No www.

Posted in Article, tagged with seo 23/09/2009 8:30 am

At launch, my homepage joined the ranks of those trying to rid the net of a deprecated convention, and decided against the www.

Why is the www. deprecated? Well, it just isn't necessary, as the people at No-WWW. explain, "Mail servers do not require you to send emails to recipient@mail.domain.com. Likewise, web servers should allow access to their pages though the main domain unless a particular subdomain is required".

So if the www. is deprecated, what are the benefits of not using it? Well, none. The most important thing is that you CHOOSE TO USE IT OR NOT and then stick to it. The problem arises with search engine optimisation, as Canonical SEO explains. A search engine may well list your homepage twice, once with the www. and once without. This is bad for your page rank, because the more inbound links to your site, the higher your rank. With your links potentially being split between two pages, your site will appear lower in search listings.

This problem can easily be remedied, all by adding three lines to your .htaccess file that will direct all the traffic from the www. site to the non-www. site or visa-versa. The .htaccess file is an Apache configuration file located in the root directory of your website. You can edit it through your FTP program. It may be hidden, much like a hidden file on a PC, so go to your FTP program's settings and find and click the box that says "Show hidden files and folders" or similar.

To always remove the www. add this.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.+)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://%1/$1 [R=301,L] 

To always use the www. add this after changing "example.com" to your own URL.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Whether you choose www. or not is up to you. But, answer me this. When was the last time you said the www. whilst discussing a website? Or saw it on an ad? Or typed it into your browser? Without it, devilishly clever URLs have been created, such as http://del.icio.us and http://tr.im. And don't forget, www is the most inefficient abbreviation ever. It has three times the syllables (nine) than the phrase it is an acronym of (three).

Sloppily typed by Nick Pyett