Opinions (and reasons): Forums in a sub-folder or their own domain?


Well-known member
Ok, I posted this over at The Admin Zone however it seems really quiet over there and I've not got the amount of response I expected, so thought it would be best to bring it over here:

I've got a hypothetical question for everyone.

You own a website with established content. Lets call it 'Golf Info' for now and lets say its domain is 'golfinfo.tld'

Now. You want to add a forum however you already own the domain 'golfforums.tld'

Do you:

A) Add your forum to 'golfinfo.tld/forums' - taking advantage of the existing site visitors to help boost the forum's initial activity


B) Run the forums on 'golfboards.tld' in the hope that you'll get more type-in traffic and keep it all seperate (whilst still linking to it from 'golfinfo.tld'.

Which option would you pick, and why?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Personal preference.

From a technical standpoint running forums ina sub folder or not isn't going to hurt your rankings (or if it is, not by much), the content will be found just the same.

So then it comes down as to how would you personally like to manage the site? Would you want your forums in the main directory, or have them in a subdirectory for speration and use the main site for something else?


Well-known member
I'm really not sure which route I'd like to go. The only real benefit of having it on a seperate domain is that if people look for 'Golf Forums' they may find it. The other thought was that it could be more inviting for people who are wanting to talk, whereas on a subfolder or subdomain it may be easily missed.

Then again, if its well promoted on the main website, it could help to be in a sub-directory as people would naturally go to it as part of the site (in theory).

I hate making decisions :(


Well-known member
If you have a main site that has different software then you should put your forum in a subdomain/folder, whatever. This way your site is accessible by forums.golfstuff.com and golfstuff.com/forums

For example, IGN has their forum on a subdirectory/folder http://boards.ign.com or http://ign.com/boards both work. www.ign.com itself is on the root and uses a different software.

My forum is on the root and uses xenporta as it's main site, so I wouldn't need something like that. With xenporta your able to designate a part of your forum to look like a main site. It's awesome. Very convenient. The forum is on the root but with a board prefix http://www.8thos.com/board You can still sorta get the same 'oh this is just the forum part of the site' effect if you make featured forum threads on your portal look like articles with it's own sidebar for example: http://www.8thos.com/threads/metal-gear-solid-the-movie.17927/

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
A separate domain or subdomain is nice for separating cookies. Multiple cookie-using applications on the same domain can potentially step on each other's cookies.