A big conundrum here – if you already run a website, should a new blog be a part of the website, or completely stand alone? There are a lot of different theories about, but what is best? Let’s have a look at the options.

There are basically three different ways of hosting a blog if you are already running a website. They are:

1) A sub directory, for example mysite.com/blog
2) A sub domain, for example blog.mysite.com
3) Another domain totally

So, what are the reasons behind each of these differences? Well to start at the end of the list, a lot of people think that a stand alone domain is the best way to run a new blog. If you register the new blog and host it with different hosts to the main website, then it is not associated with the main website, has a different C-Class ip address and so on.

The theory continues then that because it is a stand alone website, Google will rank heavily all links that you add from your blog to your main site, believing that they are independent sites. However, I do not believe this to be the case purely because if you get carried away and link too often to your main site, especially if you are not linking to other sites, then the search engines will easily pick up on the fact that the blog is just promoting your main website.

What about hosting your blog on your main website then? This actually does have many advantages, on top of maybe not requiring additional hosting. For a start, by hosting the blog within your main site it will be recognised as part of your site by the search engines. Now, when you start to post to your blog the search engines will see a wealth of fresh content building up and know that the website is being kept up to date. These are both good reasons for them to be sending you more visitors.

Also, if you build a good blog that is being read often by readers, the search engines can use a variety of methods to track the number of visitors to your website. And it has been shown that websites that get more visitors through various methods then also perform better with the search engines.

Lastly, if your blog is an integrated part of your website then as visitors go from website to blog and back, they do not notice a swapping about of domains, styles and so on. This can make them more comfortable about staying on your blog.

But out of a sub domain and a sub directory, which is better? Well a sub directory is more interlinked and gives the full advantages, but some times it is easier to host on a sub domain. This means that it all really boils down to your circumstances.

But if I am creating a blog for an existing website, my preference is first for a sub directory and then for a sub domain. Never a new domain.

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