To ‘www’ or not to ‘www’

The foundation of your website is critical for your long-term SEO (search engine optimization).

Once you’ve secured your domain name, the next step is setting up your website. Many people use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. You can also use popular website page builders such as Squarespace, Wix, Weebly or Shopify to name a few. When initially setting up your website software, you’ll configure your website’s details. You’ll be asked to establish the website with a ‘www’ prefix or without.

An illustration of three scrabble letters each with the letter 'w' on it to spell out 'www' while electrical wiring connects to it

Why WWW?

The ‘www’ stands for the World Wide Web. In the early days of the Internet, it served as a technical requirement. Now it’s more of a stylistic choice than a necessity. The ‘www’ can convey a sense of tradition and trustworthiness, while the non-www may appear more contemporary. Historically, having a ‘www’ prefix simply meant the domain name was pointed to a web server. While ‘www’ is still commonly seen in web addresses, its essential role in modern domains is often debated.

Pros of Including ‘www’ in Your Domain

Easier DNS Management and Domain Flexibility

One benefit of ‘www’ is the DNS flexibility it affords. It facilitates easier management and advanced DNS (domain name system) configurations, such as CNAME redirects. Having the ‘www’ offers scalability, a key factor for growing sites aiming for flexibility.

Established Brand Presence and User Expectation

The ‘www’ often conveys an established web presence. It may align with user expectations, especially with older generations, aiding in brand recall. Users tend to associate ‘www’ with long-standing, trustworthy internet brands, which can influence SEO trust signals.

Easier DNS Management and Domain Flexibility

One benefit of ‘www’ is the DNS flexibility it affords. It facilitates easier management and advanced DNS (domain name system) configurations, such as CNAME redirects. Having the ‘www’ offers scalability, a key factor for growing sites aiming for flexibility.

This is helpful if you’re using a newer or non-traditional domain, such as dot-tv or dot-co.

Clear Segmentation of Subdomains

The ‘www’ prefix helps in segregating web traffic if you plan on having subdomains (example: store.example.com). It’s ideal for tracking subdomains in analytics tools to keep the ‘www’ to compartmentalize data segmentations.

Cons of Including ‘www’ in Your Domain

Perceived Outdatedness and Lengthier URLs

For modern SEO appeal, some people prefer cleaner URLs over “www,” considering it outdated. According to some webmasters, adding “www” to a domain name can make it needlessly longer. Which appears more professional in a sales copy, www.tresseo.com or tresseo.com?

Redundancy in an Evolving Age

The technical need for ‘www’ has lessened, with many platforms handling non-‘www’ domains effectively. Whether you type in ‘tresseo.com’ or ‘www.tresseo.com’ in your web browser address bar, you’ll likely still come to the same website. In the past, this wasn’t always the case.

SEO Considerations

From a technical SEO viewpoint, consistency is key. Whether you choose to use ‘www’ or not, it’s critical to select one format and stick to it.

Canonicalization, which refers to the process of directing search engines to treat either the ‘www’ or the non-www version as the authoritative one, is essential. This prevents issues of duplicate content, ensuring that your site’s SEO equity is not split between two versions of the site.

Topics: Branding, Domain Names, SEO, User Experience
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