Why WWW should be disappearing (but it isn't)

This is something with which we are all familiar. Most website addresses (URIs) are quoted as beginning with www. Many years ago, before the Internet became popular, this was quite important. Nowadays, it is completely unimportant. So why do we continue to use it?

My theory is that we like to see patterns in things like addresses so that we can quickly identify to what it relates. For example, when we see the @ symbol in the middle of an address, we know it refers to the email address. It it starts with www we know it is a website. It is so unfortunate that www was chosen.  If there is one letter in the alphabet that is really difficult to say three times, it is the letter w.

What does the www do for my website?

I could answer this by just saying "nothing" but I will give you a bit more detail. Let us say you have bought the domain name widgets.com. This means that you now own any website name that ends in widgets.com. So for example, you could have these sites:

The combinations are limitless as you own the domain widgets.com. The words shop, blog and members shown above are known as sub-domains. Depending on your web host, you are entitled to an unlimited number of sub-domains.

This is a long way of telling you that www is simply a sub-domain of a website. So www.nquk.com is a sub-domain of nquk.com. At the moment, they happen to point to the same website. They could just as easily point to two different websites.

So should I use www on my website? 

It is up to you. I must confess that Net Quality's website still has the www in front of the domain name because I feel that it is more obvious that www.nquk.com is a website than is just nquk.com. One day soon, I might be bold and drop the www but its familiarity and comforting properties make me reluctant to do so at the moment.

Now I have armed you with the facts, you can decide what to do with your website too.

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