Have you ever noticed websites with extra sections before the main domain name, like “blog.elementor.com” or “shop.elementor.com”? These are called subdomains, and they offer a powerful way to organize and expand your online presence.

Subdomains give you the flexibility to create distinct areas within your website.  Whether you want a dedicated space for your company blog, a separate online store, language-specific versions of your site, or secure testing environments, subdomains are the answer.

While the technical side of setting up subdomains can seem daunting, choosing the right tools can simplify the process. This is where Elementor’s website builder and hosting solutions come in. Elementor empowers you to design amazing websites and manage subdomains with ease,  all while benefiting from a performance-optimized, secure WordPress hosting environment.

The Basics of Subdomains 

Understanding Domain Structure

To grasp the concept of subdomains, let’s first break down the anatomy of a standard website address (also referred to as a URL).  A typical domain looks like this:

  • Subdomain: An additional part before the primary domain. Example: blog.elementor.com
  • Root Domain The core name of your website. Example: elementor.com.
  • Top-Level Domain (TLD): The suffix at the end indicates the type of website (.com, .org, .net, country-specific codes, etc.)

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

It’s important to understand the distinction between subdomains and subdirectories, as they both achieve similar goals but in fundamentally different ways. Here’s the key difference:

  • Subdomain: Creates a semi-separate website within your main domain (e.g., blog.elementor.com)
  • Subdirectory: Forms a folder-like structure within your root domain (e.g., elementor.com/blog/)

Choosing Between Subdomains and Subdirectories:

While we’ll explore this in more detail later, here’s a quick overview to keep in mind:

  • Subdomains are ideal when you want a distinct separation of content, functionality, or design from your main site.
  • Subdirectories are more straightforward to set up and are often better for smaller sections or content that aligns closely with your core website.

Popular Uses for Subdomains

Subdomains offer remarkable versatility, making them useful for a wide array of website needs. Here are some of the most common applications:

  • Blogs and Content Sections:  A subdomain like “blog.elementor.com” creates a dedicated space for your articles, tutorials, or news updates. This clear separation can help with content organization and user experience.
  • Online Stores (eCommerce):  Set up a separate shopping experience on a subdomain like “store.elementor.com” or “shop.elementor.com. This allows you to tailor the design and functionality specifically for your e-commerce needs.
  • Support Forums and Knowledge Bases: Assist your customers with a subdomain like “forum.elementor.com” or “kb.elementor.com”. This provides a focused area for FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and community forums.
  • Language-Specific Websites:  Cater to a global audience with subdomains like “es.elementor.com” for Spanish or “de.elementor.com” for German versions. This strategy makes your website more accessible and can improve search visibility in different regions.
  • Testing and Staging Environments:  The “secret weapon” of many developers! Use subdomains like “staging.elementor.com” or “test.elementor.com” to safely experiment with new features, updates, or major design changes before pushing them live to your main website.

The possibilities are numerous! Whether you’re managing a small business website or a large enterprise platform, subdomains provide you with the flexibility to structure your online presence effectively.

Creating and Managing Subdomains

The Technical Process

While the specifics may vary slightly between different hosting providers and domain registrars, here’s the general process behind setting up a subdomain:

  1. CNAME Records:  You’ll need to create a CNAME record within your domain’s DNS (Domain Name System) settings. This record acts like a pointer, linking your subdomain to the appropriate hosting location.
  2. Hosting Configuration: Your hosting provider might require you to configure the subdomain on their end as well.  This step ensures your server knows how to handle requests for the new subdomain.

Simplifying the Process with Elementor Hosting

Elementor Hosting takes the complexity out of subdomain management. Its streamlined control panel provides an intuitive way to create and configure subdomains directly. You can focus on your website’s design and content while Elementor Hosting takes care of the technical details under the hood.

SSL Certificates

It’s essential to have an SSL certificate in place for each subdomain, just like your main domain. SSL certificates encrypt data transmitted between users and your website, ensuring a safe browsing experience.  They also boost trust signals and contribute to good search engine rankings.

Elementor Hosting to the Rescue! 

With Elementor Hosting, you get automatic premium SSL certificates for all your subdomains, keeping your visitors’ data secure and your websites trustworthy.


Redirects are instructions that tell browsers (and search engines) to send users from one URL to another automatically. Here are common scenarios where subdomain redirects come in handy:

  • Merging Old Subdomains: Consolidating old subdomains to point to sections on your main website.
  • www vs. Non-www: Enforcing consistency by redirecting users to your preferred version (either with or without the “www”).
  • Changing Subdomain Structures: Seamlessly updating your redirects if you reorganize your subdomains.

Types of Redirects: The most common are temporary (302) redirects, often used during development, and permanent (301) redirects, used for longer-term changes.

