It’s common knowledge that “WWW” stands for World Wide Web. We often see the www prefix in front of domain names. Some people confuse WWW with HTTP. Even though they appear next to each other in your browser, the two are not the same.

What most people don’t know is that www is a subdomain. So, in theory, is a subdomain different from But, in practice, the subdomain “” is set up to redirect users to the same place as “”

But the question is, “Why doesn’t my website work without www?”

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Why do some websites not start with www?

It’s the traditional way to write out website addresses to include www. But, www is not required for the functionality of your website. In fact, today, the trend is toward non-www web addresses.

Is www needed anymore?

If the DNS for your website is correctly configured, www is not needed anymore. But it’s best to set up your website to support www and non-www. This can be easily set up with DNS. With the correct DNS setup, www and non-www should work simultaneously.

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Why do we still use “www”?

We still use “www” today because it’s one of the most important components of internet history. The www is generally used in a website’s URL. It’s a prefix indicating that your website is using HTTP to communicate.

We still use www even though it’s not necessary. All the www does is that it identifies the web address. When you see the URL, you know you are dealing with a website. The same way you know that, indicates you are dealing with an FTP server and is an email server.

Do all websites start with www?

All websites can start with www, but it’s not a requirement.

Website Without www Doesn’t Work

Your website without www doesn’t work because your domain’s DNS isn’t set up correctly. More specifically, you need to ensure that the “A” record is correctly configured.

Why is www. required in front of some domains but not for other domains?

Due to configuration, some domains require www in front of some domains but not for other domains. It’s important to remember that a web domain is not the same thing as a website. The website domain is read from right to left, so is in the .com top-level domain. The domain is, and is a subdomain of that.

In the early days of the Internet, websites played a much smaller role than today. Even ten years ago, there were a lot fewer websites in the world. But today, website domains dominate the internet.

While websites were mostly static in the past today, they serve dynamic content. For example, this website serves dynamic web pages. In the past, administrators have used a wide range of subdomains to track website traffic.

As a result, we’d use for e-mail, maybe for file transfers, maybe something like for a secure area of the site for registered users or employees, and for your public web traffic. The HTTP server would only be listening for requests on the www subdomain.

But today, web traffic is by far the most dominant use of most domains. That is why HTTP servers accept requests to the “base” domain, particularly given traffic from web browsers. So requests always default to the web server’s standard HTTP port (80) or HTTPS (443).

So, it’s up to the hosting company to configure their web server to respond to both and requests. Most websites, if set up correctly, will now respond to both, either directly or by responding with a redirection to www. It’s the best practice for your website because it avoids serving 404 page not found errors to users who, in this day and age, expect to reach your site without typing www. in front of your domain name.

What does it mean when a website doesn’t have www?

Traditionally, websites do include www like But is the same thing; it’s actually faster and easier.

When you type a website address URL like into your browser, the browser contacts its default DNS server and asks, “Do you have a record of”

If this is the first time the domain name server has heard of, it finds the .com name server and asks if it knows of the name server handling If there is a site record, your name server connects to the name server for and asks it about If your website’s name server has a listing for the www prefix, it returns the IP address for “,” and your browser connects to that IP address.

Of course, all of this happens in a fraction of a second. The site visitor doesn’t see any of this process. It all happens in the background.

Why does my website not have www?

It doesn’t mean anything in particular when your website doesn’t have www. In the early days of websites, administrators have routinely created a special host in their domain called “www.” The www would differentiate the web server from existing hosts for telnet, FTP, SMTP or email, gopher, etc.

The web browser assumed that if you typed “webene” in the URL box, you probably meant “” and looked that up for you in DNS. So, people got used to typing domains without the www.

As the internet and websites became more widely adopted, creating a special host was no longer necessary. You point the A record of your DNS configuration so that “” or “” works directly and uses different hosts for your other services.

Since most people find websites using search engines like Google, most people rarely type the complete URL when searching for a website. So, today having your website be www or non-www doesn’t matter much.

