Some websites use ‘www’, some don’t. The important thing to know is that these are not the same thing, they are actually 2 completely different web addresses.
What we normally do is redirect one to the other so everyone ends up in the right place.
But if your website is not set up correctly only one version may be working properly.
It’s also possible both work without any redirecting and that can be bad for search traffic/SEO.
But one step at a time – let’s get into it:-
So Why Doesn’t My Website Work Without www?
Your website doesn’t work without www because either the domain records are incomplete or your website hasn’t been configured to forward people to the correct place.
Both solutions are technical in nature and you can completely break your website by fiddling with this stuff, so please tread very carefully. Or contact us for help in fixing your site.
So as I mentioned above, the address of your website with and without the ‘www’ are different locations. They only appear to be the same thing because we are used to seeing them both end up at the same place. That only happens because someone has (correctly) set it up to work like that.
You don’t actually want both versions to work. What you want is one version to work, and the other to automatically redirect people to your preferred version.
Wait, But Why Doesn’t My Website Work With www?
Your website doesn’t work with www because either the domain records are incomplete or your website hasn’t been configured to forward people to the correct place. That is, it’s the same problem as above, just the other side of the problem.
The two versions, with and without www, are different locations so you need to do something with both. Normally that means forwarding one to the version you want to be your proper website address (or ‘url’).
Which Is Better – www Or Not?
Which is best really comes down to personal choice – neither is better than the other in technical terms.
That said, the version with ‘www’ has fallen out of favour as people feel it looks ‘old fashioned’ now. Nobody actually says ‘www’ out loud when providing a web address anymore. So if you’re creating a new website now you probably want to drop that www.
Modern web browsers, such as Chrome, have actually stopped displayed the www even when that is the version in use.
Is www Better For SEO?
‘Www’ is not better for SEO. It really doesn’t make any difference at all which version you choose. The important thing is to choose one and stay consistent.
If things are not set up properly you can end up with both versions working, which can also mean Google indexes both versions – and that can hurt your search traffic. Google are getting better at figuring this kind of problem out, but it’s better to get the technical SEO for your website correct from the start and not leave this to chance. Contact us about our technical SEO services if you need help with this.
Why Doesn’t My Website Have www in Front of It?
Your website doesn’t have www in front of it either because you are using a web browser that chooses not to show it anymore even though it is still there (e.g. Chrome) or because somone has chosen the non-www version to be your main web address.
In Chrome if you click twice in the address bar it will actually show you the full address, including the www if that is how the website has been set up.
The www and non-www versions are two different addresses. If you try with www in front of your web address it will most likely ‘redirect’ to the non-www version.
Why Doesn’t My Website Have ‘https’?
Your website doesn’t have https either because it has not yet been set up to use a secure certificate (sometimes called SSL), or because you are using a website browser such as Chrome that no longer shows the ‘https’ even though it is really there. For Chrome click twice in the address bar to see the full real address.