What is a Subdomain?

Posted By BrokenClaw on September 7, 2007

Owners of domains can, if they wish, create subdomains in order to have distinct websites or to organize different types of content within their website. Subdomains are characterized by an additional description, and dot, in front of the domain name. They are easily identified by the URL in the address bar. Examples of subdomains (in bold) are:

It is important to note that the actual domain, as shown in the examples above, is still the last part of the web address, just before the top-level domain (TLD). When moving around a website, you will also see long web addresses that include more text after the TLD, for example:

http://music.msn.com/music/newthisweek/

The part of the web address after the TLD dot com is just a directory system, like the directories created by your operating system on your computer’s hard drive.

Websites of questionable scruples, for the purposes of spam and phishing schemes, often use subdomains to try to fool you into thinking they are part of a well-known company. For example, “ebay.xyz.com” might look like it’s part of eBay, but it’s not. It would just be a made-up subdomain of xyz.com (This is just an example. Any resemblance to a real website is purely coincidental.)

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