Which is better, www or non-www, for a website?

Neither www nor non-www is better for a website. It really only has to do with how you set up the name server for your website. In fact, if your name servers are set up correctly, you don’t have to type www in front of your domain name. And if you have a .com domain name, you don’t even have to type the .com part.

Why is my new website not opening if I add www?

Your new website is not opening without adding www because of your CNAME or Canonical Name Records. The CNAME records in your DNS zone file allow you to resolve your domain name’s subdomains, such as

“WWW” is a CNAME record that needs to be added to your DNS settings. For your domain name to resolve using, you need to configure the following fields:

  • Name – Name is the CNAME (WWW in this case because we are talking about a website)
  • Type – Select CNAME
  • TTL – Time to Live is “14440″ by default (There is no need to change the default value)
  • Target – Target is the path to your website (

What is a URL without www called?

A URL without www is called “the origin.” The origin is a DNS term we use for domain names without the preceding www.

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How do I load a website without www?

To load a website without www, you need to make sure there is a CNAME record. A WWW CNAME record should be set up in your DNS configuration to load a website without www.

Should my website have www?

It’s a good practice for your website to have www. A major advantage of using www for your website is to improve performance. If you want to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your website, it will be easier to set up if your site has www.

Why does my website not work without www?

If your website does not work without www, your DNS records are misconfigured. The best way to handle this is to set up a canonical URL using the (CNAME) record in your DNS zone file.

How do I make my domain work without www?

You can make your domain work without www by setting up the “WWW” CNAME on your name server.

www. or non-www? Which web address is better for SEO?

Using www for your web address is better for SEO. It’s the best option for SEO.

Why do some websites have www at the start, but others have HTTP?

HTTP or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and WWW are not interchangeable. HTTP is a protocol. All websites use HTTP or HTTPS. But, WWW is a subdomain, not a protocol.

Why is www sometimes required?

WWW is sometimes required depending on how DNS is configured for your website. If your name server doesn’t have an A record set up correctly, which means pointing the domain name to the IP address of your web server, “WWW” will be required.

Why do some websites have a number after www?

Some websites have a number after www like www1 or www2. They are used for load balancing or additional security.

What is the purpose of www?

The purpose of www is to indicate a website. The www displays text and images, video or audio content.

Why my website doesn’t have www?

Your website doesn’t have www because it’s really not necessary anymore.

Web servers were still a new concept in the early years of the internet. While today the World Wide Web, or WWW, is the biggest part of our online world, it hasn’t always been the case.

In fact, before WWW, there were more prevalent systems online, such as Gopher. It was an early information service based on hierarchical menus. Most early web servers were well-established domains, generally based in universities, research facilities and government institutions.

The general form of a domain name is hostname.domain. The majority of the names on the internet were for ordinary machines such as servers and workstations. Some of the machines provided a public service.

So, it became acceptable to use the name of that service as a virtual hostname (often, it was an alias for the real name). This convention enabled the service to be moved to a different computer easily and helped people guess and memorize the names of web servers.

Typically the different services would be provided at different addresses, so the names had to be different too. For example:


Today, we have a mixture of sites with and without the www prefix. If you set up your site correctly, users should be able to access it with or without www.

Why is www not working for my website?

If www is not working for your website, it’s because your domain’s DNS zone was configured incorrectly. To make www work for your website, make sure you have a CNAME set up for www pointing to your

Alternatively, you could add an A record to your DNS zone file. The Type should be “A” with the name “www.” And under “Content,” it should point to the IP address of your web server.

Keep in mind that changes to your DNS zone file aren’t immediate. The changes to propagate could take several hours and even a few days.

How do I enable www for my website?

You can enable www for your website in several ways. One of the simplest methods is to enable www using the .htaccess file.

To enable www for your site, you need to use a mod_rewrite. You can add the following entry to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.yourdomain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$1 [L,R]

If you don’t want to edit your .htaccess file, the control panel of your hosting account might have a way to enable www for your website. Check with your hosting company if you cannot find it.