There is always a question between sub domain and sub folder to choose best for search engine optimization. when to choose a sub domain or sub folder for a website owner. There can be many reasons to subdomains and subdirectories.

Today I am sharing a case study about using subdomains and subdirectories/subfolders. Both are used for share information in form of content, products, services or more. But the confusion is that when to use subdomains and subfolders. There are a lots of argues on using subdomains and subfolders for SEO. But sometimes SEO is not everything; your business deserves more attention than Google.

Both have their own pros and cons. Your need decides that when you should choose subdomain and subdirectories..


It is a subdivision of root domain, or you can say it is a 2nd website. In short subdomains are separating the website in themselves. You can define subdomains as per your requirement like category of sharing information, language specific or area specific or you can say subdomains are very meaningful when each subdomains is represented as an expert.

When to use Subdomains

  • If you have an e-commerce website and you want a presence in multiple languages, then subdomains is the best choice.
  • You can easily use it in terms of franchises. I know all are focusing on same products but for other information like Address, contact no, specialties, map and more, you can go with subdomains.
  • Subdomains is also a good point when you want to make it more comfortable as per user location or serving in different regions.
  • By having multiple websites you have a great chance to show up multiple times in search engines.
  • If you have a website with multiple themes and that are not well related, than subdomains is a better option to be more categorized your site.

Why to Avoid Subdomains

  • Subdomains is treated as unique website by search engine. More subdomains will be treated as your competitors.
  • Link juice will not be passed from main websites to subdomains.
  • As we know subdomains need separate hosting accounts for hosting, so additional hosting fees will be charged. Some like SiteNinja CMS offers some discount on multiple hostings.

Sub Directories

Sub directory is like a tag or to help us to designate the meaning of a page or group of pages.

Reasons to use SubDirectories

  • One content management system is for all regions. So that subdirectories are really very easy to manage.
  • No additional Hosting fees.
  • Subdirectories are good choice if you want to categories your content in a meaningful way. You can make your url path more search friendly.
  • While you are using subdirectories, your content will be keep in one place, that will helpful you to build authority. Must remember that, Subdomains would not help with any one site’s authority/trust.
  • It is easier to rank new content related to search query in SERP.

Reasons to Quit SubDirectories

  • For every region you have to collect and maintain content personally.
  • If your business is targeting on multiple regions, then it would not be possible to modify or optimize website for each subdirectories.

Bottom Line:

Subdomains and subdirectories, both can be used to market web content differently. Sub directories define what specific pages are about, and on other hand subdomains designates what individual sites are about (Once again, Google treats subdomains as different website, while subdirectories are just part of same site). You can state that subdomains are a general way of content marketing via search engine while subdirectories are a particle way.