Why Subdomains Are Great for Brands

A custom domain is a great way to brand your shop and let your customers know they’ve arrived at your little place on the internet.

But what if you do more than sell goods online? Say you’re a freelance illustrator or full-time photographer, and you just sell prints on the side. That’s where a subdomain can come in handy.

Take a look at Emergence Magazine, an online publication that sells print editions through their Big Cartel store. The team behind Emergence Magazine publishes stories that serve as a light in dark times, focused on finding “the timeless connections between ecology, culture, and spirituality.” While their website needs to accomodate a number of functions, including publishing articles and other media, they turned to Big Cartel to create a store for their print magazine. But the average visitor doesn’t need to notice this handoff from their website provider to their online store provider, because they use a subdomain to get the job done.

When visiting their main website, emergencemagazine.org, readers can easily find all the rich and detailed content they’re publishing. If they click over to buy a copy of the print magazine, they’re taken to store.emergencemagazine.org, hopping over to their shop while still keeping their own brand in the spotlight.

Setting up a custom subdomain is a pretty painless process, but it’s a little different depending on who you’re using as your domain provider. We know that remembering where all the settings and switches are can be more than you want to deal with, so we’ve put together instructions for the most popular domain providers in our custom domain help article.

Don’t be afraid to be clever with your domain, either. Jessica Hische has a playful subdomain that you won’t forget: buystufffrom.jessicahische.com

Whatever you do, just remember that domains, like a great logo or product photography, are all about making your work stand out. Memorable names are better than a long string of characters. Typically, shorter is better. Take advantage of subdomains to extend your brand across the internet.


Article header image created by illustrator Yuko Okabe.

Andy Newman

Marketing at Big Cartel, writer, and dad of three. ✨

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