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WWW. Is it obsolete or not? Should we use it?

Did you know that using WWW. before the domain isn’t required, and beyond its use, experts contradict if it’s recommendable to use it or not? In this note, ZARZA Engineers clarify doubts and point out reasons why you should’t use it or, continue to use it.

WHAT IS WWW.?

The abbreviation WWW refers to the Internet in general, its meaning is World Wide Web (WWW), but this article is not focused on this concept, but instead, it’s focused on the use of WWW. before your domain name on Internet.

For educational purposes, before continuing, we require to divide a typical web address in its 4 basic parts, using Google as example:

http://www.google.com

http://” is the protocol, “www.” is a subdomain of the domain “google.com”, being “.com” its extension.

In this case, WWW. is a subdomain that belongs to the address called domain, it has the same caliber as others such as mail.google.com, etc. That being explained, we may understand WWW. is an optional part rather than a mandatory part of the domain name, being able (if the server configuration is correct) to access it by just typing http://google.com.

In these cases WWW. is obsolete, it isn’t necessary, as thought  like a myth for long time by many users.

When should WWW. be used?

At ZARZA we’ve been doing Internet since 2003, when virtually everyone used to understand and write www., and so defined their internal and external links; so we’ve seen this process’ evolution.

The www. adds 4 characters to be typed for the address in the browser, it’s automatically added when for example writing in the navigation bar “google” and pressing CTRL + ENTER, this following the standard of many years, and supporting for someones its use.

It’s because of the above that if your project’s already started years ago, counts with incoming and positioned links on search engines, and these include the www., you should probably continue using it, in order to avoid affecting your domain’s reputation, etc.

However, this is frequently discussed by experts in positioning, it requires a real analysis of benefits and tradeoffs to be studied case by case, depending on your current site.

No more WWW. for new projects

Perhaps, you have noticed that in zarza.com we don’t t use www., this is because we consider a “dealbreaker” our domain passing from 9 characters, to more than 10 by using www., which basically reduces search engines readability by including or not www.

no www
We’ve previously talked about the importance of choosing a short domain, so by not using www., we are achieving an ideal combination that let us create pages after the domain extension, with content related to our goal.

Let’s take a look at the URL of this particular entry:
https://zarza.com/www-esta-en-desuso-o-no/

As you can see, ZARZA’s domain is small, if we had at the beginning www., the article’s slug would be more to the right left margin, which as per expert’s statement, downplays for both human eye and the algorithms of search engines, not to mention that in this particular case, we’d find www twice, one as a subdomain and the other one in the slug (what goes after .com/).

Will I lose visitors if I stop using WWW.?

It’s an interesting matter to discuss. If you already have entries and addresses positioned with WWW., we don’t recommend changing your address, unless recommended by an expert to be more productive in your particular case. However, if it’s a new project, you shouldn’t lose visitors at all.

However, we know there will always be people writing www. and the domain of its represented, that’s why we recommend to always make a friendly SEO redirection, so if for example someone enters by typing www., he’s redirected to the version without this subdomain, on an automatic and transparent way.

By following the above tips you may be part of the Internet’s evolution, which gives greater value to what you generate, and benefits the organic traffic’s income, instead of the standards slowly falling in disuse.