WWW or Not WWW - What's the Difference?

  SimpleSimon1 13:33 15 Oct 07
Locked

Hi All

I registered a .co.uk domain and just built my first simple web site. Everything is working fine but I've just noticed an oddity about the URL and wondered if anybody can shed some light on it.

The domain name has the format xxxxxxx.co.uk and, as you would expect, it can be accessed via the URL "click here"

However, by accident, I noticed that it can also be accessed if I leave out the www i.e. I just type xxxxxxx.co.uk

This happens in both IE and FF. As a result, I've noticed that it seems to happen with a lot (but not all) web sites. For example, our very own pcadvisor site can be accessed by simply entering pcadvisor.co.uk.

Can someone explain why the "www" is sometimes (but not always) optional in site URL's? Also, is there any advantage of one approach over the other (given that pcadvisor supports both, I assume that this is the best way to go...but why?)

Many thanks

  SimpleSimon1 13:36 15 Oct 07

Oops sorry

My example [invalid] URL got translated into a link.

Hover the mouse over "click here" to see the example URL I was trying to refer to.

  Patr100 13:53 15 Oct 07

More recent versions of main browsers have been able to find sites entered into the URL address field without needing to add www. but to be on the side side I would usually include the www. in all links.

  SimpleSimon1 14:13 15 Oct 07

I don't think this is the solution cos I also see this behavior with IE6.

Moreover, there seems to be a real difference between the two URL formats because, I'm also running a server-side nmsFormMail script where the domain (with it's www extension) is listed as the only domain which can use the script. If I access the script via a form on the xxxxxxx.co.uk URL, the script bombs out with a permissions error saying that this domain doesn't have permission to use the script. On the other hand, if I access the same form and script via the URL which does have a www prefix, the script runs fine.

I'm confused!

  Patr100 19:26 15 Oct 07

I don't know about the particular scripts you are running but surely just then use the full www url if it works . The browser activity is probably only a shortcut for those entering addresses via the address bar - it may not, as you have discover work in all other situations.

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