Just bought the perfect domain name? That’s great; now it’s time for the hard work to start: designing a logo, building your website, crafting content.
Before all that, though, you have a few important decisions to make – I make these decisions straight away on every fresh WordPress install.
Now, we’ve already discussed the importance of choosing your websites permalink structure from the start – it’s less important which permalink structure you choose; the important thing is you stick with it.
Another important consideration is your website’s URL.
More specifically, should you go with a www or a non-www URL?
Today I want to show you how to configure your URL correctly in WordPress.
WWW or Non-WWW
You know what? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. The success of your website will not be determined by a www or non-www URL.
The important thing is that whichever one you choose initially, you stick with it – we’ll get to why soon.
At Pagely, we go for a non-www URL, pagely.com – sometimes referred to as a naked domain.
However, visitors that type in the www – www.pagely.com – will still find our website without problem. In fact, try that out and see what happens: when you visit www.pagely.com, the www simply disappears from your browser’s address bar.
The same applies vice versa.
My website uses a www URL, www.sqwriting.com. If a visitor forgets to type the www, it doesn’t matter; they still land on my homepage.
Because www and non-www are used interchangeably by most websites and web users, a simple redirect is automatically put in place.
The URL you choose is entirely down to personal preference. Most web users are savvy enough to realize there isn’t a difference between the two.
So why do I use the www? Personally, I like the ring to it better. (I’d also argue that while 99% of web users are savvy enough to figure out they’re the same thing, the www helps the 1%. If you’ve grown up on www, a non-www domain could cause confusion.)
SEO Benefits of WWW or Non-WWW
In short: there is no SEO benefit to choosing one over the other.
However, it’s important that you stay consistent. If you commit to using www, you are committing to using it for the duration of your website’s lifespan.
This is because Google will index your website based on this initial choice. Going forward, Google will crawl your website based on your www/non-www preference, and will also display your website based on this preference in the SERPs.
How to Add WWW in WordPress
By default, WordPress will use a naked, non-www URL.
However, if you want to add www to your URLs, it’s really easy to do.
From the WordPress dashboard, just click Settings > General.
On this screen, the two fields you need are:
- WordPress Address (URL)
- Site Address (URL)
All you need to do here is add the www to your URL and hit Save. Note: you will need the “http://” part of the URL, too.
If you want to remove the www from your URL, this is done in exactly the same way — just delete it, then press Save.
With your new URL configured, just head over to a live version of your website to confirm it’s worked.
In the grand scheme of things, a www or a non-www won’t make any difference to your success levels.
However, as many of you will know first-hand, thinking up the perfect domain can be something of an obsession. Even though it’s ultimately unimportant, the www or non-www is part of the URL. So although it doesn’t matter, it also kinda does!
If you think www has a nicer ring to it, go with it. If you don’t, don’t.
As long as you make a decision and stick with it, you’ll be just fine.
Do you use www or non-www? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Featured image credit: Chris Dlugosz