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Which is best: Subdomain or Subdirectory


Mark Clifford
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Do you have something in the root folder? Because if not my recommendation would be to go with none of the options. your-topic.com or topicforum.net and so on works fine. 

If your root directory is taken already, it depends on what your goals for your forum are. A sub folder makes it part of your main site. A subdomain makes it a different website. 

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51 minutes ago, Mark Clifford said:

@opentype Thanks for responding! I don't know really... I know it would be good for SEO but just looking for best practices/opinions.  

I always use a sub-domains.

You have more control both domains and your main domain isn't cluttered with folders which hold an install of other software (So harder to accidentally delete files and folders). 

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A lot of this is going to come down to how you want to brand your site, and whether you want to separate your site into distinct sections or not. When using subdomains, as stated above: they are seen as different websites. Your subdomain of hello.example.co will not pass its page ranking into www.example.co.

This is a good method for sites that offer people their own URL, like how WordPress.com does it.

If the site's sections are all connected, i.e. the same topic niche is discussed in the forum and the article section (possibly your root), then subdirectories are the way to go. This way, your subdomain is not competing with your main website and together they can enhance your rankings for keywords, making the entire site more "juicy."

I think the majority of people would want to use subdirectories rather than subdomains.

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