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

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So recently I requested a domain prefixed with www to be pointed to an existing site http://example.com/. The IT department at my company said ". We do not allow the www prefix when dealing with sub-domains. Please do not use a www prefix."

Why would an IT department disallow this? A lot of users prefix domains with www, so it doesn't make sense from an SEO perspective.

share|improve this question
Why don't you ask them why this would be the case? Their policy is unusual. Most websites either use the www or redirect it to the naked domain. Without talking to your IT department, there really isn't a good way to answer this question. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 25 '15 at 18:32
"We do not allow www nomenclature when dealing with subdomains." - this wording seems ambiguous. Just to clarify, you're not talking about a "domain" of the form www.domain.example.com? – w3dk Jun 25 '15 at 21:03
w3d, yes www.domain.example.com is the format they mean. – Nona Jun 26 '15 at 17:31
thanks Stephen, I asked them and they said they discussed it and that was their policy. – Nona Jun 26 '15 at 17:32

From a SEO perspective, using a subdomain, www, splits up visits to the site though you can combine the data into one number. Some companies want to forgo the www since it just takes up space in advertising and is useless in a sense. Having a www, just to have one, is pointless and, should I say, old fashioned.

However, unless there is a technical reason or otherwise, they should just redirect www requests to the non-www site. It's easy to do but they must have their reasons.

share|improve this answer
see: no-www.org – briansol Jun 26 '15 at 20:00
The notion that www splits up the visits is just plain silly. As well, the notion that adding www. takes away from advertising is also just plain silly. Www is traditionally set up as a CNAME which defeats your argument. As well, the preferred site could be non-www meaning that your argument that www. takes up room in advertisements moot. Having www simply denotes that the site is a website. Okay, things have changed and sites can just as easily be non-www which is a valid argument. In the early days, it was common that a domain would have several protocols hence the www in the first place. – closetnoc Jul 1 '15 at 0:48
@closetnoc I was just watching an old Matt Cutts video a couple of days ago where he talked about just such a thing. In fact, it was Google Webmaster Tools, years ago, that talked about letting them know which URL to prefer and just redirect one to the other for the very reason that it will otherwise split up traffic. Using www is old-fashioned. It almost always means nothing unless it's a real subdomain. It is an unnecessary thing to type, or should be. To continue to use it is silly. I was reading about the www taking up space in ads from ad agencies at least five years ago. – Rob Jul 1 '15 at 1:43
Rob- Please take no offense over my comment. I agree that www is not necessary. However, there are so many that expect it still and type www in the address bar (BTW- I do the opposite) and if www is not handled, the user does not get to the site. It is just plain 'ole CYA to have www and it does not actually have to be another site in reality- just an alias and the preferred non-www site can be corrected using .htaccess. Simple pimple. – closetnoc Jul 1 '15 at 2:30
@closetnoc I'm not saying to ignore it. I have a feeling we're disagreeing over something we both agree on but my/our wording is twisting us around. – Rob Jul 1 '15 at 11:56

You are right! It is tradition to have the www and therefore expected by many. Tradition that is many decades old should not be easily discarded.

At the very least, you may not be capturing the traffic that expects the www. Normally, I would say that you need to choose one or the other, www or non-www, but both should exist with one redirecting to the other. It is often better to redirect non-www to www. This answers the concern over web space, duplicate effort, and duplicate content.

Whoever created that rule likely cannot properly justify the decision without a wealth of valid reasons against to the contrary. In short, it is just a plain 'ole silly [***] thing to say and does the companies website a disservice. It misses the full potential of capturing traffic.

share|improve this answer

Maybe you are misunderstanding, or they are being too specific without explaining? A possible answer to this is because WWW is not a subdomain in most cases, it is a CNAME alias on top of an A record.

Other than that, it could be their "style" or something. Point to non-WWW and let the target pick up and mitigate whether it needs to be there or not. Could save a tiny shred of server response time in a non-WWW environment that way.

share|improve this answer
I wish it was a case of being specific or a misunderstanding; it seems to be a directive from on high – Nona Jun 25 '15 at 21:39

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.