Should You Keep “www” in Your Domain Name?

Once your website is live, Google would index the URL that it would recognize for your site. This is called canonicalization. Google would identify the canonical URL based on the URL that you used consistently all throughout the website. The choice is usually between “www.website.com” and “website.com”, the latter being called the naked domain. Most people would think that these URLs go to the same website, but technically each URL can direct you to a different content.

 

To help Google index the URL that you want – let’s say you want www.website.com to be the canonical URL – make sure that your web server does a permanent redirect (301) to www.website.com when someone types the naked domain. This will let Google know which URL you want to be the default.

 

Now, when choosing between “www” and the naked domain, there are a number of factors to consider why you should use “www”.

 

Hosting providers and CNAME records

Many cloud hosting providers, including Heroku and Akamai, require that the website they are hosting lets them update DNS records using DNS CNAME records. And unfortunately, a naked domain cannot have a CNAME record. While this shouldn’t be an issue to small websites, large websites on the other hand will need redundant hosting. And of course, you would want your website to get large.

 

Static content and cookies

Website optimization includes serving static content from a subdomain, static.website.com for example. If a website uses “www”, then the cookies will not be sent to the static subdomain. Otherwise, for naked domains, the cookies will be sent to all subdomains which will cause slowing down of access to static content and also may cause error in caching. Websites with naked domains have to buy a second domain name for static content.

 

Not that these issues cannot be resolved if you choose to stick with a naked domain. But a website with “www” is a lot easier to manage and is more ideal for a growing website with dynamic content. To learn more about the technicalities and how to better optimize your website. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert developers here at MicroCreatives. We would be happy to assist you in your website needs.


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