WordPress Installation

If you’re using WordPress, most likely, you’ll want to install WordPress separately on each subdomain where you intend to create a distinct website or section. There are two main approaches:

  1. Fresh WordPress Install: Create a new WordPress installation within the subdomain’s directory. This provides complete control over that subdomain’s site design, plugins, and settings.
  2. WordPress Multisite: WordPress Multisite is a powerful option for managing a network of related websites using subdomains. It allows you to administer multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard. Note that this is a more advanced feature suitable for specific use cases.

Building Your Subdomain Sites with Elementor

Once you have WordPress set up on your subdomains, the fun part begins – designing and building! This is where Elementor’s intuitive website builder shines. Here’s how Elementor enhances your experience across subdomains:

  • Drag-and-Drop Design: Effortlessly create stunning layouts, pages, and even entire websites on each subdomain using Elementor’s visual builder. No coding knowledge is required.
  • Theme Builder: Craft custom headers, footers, and templates that can be applied across all your subdomains, ensuring a cohesive look and feel throughout your web presence.
  • Global Styles: Set overarching design rules that apply to all your subdomains. Easily change your main site’s typography, colors, or buttons, and these changes will automatically cascade down to your subdomains.

Subdomains and WordPress

Subdomains with Elementor

Elementor offer a seamless experience for designing and managing websites built on subdomains. Let’s explore some key features:

  • Visual, Intuitive Design: Elementor’s drag-and-drop interface extends to subdomains, giving you the same powerful tools to craft unique, engaging websites within each subdomain.
  • Templates and Blocks:  Save time with pre-designed templates and content blocks. You can use Elementor’s vast library or create your own. Import layouts or elements directly into your subdomains, fostering both consistency and design flexibility.
  • Dynamic Content: Personalize your subdomains with dynamic content features. Display user-specific information, targeted listings, or even location-based content across your subdomains tailored to your users’ needs.

WordPress Multisite

If you envision managing a whole network of separate yet interrelated websites, WordPress Multisite unlocks exciting possibilities with subdomains (or subdirectories, for that matter). A few key points:

  • Centralized Dashboard: Administer multiple WordPress sites from a single control panel, streamlining updates, user management, and plugin/theme installations network-wide.
  • Shared Resources: With Multisite, sites can share plugins and themes, reducing redundancy and minimizing administrative overhead.
  • Use Cases:  Multisite setups are ideal for organizations with multiple regional branches, large publications with distinct sections, or membership platforms with user-specific websites.

Please note: WordPress Multisite is a more advanced feature. If you’re managing just a few subdomains with distinct content, separate WordPress installations usually offer a simpler solution.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for WordPress SEO

One of the most common questions surrounding subdomains is their impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here’s the gist of it:

  • Subdomains as (Mostly) Separate Entities: Search engines tend to view subdomains as semi-separate websites, meaning they need to build their own authority and rankings separately from your main domain.
  • Subdirectories Inheriting Authority:  Content within subdirectories naturally benefits from the overall authority of your root domain.

This doesn’t mean subdomains are inherently bad for SEO. With strong content, strategic linking, and targeted optimization, your subdomains can still achieve excellent search visibility.

Design and User Experience Considerations

Branding and Consistency

Maintaining a cohesive brand identity is essential when using subdomains.  Here’s how to ensure your main website and its subdomains feel like part of a unified experience:

  • Visual Consistency:  Stick to a color scheme, typography, and overall design style that extends across your main site and subdomains.  Elementor’s global styling features and templates make this process remarkably easy.
  • Navigation:  Allow users to navigate within each subdomain easily and, importantly, between your subdomains and the main website.  Clear menus and breadcrumbs are essential.
  • Logos and Branding: Ensure your company logo and core branding elements are present in a consistent way throughout all your web properties.

Navigation and User Flow

Here are some tips to create a seamless navigation experience for your users:

  • Menus and Breadcrumbs: Use clear drop-down menus to organize your subdomains. Breadcrumbs enhance orientation, especially for visitors who land directly on a subdomain rather than your homepage.
  • Sitemaps:  Create XML sitemaps to help search engines understand the structure of your website, including subdomains. Submit your sitemaps using search engine webmaster tools.
  • Internal Linking:  Connect content across your subdomains with strategic internal links. This guides visitors to related information, improves search engine understanding of your site structure, and can boost overall SEO.

Mobile Responsiveness

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring your subdomains function flawlessly on smartphones and tablets isn’t optional; it’s a necessity.  Here’s the good news:

  • Elementor’s Responsive Design: Elementor’s editor gives you granular control over how your layouts adapt to different screen sizes.  Test your subdomains thoroughly on various devices.
  • Optimized Hosting:  Elementor Hosting is intrinsically optimized for fast website loading, even on mobile devices. A slow-loading subdomain hurts the entire user experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Subdomains


  • Content Organization and Scalability:  Subdomains are fantastic for structuring large or growing websites. Create distinct areas for different content types, features, or audiences without cluttering your main domain.
  • Targeted SEO:  With dedicated content and careful optimization, subdomains can target specific keywords or geographic regions, potentially broadening your reach in search results.
  • Separation of Concerns:  Subdomains let you compartmentalize areas of your website. This can be beneficial for security (isolating sensitive sections), development (testing changes safely), or managing different teams responsible for their own subdomains.


