If you have never set up a website, you may not realize how tricky it can be to keep things organized. It can be especially difficult if you plan to have a lot of content. Starting things off in an organized manner will help you keep track of things later.
One item that has been up for debate is whether to create subfolders or subdomains. If your domain, or URL, is http://www.yourname.com, a subfolder would look like this http://www.yourname.com/subfolder. A subdomain would look like this: http://subdomain.yourname.com. The following are some tips on deciding when to use each type of organizational method.
You will want to name each of your pages as descriptively as possible, without making them too long. Of course, keeping things descriptive will help the search engines find you. You will also want a person who only sees your URL to have a good idea of what content they would find if they clicked on your link.
Most people can organize their site info by simply using subfolders. If you have a site with information on family vacation ideas, you may choose to organize your site into folders by geographical region or by activity. If you have a site devoted to household organization, your folders could be named after rooms of the house.
Each subfolder can also have its own subfolders. Using the example of the family vacation site, the geographical region and activity folders can be further divided by cost. If you were going to have a content page that described budget friendly options for traveling to Florida, your page might be named something like: http://www.familyvacationideas.com/florida/budget.
If you want to create a bit of separation between your content, yet still create brand recognition, you would want to add a subdomain. For instance, if you have a website that contains information about raising children aged 5 – 8, and have been thinking about adding content about home schooling, setting up a subdomain may be your best option.
The search engines will treat your subdomain as if it is a separate website. By having incoming links to your main site, you can add to the traffic coming in to that site, as well. If someone is familiar with your main website, they will automatically relate your subdomain to your main domain. Yet, they will also understand exactly what type of information the subdomain has to offer.
Another reason to use subdomains is if you are creating a special event for your main website, such as an expo or class. Again, people that are already familiar with your main site will see that the site is affiliated with you.
There is no concrete evidence that one method works better for search engine traffic. It is simply a matter of preference over which way you would rather organize things.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.