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www & non-www


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My site that is currently down does not use the www. some people have told me that i should change to www. but i havent found enough information saying that i should. on all the search engines my site is http://snowforts.ath.cx so i would need a good reason to change over. I know that you shouldnt have both http:// and www. and i dont. I would also like to know a little more about putting the www. in front does other than making you type three more letters.

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well if you have a a site example:http://somewhere.something.comand someone typeswww.somewhere.somthing.comit won't find it.the majority of users dont type http:// but they will type www. some lazy people wont put anything just somewhere.somplace.com and the browser will find the http:// only site with thatsorry if this is sorta all one sentence im tired

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What you're talking about is called a subdomain. The server www.google.com is a member of the google.com domain. When you type in www.google.com in your browser, your browser sends a request to a DNS server to look up the server www.google.com. It goes to the DNS server that controls google.com, and asks it which server is www. The browser gets back an IP address, and contacts the server directly.Since your addess is snowforts.ath.cx, you are a part of the ath.cx domain, and your subdomain is snowforts. So the same thing happens, a browser looks up ath.cx and asks it what the address of is snowforts. It doesn't matter if you have a www or not. The only reason www became a convention as a subdomain is because one large domain typically has several servers helping. A domain test.com might have several servers under it, like mail.test.com for an email server, database.test.com for a database server, and for the web server, they used to call it www, so it became www.test.com. These days the www is generally not required for contacting a web server on a certain domain because people set up their DNS servers to do that (except w3schools.com, they still make you type the www). What I mean is that someone can do into the DNS settings for test.com, and say that if the domain test.com receives any request on port 80 (http), then it should forward those requests to www.test.com. You can set it up to be whatever you want, you can say if someone requests ath.cx, the DNS server should redirect them to snowforts.ath.cx, so when someone types in ath.cx they see snowforts.ath.cx. So there's no good reason to have a www subdomain or not, other than convention. It's just preference, but if you don't have a server called www, you should probably still set up a www subdomain and redirect back to your main domain, just in case anyone types the www in. But in your specific case, you already ARE a subdomain (snowforts is a subdomain of ath.cx), so it wouldn't really make a lot of sense to have a www.snowforts.ath.cx. If someone doesn't know enough that they can leave off the www, then having a fourth-level domain name would definately confuse them.edit: Also, who told you you shouldn't have both http and www? You always need http (or another protocol), http specifies which protocol you use. It could be http://, https://, file://, ftp://, gopher://, smtp://, whatever, but you need to say what protocol you are using (but your browser will assume http if you don't specify). Second, if you are trying to reach a machine on test.com called www, then you better include www.test.com in the link, regardless of what the protocol is. You could have http://www.test.com/, https://www.test.com/, ftp://www.test.com/, or whatever. But all requests need a protocol (http) and the name of the server you are contacting (www.test.com). Your browser will guess and fill in the parts you leave out, but the request your browser will send out will have all of those parts.

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I think i was a little confusing. I have both but the www. redirects to the non-www. What i was trying to say is that sometimes search engines think that www.snowforts.ath.cx would be duplicate content to http://snowforts.ath.cx therefore it would be bad to have both www an the non www without one redirecting to the other. i never ment that if you have www. your site shouldnt have http:// or those other protocols.

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I understand. As snowforts.ath.cx already includes the subdomain snowforts, it is useless to add another (non-existing) subdomain called www. Having both mean they should redirect to eachother, right?It may help, giving your visitors just one correct link, instead of letting them choose :) Supplying a bookmark link would help too for that matter. Is your question answered, or do you need more help from one of us?

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yes my question was answerd. i was just looking for information on the purpose of www. and i think i understand now. I have both and the w's redirect to the non w's just incase someone types them in. thanks for all the info

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it would be bad to have both www an the non www without one redirecting to the other
It wouldn't necessarily be "bad", it just depends what you want to do with your domain. If you have bigcompany.com, you could say that I want all public web requests (the public website) to be on www.bigcompany.com, but I want employees to be able to fill out their timesheets on the employee website, and I want that at bigcompany.com. It might be confusing to your users if you have your root domain and the www subdomain point to two different places, but there's nothing technically wrong with that (the interwebs won't crash).
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