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I have the domain name for www.foo.co.uk. I am looking to use it as a landing page that will allow people to go to 1 of 2 sections of my site (both having separate blogs).

So I have the idea I could direct to either foo.co.uk/yyy/blog or foo.co.uk/zzz/blog.

I have also thought of getting different domain names for www.fooyyy.com and www.foozzz.com.

Then my third option is to have the sub domains of yyy.foo.co.uk and zzz.foo.co.uk.

What are the pros and cons of each method?

Would multiple domains be better for SEO?

Using the first method is the cheapest as I don't need to purchase domain names and hosting or unlimited subdomain addons for my current host.

What I really would like to know, however, is this. If I went with the first method, since it's cheapest and easiest to setup, how difficult would it be to move to one of the other options in the future and not break blog permalinks or hurt SEO?

I look forward to hearing ideas and opinions.

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5 Answers 5

The best option seems to be the third one. The first is fine, but you'll end up with some huge urls.

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I use the third method (sub-domains). I use Zone Edit to control the sub domains. Personally I think I this is a clearer definition of the different zones

I wouldn't use the extra domain as this is more expense and just clouds your domain and doesn't give you any specific single point for your identification.

The first option can give you very long and unmemorable names.

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Google will generally treat subdomains as separate sites for ranking purposes.

The shouldn't be any cost in getting xxx.yourdomain and yyy.yourdomain setup. If there is, get a new webhost!

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I would go with the third option. It'll give you lots of flexibility as you could move one blog to another hosting company if needed. Or if one blog got very popular you could move it to a farm of servers without effecting the other blog, and your main site.

As for JamieLewis stating that sub domains are only for services, sub domains can be used for whatever the owner likes. If you think or the blogs as an application, then each one should qualify as its own sub domain even under his rules.

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+1 - subdomains are enormously useful - so long as they're staying related to the parent domain (ie, a 'personal' blog on your corporate website might not be a Good Idea - it depends on how your company is laid out). They do provide the context, though, for users instantly knowing they're on a related site. I like that –  warren Sep 6 '09 at 8:11

The third option is your best choice as has been said. The problem with going with the option and switching later is you're not going to have a straight DNS solution to distribute the load/redirect the user. You're going to have to accept the incoming response and the web server is going to have to redirect using a 302 Response. So what that means is the initial name is still going to take some of the traffic in order to do the redirect. So if you're looking to potentially spread out later, this isn't the way to go.

If you go with option 3, you can have different A records all pointing to the same IP address. And then the server, using host headers in the HTTP REQUEST, knows which web application to direct to. Later, as you split apart, the A record will point to a new IP address (a new server) and you are able to distribute the load / redirect services without impact to the initial set of servers.

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