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Single or Multiple Domains?

Discussion in 'Resources & Success Stories' started by chris, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. chris

    chris Administrator

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
  2. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Very interesting article thanks Chris. This is something I've been unsure of for a long time so it's good to see a current analysis of the pros and cons.
     
  3. chris

    chris Administrator

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    Another common question I see nowadays is "should I create a mobile site at m.example.com?".

    Since "mobile" is so broad, personally I haven't been recommending this approach for a while now and always try to keep everything on the same URL if I can. Not sure what everyone else is doing?

    That said I do prefer stand-alone domains and sub-domains for the right reason, just not for mobile sites.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  4. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Agreed. With "mobile" encompassing everything from tiny-screened phones to large tablets it's much better if a site is responsive and scales to whatever device is being used rather than try to classify it as mobile or not.

    Who needs the extra development and maintenance hassles anyway.
     
  5. Blue Wren

    Blue Wren Membership: VIP

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    I concur with atom.

    Any site I start to build always starts off with a 'mobile responsive' theme.

    Quick glance, and that article looks interesting; I'll read it shortly.
     
  6. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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    I chose to use multiple domains for my main project and it's proven to work well so far.
     
  7. atom

    atom Administrator

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    If it's not giving too much away Johno, how do you use them? Different content to target different search terms or users? Regional specific, or other?
     
  8. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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    We actually only have the one site that appears to be many. Each domain is actually only parked in our hosting control panel. But we use a different public face dependant on the URL accessed by the user and we target each one to be country specific with language files mainly and some other nice configuration. It runs on one database but we have some pretty special stuff happening in the back end.

    The site is also powered by only about 10 pages total, and google currently has 80k+ pages indexed. So we must be doing something right.

    Here are some of the URLs in our network with the related local searches.

    http://www.findpoker.com.au - Google Australia search

    http://www.findpoker.co.nz - Google New Zealand search

    http://www.findpoker.co.za - Google South Africa search (The AU still ranks high here too but that's because the ZA site hasn't officially launched yet. Front end still says coming soon)

    As you can see the correct domain is being found for us at each of the corresponding search engines.

    And for us we felt it was better to target locally and expand than try cover all and be too broad without local focus.

    I hope that explains it a bit.
     
  9. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    From the users perspective I don't think this matters too much, assuming you provide a way for them to switch back and forth. Pretty frustrating getting forced onto mobile template when you want the full site (of vice versa).

    I don't think it's so clear cut.

    For new sites (or redesigns) where the functionality doesn't need to change across multiple devices I'd say yes, otherwise I'd probably look at alternatives.

    In my experience multiple domains/sites do work better for a number of reasons, but they can take up more resources to maintain
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  10. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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    Yes I agree. We factored this into the development too.
     
  11. atom

    atom Administrator

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    It does, thanks Johno! Impressive setup. The concept of customizing content from a single platform to present as individual sites/services has always appealed to me, and you seem to have really nailed it with this.

    Now that you have the system in place, is it pretty easy to roll out a new gTLD/site and keep the network growing, or does each one take a bit of time to get ready?
     
  12. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Agreed, it may be easier to go with the separate option if adding a mobile friendly version to an existing non-responsive site.
     
  13. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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    All I can say is watch this space!

    Nah I can say more.. It would take around 5 minutes really.

    It all has a fall back system. Similar to how Wordpress child themes work if you're familiar with them. Check domain folder for file, if file exists use it, if it doesn't use core file.

    It's also set up with different categories that we are moving into like Pool, Bingo and a few others. All again, run from the same central core website with:

    If domain = XXX use Category X, Logo X, Language X, Region X.

    Was a fair bit to set it all up but was worth it moving forward.
     
  14. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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    I'm using a non responsive Wordpress theme for a new project and the fact it's non responsive is killing me.

    Rather than m.site.com.au i'm having Android & iPhone apps developed and will add a popup for users on these devices to download the apps.

    Just a personal preference though.
     
  15. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Very cool Johno. Sounds like a lot has gone into this, I wish you great success with it!

    At the risk of going momentarily OT:

    I noticed the app popup on one of your poker sites. Do you get many downloads and much traffic from them?

    Keeping people coming back to use a service: Apps Vs mobile-friendly site. A separate topic I guess, but a fascinating one (to me anyway...). And maybe the answer is "use both", in an ideal world.
     
  16. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    i use a central database for a few sites all on the same server, they draw the relevant information in from a "zone" i have created in the MYSQL for each site. each url has about a dozen files in it + css.

    i'm currently updating ( scrapping and redoing ) them so if you promise to not slag me off here are the the example links so you can see what it produces.

    http://www.baybrides.com.au/directory/category/10/Photographers

    http://www.tropicalbrides.com.au/cairns/category/10/Photographers

    http://www.tropicalbrides.com.au/townsville/category/10/Photographers

    http://www.sunshinebrides.com.au/directory/category/10/Photographers

    they are all run from my australianbrides admin panel.

    i can run as many urls of it as i want.

    note: this is olddddd code thus why i'm getting rid of it but i just wanted to detail the potential process you can use.

    similar to johno69, IF zone = 17 display X
    with this one i can also draw listings from other zones eg: say dubbo = 17 the i can also list NSW and AUST by adding in more zones, then place the client into which ever zone suits them eg: interflora would be AUST, a NSW only vendor would be NSW and thus not show in any zones outside that.

    tim
     
  17. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Thanks for the info Tim. It's good to see how people are doing this sort of thing. I started building a system for creating mini sites a couple of years ago but never got around to completing it. Given the current situation it wouldn't be a great option now anyway, so a rethink is in order and all of these samples help.
     
  18. johno69

    johno69 Membership: VIP

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  19. atom

    atom Administrator

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    Nice efficient way of doing a single page Johno.

    Do you get enquiries with these sorts of pages?
     
  20. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    I think this strategy is risky, it looks a lot like duplicate content.