Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (2024)

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In today’s digital era, websites are like the beating heart of any business. And just like our bodies rely on a strong backbone for support, websites depend on domains to function smoothly. Knowing how to handle domains effectively is key for anyone running a business website, developers, and those concerned about cybersecurity in our fast-paced online world.

Now, let’s talk about subdomains. Think of them as helpful signposts within a website. They point you to specific areas or pages, making navigation easier within the website’s overall framework.

What is a Subdomain?

In technical terms, a subdomain is a subsection of a larger domain that organizes and redirects specific areas or functions within a website. Structurally, subdomains are part of the main domain’s hierarchical structure. Typically, it appears as a prefix to the primary domain name. They are mainly helpful in organizing and accessing specific sections or features of a website.

To explain with an example, let’s say there is a web address, “blog.sample.com,” “blog” is the subdomain, and “sample.com” is the main website.

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Difference Between Subdomain and Domain

Utility in a website mainly differs when we think about the difference between a domain and a subdomain. In layman’s terms, a domain is the main address of a house, while a subdomain is a smaller section or room within that house. The domain is the unique name that identifies the website on the internet.

Let’s see the rest below separately,

PointsDomainSubdomain
Scope and PurposeA domain represents the main address of a website, serving as its unique identifier on the internet.A subdomain extends the primary domain, allowing for further segmentation and organization of content or services.
StructureA domain typically consists of two parts: the top-level domain (TLD), such as “.com,” “.org,” or “.net,” and the second-level domain (SLD), which is the customizable portion chosen by the website owner.A subdomain appears as a prefix to the primary domain name, forming part of its hierarchical structure. For example, in “blog.sample.com,” “blog” is the subdomain, and “sample.com” is the primary domain.
FunctionalityThe primary domain serves as the overarching umbrella for the entire website, representing its main identity.Subdomains provide a means to create distinct sections or functionalities within the site, such as “blog.sample.com” for the blog section, “shop.sample.com” for e-commerce, or “support.sample.com” for customer support.
OrganizationDomains establish a website’s overall identity and branding, often reflecting the business name or purpose.Subdomains facilitate the organization and categorization of content or services, enabling easier navigation and management of complex websites.

Why Do Finding Subdomains Matter?

Discovering subdomains isn’t just about technical exercise. It’s really important for managing websites, keeping them safe from cyber threats, and ensuring they’re visible and accessible online. Here are several reasons why finding subdomains matters:

Enhanced Security Posture

Subdomains could be an easy spot for hackers to sneak into a website, like finding an unlocked window or door. Finding those and locking them down properly makes the website safer, reducing the chances of hackers stealing your data or causing trouble at any point.

Comprehensive Asset Inventory

With the time and nature of the business progression, websites often evolve over time; you may add new sections or features, creating new subdomains.

Keeping track of all these subdomains gives website owners a complete list of their online assets. This helps them manage everything more effectively and closely monitor what’s going on with their website.

Improved SEO Performance

Subdomains impact a website’s search engine ranking and user experience. Knowing all subdomains helps owners optimize each section for relevant keywords, improving overall search engine visibility.

Effective Resource Allocation

Large companies manage many subdomains for different departments or regions. Identifying them helps allocate resources effectively for properly supporting and optimizing each website section.

Regulatory Compliance

Some rules, like GDPR or HIPAA, say companies must control all their online assets, even subdomains. If companies find and manage all their subdomains, they follow these rules and avoid fines for not following them.

Brand Protection

Subdomains are important for keeping a brand’s image intact online. Monitoring and managing subdomains prevents anyone from using them in ways that could damage the brand’s reputation or break the rules about using their ideas.

Business Continuity

Subdomains can house important parts of a business, like services, apps, or communication methods. Ensuring all subdomains are safe means these important parts can continue working smoothly, even if there are problems elsewhere, keeping the business running without interruptions.

