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www vs. non-www


Don E
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Hello everyone,

 

I thought I'd post on here and get the opinions and insights on using www. or not using www. in a domain name upon visit a site. It's a question that's often asked on the net and I've searched around and it boils down basically to "personal preference" so to speak.. but now what I realized from browsing the net these days etc, is that most websites specifically choose to have the www. in their domain name.(I know www. is automatically in the domain name when registering a domain name; I'm referring to when a user visits, if a site chooses to have the www. appear in the address bar or not for their domain name. I recall years ago or so it was a "trend" or something to NOT have the www. in a domain for a site, but nowadays it seems having the www. is the 'proper' way to go.

 

Big websites, such as facebook, yahoo, google, bank sites, etc etc, always direct users to the www. when typing in facebook.com or yahoo.com etc in a browser. Do these sites REQUIRE to have the www. because of their infrastructure(the way the site was built/developed) so to speak of their site or is it something to do with search engines perhaps nowadays? Or is it because many of those sites have so many subdomains like sports.yahoo.com or movies.yahoo.com etc?

 

Thanks. :)

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I recall years ago or so it was a "trend" or something to NOT have the www. in a domain for a site, but nowadays it seems having the www. is the 'proper' way to go.

I see it the other way. I think it used to be proper, and today it's a trend. When the internet started the www was used to refer to the web server for a domain. You might have a domain, example.com, with several servers or services. The mail server is mail.example.com, or imap.example.com. The FTP server would be ftp.example.com. A name server might be ns.example.com. And the web server was www.example.com. Now it's not necessary to do that, DNS records can point to different servers for different services (the MX record for a domain name points to the IP address of the mail server, which doesn't necessarily need its own subdomain). There's no technical reason for needing www today as a subdomain, it's a holdover from the past. If a site redirects to the domain with or without www, it is usually for SSL. SSL is typically for a single domain name, so Facebook probably has an SSL certificate for www.facebook.com instead of facebook.com, so that's where they send users.
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I know one reason why www is recommended and that is because of the zone apex / CNAME issue.

 

For example you can't have something like this "example.com CNAME anything.blogspot.com"

 

On the other hand I can see why people like to type domain names without www.

Edited by Sora
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