To be clear: I am not asking whether or not I should use
www in my url, or what the pros and cons are, that topic is well covered. I also wasn't sure if this was a Stack Overflow, Server Fault, or Webmaster's question - migration to a more appropriate channel is quite welcome.
Background: I was recently asked to convert a site's urls to all use
www, as in
http://www.example.com. The reason for the request is over my head. I present an excerpt from the email:
Got an issue,
Apparently whenever the site was originally setup with their network (prior to me), the installers chose to use the internal domain as 'example.com' ... not good ...
This is a problem trying to resolve externally .... I looked at a few qweb page source coding and saw many links are coded as 'http:\example.com\PAGE.XXX' ...
Can it possibly globally be changed from 'http:\example.com' to 'http:\www.example.com'
I can resolve www, but once I hit a link it thinks the server is the internal EXAMPLE which houses the domain 'example.com' ...
Something to do with the client not being able to access the website on their own network. As I mentioned, I don't quite understand it.
So, I implemented the change, but while testing, I accidentally typed in an extra
w, and to my surprise - the site still worked.
Then I tried several
w's, then two, then I typed in some nonsense and the site still worked.
EDIT: To be more accurate, only alpha, numeric, dash, and underscore characters will resolve, anything else returns a Server not found error in the browser.
I just tested this on Stack Overflow and got redirected when I used
www, while everything else returned a "Server not found" error.
Does anyone have any insight into what the point of this email request is, and why the accidents and experiments I mentioned worked?
I can certainly provide more information, I'm just not sure what would be relevant.