Finding subdomains is essential for bolstering security, maintaining regulatory compliance, optimizing SEO performance, and ensuring effective resource allocation and brand protection.

Website owners can proactively address vulnerabilities, streamline operations, and enhance their online presence and resilience by conducting thorough subdomain reconnaissance.

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What are the Methods to Find Subdomains?

Uncovering subdomains involves various techniques and tools, from manual to automated solutions. Here, we’ll explore the different approaches to finding subdomains:

1. Manual Methods

Use Google Command

  • Google’s search engine indexing can reveal subdomains associated with a domain.
  • Utilize the site: operator in Google search, followed by the domain name, to display indexed subdomains. For example, we are taking ‘site:forbes.com’
Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (1)

Also Read: Should I Buy Multiple Domain Names And Extensions?

2. Automated Tools

Automated tools offer efficiency and scalability in subdomain discovery, allowing users to uncover a comprehensive list of subdomains with minimal effort.

Here are twelve tools, along with instructions on how to use them:

Sublist3r

  • Sublist3r is a Python-based tool that leverages search engines to enumerate subdomains.

To install that tool into your Linux server, follow the process below:

  • For downloading, enter the following command.

wget https://github.com/aboul3la/Sublist3r/archive/master.zip

  • Once it is done, you have to extract the downloaded file.

unzip master.zip

  • Add the following command to find the subdomains.

python sublist3r.py -d example.com

This command will generate a list of subdomains for the domain.

Also Read: How Do You Transfer A Domain Name

DNSDumpster

  • DNSDumpster is an online tool that retrieves subdomain information from DNS data.
  • Access the website and enter the domain name to generate a list of subdomains.
Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (2)

Virustotal

  • Virustotal, primarily known for malware scanning, also offers subdomain search functionality.
  • You just need to visit the website & enter your domain in the ‘Search’ section.
Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (3)
  • Visit the Virustotal website, enter the domain name, and navigate to the ‘Subdomains’ tab.
Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (4)

Also Read: Why Should You Renew Your Domain Before It Expires?

Amass

  • Amass is an open-source tool for network mapping and subdomain discovery.
  • You need to install it by entering the following command.

snap install amass

  • To find the subdomains, execute the following command

amass enum -d example.com

Hence, this command will generate a list of subdomains for the domain.

Censys

  • Censys provides a robust search engine for internet-wide network data, including subdomains.
  • Visit the Censys website, enter the domain name, and explore the search results.
Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (5)

Knockpy

  • Knockpy is a Python-based subdomain discovery tool that utilizes wordlists.
  • Install and run Knockpy using the following command.

git clone https://github.com/guelfoweb/knock.gitcd knock pip install -r requirements.txt

  • Enter the following command to find the subdomains.

knockpy -d example.com

Also Read: Is Investing In Domain Name Privacy Protection Necessary?

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are different ways and tools to find subdomains, from simple searches like Google or NsLookup to more automated options like Sublist3r, DNSDumpster, and Amass. By using these tools well, website owners and cybersecurity folks can make their websites safer, improve how they show up in online searches, and understand their online assets better.

Whether done by hand or with automated tools, checking out subdomains is important for keeping a strong online presence and staying safe from potential threats.

Easy Ways to Find All the Subdomains of a Domain (2024)

FAQs

Is there a way to find all subdomains? ›

The Deep scan uses multiple techniques to find subdomains fast and effectively:
  1. DNS records (NS, MX, TXT, AXFR)
  2. Enumeration using built-in wordlists, plus the option to use your own.
  3. External APIs search.
  4. Public search engine queries (Google search, Bing)
  5. Word mutation techniques.
  6. Searching in SSL certificates.

