The universal GP Training website for everyone, not just Bradford.   Created in 2002 by Dr Ramesh Mehay

Understanding Website Subdomains & Subfolders

Please read the dialogue

The dialogue below is between me (a novice – Ramesh Mehay and an expert Mariya).  It will help you understand the differences between subdomains and folders, how to set them up and what to be aware of.

What's is a subdomain/subfolder & when would I need one?

  • Ramesh Mehay: I’ve just read on the internet that if I have a good site, why would I create a forum or courses page on a separate website.   Instead, they suggest a subdomain or a root subfolder. 
  • Ramesh Mehay: But I want to install the forum or courses with a new theme… so I suppose I need a subdomain over a subfolder.  Does a subfolder still use the main website’s theme?
  • Mariya T.: For what you need, you can use both methods – subdomain or a subfolder and in both cases, you can have separate WordPress installations with a different theme, plugins, etc.
  • Mariya T.: The difference is that the subdomain would load as and the subfolder would load as
  • Mariya T.: also for the subdomains you have a bit more freedom when it comes to the dns – you can connect the subdomain to different servers, have email addresses for it
  • Mariya T.: for the subfolder, this is not possible – it will always follow the connection of the main domain
  • Mariya T.: this is why, I would recommend you to use a subdomain
  • Mariya T.: the wordpress installation on the subdomain is completely separate than the one for the main domain and any plug in/theme you want to use for it must be installed on the subdomain separately

Does it cost to have a subdomain/folder?

  • Ramesh Mehay: so unlike domains, i don’t have to pay my host (SiteGround) to create a subdomain?
  • Mariya T.: Absolutely – the subdomain is a part of the main domain you already have and there is no need to pay for it

How do I create a subdomain?

  • Ramesh Mehay: and how do i create a subdomain
  • Mariya T.: You can create it from your cpanel->domains section->subdomains
  • Ramesh Mehay: I’m just having a go now. where it says “what is the document root” do, i leave it blank or add public_html
  • Mariya T.: leave it blank – it will be automatically set

And how do I install WordPress?

  • Ramesh Mehay: and get WP to install automatically?
  • Mariya T.: Please, go to your cpanel->softaculous tool->wordpress->install button
  • Mariya T.: select the subdomain from the drop-down menu
  • Mariya T.: set username pass and email address for the logins and click on the install button
  • Ramesh Mehay: i always use username rammy
  • Ramesh Mehay: what do i put for “in directory” for the install – just leave it blank?
  • Mariya T.: just leave it blank
  • Ramesh Mehay: (for the WP access from say

What about wp-admin and FTP access?

  • Ramesh Mehay: to access it would be ;
  • Mariya T.: The site will be accessed from indeed
  • Ramesh Mehay:  but what about for FTP access, create new access via control panel to ? Is that about right
  • Mariya T.: create a new ftp account for it from the cpanel->ftp accounts tab

And what about SSL?

  • Ramesh: I take it, because it is kind of separate from the main site, I still have to set SSL independently?
  • Mariya T.:  Yes, absolutely right, set the ssl from the cpanel->lets encrypt tool
  • Ramesh Mehay: oh sugar, i forgot all about that. so everytime i create a new website or subdomain, i have to set up lets encrypt? why isn’t it an automated process as part of WP?
  • Mariya T.: The ssl install goes pretty much automatically but has to be initiated from the lets encrypt tool manually – this is because not all clients want to set ssl for their sites
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Bradford VTS was created by Dr. Ramesh Mehay, a Programme Director for Bradford GP Training Scheme back in 2001. Over the years, it has seen many permutations.  At the time, there were very few resources for GP trainees and their trainers so Bradford decided to create one FOR EVERYONE. 

So, we see Bradford VTS as  the INDEPENDENT vocational training scheme website providing a wealth of free medical resources for GP trainees, their trainers and TPDs everywhere and anywhere.  We also welcome other health professionals – as we know the site is used by both those qualified and in training – such as Associate Physicians, ANPs, Medical & Nursing Students. 

Our fundamental belief is to openly and freely share knowledge to help learn and develop with each other.  Feel free to use the information – as long as it is not for a commercial purpose.   

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