordPress will send all the installation to you. This can be helpful in case you have to troubleshoot any problems. The email automatically sent to you will include where WordPress was installed, the full installation path, the Public URL, Admin URL, Username, Password, MySQL database and MySQL user.

Congratulations! You have just learned how to create a WordPress subdomain. Now you can log in to your WordPress blog and start blogging away.

You may be interested in customizing your WordPress theme. In that case you might want to check out my tutorial on How to customize WordPress theme quickly and easily.

How to Work on Your Subdomain Site

In the maintenance of your website, you work on the subdomain by going to the primary domain in an FTP program. The subdomain exists as a subdirectory within this primary domain’s website.

In Joomla and WordPress, as an administrator you work in the web browser that logs into your site. However, in simpler websites that only use HTML, you work on it by going to the site via FTP.

Logging into the browser window at a site means that you’re using the software on the site to make changes to the site. Logging in with FTP, on the other hand, means you are looking at the site and able to delete and add files to the site using the FTP program.

Disadvantages of a Subdomain

A main domain name is shorter and easier to type or remember than a subdomain name. Plus, the subdomain loses the uniqueness that a domain name has.

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