Sign up ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why do some websites use www1. rather than www.?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It happens that they've enabled wildcard DNS, and will serve up requests to sub domains named, well anything at all. No, really. Anything at all.

Also... a long time ago, serving up the same content on multiple subdomains named "www#" was a cheap and simple load balancing technique. Each domain would correspond to a physical server. It fell out of common practice with the advent of sane reverse proxies and simplified virtual hosting technologies.

share|improve this answer
Is it applicatable to all sites? – Chris May 30 '11 at 5:19
The technique requires two bits of configuration. First, a wildcard DNS entry for the domain, as noted in my first link. Second, it requires server software that can handle arbitrary domain names. The easiest way to accomplish that (that I know of) would be using Apache's VirtualHost directives to set up a "default" virtual domain for a specific IP address. Normally the "default" virtual domain is what you see when there's no other domain configured on the IP address in question, but it can easily be used/abused for this purpose. Because it requires configuration, not all sites can do this. – Charles May 30 '11 at 7:09
Excellent, Thank you! Everything makes sense now! – Web_Designer Jun 1 '11 at 3:11

www. and www1. are just sub domains and there is no difference between the two.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.