Everyone who uses the Internet is familiar with the letters “www”, which prefix most websites. An increasing number of sites, however, have chosen to go without the prefix, along with the extra dot. Whether to use this or not is purely a matter of choice, although because of a longstanding tradition, many still include it in their domain. It comes from when the World Wide Web was just starting and the “www” prefix was used to differentiate it from other Internet protocols, like mail and file transfer protocol (ftp). As it turns out, the World Wide Web (www) and websites became the most popular use of the Internet, and the “www” stuck. But what are the pros and cons of using “www” before your domain?
Pros of using “www”:
- The domain looks more balanced
- People are used to it
- Some browsers may default to the “www” version (not a problem if you use a redirect)
Pros of leaving out “www”:
- The domain name is shorter, faster to type
- The domain can be read much more quickly because of having ten less syllables (du-bu-yoo du-bu-yoo du-bu-yoo dot)
- Less redundancy
- Reduces ad space and ultimately costs
For SEO, it makes no difference if “www” is used
For search engine optimization, use or non-use of the “www” prefix is in theory insignificant. Modern search engines, like Google, use highly complex algorithms to determine relevant search results and use of this subdomain appears to have no influence on rank. In fact, Google offers the choice between the “www” version and the “non-www” version for website indexing. Therefore, on a search results page, the domain will appear as the webmaster has selected or with the prefix by default.
Dream Web Designs uses the “non-www” version for many sites. The main reason is that I believe in simplicity and clarity and use of the “www” does not contribute to this. Join me in the next article when I’ll discuss the subject of how to advertise your domain.