Every now and again, we get asked by users what’s the difference between www vs non-www in site URLs? People often want to know which one is better for SEO, and whether they should change their site URL. In this article, we will help you understand the difference between www vs non-www and which one is better for WordPress SEO.
Before we start: for an average user and small business owner, there is absolutely no difference between www vs non-www. It’s completely a personal preference.
Yes there is a technical difference between the two which we will cover later in the article, but for most people it shouldn’t matter either way.
If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.
WWW vs non-WWW – SEO Benefits
There are absolutely no SEO benefits of choosing one over another. Even Google has said that it all depends on your preference.
What’s important is that you stay consistent with the one that you chose at the time of starting your website.
In other words, DO NOT change your site URL to add or remove www from it.
You can let Google know about your personal preference, and they will honor it. All you have to do is go in your Google Webmaster Tools account and click on your site. If you have not added your site to Google Webmaster tools, then follow our guide on how to add your WordPress site to Google Webmaster Tools.
Next click on the Gear icon towards the top right corner of your screen and select Site Settings.
On the Site Settings screen, simply choose the preferred domain.
Alternatively, if you’re using WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, it will automatically set canonical URL in your site header which will let Google know of your personal preference.
That’s all what you really have to do.
Before you even consider asking, yes we’re using www on WPBeginner site, but that was a personal preference. On our other site such as list25.com, we do not use www.
It’s just a personal preference that’s it.
Technical Difference between WWW vs non-WWW
When you add www. in front of a site, it acts as a hostname which can help with flexibility with DNS, ability to restrict cookies when using multiple subdomains, and more. Whereas non-WWW domains also referred as naked domains do not have a technical advantage.
For full technical explanation and details, refer to this article on Why use www?