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  1. #1
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Subdomains vs Subdirectory in This Situation
    I'm looking at a starting a new website in a niche that I'm very familiar with and that I think I can monetize pretty well. I'm in the very beginning of building out my site and I'm already stuck on a decision. I thought I get some insight from others.

    Lets say that I'm looking to build sites for ice cream store owners. I'm going to offer to build a 'site' for these owners. A cheap option will be something hosted on my domain, say myicecreamstore dot com. I'd give them their own mini 4 page site. Another option would be to build their own .com site.

    For stores hosted on my domain, I was thinking it looks better marketing these services to the owners if they had their own subdomain. So, for Frank's Ice Cream, it would be franksicecream.myicecreamstore dot com instead of myicecreamstore dot com / franksicecream. But, from an SEO perspective, it might be better to have it in a subdirectory? I've read mixed things about this.

    Other than the possible difference in SEO, is there anything else I might be missing on the subdomain vs subdirectory?

  2. #2
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    Not sure which works better for SEO, but subdomain gives your customer a little more visibility since the customer name is first.

    Have you considered a reseller account and sell you customers a hosted site.?
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  3. #3
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Witzer I will have to look into a reseller account. I'm not too familiar with it. Given the niche, the sites would only be up for a year or so. I'm thinking a turnkey solution where they do not need to touch any backend would be best. I figured with a normal VPS account I could host it for them and just charge them some amount per year if they choose to have their own domain name instead of a site hosted on my domain.

  4. #4
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    Subdirectories are better for SEO based on my research. Subdomains are treated separately for the most part by the search engines so you would have to build their authority up separately.

    Subdomains will probably feel more natural to your customers if they are truly separate sites / businesses. I would probably opt for subdomains in that case without knowing much more about your idea.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcarson View Post
    Witzer I will have to look into a reseller account. I'm not too familiar with it. Given the niche, the sites would only be up for a year or so. I'm thinking a turnkey solution where they do not need to touch any backend would be best. I figured with a normal VPS account I could host it for them and just charge them some amount per year if they choose to have their own domain name instead of a site hosted on my domain.
    You also need to consider the ease of customers to be able to remember and type in the name, especially if this is for an "offline to online" project. Ice Cream stores made me think about the possibility that you might be getting offline stores to do something online to drive traffic.

    A VPS is better than a reseller account, reseller accounts are usually on shared hosting ON a VPS With a VPS you are in control of giving other people reseller accounts, or segregating the accounts you are setting up by "Group" and assigning each group it's own reseller account for ease of management.
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  6. #6
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Loxly.. I was thinking a VPS would work after reading what my hosting company offers (I'm with inmotion hosting right now).

    Yes, this is offline to online. I see a need in a certain niche where users could have a simple 4 page website to sell their product. My goal is to have them fill out my form with their information, and a few hours later, their site is up. They do not need to do anything else. If it ever got popular, users would be able to search on my main domain for a local ice cream shops that either have a subdomain on my site or their own domain. Then, hopefully once i had some substantial traffic on my site, I could charge more to host their sites as I'm driving traffic to their sites.
    Last edited by gcarson; August 1st, 2010 at 11:49 AM.

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