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    Choosing non-www over www


    I'm in the process of setting up my website. I'm using the following for my infrastructure:

    HostGator
    Wordpress
    Yoast SEO for Wordpress
    W3 Total Cache
    MaxCDN
    CloudFlare

    Everything I'm hearing from HostGator, MaxCDN and CloudFlare is that I should be using the non-www version of my site for everything. That I should also be displaying my URL to users as the non-www version of the site.

    They said this is because domain.com is the actual domain and the www version is the subdomain. Not only will keeping everything non-www help all these systems work smoothly together, but it helps for SEO as well. This is because you want all the link juice going to the actual non-www version of the site and not to the subdomain www.

    Reason for this post?? I need some reassurance that I've got my head wrapped around all this correctly so I can get the best rankings in Google. Any opinions? and I'm glad to be a new member of this site!!!!
    Last edited by AndySolomon; Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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    I recommend setting everything to the non-www version, just because its cleaner. There is no clear SEO benefit one way or the other as long as the canonical issue is sorted out and one of them redirects to the other, it doesn't matter which way round they are.

    Going with domain.com is just the cleanest simplest route.
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    Well, I don't think there's one perfect answer as opinions vary.

    I personally agree that www is extra. I see no point in it.

    Others will still type www.domain.com in the address bar (or when linking to you)

    So whichever version you choose, just make sure to 301-redirect the other one (just to be on the save side)
    Everything will be ok in the end

    If it's not ok, it's not the end
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    Echoed with everybody else. The prefix doesn't matter - just the consistency does. I favor the www.domain.com just because I think http://domain.com is silly looking.

    Either way you have the same results - just a matter of preference.
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    Ok great! thank you everyone for the responses. I can already see this is going to be a great forum and an awesome tool for my development.

    domain.com it is
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    I agree - no SEO difference as long as you are consistent. I happen to use www and made sure Google Analytics is set to that preference, and verified my site redirects to the www version. I chose the www version because that's how the majority of sites chose to link to mine.

    When questions like this arise I like to peak at the source code for major household name web sites. Looking at the canonical tags, it appears most are using the www version.

    Ed
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    Originally Posted by tstolber
    I recommend setting everything to the non-www version, just because its cleaner. There is no clear SEO benefit one way or the other as long as the canonical issue is sorted out and one of them redirects to the other, it doesn't matter which way round they are.

    Going with domain.com is just the cleanest simplest route.
    Google uses www so not everyone agrees
    Just pick one and 301 the other
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    Here is something interesting sent from CloudFlare in regards to the same question.

    The performance implications of having www on your root domain are minimal, simply because it just adds another DNS lookup to www (talking milliseconds). Some people just don't like to use www. Other than that, I don't see any issues at all with what you are trying to use/setup.
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    Originally Posted by AndySolomon
    Here is something interesting sent from CloudFlare in regards to the same question.

    The performance implications of having www on your root domain are minimal, simply because it just adds another DNS lookup to www (talking milliseconds). Some people just don't like to use www. Other than that, I don't see any issues at all with what you are trying to use/setup.
    Interesting. I want to research this and maybe run a few benchmarks - I love little tests ;)

    Nice find.
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    An interesting article on the technical pros and cons of non-www vs www:

    WWW or bare domain?

    As for me, I'm staying with www. If page speed is a concern, there are many improvements one can do to their page design that have larger impact than a DNS lookup.

    Ed
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    Hello everyone. I was wondering if someone can please tell me if I set this up correctly as far as www and non-www?

    1) In Google Webmaster Tools I put both sites in (www.mysite.com and mysite.com). I then set my preferred domain to www.mysite.com.

    2) In Google Webmaster Tools I set "www.mysite.com" to my preferred domain on both sites (since Webmaster Tools still lists www and non-www as separate sites).

    3) I added the following to my .htaccess file:
    Code:
    RewriteEngine onRewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.mysite\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule .? http://www.mysite.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
    Did I do everything correctly? I would like to make sure that everything is setup right and I have no canonical issues.

    THank you very much for your help.
    Last edited by Contra; Jan 27th, 2013 at 08:26 PM.
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    #1 and #2 is what I did, along with a redirect on my server. Go here and enter mysite.com and see if it redirects to www.mysite.com:
    Search Engine Friendly Redirect Checker

    Don't expect Google to catch on overnight, but they will. You may even get a boost if you had link juice split between the two URLs.

    Ed
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    You may chose any of the version. domain with www or without www does not impact your ranking or traffic in any way. You just have to be careful whatever you chose, make sure you have merged both the versions together.

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