IntroductionI find many domain owners do not take full advantage of the possibilities offered by subdomains. With most extensions your purchase the second level domain (e.g. if I own expertise.space the top level domain TLD is space, while I own the second level expertise with that TLD). However, I also own the right to use the third level. Many assume the third level has to be www and that the only domain name they own is www.expertise.space, but that is just one possibility. I could just as well use Canadian.expertise.space if I wanted, for example.
What is a SubdomainMost web hosting services allow you to have either a limited or unlimited number of subdomains associated with each hosted domain (this is one thing to check for when looking for a service). That means if for example planners.top is the domain being hosted, and you set up a subdomain named event, then when someone types in event.planners.top they will go to the website information you have placed in the subdomain. On your hosting panel your subdomain will be just like its own domain, and to the user event.planners.top seems like a different site from planners.top. You can read about subdomains here.
DNS RedirectsYou can achieve almost the same thing by using domain name server (DNS) redirects. These are instructions where your domain is registered that tell all the domain name servers in the world where to go when various URLs are use. That is I could put DNS redirects where I have the domain name planners.top registered, and direct event.planners.top to one web location, and wedding.planners.top to another. This does not even need to be a website I host - I could point it to my Facebook page, LinkedIn account, or somewhere else if I wanted.
DNS redirects are somewhat easier to implement than setting up a subdomain, and have certain advantages (such as you can either mask it or not - when masked it means the URL at the top will show wedding.planners.top rather than the real URL of the site). It depends on your application whether the subdomain or DNS redirect is the better option. DNS redirects can be used with any registered domain name, while you will need a hosting service to enact subdomains.
Why Is This Important?This means that when you own the rights to a single domain, you own also the rights to all the three part combinations with that domain name. For example, I have (or at least did when I wrote this - it is currently for sale) the domain planners.top. That is a pretty memorable one word domain name in a well known extension by itself, but the real strength of the name is when used with subdomains (or DNS redirects) to make any of the following (I have not implemented them, but could have them all go different places):
Another domain that I currently have for sale is tweets.today. I like the domain a lot - short, memorable, and high impact. But it becomes even more versatile if you also consider it used with subdomains where many sites could operate in parallel using the one second level domain. Here are a few possibilities, although the list is endless.
Domain Name PhrasesOne use for subdomains or DNS redirecting is in domain name phrases (see our website for some examples, or more about domain name phrases here). One of the leading companies in domain name phrases is Names.of.London - check out possibilities with this search box.
Another domain that I own is kindness.top. I admit that, although memorable and a highly searched English word, by itself the domain name maybe feels a little strange. However, when combined with an additional word like make.kindness.top it becomes a great call to action domain phrase. If, for example, on Twitter someone enters exactly that phrase with the periods, it becomes a link to the associated location.
With DNS you can readily direct it different places according to the third level word. To demonstrate this I have directed make.kindness.top to our site page describing domain name phrases, while I directed kindness.top and www.kindness.top to the landing page where we have it available for sale. Check it out with the above links (or type the URLs into your browser)!
Want to see another one? I have directed curlers.win and www.curlers.win to the page (on Namecheap Marketplace) where the domain is for sale, while I directed the domain name phrases all.curlers.win and young.curlers.win to a page on my website where I talk about that particular domain phrase. Note that I used DNS masking, so it looks like the website URL is all.curlers.win, even though the website you really are at is a page on my NamesThat.win site .
A Touch of DistinctionA simple use you might want to make of this idea is to add the word the instead of www as the third level of the domain. For example direct people to the.photonics.site (instead of www.photonics.site or just photonics.site), or if you had a biotechnology newsletter or review called The CRISPR Review it might be cool to call your website the.CRISPR.review.
- You can use DNS redirects or subdomains with your hosting provider to make various third level domains with the second level domain that you own.
- DNS redirects can be done in just a few minutes using the control panel where your domain is registered. They can be masked or not.
- Subdomains are created using the control panel where your domain name is hosted (this might or might not be the same place as where the domain is registered). You add subdomain web content exactly like it was an independent website.
- Many web hosting plans permit an unlimited number of subdomains.
- These techniques can be used to operate sites in parallel with a single domain - e.g. financial.planners.top could operate separately from event.planners.top.
- You can make a domain name into domain name phrase using the same techniques. For example, the domain name kindness.top can become make.kindness.top. That expression becomes clickable in social media like Twitter.
- If desired you can precede your website with something other than www (but remember that some people may assume it is www, just like some assume the TLD is com).
At the time of writing I had for sale the domain names mentioned here: planners.top, tweets.today, curlers.win, photonics.site, CRISPR.review and kindness.top (if the links no longer go to a landing page, it means the domain is no longer for sale, and we have no association with the new owner). At our website www.NamesThat.win we sell domain names for domain name phrases. We also have an affiliate relationship with Names.of.London.