I’m on a Mission to Completely Destroy All www.

To me, www. is dead (read that article here), and has been for sometime. It has no comprehensible use or purpose any longer that I am aware of except for taking up space and time and frankly, looks a little dated.

I’m on a mission to strip it from all of my personal websites and any future projects. UPDATE — I’m happy to say that I’ve been clean and soberly free of www. for several months now on all my sites.

For some of my more avid readers, you may have already noticed that: http://www.bryanhadaway.com/ now redirects to: https://bryanhadaway.com/.

The only worry for some to make the plunge might be SEO. However, Google is smart enough now that it’s pretty good at realizing that when the www. and non-www. version of a page contain the exact same content, that they’re not really two separate pages. Of course, you’ll want implement a 301 redirect and using canonical links couldn’t hurt either. All of my PageRank is intact with the changeover so far.

If you’d like to take the plunge too, here is the code you’ll need to drop in the root folder of your website in an .htaccess file. To create an .htaccess file, simply pop open Notepad (Win) or TextEdit (Mac), paste in the code from below, and save as “All Files” with the filename .htaccess:

rewriteengine on

rewritecond %{http_host} ^www\.(.*)$ [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://%1/$1 [r=301,l]

Best Practice for Changing to Non-www

  • Enforce via .htaccess (code above)
  • Change the URL structures to non-www on your site’s navigation and internal links
  • Canonicalize the non-www versions of URLs
  • Update sitemaps to reflect non-www URLs
  • Set preferred domains to non-www in Google Webmaster Tools (which you should be using anyways)
  • Check that Google has indexed the non-www versions after a while

  • Chris Dillon

    I was on the fence until this article and I’m going www-less too. Any advice on using a cookie-free domain in addition? Yahoo recommends if not using a different TLD to use www for cookies which leaves a subdomain cookie-free for static images, etc.

  • Cookies are set by yourself manually. Simply, if you don’t create and implement cookies on your site there will be no cookies.

    You might be referring to the cache perhaps?

    Thanks, Bryan