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Pros And Cons Of Switching Domain To Non "www"


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#1 Pete

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:43 AM

Most of my sites don't have "www.", I prefer no www as it looks more elegant on business cards and better when telling people the URL over the phone etc.

But I have one site which has www, I was wondering if there are any downsides to redirect to non www.

There are lots of links to this site and it does well in Google, but I was wondering if redirects would devalue the inbound links at all or affect the page rank.

Also are there any other pros and cons? TIA.

#2 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

Although there are murmurs recently that 301 redirects only pass xx% of full linkjuice, I personally have never seen any detrimental effects in 301'ing www to non-www.

#3 glyn

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:19 AM

I always 301 a domain before it's online.

But that's if you have the choice.

If you don't the main thing is consistency.

If you have a long domain, then www is just gonna make it even longer.

so it's a question of what you're going to do with the domain.

Basically just make syre it's eiether www or http:// and 301 redirect whichever one you decide on.

G.

#4 Wit

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:21 AM

It may take a while tho, to re-squeeze all the existing linkjuice. As in: a couple of updates.

#5 Pete

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 12:14 PM

I always 301 a domain before it's online.


Me too, now.

so it's a question of what you're going to do with the domain.

Basically just make syre it's eiether www or http:// and 301 redirect whichever one you decide on.


Yes, I've decided that

A) it fits with my other sites that don't have the www

B) I may need some subdomains with this site, so keeping the www for those would make it even more ungainly.

Without any major negatives thrown up yet, I'll probably go ahead.

Thanks everyone for the replies, keep 'em coming especially if there's any more I should know

#6 bwelford

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:10 PM

B ) I may need some subdomains with this site, so keeping the www for those would make it even more ungainly.

You rather lost me there, Pete, since it looks as though that might create confusion. I think opinions split slightly in favour of www rather than non-www, but clearly there is no consensus.

However if you create subdomains like this.mysite.com and that.mysite.com, then people may not be sure whether it is still OK to use mysite.com as a URL.

It's a really thorny issue as to what should be there. Even Tim Berners-Lee has questioned why they put two // in the URL. Another recent clamor arose at the news that Google Chrome Removing “Http://” & Al Gore from Web’s History

Google recently made a change in the developer version that ruffled some feathers: the URL field will no longer show the “http://”.


I think they have now given up the idea as far as I know.

#7 Pete

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:25 PM

You rather lost me there, Pete, since it looks as though that might create confusion. I think opinions split slightly in favour of www rather than non-www, but clearly there is no consensus.

However if you create subdomains like this.mysite.com and that.mysite.com, then people may not be sure whether it is still OK to use mysite.com as a URL.


Let me clarify why I am doing this:

I am about to start using bandcamp to sell digital downloads and physical merchandise.

The really nice thing about bandcamp is they let you use your own domain.

When you sign up you get a subdomain on their site
e.g.

username.bandcamp.com

But if you have a domain name you can alter your DNS settings to either have the whole domain name as your site at bandcamp, or use a subdomain (by altering the cname settings).

So I thought the best thing is to use the subdomain, so I have

www.mysite.com (main site)
music.mysite.com (download site at bandcamp)

(in which case, I am suggesting losing the www from mysite.com)

I think this is less confusing than

www.mysite.com (my site)
mymusicsite.com (bandcamp)

#8 fairclb

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 05:19 AM

For my sites I always have the domain set up with both www and without, both point to the same site. In Google webmaster tools you can tell it which you prefer without having to do a 301 redirect. I am not sure about others. with links to the site I always use www but for print ads I display the URL without the www because its shorter.

If your trying to determine if you should use www.mysite.com for one site and mysite.com for another... I would say no, that would be confusing. I would come up with something like music.mysite.com for the bandcamp site.

#9 Pete

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:11 AM

If your trying to determine if you should use www.mysite.com for one site and mysite.com for another... I would say no, that would be confusing.


No, that wouldn't work at all.

I'm just trying to decide on either the subdomain (music.mysite.com) for bandcamp or a new domain . But as I said, if I go for the subdomain, I feel I should drop the www from the main site.

#10 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:44 AM

I'm just trying to decide on either the subdomain (music.mysite.com) for bandcamp or a new domain . But as I said, if I go for the subdomain, I feel I should drop the www from the main site.


Honestly, I see no confusion being caused by having:

music.mysite.com for the music section
and
www.mysite.com for the main section

Of course, I understand wanting to be consistent with how you do things, but I personally don't think this particular thing (music. and www.) is a reason to make a change.

#11 A.N.Onym

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:23 PM

I side with the non-www crowd. Www *is* a subdomain and that's the very reason Pete doesn't want it to be confusing for the visitors, especially, when they will be typing in non-www and seeing www (a subdomain).

Edited by A.N.Onym, 03 May 2010 - 04:23 PM.


#12 Wit

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:47 AM

Pete,

If you're hesitant, then why not 301-redirect only one or two pages to their non-www equivalent, and monitor their performance closely for some time?

#13 Pete

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

If you're hesitant, then why not 301-redirect only one or two pages to their non-www equivalent, and monitor their performance closely for some time?


Good point, but if someone links to that page, then I decide to keep down the www route I've got links to one or two non-www pages. But then I suppose I redirect those back to www. Just seems a bit of a mess.

Basically I want to make a decision to do it or not, weighing up the pros and cons.

It's a bit like Harry Hill (for the UK folks here)

"Well, I like www. But I also like non-www. There's only one way to find out..."

#14 A.N.Onym

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:46 PM

Good point, but if someone links to that page, then I decide to keep down the www route I've got links to one or two non-www pages. But then I suppose I redirect those back to www. Just seems a bit of a mess.

If you don't go with non-www and remove the redirect to a few pages and add the complete redirect to www as you would anyway, it won't be a mess.

#15 jonbey

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:48 AM

many users are confused with subdomains. If most of the traffic is going to come from the main site have a subdomain, but also allow people to type domain.com/music and redirect to the sub.

#16 Pete

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:03 AM

many users are confused with subdomains. If most of the traffic is going to come from the main site have a subdomain, but also allow people to type domain.com/music and redirect to the sub.


This is a very good point I think and I can see how it could be confusing

The traffic will be coming from various sites. I think mentioned in the hospital section I had split my main site (www.petethomas.co.uk) into various sites (many thanks to Barry Welford who helped out). This was because the site was very large and had different sections so lacked focus. We decided to make a few smaller but more focussed sites.

But it made sense to have just one sales page, www.pethomas.co.uk/store.html

Now that I want the bandcamp download site it gets complicated, I still can't decide between:

subdomain.bandcamp.com

or subdomain.petethomas.co.uk (e.g. music or downloads) or maybe a totally new domain name (e.g. ptmusic.com)

Maybe this is a question for the Website Hospital now.



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