Do We Need WWW Anymore?

What is it and do you need www anymore?

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A client asked if any of us even use the WWW part of web addresses anymore.

You might be thinking the same. Let’s explain.

Back in the olden days, companies and individuals alike would give out their web addresses a little differently. It was common to hear “Dubya Dubya Dubya” or “triple w” before the actual web address. This was due in part to Early web browsers and a long-standing practice of naming Internet hosts.

Do You Need www Anymore?

Thankfully, we don’t really need to use those W’s.

You can just type the name of the site and the .com or .org or whatever site it is you are trying to reach. I know that it wasn’t difficult to type out WWW first, but why should we have to? I cannot honestly think of the last time that I have typed those at the beginning of a URL.

It’s a sign of poor website management when a site hasn’t done their redirects correctly.

You have to do proper redirects in order to keep your Google site rankings. Those rankings are important to people.

When using the WWW in the URL, web servers reply with an http 301 (moved permanently) status code and points to the redirected main page – without those W’s. When search engines crawl the site using the WWW URL, the 301 status code tells them they should index the non-www URL instead. Sadly, many sites don’t redirect one or the other. This confuses things, and causes engine crawlers to index both types of URL’s. You may think that you are getting double rankings… but you’re actually hurting yourself and negating everything you’ve built up.

We don’t use the W’s, as a matter of fact, if I find a site that won’t load without using them, I will shoot an email off to the webmaster. Not taking the time to put those redirects in place is only hurting yourself and your site – not me.

How do you type websites and addresses into your browser? Do you put the WWW at the beginning of the URL out of habit, or are you saving yourself time by leaving them out?

– Chris

5 thoughts on “Do We Need WWW Anymore?

  1. In dealing with my own site, this question came up and brought me here. It used to be, on much older browser, that omitting the “www” wouldn’t bring you to the site. It’s great that we don’t need to do it anymore and that it may in fact be wrong to do so, as it is with my site.

    Thanks for addressing the issue.

  2. I never use it, I’ve only found one website recently that won’t allow you to omit the http://www., and that was a university website. I’m considering following your lead and mailing them about it!

  3. Some browsers’ address bars also act as search bars, so if you don’t start with “www.” they think that you just want to do a search rather than go directly to that web address. That is why it is important to always include “www.” at the start of a website address.

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