Monday, April 26, 2010

Setting up a "real" subdomain with Go Daddy

If you've searched online for this, you won't really find a clear answer. At least that was my experience. After a few days of searching and speaking with 4 different techs at Go Daddy, I was finally able to get my subdomain up and running.
Disclaimer: I'm not a developer and some of this info may be a little off, take it with a grain of salt haha. Plus, this is more helpful if you have both your domain and your hosting with Go Daddy.
How Go Daddy treats subdomains:
If you go into your hosting manager on Go Daddy, and Add a Subdomain, this really doesn't create, what I refer to, as a "real subdomain". It's really a faux subdomain that just forwards users to a folder of your main site, e.g. will take you to, not keep you at Technically, I guess it's a subdomain, but this is not what I wanted.

Go Daddy's help pages on setting up your subdomain don't really tell you this. They say, go to your hosting control center, click domain management, choose your domain, click Add Subdomain, and you're done, hooray!

Not really. At least not if you want people to stay on that particular subdomain, like If you're fine with having it forward to the /mobile folder of your main site, then fine, you're good. I wanted to track my subdomain as it's own unique url or domain. Plus, I wanted a dedicated google analytics page set up for this domain (which I'm sure I could set up a condition on there to track). This was more just a personal preference thing. I wanted people to stay at the subdomain address.

Go Daddy can't do this with an ECONOMY plan, you must have a DELUXE hosting plan. It took 4 of their techs to realize why my subdomain wasn't working right. One of their more knowledgeable guys finally found the problem and walked me through, setting up a "real subdomain".

Setting up your "real subdomain" with Go Daddy:
  • First, make sure you have deluxe hosting account. Even though they say that you can have up to 25 subdomains with a economy plan, those are the "faux" ones I'm talking about. According to them, I wanted "multiple web sites" on the same hosting account and I needed to have the deluxe plan for that. Cost me $20 more a year and they gave me 20% discount.
  • Go to your Hosting Control Center. Click Domain Managment, click Add Domain, enter the address (without the http://www), e.g. and the folder name, e.g. /mobile, click Ok.
  • After that's set-up, go back to the Go Daddy account homepage, click Domain Manager, click your domain, then click Total DNS Control in the lower center column.
  • Here you'll set up a new A Record for your subdomain. Click the Add New A Record button in the top right.
  • Under Host Name, enter in the name you want for your subdomain, e.g. for, just enter, mobile.
  • Under Points to IP Address, enter the same IP address you have for your main site.
  • Bam, your done! Now just wait 4-6 hours (possibly up to 24 hrs) to propagate, and you should be live.
Another dumb thing I couldn't find online either was:
Where do I put the html, css, and image files for my subdomain?!
And what do I call the html pages?
  • Create a sub folder on your root level of your site.
  • Name it the same name as your subdomain, e.g. /mobile
  • Put an index.html file in this folder, that will be your "homepage" for the subdomain.
  • Create a images folder within this folder hold your images for the subdomain.
  • Create a stylesheets folder as well if you'd like to put your css there too.
So, now when someone visits your subdomain, they'll STAY at that address, it'll look for the files in your e.g. /mobile folder, and they should see your site! I hope this helped you. If anyone has corrections to my post, please, by all means put it in the comments. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

June 16 - 2010.... FYI - I have Dexluxe Hosting and created a subdomain simply by clicking "Add Subdomain". The subdomain URL is persistent and I did not have to modify the DNS record as explained in this article. (I'm not sure about Economy Hosting).

Trevor said...

I found this page helpful:

The gist of it is that a subdomain requires a new CNAME DNS record if the subdomain is on the same server as the primary domain, while an A Record is used to redirect a subdomain to a different web server.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant!

One point (for other users) the 'total DNS' section is now called 'DNS Manager'.

Thank you so very much for kindly putting up this information. Very brilliant.

Steve Hamrin said...

I just wanted to say thanks Chip for this helpful guide. I don't know why it's better than anything on the GoDaddy help site but it is. I used it to get my mobile site up and working. Well done.

warrington said...

Thanks for bothering to post this tut Chip. Godaddy's process is different from any other host I've set up a subdomain with, so I was banging my head there for a while.

Sandy M said...

Your advice absolutely worked. I wasted about 2 hours trying to get this setup correctly before finding your solution. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

Where do I find 'Add a Domain' - I can't seem to locate it.

Jack said...

Yes, setting up a real sub domain with go daddy is really very necessary to every website owner and I think that here provided allocation will surely be handy to make a realization. Thanks :)

Robert said...

Perfect that was just what I needed to get my subdomain working with webmaster tools. Thanks

kiospasti said...

Thank dude, you save my life(and time). However I should upgrade my hosting. I don't know wether subdomains threated as multiple website in godaddy

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this, but you didn't have to upgrade to a Deluxe account. I have economy hosting, and I successfully set up a subdomain using the directions here:

After following the directions, both the DNS A record and the folder were added (it took a few minutes for the changes to appear). It works as a subdomain is expected to, that is keeps the user on the page rather than redirecting them to Again, this is under my Economy hosting account.

Anonymous said...

Gr8 however it works on both Shared and Deluxe AFAIK if your domain not registered with godaddy you can still make it work just add A record in cpanel of registrar you used to buy domain.

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Anonymous said...

It will work WITHOUT a deluxe account. I had the same issue turned out my htaccess file was adding www to my subdomain so check this

MarkB said...

NO NEED for Deluxe hosting is CONFIRMED. For those that found their way here searching issues they were having setting up a subdomain on GoDaddy: It will work WITHOUT a Deluxe account. I have Economy Linux hosting and just set up two subdomains. Both work. One has WordPress installed on it and the other a basic HTML site. Navigating retains the subdomain structure. My only issue was a lack of patience. It took about 10 mins for the subdomain to go live and link up with the already existing site in the main domains file structure. said...

i can't creat subdomain on domain manager godaddy because i have name server custom, any solution to creat subdomain in godaddy?

Robert Ferguson said...

I have been a VIP customer for many years and I never tried setting up a subdomain until now. This is all very confusing but thanks for creating this article as it helped clear things up on the exact steps to take. I was trying to setup subdomain for

Smith colonel said...

Thanks alot for the article
i also had the same problem in setting up the subdomain in godaddy... when i got to know how to do i made this articles which helps

Mike Grant said...

Finally! Someone who actually knows what they're talking about! Been wrestling with this issue for a while. Besides Godaddy's less than helpful guides, which they never update when they change their site, there are so many people out there that offer BS solutions, in other words the "faux" subdomains.

This article really helped me. Thanks Chip

Huong Lang said...

Thank dude, you save my life(and time). However I should upgrade my hosting. I don't know wether subdomains threated as multiple website in godaddy
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Cara Smith said...

You are very true, Godaddy gives 25 sub-domains on Economy hosting plan under the Godaddy $1 Web Hosting Offer but they are good for nothing as you can only host single domain under that plan. Deluxe or Ultimate plan is the best choice if you want to setup a website on a real subdomain.

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