www. is deprecated

Posted on May 5th, 2011 by Nick Jackson

It’s true. The “www.” part of a web address can be considered deprecated and unnecessary. There is no technical or logical reason for websites to have the “www.” in front of the address. So, why do we do it?

It turns out that Lincoln are actually quite forward thinking in this regard. Our website is perfectly accessible through “http://lincoln.ac.uk” and “http://www.lincoln.ac.uk”.

Some slightly more elaborate universities still fail this basic test though. As a result, we’ll be recommending that the “www.” part of addresses is deprecated in the Linking You framework as unnecessary, pointless, and a waste of four perfectly good bytes.

Thoughts?

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2 Responses to “www. is deprecated”

  1. Tavis Reddick says:

    I would not consider the web subdomain as primarily part of a “web address”, but as part of a family of hierarchically-related domains which can inherit from one another. This keeps your organization’s root domain (say “lincoln.ac.uk”) aloof and capable of allocating cross-domain resources, which could be inherited (including trust) and optionally overridden by sub (or sub-sub) domains.

    At the moment, you might be happy redirecting lincoln.ac.uk to http://www.lincoln.ac.uk, but there are likely to be future changes. If you originally had a gopher or ftp-only site, you might have made similar arguments, and then the worldwide web comes along and changes everything. The convention “www.” is very handy, easy to type and identify in text or put in a shortcut. It is very brief, and you can use it without the http:// in certain cases.

    To do away with a web subdomain seems a little like an “end of history” loss of perspective, rather than preparing for an information age.

  2. Suppose the question is if users still recognise things that begin with www to be the things you can copy and paste and put in that address bar, of if http is just as widely understood as another one of those things you put in the address bar? Or perhaps regardless of http or www the low end of the bell curve just always shove it in the search box anyways so it doesn’t matter. my vote: save the bits!