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Domain or Sub-Domain: What to Choose and Why?

The importance of possessing your own domain is paramount to running a successful business or charity. Whether you are a start-up founder, a charity aiming for greater outreach or an individual striving to build a robust personal brand, the choice between a personalised domain and a sub-domain is a critical juncture in your online journey.

This article illuminates the many benefits of domain ownership and the potential constraints of operating under a sub-domain. Let us delve into the rather intricate world of digital real estate and explore how the right choice can substantially influence your online presence.

But first things first. Let us understand:

What is the Difference Between a Domain and a Subdomain?

A domain, also known as a domain name, is essentially your website’s address on the internet. It is a unique identifier that directs users to your website when they type it into the browser. It is typically made up of your website name and an extension like .com, .org, .in, etc. For instance, in ‘’, ‘’ is the domain name.

Domains are purchased from domain registrars and are unique to the owner during the period they have been bought for. They can be thought of as the equivalent of a physical business address in the digital world.

On the other hand, a sub-domain is a subset or a secondary domain of the primary domain. It is like an additional part of your domain name. Sub-domains are used to organise and navigate to different sections of your website. You can create multiple sub-domains or child domains on your primary domain.

For example, if ‘’ is used to host your blog, here, ‘blog’ is a sub-domain of ‘’. In essence, while a domain represents your primary online identity, a sub-domain can be seen as a subdivision designed to serve specific content or services under the umbrella of the main site.

However, it is crucial to understand that while domains and sub-domains are technically connected, search engines still treat them as separate entities for ranking purposes. Hence, the decision between using a domain or a sub-domain carries significant implications for your online presence, searchability, and overall branding.

Having your own domain provides a more professional appearance, better brand recognition, and improved SEO capabilities. Conversely, while using a sub-domain can be cost-effective and convenient, it may limit your branding opportunities, SEO potential, and could potentially impact the perceived credibility of your site.

In the grand scheme of your digital strategy, understanding these differences is crucial for making an informed decision that best suits your goals and vision. We look at them in the next few sections.

Domain or Sub-Domain: Unlimited Potential vs. Limited Control

When you own a domain, you unlock a world of infinite possibilities for managing and customising your online space. You can create customised pages, integrate diverse plugins, and freely modify your website’s architecture to align with your objectives.

Conversely, when operating on a sub-domain, you are bound by the rules and regulations of the hosting platform. This means less control over your website’s functionality and structure, limiting your ability to tailor your site to your specific needs. [1]

It is noteworthy that all leading corporations – Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, Facebook – started their digital journey with their own domains, not sub-domains. They understood that to project their unique brand identity and grow exponentially, they needed full control over their digital territory. Forget about these multinationals, if you look at the big businesses in your country, you will note that all of them have their own domain.

Domain or Sub-Domain: Helping Customers Find You

A domain name can be seen as your online address, making it easier for customers to find you. It helps with brand recognition and boosts your visibility on search engines. [2] Conversely, a sub-domain, often includes the hosting company’s name, making it harder for your audience to remember or find you.

Establishing a strong online presence is pivotal to making your business visible and accessible to potential customers. The easier it is for customers to find you, the better your chances of fostering engagement and driving conversions. This is where owning your own domain can make a significant difference.

When you own a domain, you control your brand’s narrative online. A custom domain gives your website a unique and memorable web address, making it easy for customers to find you. By contrast, a sub-domain, as offered by many web hosting and web template companies, often includes the name of the host company in the URL, which can dilute your brand’s identity and make it harder for customers to remember your web address. [3]

Moreover, owning a domain allows you to use the power of SEO more effectively. With a custom domain, you can optimise your website content with targeted keywords, enhancing your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and making it easier for potential customers to find your site. While a sub-domain can also be optimised for SEO, it is often subject to the SEO performance of the main domain, over which you have no control. [4]

Consider this: even if you operate a store page on platforms like Amazon, Google Store, or Facebook, having your own domain that redirects to your store can significantly improve your visibility online. A dedicated domain acts as a single, recognisable identity for your brand across all platforms, helping to drive traffic and increase conversions. [5]

Domain or Sub-Domain: Promoting Online Presence

The advent of the digital era has made online promotion a vital part of business strategies. A well-promoted online presence can significantly enhance brand visibility, drive customer engagement, and boost sales. However, the potential of online promotion heavily depends on whether you own your domain or rely on a sub-domain.

A custom domain provides unlimited opportunities for online promotion. You have complete control over your website’s design, content, and the way you use SEO strategies, which can greatly enhance your site’s visibility online. [3] This control extends to online advertising, where a memorable domain name can make your ads more effective.

On the other hand, a sub-domain comes with certain limitations. Sub-domains often lack the flexibility and control that a custom domain provides. This can limit your ability to optimise your website for search engines or run effective online ad campaigns. Furthermore, since the main domain controls the overall SEO, your website’s online visibility will always be limited. [4]

Domain or Sub-Domain: Professionalism and Branding

In today’s competitive digital landscape, projecting a professional image is crucial for gaining customer trust and building a strong brand. The address of your website, or its domain, plays a significant role in shaping this image.

A custom domain name that aligns with your brand name not only looks professional, but also demonstrates your commitment to your business. It tells your customers that you’re serious about your digital presence and that your website is a reliable place to find information about your products or services. [6]

A sub-domain, on the other hand, can detract from your brand’s credibility. A URL that includes the name of a hosting provider can give the impression that your business is a small part of a larger entity, rather than a standalone brand. This can make it harder to establish a unique identity and build trust with customers. [4]

Domain or Sub-Domain: Email Addresses

Email communication remains an essential part of business operations. Owning your domain allows you to create custom email addresses associated with your domain name, such as [email protected] or [email protected]. These professional-looking email addresses can enhance your brand’s credibility and make your communication with customers more effective. [7]

On the other hand, with a sub-domain, you typically cannot create a custom email address. This means you would likely have to use a generic email service, which can look less professional. For example, a generic Gmail or Yahoo email address will not inspire as much confidence in your business as an email address featuring your own domain name would. [1]

A professional email address associated with your domain name signals to your customers that your business is well-established and trustworthy. It adds a layer of professionalism to your communications and can significantly enhance your brand image. An email sent from a custom, domain-based email address is more likely to be taken seriously and less likely to end up in the spam folder compared to one sent from a generic email account. [2]

One More Thing

In conclusion, whether you are a business owner or a charity founder, having a website with its own domain name not only gives you unlimited potential and control over your online presence but also helps you build trust with your customers and grow your business or charity. At, we offer websites that come with a free domain name and free hosting, providing you with the freedom to make the most of your online presence.

Choose Freedom and Business Growth with

With, you also get the benefit of hosting on Siteground, the world’s fastest hosting company. This means your website will be up and running smoothly, providing your visitors with a seamless user experience. There are no limits to what you can achieve with your own domain and the right hosting service. Build your brand, boost your visibility, and grow your business with


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  2. Moz. (2020). The Beginner’s Guide to SEO. [online] Available at:
  3. Search Engine Journal. (2021). Why & How to Redirect a URL to Another URL. [online] Available at:
  4. Search Engine Journal. (2021). How to Choose an SEO-Friendly Domain Name. [online] Available at:
  5. Moz. (2021). Subdomain vs Subdirectory – Which Is Better For SEO? [online] Available at:
  6. Net Solutions. (2021). How to Create a Professional Email Address. [online] Available at:
  7. TechRadar. (2023). Best email providers of May 2023. [online] Available at: