Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress
Illustration by John Hersey

Using subdomains vs. subdirectories


From:

Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress

with Justin Seeley

Video: Using subdomains vs. subdirectories

One of the big decisions that you'll have to make during your Multisite installation is whether or not you want to use subdomains or subdirectories when you're creating your new web sites or blogs. Before we talk about which one I prefer personally, let's take a look at what I mean by subdomain or subdirectory. A subdomain refers to a web address that appends something to the beginning of your normal domain. For instance, if my web address is mydomain.com, then an example of a subdomain would be site.mydomain.com. A subdirectory, on the other hand, appends itself to the end of the web address.
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  1. 47s
    1. Welcome
      47s
  2. 16m 30s
    1. Introducing multisite
      2m 40s
    2. Common use cases for multisite
      6m 24s
    3. Understanding multisite server requirements
      1m 40s
    4. Optimizing your hosting environment
      3m 52s
    5. Using subdomains vs. subdirectories
      1m 54s
  3. 22m 35s
    1. Enabling the Network feature
      2m 26s
    2. Installing your network
      7m 13s
    3. Troubleshooting network configurations
      4m 4s
    4. Disabling your network installation
      2m 44s
    5. Changing your install type
      3m 24s
    6. Removing the blog permalink
      2m 44s
  4. 46m 27s
    1. Getting to know the network admin interface
      2m 40s
    2. Configuring the network
      6m 2s
    3. Creating your first site
      5m 25s
    4. Managing your user database
      8m 14s
    5. Installing and enabling themes
      7m 16s
    6. Enabling themes on a per-site basis
      3m 56s
    7. Defining a site-wide default theme
      3m 12s
    8. Installing and activating plug-ins
      6m 16s
    9. Updating your network installation
      3m 26s
  5. 29m 15s
    1. Setting up user permissions
      3m 31s
    2. Defining the registration process
      3m 8s
    3. Controlling access to sites
      2m 43s
    4. Importing users from another blog
      3m 52s
    5. Understanding user roles
      3m 39s
    6. Changing user roles on signup
      2m 58s
    7. Exploring blog privacy settings
      6m 1s
    8. Enabling features for site administrators
      3m 23s
  6. 38m 22s
    1. Displaying posts from network sites on the home page
      7m 45s
    2. Displaying a list of your networked sites
      4m 9s
    3. Broadcasting news across all sites
      8m 22s
    4. Gathering and using comments network-wide
      5m 13s
    5. Creating and using global tags and categories
      4m 33s
    6. Exploring network plug-ins
      8m 20s
  7. 17m 18s
    1. Introducing domain mapping
      1m 58s
    2. Using parked or add-on domains
      3m 24s
    3. Altering DNS records
      2m 15s
    4. Installing the domain mapping plug-in
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping a domain to a specific site
      2m 58s
    6. Hiding the original domain name
      3m 25s
  8. 33m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of backing up your web site
      2m 4s
    2. Exploring backup plug-ins
      2m 23s
    3. Installing and configuring BackupBuddy
      8m 29s
    4. Migrating a standalone site into your network
      3m 24s
    5. Migrating an entire network
      7m 41s
    6. Scheduling backups with BackupBuddy
      3m 43s
    7. Remotely storing your backups
      5m 44s
  9. 29s
    1. Final thoughts
      29s

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress
3h 25m Advanced Dec 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course presents the WordPress Multisite feature, which allows web site designers and administrators to create a network of sites and blogs from a single installation of WordPress. Author Justin Seeley covers installing the network components, configuring their web server/hosting environment, using the Multisite Network Administration panel, managing users, and backing up, migrating, and restoring a multisite installation.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing the hosting environment for Multisite
  • Enabling the Network feature
  • Troubleshooting network configurations
  • Creating your first site
  • Installing and enabling themes on a per-site basis
  • Defining a default theme sitewide
  • Controlling access to sites
  • Enabling features for site administrators
  • Displaying a list of networked sites
  • Broadcasting news across all sites
  • Gathering and using comments network-wide
  • Mapping domains and mapping to certain sites
  • Installing and configuring BackupBuddy
  • Migrating a stand-alone site into a network
Subject:
Web
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Justin Seeley

Using subdomains vs. subdirectories

One of the big decisions that you'll have to make during your Multisite installation is whether or not you want to use subdomains or subdirectories when you're creating your new web sites or blogs. Before we talk about which one I prefer personally, let's take a look at what I mean by subdomain or subdirectory. A subdomain refers to a web address that appends something to the beginning of your normal domain. For instance, if my web address is mydomain.com, then an example of a subdomain would be site.mydomain.com. A subdirectory, on the other hand, appends itself to the end of the web address.

Therefore, if you choose subdirectories, your address would be mydomain.com/site as opposed to site.mydomain.com. There are no major advantages or disadvantages to using either of these methods. However, it should be noted that depending on your permalink structure, using subdirectories could create some issues for you. It's for that reason that I prefer to use subdomains. The good news is that Multisite defaults to subdomains. So really you don't have to do anything special during your setup. During this course, I will be using a subdomain install.

But just know that the process is exactly the same as a subdirectory install. You don't have to decide right now though, but just put it in your mind going forward because once we get to the Multisite Network Configuration Screen, you'll need to pick one, either a subdomain or a subdirectory. It should be noted that if you're installing your Multisite network locally on your computer, you will have to choose subdirectories instead of subdomains. That's a restriction of the WordPress software that is simply unavoidable. If you attempt to install Multisite using subdomains locally, your installation will fail. Another important note is that you'll be able to change your installation type once you've completed your network installation.

However, that's somewhat difficult if your site has already launched. So now that we have seen the differences between subdomains and subdirectories, take a look, find out which one fits your needs the best, and choose that one going forward. Stick with it, because as I said, it can be a little bit difficult to change it once your site is live on the web.

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