What is a Subdomain ?
A subdomain is a division or alias of your current domain that can be used to organise your existing website. They can be used to host or reference separate content from your main site that is on a different server or maintained from different software applications.
A subdomain appears to the left of the root URL. For instance, support.ardento.com.au is a subdomain of www.ardento.com.au where we manage our client support portal.
Its likely that you may already have some subdomains in use in your business, but you may also be directing your customers and prospective customers to websites that are important to your operations, but are not linked to your domain.
Are you managing externally facing web systems ?
With so many cloud systems being used by business today, many of them offer external interfaces that allow you to interact with your customers online. This could be a portal, online payment page, knowledge base or even a membership system.
These systems are a great way to bring your customers closer to your business and empower them to interact with your processes. While there are a lot of positives, there are also some traps to be aware of. You may find that your customers are being directed to a website link that is completely different from your primary domain. This may seem trivial, but its the small touches that can improve your brand and customer experience.
For example Zoho Desk assigns a URL for all organisations using their support portal. Ardento is provided with https://desk.zoho.com/portal/ardento which as you can see is not on the www.ardento.com.au domain. It still gets you to the same place, but the experience is slightly broken and you are taken from the Ardento branded domain to a Zoho branded domain.
By using a subdomain we can host the URL above on our own domain and improve the experience our customers have without being redirected to an application URL.
What are some examples?
Below are some other examples of using subdomains to transform your Zoho customer facing applications.
Customer Support (Zoho Desk) – support.mywebsite.com.au
Online Forms (Zoho Forms) – forms.mywebsite.com.au
Online Surveys (Zoho Survey) – survey.mywebsite.com.au
Career Sites (Zoho Recruit) – careers.mywebsite.com.au
Project Management (Zoho Projects) – projects.mywebsite.com.au
Subscription Management (Zoho Subscriptions) – subscriptions.mywebsite.com.au
HR – hr.mywebsite.com.au
Learning Management – learning.mywebsite.com.au
Intranet & Knowledgebase – connect.mywebsite.com.au
Subdomain are completely free provided you own the primary domain and are an excellent way to extend your branding through onto your external facing systems.