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Sunday, April 28, 2002

No more need for WWW.

This may only save you a couple of seconds each day, but it seems that most web designers have finally configured their Domain Name Servers (DNS) correctly. After a bit of informal testing, I have confirmed that, for most web pages, you no longer need to type "www." before a web address. i.e. you only need to type cnn.com instead of www.cnn.com.

The "www." was originally used to let Internet users know that they were talking with a world wide web server (www). It was really never required, but it quickly became a de factor standard among webmasters. For years, many machines were not configured to respond to the domain name alone (i.e. cnn.com) so that you were required to type in www in most cases.

One caveat, though. If you see an address that contains anything but "www" in front of the name (i.e. groups.yahoo.com), you still have to type in the entire name. The reason is that the first part of the name is literally the name (host name) of the web server you are trying to contact. Many companies, like Yahoo, are dividing up the services using different names. Hence, yahoo.com takes you to their search engine/subject index, while groups.yahoo.com will take you to their group mailing list service.

So, save a few keystrokes the next time you are surfing the web by skipping the "www.".


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