What Is A Subdomain And How Does It Work? How To Create A Subdomain | Bluehost Support
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What Is A Subdomain And How Does It Work? How To Create A Subdomain

What is a Subdomain

A subdomain is a prefix added to your original domain name, like a domain within a domain, usually following subdomain.example.com. They behave very similarly to an addon domain and are often created to separate your website's different sections, such as blog.example.com or store.example.com. You can point them to a folder to host a website, just like a normal domain name.

Process of Creating a Subdomain

Note: This section explains the distinct experiences between the Account Manager and Bluerock platforms when accessing the Domains tab in your Bluehost account. If you are still unsure what interface your account uses, please see Account Manager vs Rock to determine which step to follow.

Account Manager

  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the Hosting tab from the side navigation.
  3. Under Quick Links, click on cPanel.
  4. From the cPanel, click on the Domain Names icon.
  5. Click the Create a New Domain button.
  6. Input the desired subdomain name into the Domain field.
  7. Uncheck the option "Share document root (/home/username/public_html) with domain.tld."
  8. Choose the directory for the website you want to show, ideally named after your subdomain. Then click Submit.


  1. Log in to your Bluehost account.
  2. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation to the left.
  3. Click on Subdomains from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Hit on the Add Subdomain button at the upper right corner of the screen.
  5. Enter the desired subdomain. Choose one of your Domain Names from the drop-down list.
  6. Enter the Document Root (this is the folder that contains the website you want to show). We recommend that you use the same name for this folder as your subdomain.
  7. Click the Add Subdomain button.

Tip: You can point any subdomain to the root folder of any of your sites by simply placing the correct directory in the home folder box. But if you want to change where an existing subdomain is currently pointing, please refer to Changing a Domain's Assignment.

Hosting Only A Subdomain

  1. In Bluehost, create the account with the domain name you purchased elsewhere.

     Example: If you are setting up the domain subdomain.example.com, sign up for your account with the name example.com

  2. In your Bluehost cPanel, create the subdomain you need to host with us (i.e., "subdomain.example.com.")
  3. Contact the host of your domain name's zone file and have them point the A record for the subdomain to the IP of your Bluehost server.

Note: This should take somewhere between 24 to 72 hours to propagate, and your subdomain will be live on our servers.

Restrict Subdomain Access to Addon Domains

Each addon domain requires a subdomain. Using mod_rewrite, you can stop people from using the addon domain as a subdomain of the primary domain.

Put this in the .htaccess file located in the subdomains folder, changing the subdomain, primarydomain.com, and addondomain.com:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^subdomain.primarydomain.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.subdomain.primarydomain.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^addondomain.com$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.addondomain.com/ [R=301,L]

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.