WWW or no WWW – That is the question

We are talking about whether your website is “www.your-website.com” or just “your-website.com” .  You want your website to be accessible both ways of course, whether the user types in the “www” or not (most people won’t take the extra time to type what’s not necessary right?).  You would lose traffic if you didn’t make your website accessible both ways.  But you actually want your website to recognize one version as “the one”, and redirect the other to it.

Why?  SEO – search engine optimization & search engine ranking.  You want all the traffic you get for a page and for your website to be recognized as one – not divide your popularity in two for no reason, when it’s the same page/the same content.  Also, it is just better practice and will get rid of potential problems and issues in terms of interpreting and keeping track of your website statistics as you develop, manage, and grow your website.

Which version to choose as “the one”?  We go with the “www” version as “the one” and redirect to that.  The reason is that “www” preceding your domain name is an indicator to most that this is a website, versus an email address, or something else.  You see “www…” on tv commercials and online ads as well, just for this reason.

If you are using UltimateWB to design, create, and manage your website, the code to automatically redirect users to the “www” version of your website is provided in your .htaccess file – just follow the instructions there to activate it.  We do like to share, so here’s the code for anyone else that hasn’t switched to UltimateWB yet!

In your .htaccess file add the following code.  If you don’t have a .htaccess file, open notepad or a similar program, copy/paste this code, and save the file as .htaccess (type any, not “.txt”, utf-8).  Then upload the file to your server.

#start the rewrite engine
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /

# replace “ultimatewb.com” with your domain name
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www. [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.ultimatewb.com/$1 [R=301,L,QSA]

FYI: “R=301” means it’s a permanent redirect, so search engines will index your pages as “www…..”.  “L” means that if the rewrite condition applies, do just this rewrite rule for it.  And the “QSA” carries over any variables passed with the url string.  But all you have to do to the code is replace “ultimatewb.com” with your domain name.

Do you “www” too?

Domain names, website, and URL

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