What is the best tool to find subdomains? ›

Here are ten highly effective options.
  • Google Dorking. Google Dorking is a passive subdomain enumeration technique using Google's advanced search operators, like "site:" to find information about a target, including subdomains. ...
  • Sublist3r. ...
  • Amass. ...
  • Recon-ng. ...
  • SubDomainizer. ...
  • Pentest Tools Subdomain Finder. ...
  • crt.sh. ...
  • Shodan.
May 13, 2024

What search phrase can be used to find subdomains of a website? ›

There are some subdomains that are defined for virtually every domain name, such as www, and others that are very common, like shop or mail. But by going through and trying a DNS query using `dig`, `nslookup`, or `host` for as many possible subdomains, you might find some hidden ones.

How many subdomains does a domain have? ›

Characteristics and Parameters of a Subdomain

A domain can have up to 500 subdomains. You can create multiple levels of subdomains such as store.product.yoursite.com, test.forum.yoursite.com, etc. Each subdomain can be up to 255 characters long, but for multi level subdomains, each level can only be 63 characters long.

How do I find all subsites of a website? ›

You can usually locate it in the root or footer section of the website. For example, the XML sitemap URL could be “www.example.com/sitemap.xml“. Once you click on the sitemap, you will find all pages & subpages of a website.

Do subdomains show up on Google search? ›

Once you have completed all steps, the subdomain and its sitemap are added to the Google Search Console. Depending on the website size, it may take a little while before the subdomain becomes visible in Google search results.

What is the most used subdomain? ›

The most common subdomain is “www” or “world wide web.” The subdirectory points users to the main directory of a website—in other words, where your homepage and other core pages live. Other subdomains work to create distinct parts of a site. For example, Google's root domain is www.google.com.

What is a subfinder? ›

subfinder is a subdomain discovery tool that returns valid subdomains for websites, using passive online sources. It has a simple, modular architecture and is optimized for speed. subfinder is built for doing one thing only - passive subdomain enumeration, and it does that very well.

Why subdomains are bad for SEO? ›

One disadvantage of using subdomains for SEO is that they are treated as separate entities by search engines, which can dilute the overall authority of your main site. Additionally, managing content on subdomains can be more complex than on a subdirectory, as it requires separate hosting and maintenance.

What is all in one subdomain enumeration tool? ›

SubDomz is an automation tool for finding the subdomains of the given target or targets passively. It uses multiple tools and various online search engines and services in parallel to find subdomains effectively and sort and save them in an organized way.

Does Google Search Console include subdomains? ›

Yes. you can verify your subdomain to be used in Google Search Console by linking your account to Google Analytics. This way you avoid customizing the theme of your help center. Go to www.google.com/analytics and set up a property within your Google Analytics account for your subdomain.

How do subdomain scanners work? ›

The Subdomain Scanner uses the target domain's DNS server (or any other DNS server specified) to scan the DNS records for possible subdomains. While scanning, the Subdomain Scanner will also automatically identify if the domain being scanned uses wildcards (*. example.com).

How do I list all subdomains of a domain? ›

WhoisXML Subdomain Lookup is a part of the Domain Research Suite (DRS). It helps you discover a comprehensive list of subdomains associated with your main domain in just one click.

Does hostname include subdomains? ›

A hostname can consist of many sub-domains. For example, www.motorace.blogspot.google.com. In theory, a hostname could include 126 levels of subdomain.

Do subdomains affect main domain? ›

Your subdomain reputation(s) can impact base domain reputation, but the impact between subdomains will be small. Subdomains are not a way to avoid a bad domain reputation. Instead, they will help differentiate your traffic while maintaining a clear relationship with your main domain.

How to list all DNS records in nslookup? ›

Using nslookup online is very simple. Enter a domain name in the search bar above and hit 'enter'. This will take you to an overview of DNS records for the domain name you specified.

How do I find dangling subdomains? ›

To identify DNS entries within your organization that might be dangling, use Microsoft's GitHub-hosted PowerShell tools "Get-DanglingDnsRecords". This tool helps Azure customers list all domains with a CNAME associated to an existing Azure resource that was created on their subscriptions or tenants.

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