Better Option for a Multilingual Sites: Subdomain vs Subdirectory

If you are a site owner then you might be willing to cater to multiple languages. This is a good option for attracting more users. For this, you will need a website that will be multilingual.

Many of the famous brands possess a multilingual site. This is because they want to make the use of their website easy for their users. In some sites, by changing the country code, the content will transform into the language of that country. 

You can make multilingual sites by using any of the domain, namely- Subdomain and Subdirectory. So, let’s find out which one will be most suitable to build a multilingual site. 

Subdomains And Subdirectory

Before discussing the advantages of these two, let’s first know about them:


These are secondary domains, which you will be able to include in your primary domain. For example- if you have a main domain, called-, then the subdomains can be like,,, etc. Almost 100 subdomains can be attached to a domain.


It acts as a subdirectory to your primary domain. Subfolders are like parts of other pages which is located on your website. For example-,,, etc. 

Regarding complexity, the subdirectory is the easiest one. The reason behind this is because in setting up the subfoldr there is no realtime delay. 

However, this is not the case for the subdomain. Its setup process includes logging in your hosting services, and then attach a subdomain to the existing domain.  

The convenience created by quickly building a language page is gone when you will need to create multiple multilingual pages. 

Which One is Better in Navigation

Websites are not made up of only the main page. There are many subpages and categories. Now, when you are making a multilingual site, you will be adding another 20-30 pages. This will create a problem in the navigation of the pages of different languages.

But, with the help of subdomains for each language, things will become more easy and simple. In the beginning, you will not require any separate category. This will provide more space for the pages and a variation in the content. 

By bringing all of these together, you will get a website, which will be very simple to navigate. Hence, if you are planning to develop a multilingual site, the subdomain will be a better option. This will let you manage all the sites very easily.  

Your Target

At first, you have to decide what are your target: countries or language groups. If you are planning to serve to a small group, then subdirectory will be enough for you. It will also be suitable if you just want your page to be displayed in 2 to 3 languages. The subdirectory will be capable of managing this task.

However, if you are planning to offer your service to a larger audience from different countries, then the subdomain will be the best option. Subdomains behave as if they are a separate website, this makes them suitable for catering to different countries. 

If you are planning to cater to various countries, then by using subdomains, you will get a very clean look. Each of the languages will have their own site, which has been made specially made for them, without any trace of other languages. 

By using the “hreflang” attributes, you can let google know that you have assigned a subdomain for a particular region. This will eliminate any chace of Google mistaking your site to be a duplicate one. 

By using the given code, you will be able to indicate the language used on your page to Google:

<link rel=”alternate”


href=”” />

<link rel=”alternate”


href=”’ />

<link rel=”alternate”


href=”” />

The In charge of Your Website

The subdomain will be the best option for you if your different site pf different languages will be handled by different teams. But, if you yourself handle these sites, then using subdirectory will be the most comfortable option. 

To represent the responsibilities in a multilingual site, the subdomain is the better option. Every subdomain is able to possess its separate editors, moderators, and writers. The setting of this site will be like a standalone site. This will make sure that the sites do not intervene with one another.

On the other hand, the subdirectory uses one portal for the website. This creates numerous problems for the creators.

Your Goal 

You have to think about your goal in the future, like- will you be increasing your network to more countries? will you start a new venture related to the current website?

If you are planning to do these things in the future, then going for the subdomain is the best option. As you will expand your website, it will have to add more and more pages to itself. This will be a mess if you do not use the subdomain. 


So, in the subdomain vs subdirectory, we now know which one is better for which situation. If you are planning to cater to a small region, then subdirectory will be the better option for you. However, if you are planning to go international with your website, then the subdomain will be the best choice for your purpose.