Do websites need www?

In short, no. It’s actually not necessary to use www in web addresses. In most cases, it serves no technical purpose. You can have a domain without it, and the website will still work. Adding www in effect creates a second version of a domain (a ‘subdomain’) and it’s theoretically possible to have different websites for ‘www.yourdomain.com’ and ‘yourdomain.com’. Most web designers will decide which version they want to use – www or non-www – and redirect one to the other. Some web browsers don’t show www even if it is being used. Our domain is simply ‘longbow.design’. (The ‘.design’ bit…. watch this space for an explanation of that.)

So, why is www used?

Www has been around since the creation of the internet but its use is largely accidental. When publishing the world’s first website, the creators, led by British inventor Tim Berners-Lee, intended the domain to be just info.cern.ch (take a look – it’s still there!) to be their home page, without www. However, the Domain Name System (DNS) records for the server included www, and they just didn’t get round to changing it, and the use of www became an unintentional standard practice.

There’s a lot more to it than that. For example, there are some technical benefits to adding www, especially for large sites. But this is probably as much as you want to know. If you do want to delve deeper there are countless articles out there, but you could start with this one.

To me, it’s just the Wibbly Wobbly Web.