  • SEO Dilution:  Since search engines can view subdomains as semi-separate,  your main site’s authority won’t automatically transfer. It takes intentional effort to build up the SEO strength of each subdomain.
  • Increased Management Overhead:  Setting up, maintaining, and securing multiple subdomains requires additional work compared to a simpler subdirectory structure.
  • Potential Cost:  Depending on your hosting provider, creating numerous subdomains might come with additional fees or limitations.

Making Informed Choices

Subdomains are powerful tools, but they’re not always the perfect solution. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

Use Subdomains if:

  • You have a large website with vastly different content areas
  • You need clear separation from your main site for security or functionality reasons
  • You want to target specific keywords or locations with distinct websites
  • You have resources to dedicate to multi-site management

Consider Subdirectories if:

  • Your website is smaller and its content fits within a simpler structure
  • You want to maximize SEO benefits from your main domain
  • You prioritize ease of setup and maintenance

Choosing the Right Solution: Elementor Website Builder and Hosting

We’ve covered what subdomains are, how to use them, and the general pros and cons. Now, let’s see how Elementor’s powerful website builder and its optimized hosting environment simplify the entire process and give you a competitive advantage.

Elementor Website Builder

Intuitive Design Across Subdomains

Elementor’s signature drag-and-drop interface lets you build beautiful websites effortlessly within every subdomain. You gain the full range of Elementor tools to create unique looks and tailor user experiences for each section of your website.

Consistency and Control  

Easily maintain visual and functional consistency across your main website and subdomains using Elementor’s global styles, templates, theme builder, and vast library of design elements.

Dynamic Content 

Personalize your subdomains with Elementor’s dynamic features. Target audiences with location-specific content, display relevant product listings, or tailor user experiences – all made simple with Elementor.

Elementor AI Website Builder

AI-assisted website builder capable of crafting a full WordPress website from scratch in minutes.

Elementor Hosting

Simplified Subdomain Management

Elementor Hosting offers a user-friendly control panel where creating and managing subdomains is intuitive.  Skip complex DNS configurations and let Elementor handle the technical side.

Unmatched Performance

Powered by the Google Cloud Platform, with serverless architecture on C2 servers, Cloudflare’s Enterprise CDN, and numerous optimizations, Elementor Hosting ensures lightning-fast websites. This speed boost extends to all your subdomains and is a major factor in user experience and SEO success.

Robust Security

Elementor Hosting offers a multi-layered security approach that protects your main website and all your subdomains. Features like automatic HSTS, enterprise-level firewalls, DDoS Protection, and premium SSL keep your sites safe from ever-evolving threats.

By choosing Elementor, you streamline the entire process, from subdomain setup to beautiful and functional website design.  You also gain industry-leading performance and security benefits that put your web presence ahead of the competition.

Best Practices for Effective Subdomain Use

Here are key takeaways to keep in mind when implementing subdomains:

  • Strategic Planning:  Don’t create subdomains haphazardly. Define the purpose and goals for each subdomain before implementation.
  • Keyword Research:  Analyze keywords relevant to each subdomain’s content to optimize for the right search terms.
  • Internal Linking: Build a strong internal linking structure between your subdomains and the main website. This helps guide users and search engines across your web properties.
  • Monitoring and Analytics: Track the performance of each subdomain separately. This data will help you refine your content strategy and optimization efforts.
  • Choose the Right Tools:  Platforms like Elementor make setting up, designing, and managing subdomains vastly easier, giving you more time to focus on creating amazing content.


Throughout this in-depth exploration, we’ve discovered that subdomains provide a powerful way to organize, expand, and optimize your online presence. Whether your goal is a well-structured blog, a streamlined online store, language-specific content, or secure testing environments, subdomains can be the answer.

However, it’s important to use subdomains strategically. Consider the potential SEO implications, the added management overhead, and the specific needs of your website.

This is where Elementor truly shines. Elementor’s Website Builder, along with Elementor Hosting, offers an unmatched solution for creating, managing, and scaling websites that utilize subdomains.  You gain intuitive design tools, simplified setup, robust security, and blazing-fast performance for your main website and all its subdomains.

With the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, you’re equipped to make informed decisions about subdomains and leverage their potential to enhance your web presence. And if you choose Elementor as your partner, you’ll unlock a whole new level of ease, power, and flexibility.