Home – New Forums Tech talk To ‘www’ or not to ‘www’, that is the question

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  • #993191
    GuestMember
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    We’ve been used to www. in front of web addresses on business cards, leaflets, email signatures, and everywhere else a web address is written.

    http is required in some cases to generate a link where that is required, but not normally included. A small number of other URL types are found (www2 or whatever) but most are www.

    You can reach my site from http://http://www.thisismysite.guru/ OR http://www.mysite.guru OR mysite.guru (in most browsers) but there’s always that niggling doubt that some less technical people need to see the w’s to indicate it’s a web address.

    Are the www’s a waste of space? What do you do – www or no www and why?

    #1190203
    Adam Prince
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    Some really big companies still do www. such as google, ebay, facebook and paypal… Yes I know many other big notables indeed no longer do it…

    I just switched to www. for my shops and my hosting business and my two reasons are:

    1 – Redundancy – two paths to your site IF www. mapped direct to an IP address at domain registrar separate from nameserver1, nameserver2 records, in my case IP addresses for ns1 and ns2, whilst different to each other are also different again to the unique IP that is the root of my http://www.mysite as recorded at the registrar, although that requires a premium level DNS service to allow to set that record.

    2 – If your site uses cookies – serving content from www. is to serve from a cookie-less domain… which means less bytes and faster served content – small difference in less bytes but definitely tested as faster, this was the one single reason that convinced me to change my ideology on the subject as I’d always previously been a http:// non-www guy for many years. I even had to get all my SSL certs re-issued for www. this year to make the change-over.

    If you setup a yoursite.com to http://www.yoursite.com redirect at your site’s root, you can still market your site to your clients as yoursite.com, which when typed into the browser (as non-www) will still then redirect to the www. when the visitor’s browser arrives at your site…

    Or redirect the other way if you really want to but I would recommend that if you want your site to get found in organic search results then consider only having one version of your site available as search engines see the two versions as different sites and also you want all and any in-bound links from other sites to be only to one of the two versions and not diluted between the two.

    #1190204
    bb1
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    Interesting question Paul, I still type www, but its a habit I have gotten into and can’t break. When my children see me doing it they have a laugh and tell me I don’t have to do that.

    So I think in may be a little bit of what people have grown up with as well.

    #1190205
    Gizmo
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    I don’t type www anymore.
    I expect people to have smart enough websites to deal with this.

    Also I’m a big believer in sub domains.

    #1190206
    GuestMember
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    Adam – interesting observations. Let’s say the company does use www. in practice. Should they also use it on their business card or on the (upfront) text of hyperlinks.
    Bert – yeah, maybe a lot of people still relate to the www’s and find it reassuring that this is definitely the website address.
    Thanks Gizmo. So if you saw ‘thisismydomain.com’ (rather than www. thisismydomain.com), would that look right to you?

    #1190207
    Gizmo
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    [USER=54653]@Paul Peace[/USER] – Correct without www looks fine to me. If I put it in the browser with or without www at the front it should work.

    #1190208
    Adam Prince
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    Paul Peace, post: 223247, member: 54653 wrote:
    Adam – interesting observations. Let’s say the company does use www. in practice. Should they also use it on their business card or on the (upfront) text of hyperlinks.
    I’m not a marketing person so I’ll take the 5th ammendment on advising anyone on that subject… I will say however, on my own business cards I do put www. because it makes it more obvious that it IS the web address… ie on the card:
    “website: mysite.com” or just simply “http://www.mysite.com” clarifies and defines with less clutter.
    #1190209
    John Romaine
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    It terms of SEO it makes no difference, so long as you set redirects to ensure you’re not losing link equity (and type in traffic). You should also be setting the dub or non dub version within Webmaster tools.

    As for print media etc, that’s purely a personal preference.

    #1190210
    GuestMember
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    Thanks John. I mean for print and to see what other people do, and also online, especially where hyperlinks are not allowed, like this:

    Check out http://www.flyingsolo.com.au
    OR
    Check out flyingsolo.com.au

    Personally, I’m thinking www. is redundant and the TLD shows it is a web address (although a few weird new gTLDs might stump people).

    But marketing isn’t about what’s right; it’s about how people think and behave. So I’m wondering what other people write and whether they still always write the w’s.

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