How to Install a New Website as a Subdomain on WordPress

Installing a subdomain on WordPress can be a pretty simple task – once you know what you’re doing.

While it’s always nice to have a brand new website to showcase your work, there are times when you might want to install a subdomain directly on top of an existing website. Maybe you’re building a multi-channel store and you want to create a separate area (blog, store, or events) for each channel. Or perhaps you already have a fairly popular website in a niche and you want to branch out into other related topics (e.g., lifestyle, technology, finance, etc.).

In these instances, creating a subdomain on WordPress might not be the best idea since you already have an established website to promote and grow. Would it be better to simply move your existing website to a self-hosted environment (e.g., where you can better control the look and feel of the site?

Before you answer that question, let’s examine the step-by-step process on how to install a subdomain on WordPress.

Pick A Nomadic Hosting Service

One of the major benefits of using a hosting service is the ability to install a subdomain alongside your existing website without having to jump through any hoops. In other words, when you register for a hosting plan with Nomadic, you will be able to choose the subdomain(s) you want to associate with your account. To get started, simply visit Nomadic and click on the “Get Started” button.

By default, when you create a new account, you will be presented with a choice of “free” subdomains from a vetted list of proven providers. Don’t worry—you don’t have to commit to anything just yet. As a first step, you can simply log in to your account and click on the “Manage Domains” button to see all the options.

Install WordPress To The Subdomain

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. It is a remarkably flexible and capable blogging platform that can be used to create pretty much any type of website you could imagine. This makes it pretty easy to get started with—all you need to do is download the archive from and unzip it to a convenient location on your computer.

If you already have a WordPress installation on your site (i.e., you have a WordPress account and are logged in), simply go to your Appearance page and click on the Customize tab. From here you can see all the options for changing the look and feel of your existing site. One of the things you can do is navigate to Add New and then click on the Website icon.

This will bring you to a page that lists all your WordPress websites along with the subdomains for each. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have two websites, and —the first is a shop that I run on WooCommerce, the second is my personal blog. Both sites are using the same WordPress base version (i.e., they are identical apart from the domain name and a few customizations I’ve made via Customize).

What you should do now is simply choose the website you want to base your new subdomain on (i.e., either one of the two sites mentioned above). Remember, the best practice here is to simply install WordPress to the already existing subdomain (e.g., and then start building on it. This will make it easier to grow your site as you gain more experience with WordPress.

Install The Right Theme For Your Subdomain

Now that you have WordPress installed, the next step is to pick a suitable theme for your subdomain. This is important for a number of reasons—not only does it help make your site more aesthetically appealing, it also helps with SEO, reduces load times, and more.

The easiest way to find the right theme is to visit the Appearance page of your WordPress dashboard and click on the Customize tab. Here, you will see all the themes and templates available for your WordPress site. Simply choose one that is clean and simple yet distinctive enough to make your website stand out above the rest.

What is also important is that you pick a theme that is responsive —this means that the layout and design of the theme work well on all types of devices (e.g., desktops, tablets, and mobile phones). For example, if you choose a fixed-width theme, people will be able to navigate your site just fine on a small mobile screen—but on a larger screen (e.g., a desktop computer), the columns will be stacked on top of each other with very little white space in between. Wouldn’t it be great if the entire layout of your site changed whenever someone opened it up in a different format (e.g., a tablet or mobile phone) versus a desktop computer?

By choosing a responsive theme, you ensure that this will happen (i.e., the theme works well on all devices). This makes a difference since not all mobile phones support fixed-width layouts. So, if your theme is not responsive, then people on smaller screens might experience serious layout issues (e.g., the image below shows what a non-responsive theme looks like on a small mobile screen compared to a tablet or laptop computer).

Configure Permalinks

The next step is to change the permalink (i.e., the address of your blog posts) for each of the blogs on your site. This is important for SEO and makes it easier for people to find your content. To do this, simply go to Settings > Permalinks and choose a regex-based option from the list. For example, let’s say that you have a fashion blog and you decide to use the default Permalink Options setting—this means that your posts will use the following format:


Instead of using this default setting (i.e., the /fashion/ path), you can specify any type of link you want to use for your posts by entering a regex in the Rewrite URL field. For example, you may want to use the following format:


This tells WordPress that, whenever it creates a post, it should look for posts with the art keyword in the content and then pull in the associated posts (i.e., the art posts). While this might not seem like a big deal, it can greatly enhance the ability of your site to rank high on searches for the art keyword (i.e., it makes your site a “possible landing page” for people who are searching for content on this topic).

Create An Index Page

Finally, you need to create an index page. This will display a list of all the blog posts associated with your site along with links to each individual post. You can find the Index page by clicking on the Menu icon located at the top of your WordPress dashboard. From here, simply navigate to Settings > Reading and click on the Add New button to create a new index page (the button will be in the same place).

On the next screen, you will see a brief description of what the index page is and what it does. Feel free to enter a relevant description.

Once you’ve added the index page, simply go back to your Reading settings and click on the Save button to save the changes.