Should your website address start with “www”? When clients are creating a new website, they often ask me if the site should include “www” in the address. I always say no, unless your IT department has a technical reason to. For most businesses, there’s no reason to bother with the “www.” Let’s take a closer look at why not, and the rare cases in which you probably should use “www.”
Why You Don’t Need “WWW”
When someone asks for your business street address, do you include “USA”? If your US business is local, regional, or even national, you probably don’t. Why? It’s not necessary. If you operate within the US, your fellow Americans will assume the address is within the US.
For the vast majority of businesses, there’s no reason to include “www” in your website address. Save the space in your marketing materials. Save the time in telling people your address (“go to double-u, double-u, double-u …”). Why overcomplicate things?
Now, some people type “www” in front of every web address, and they’ll likely do that until the day they die. So, for the foreseeable future, you should make sure that if someone goes to www.yoursite.com, they are redirected (forwarded) to yoursite.com (without the “www”).
“But what will Google think?” is another question clients ask, when we’re talking about their website address. Good news: Google doesn’t care if your site uses “www” or not. Your Google ranking won’t rise or fall as a result. Your SEO will not be affected. However, you should be consistent in whether you use “www” or not, and set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics with the right version.
Using “www” in your website address isn’t wrong, it just isn’t necessary. So, if your site uses “www” now, it’s not critical that you rush to remove it. That can wait until the next iteration of your website.
Why You Might Need “WWW”
Think back to your business street address. You probably don’t include “USA” in your business address if your US business operates at the national level or smaller. But, if your US business operates internationally, then you likely do include “USA” when you give your business street address. Your business is probably larger and more complex than a local business, so you treat your address differently. In the same way, there are some rare technical reasons that you might want to include “www” in your website address.
If you will have a large website being served from multiple servers, it may be best to use “www” for your website.
If you will have multiple websites on the same domain, such as member.yoursite.com, demo.yoursite.com, and portal.yoursite.com, it may be best to use “www” for your main website.
The reason it may be best to use “www” in these cases is that it makes it easier to handle the technical aspects of SSL/TLS and cookies.
But if your business doesn’t have these website complexities, then take advantage of the simplicity of leaving “www” out of your web address!
You Could Keep Googling for Answers, or …
Whether to include “www” in your website address is just one of a multitude of questions you’ll face as you create your website. Do you want to google for answers every time you encounter a question? Save yourself the hassle and headache, and simply work with a web agency that can guide you through the entire process.