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Difference Between WWW and non-WWW version of a Website

With the increasing number of internet users, the popularity of websites and domain names are also increasing. The reason might be a new startup or just personal branding we are more concerned about owning a website.

Many people ask what are the basic SEO benefits of WWW or non-WWW version of domains on the internet. In this article, I will help you understand the difference between www and non-WWW and which one is good for your SEO.

Before you start, I want to let you know that, for an average internet user or a startup owner, there is literally no differences between these two versions other than adding few extra letters to your domain name. It is completely your personal preference.

There are some technical differences between the two, which we are going to discuss over here.

WWW vs non-WWW SEO benefits

If you think using WWW or non-WWW can give you some kind of SEO benefits, you are totally wrong. Even Google has said, it is totally your own preference.

But, I would suggest you be consistent and stay with the version you have chosen while starting the website. In other words, Do not remove WWW or add WWW to the domain in the middle.

You can let Google know your personal preference and Google will honor it. All you have to do is, go to your Google Webmaster tools account and click on your sites. Then add your preferred format over there.

Now, click on the Gear icon at the top right corner and go to Site settings.

On the site settings screen simply choose your preferred domain.

Technical differences between WWW and non-WWW

When you add WWW in front of your domain name, it works as a hostname which gives you flexibility with the DNS, ability to restrict cookies while using multiple subdomains and many more. While non-WWW which are also called as naked domains does not have all those technical advantages.

Why should you consider using WWW?

It is because you have made the website to grow. It might be a small blog today but it can be a big (Really Big!) website after few years. 1

The technical reasons to use www primarily apply to the largest websites which receive millions (or more) of page views per day, websites with a large number of services across several subdomains, and virtually any website hosted in “the cloud” by an application service provider.

Heroku, for instance, strongly recommends against using naked domains. When using a provider such as Heroku or Akamai to host your website, the provider wants to be able to update DNS records in case it needs to redirect traffic from a failing server to a healthy server. This is set up using DNS CNAME records, and the naked domain cannot have a CNAME record. This is only an issue if your site gets large enough to require highly redundant hosting with such a service. But who doesn’t want their site to get that large? In order to not use www, you will have to run your own server farms and you will be unable to use such services to their fullest extent.

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Written by Snehasish Nayak

Google Top Contributor (Allo, Duo), a Local Guide, and Founder of TechIncludes. Follow me on twitter @Th3Snehasish.

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