Are there any differences among these addresses?

  • www.example.com
  • http://www.example.com
  • example.com

http://www.example.com and www.example.com would refer to the same thing. Modern browsers assume that the protocol is http://. Some browsers are even starting to hide the implicit http:// when showing URLs in the URL bar.

www.example.com and example.com can be very different. It is possible to run two different sites at those addresses with completely different content. That wouldn't be good for users and most websites take one of three approaches to making those addresses work as expected:

  • Redirect example.com to www.example.com
  • Redirect www.example.com to example.com
  • Serve the same content at both example.com and www.example.com
  • 1
    None is more SEO friendly, you can choose which one you prefer (between www.example.com or example.com). – Zistoloen Mar 8 '14 at 16:33
  • 2
    Just to be clear, the first two options (redirection) are both better for SEO than the last one. But there is no difference SEO-wise between example and www.example. – DisgruntledGoat Mar 9 '14 at 2:08
  • 1
    Placing a canonical url meta tag on the webpage would by a plus here and help search engine to get then indexed with single copy. – Sachin Dhir Mar 9 '14 at 4:44
  • 1
    Make sure that the redirection is a 301 – krokola Mar 9 '14 at 16:38
  • 1
    If the naked domain is used (e.g. example.com) then there is no way to set up sub-domains without cookies. With www it is possible to set up a sub-domain(s) that does not have cookies for the serving of static assets. Cookies require data transfer and therefore slow load times; fast load times positively impact SEO and user experience...that said, I have never done this myself and the difference in performance and SEO is often almost negligible. – adam-asdf Mar 10 '14 at 4:09

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