How do I add a subdomain?

A subdomain is a domain or DNS record that is added to a primary domain. For example, if your primary domain was 'example.com', you could add a subdomain to it named 'blog.example.com'.

The 'blog' part in front of the primary domain is what makes it a subdomain. This is because domains are read from the right to left. In the example of 'blog.example.com', the three sections break down like this:

  • .com — This is the top level domain (TLD)
  • example. — This is your unique domain name
  • blog. — This is the subdomain

Two ways to add a subdomain

There are two ways to add a subdomain at DreamHost.

  • As its own Fully Hosted subdomain — This means it will be its own unique website.
  • As a Custom DNS record — This is only a DNS record that points away from DreamHost.

The following sections explain both methods.

Option 1 — Adding a Fully Hosted subdomain

Adding a Fully Hosted subdomain is the same as adding a primary domain. For example, after adding your primary domain of 'example.com', you can then add a subdomain of blog.example.com in the same way. When you add the subdomain, it automatically is added to the 'Manage Domains' page under the primary domain. You can then host a new website on this subdomain.

  1. Navigate to the Manage Domains page.
    The 'Manage Domains' page opens:
    Add_new_domain.png
  2. Click the Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain button.
  3. The first section on this page is titled 'Fully Hosted'. This is where you'll add the new subdomain.

    You cannot enter a subdomain in the “DNS Only” section.

    Add_new_subdomain.png
  4. In the field titled Domain to host: enter the name of the subdomain you wish to host. For example, if you wanted to 'Fully Host' the subdomain, add the subdomain blog.example.com.
  5. Click the Fully host this domain button to save.

    If you receive the following error message:

    You can't add that domain: you must add the parent domain example.com to your account before adding a subdomain to it.

    It means that the primary domain is not yet in the system. A subdomain can only be created if its primary domain is created first (example.com). This is necessary even if you don't plan on hosting the second level domain at DreamHost.

Once the subdomain is set as Fully Hosted, an IP address is assigned. If your nameservers are not hosted with DreamHost you must point your A records to this IP.

View the DNS article for instructions on how to view this new IP address.

Option 2 — Adding a subdomain as a Custom DNS record

If you are hosting the primary domain at DreamHost (example.com), but want to host the subdomain at another company (blog.example.com), you should create a 'Custom DNS' record instead. This allows you to set the IP address of the subdomain to point to another hosting provider.

View the following article that describes how to add an 'A Record' as a custom DNS record. This is the same method you'll use to create your subdomain.

Propagation time

After the domain is added, the DNS must propagate. This can take 4-6 hrs. You can check the following site to confirm the DNS has updated in your location.

Can I add an email for a subdomain?

Yes. Once the subdomain has been added to the 'Manage Domains' page, go to the 'Email' > 'Manage Email') section of your panel proceed with the configuration steps detailed in the following article:

Other options for your subdomain

The above examples show how to create a subdomain that is Fully Hosted at DreamHost, or points to a different hosting company. There are also a few other ways you can use with a subdomain at DreamHost. For example:

  • Redirect
  • Mirrored
  • Cloaked

View the following articles for further information on how to configure these options:

See also

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Article last updated PST.