WWW, No WWW or Both?

When creating and establishing a website, website owners ponder if they should use www, no www or both. They wonder if their end users will care which one they use or if their search engine ranking would be effected. The simple answer is it doesn’t matter, but you should pick either www or no www.The www is symbolic of the World Wide Web, and many websites still use www because of this; it looks “classic.” It identifies a website as a website. The www is really a hostname, a subdomain of a domain name. Now a days it has no meaning, besides what it symbolizes. Websites still use www because end users still use it; it is what people have identified as being a part of a website.

Many websites use no www as it is “clean” in appearance. Some may consider and / or believe that ranking systems are based on no www, after all it’s the actual domain name. However, major ranking systems like Alexa will take this into consideration and also track subdomains.

If you check out top websites like Google and Twitter, you’ll notice Google uses www, whereas Twitter uses no www. It has not effected their rankings. One is ranked higher simply because of the amount of website traffic.

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. It really comes down to taste. You should pick one, either www or no www, as using both is unnecessary duplication. This is because search engines treat both www and no www as the same.

.htaccess mod_rewrite code snippets:

Use one of the following to suppress / force the “www.” at the beginning of URLs.

The following will suppress the www. at the beginning of the URL.

# Rewrite www.example.com → example.com <IfModule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.(.+)$ [NC] RewriteRule ^ http://%1%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L] </IfModule>

The following will force the www. at the beginning of the URL.

# Rewrite example.com → www.example.com # Use with caution, as this may cause subdomains to forward as well. <IfModule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www..+$ [NC] RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !=localhost [NC] RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} != RewriteRule ^ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L] </IfModule>