A question that always arises when someone sets up a new website and starts to tweak its look and feel is whether to use WWW in the domain name or not. For years, people have been asking if there’s any difference between the two and which one is better for SEO. Most major internet properties do include WWW in their domain names, but there are many that do not such as Weather.com and TechCrunch.com.
So what should you do?
WWW or No WWW?
SEO Benefits of WWW or No WWW
Let’s get this out of the way first, there are absolutely no SEO benefits of choosing one over the other. Google has even said that it all depends on your preference. What’s important is that you stay consistent with the one that you chose at the time your start your new site.
Technical Differences between WWW vs. No WWW
While URL formatting is a matter of personal preference, there are a couple technical differences that might affect sites with high traffic.
Basically, when you use a non-www or naked domain, and you also have several subdomains, it can become difficult for servers and cloud services to update DNS records. The other issue that can occur with naked domains has to do with cookies: without the www, the cookies get sent to all subdomains, slowing down access to static content and creating unnecessary security risks.
I agree that the naked domain name looks prettier and it does not have a negative impact on your site’s SEO, but there are technical and security reasons why including the WWW is the best choice. For this reason, I include the WWW in all of my sites’ domain names and I recommend you doing the same for any new online project that you start. Your site may be small now, but you never know how big it may get, so it makes sense to have it set up for this potential future growth.