For non-tech savvy website owners, the choice between a www or non-www website may seem unimportant. However, this little detail actually affects some aspects of a website, including its SEO.
Some would think that this part isn’t really crucial when creating a website. A WWW website is the traditional setup while a non-WWW address offers a shorter URL.
Just like anything under the sun, both of these options have its upsides and downsides.
The traditional WWW website
Ever since the internet began, WWW is used on all domains. Also, people associate WWW to a website URL. Still, it’s not the main reason why website owners opt for a WWW address.
This choice is related to cookie settings, sub-domains, and other things that may affect the ranking of a website. To make it clearer, here are the pros and cons:
- Passing cookies to subdomains. If you have a background about site cookies, you’ll know that it’s passed in a hierarchical manner. For example, if you set cookies on your website www.example.com, the cookies will be passed on the subdomains: great.www.example.com and so on.
- Flexible sub-domains. In terms of DNS, subdomains are more flexible if you have a WWW website. If you don’t have a WWW URL, it would be difficult to come up with a CNAME without messing up the Mail and FTP.
- A bit ancient. It’s not that WWW is a bad thing but it’s already an old choice. Sure enough, it has great perks but some websites can live without it.
Understanding the non-WWW website
First of all, omitting the WWW on your website address means you’ll have a shorter URL. It’s easier to recall and direct searches would be effortless. Instead of typing www.example.com, you can now truncate it to example.com.
The fact that it’s easier to spell, remember, and type makes it an attractive choice for modern websites. Still, there are some disadvantages to it.
- Best if you don’t need cookies. Some websites don’t need cookies which make WWW addresses disposable. You can also save some bandwidth if you opt for the non-WWW address.
- Better ranking. There has been a correlation that a shorter domain equates to better ranking on search results. As much as this isn’t conclusive, websites can benefit from the potential.
- You can’t restrict cookies. If you opt for a non-WWW address, you can’t restrict the cookies from being passed on to the subdomains. Nevertheless, most websites and blogs will host their content on the same domain which makes it less of an issue.
- CDN integration needs a lot of work. For those planning to use a content delivery network, it would be challenging to do so in a non-WWW domain. Setting a CNAME in this condition will affect the Mail and FTP which you’ll have to fix.
In the end, both the WWW and non-WWW addresses are beneficial for various applications. As advancements on the web continue, we may soon kiss WWW goodbye. Still, only time knows. But before you choose, make sure that it suits your website’s goals.