To Use www or to Not Use www? That is the Question

You’re designing a website for your business.

After brainstorming and seeing that your domain name is available, you’re stuck with another dilemma: should your URL begin with the common www or not?

You can see the benefits of both: the www is more familiar with web users and makes your URL look more official. The absence of the www is easier and quicker for web users to type.

To determine which one is best for your business’ domain, you need to consider what www stands for and the benefits it can provide.

What is WWW?

The three w’s have traditionally stood for world wide web. It is a host name assigned to your domain. It signifies a specific hosting service being used by a specific computer network. The www, in other words, names the web service for the domain name.

Benefits of WWW

For most small websites or new websites, there are not many noticeable advantages of using www over non-www. At this stage of your website’s life, the one you choose doesn’t really matter and is completely up to your personal preferences.

Things change once your site is established and begins to get a lot of constant traffic. When this occurs, it is best to use www.

Control Over Your DNS

Some domain servers require the website URL to contain the www to update the domain name server. This will ensure that the server your site is hosted on will be working right, protecting your site from crashing.

The www will also give you easier access and control over your website files. The www will directly integrate your website’s page folders to the website which makes it easier for you or your web developer to make changes to the site via the folders.

Finally, the www allows you to control where the traffic to your domain goes. A non-www site can still do this, but the process is much more complicated and time-consuming.

If anything, the www is what people browsing the web are accustomed to. Even if you aren’t interested in the technical advantages of using www, your site will likely get more traffic with it than without it.

Cookies

If you have static content on a subdomain page of your site, you’d have to get a separate domain for that single page if you don’t have a www URL. Therefore, having the www as part of your domain name, allows you to keep one URL for the entire website and maintain the subdomain structure within that domain name.

Conclusion

If you’re just starting a new website, it doesn’t make a difference whether you use a www or not in your website domain in the short-term. If your website is established and gets regular traffic (or you want it to get there), it is recommended to prepare for the future, long-term success by using www.

A www domain name allows you better control of your website through easy web file access, what webpage web users are directed to, easier ways to implement cookies on subdomains (pages) with static content and it will look more familiar to people.

Note: When you switch from one form to the other (i.e. non-www to www), all the pages of your website must be changed. The consistency will make your site look more professional to consumers and it will be looked on more favorably by Google.

It is important to know that a www domain isn’t the same as its non-www counterpart. For instance, www.example.com does not mean the same as example.com. Google will read these as two separate domains which can mess up your traffic, analytics and rankings numbers.

When you do change from one to the other, you need to make sure to install and activate 301 redirects from the old domain to the new. This will not only give you accurate analytics, rankings and traffic numbers, but it will ensure that visitors looking for your site will find it.

Whether you decide on a www or non-www URL, your website won’t be successful without a memorable, premium domain.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with a domain name for your soon-to-be website, feel free to browse the available domains at Domain Market or contact us with any questions or to make a purchase.

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