WWW or no WWW?

To optimize your search rankings, you should decide whether your URLs should have the “www” in front of them or not.

This is a topic everyone has been arguing about lately. There are advantages to both.

Reasons to use WWW

  • Non-tech people need something to tell them “this is a web address.” The two things that tell them that are www and .com. If you don’t put the www in, then people rely on there being a “.com”. In an age when there is a shortage of .com domains, do you really want to reinforce the association between URLs and “.com”? You could use “http://” but do you really want to put that horrible-looking thing on your business card (or whatever you’re putting your domain on)?
  • It adds balance to the URL. The three characters (plus a dot) even things out, as you have “.com” (or some other TLD) after the domain.
  • When I want to go to Webmaster-Source.com, I type “webmaster-source” into the URL field and press CTRL+Enter. The browser adds the “www.” and “.com” into the URL. If you don’t use the WWW in your URL, then I have to wait an extra 3 seconds for the redirect to the www-less URL.

Reasons Not to Use WWW

  • It’s redundant. You already have the protocol (http). Do you really need the pointless “www” as well?
  • Your site is located at a subdomain. Subdomains look real stupid with www in fromt of them.
  • You just don’t like the sound of “www.”

Whichever you choose, make sure you redirect one to the other. This is easily done with mod_rewrite.

  • http://blogs.howtogeek.com/jatecblog Jake

    As long as you have redirects set up properly, you can go sans www and still get the benefits of #1 and #3 under reasons to use www.

  • http://www.ruelicke.net/ Marco Ruelicke.net

    I had the no www for some time on a few of my pages. Although I set the redirect properly, I got fed up and switched back.

    I don’t know, but in my case the www tells me that I’m viewing a website. Instead, if it is forum.domain.tdl it tells me that I’m viewing a forum.

    I believe that is the best way to decide when to use a www or not.

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    It’s mainly personal preference.

    “As long as you have redirects set up properly, you can go sans www and still get the benefits of #1 and #3 under reasons to use www.”

    Yes, you should definitely set-up appropriate redirects.

    While you can “you can go sans www and still get the benefits of #1 and #3,” the question remains: Which do you prefer as the default?

  • Ryan

    Hey Matt! Haven’t spoke to you in ages. It’s Ryan from SR.

    Anway, I’ve found a good .htaccess tutorial where you can actually use htaccess to change all URL’s.

    It’s either

    See ya

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    Hey, Ryan. Those are good links; I’ll have to read them more thoroughly sometime.

  • Aaron

    The main issue is search engines taking the http://www.xyz.com and xyz.com as two separate domains. It would be easier (and better) to standardise on one of them. Which one? You choose what you are comfortable with.

  • http://www.aei.ie steve

    im unsure if this helps SEO for my site http://www.aei.ie, can anyone help on this?