Should your blog be the same website as your business? Maybe in a folder? Should you blog on a subdomain?
My views have changed on this since the first version of this article way back in June of 2007!
Back then a coaching client had asked this doozy of a question and I just could not decide one fixed answer that worked for all situations.
Obviously, there are advantages to all scenarios otherwise it would be easy to choose.
Blogging on Domains and Subdomains
Subdomains are like domains, they are considered a whole different website but are names “off of” the parent domain. So
blog.mydomain.com would be a subdomain, or a hostname, off of
Subdomains and separate domains have the following benefits:
- You do not have to use anywhere close to the same technologies.
- The topic can be different from your main site, creating clear topical authority.
- No integration is necessary if you don’t want/need to or find it technically difficult.
- A penalty on one will not necessarily cause issues for the other.
- Membership logins are entirely siloed, a user of one has no access to another.
Blog Subdomain vs Subdirectory
Here I am assuming you own the domain that your blog will be a subdomain of or subdirectory of.
I do NOT recommend situations such as Blogger or WordPress.com where your site lives on someone else’s property.
Should my blog be on a subdomain where the parent domain is owned by someone else? NO for many reasons.
The main reason is you do not own it and it is hard to upgrade away from, all of the work you have put in could vanish in the click of a button, or be wasted effort because you have to start over on your own brand that is yours eventually anyway.
If you MUST go that route then always choose the subdomain because then it is at least your corner of their brand, but get a domain name as soon as possible.
Choosing a subdomain off of your own domain is a choice I would only make if the technology, security, or service that you are paying for demands it. Otherwise, I would blog on a subdirectory instead.
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Branding Advantage of Domain Names
Domains have the additional benefit that they can be their own brand. You do not even need to disclose that those domains have anything to do with your original brand if you do not want to – my tabletop wargaming blog readers probably have no idea about my retro computer programming blog.
I chose this route for new websites because my business website is all about business subjects, and these blogs being about hobbies have a different tone and are much more based on my own personality.
Blogging On Your Main Website Domain
This website is all one WordPress installation, but it has not always been the case. Over the years I had online courses, forums, an Amazon data bucket, and so on all on different subdomains because technically it was easier that way.
With the improvement in technology and services in the WordPress ecosystem, that need has really reduced and you can have everything from e-commerce stores, landing pages, online courses, and even your CRM, all included in the same site.
Integrating your business pages along with a blog, either as part of the same site or in a subfolder is I believe now the default, and would also have advantages:
- Links from other sites to your domain – Posting articles and resources is a key way to attract links, and blogs do attract lots of lovely links more easily than a corporate brochure.
- User experience – Navigating between blog and website with consistent navigation makes more sense to your visitor, and confused people are less likely to purchase.
- URL Structure – People and search engines prefer a hierarchical website structure versus random different URLs and rabbit holes.
- SEO relies on topicality and trust – If the blog and site are on the same subject then search engines will take note of the domain’s “theme” and by adding more and more authoritative content you are improving focus on that topic.
- Maintain one site – One website to manage is less maintenance once it is set up, even if adding all the technologies is not as easy as signing up to a bunch of SaaS companies (Software As A Service). Just one site to back up and keep secure is safer than multiple services that might get hacked.
I Choose All One Website
The only reason I create new domains now is when the topic is too different to keep everything together.
Subdomains I will create if the technologies are just easier to manage that way.
As mentioned, when I first wrote about this it was 2007. Modern blog software such as WordPress can now handle all your CMS needs and much, much more.
One change in the last couple of years as I write this is the “Headless WordPress” shift, where the front-end and the back-end are two entirely different setups. This is likely to affect things over time, but for now, I choose integrated given all other things equal.
Over to You
What is your take? Which option do you think is best?