Question: I saw an article today advocating that the “right” way to do URLs is to use the www in front. But I had previously heard many others saying that this prefix was most deprecated and so not to use it. I’m curious to hear what other people think about this.

Answer: According to most SEO “experts” the www is not liked by Google, as they see it as a subdomain.  Google doesn’t care as long as you’re consistent, redirect your non-preferred style to your preferred domain, and set your preferred way in Webmaster tools.  However, if you’ve had your Domain / Website up for quite some time and you have results with Google, then you launch a new website you should stick with whatever you had before the re-build.  You can always change as long as you 301 redirect *all* URLs. Eventually the index will update to the new style and no results will be lost in the interim.

It boils down to this:
  • Use what you prefer. You can change and route around any issues with a naked domain. For the vast majority of sites, it really doesn’t matter.
  • Use www if you plan to scale beyond a single server anytime soon (but you can always switch at that point) or care about cookie scoping ;-)
  • Always redirect the one you’re not using to the one you are.
  • Use the non www one because www just looks silly anywhere but the address bar.
  • Avoid saying “dubya dubya dubya dot” ’cause you sound silly – will get them where they want to go ;-)
Nick Ciske

Nick Ciske – CTO / CISO

Nick has a degree in Multimedia Design and over 20 years of experience working in web development and digital media. In his career he’s built or rebuilt just about every kind of website, including many content management systems (before WordPress), several custom e-commerce systems, and hundreds of websites.

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make businesses more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in rapid application development with the Claris platform including FileMaker and WordPress. He also knows Apple macOS technology inside and out.