Some domains like to have subdomains. This can be for numerous reasons. For instance, you might want to have your main website as a shop and a subdomain for a blog website. Or you could want to have forums on subdomains for different geographical regions.

One of the big questions often asked is how much does the subdomain have to match the main domain’s design?

What is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is like a mini-website that sites on the same server and uses part of the domain within the URL. For instance, example.com is the main website domain and a subdomain would look like subdomain.example.com. Subdomains don’t require specific registration, if you own the main domain you can create a subdomain.

They’re often used to create a secondary site that has different functions or targeting than the main one. For example, an international eCommerce store that operates in different areas of the world might have subdomains for US, Canada, UK, European and Asian customers.

Or you might have a subdomain that has the forum for customers or a membership area for those who are paying for additional content.

Creating a subdomain is simple because all you need to do is enter your domain controls or hosting controls and add the subdomain. You don’t need to pay any additional money unless you exceed the limits of your hosting package on bandwidth and storage.

Do Subdomains Need to Share Designs?

When it comes to building the subdomain several things need to be considered. The first is branding the subdomain. Customers who arrive on a subdomain should see the same branding style and content that they would see on other branded websites. This makes it easier for them to build trust with your websites and improves conversions.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need to use the same theme for your website. You can use different themes for your subdomains to make them unique. You’re also able to use different plugins.

What are the Advantages of Different Themes on Subdomains

There are numerous advantages to using different themes on your subdomains. The first is that you’re able to differentiate the subdomains from each other and the main page. This prevents confusion. If they’re all the same and a customer from Australia accidentally lands on the UK subdomain, it might take them a while to work out that they’re on the wrong subdomain. This wasted time might lead to a lost sale.

You can use geolocation plugins to help. But this can be costly and they don’t always work.

Another advantage is that you can customize the themes to be more specific to the region or purpose they’re built for. You might want the main domain to have a more eCommerce feel while the subdomain is built for more community aesthetics. The choice is completely yours but with subdomains, you have the freedom to do this.

Final Word: Can a Subdomain Have a Different WordPress Theme in WordPress?

In short, yes. Subdomains can be a completely different WordPress website with unique themes and plugins used on them. It all depends on your specific needs and requirements. For instance, you might need Yoast on one website, but not another. What you need, is a decision you have to make.