There is historical reason why WWW was appended before the domain nearly 2 decades back from today. Confusion is common among the common users. It is quite sad that, at the age of Internet of Things (IoT), most still never understand a practical fact – appending www has no value anymore because today domains are registered as bare domain, like
abhishekghosh.net via the domain registers. The acronym of World Wide Web is WWW. Now we refer it as W3 .
Why WWW Prefix Was Introduced
English writer Douglas Adams once said “The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it’s short for!”. That saying has itself been 15 years older!
www is actually subdomain today with any kind of web server software. The first web server as well as the first website on this earth was
nxoc01.cern.ch (does not exist anymore).
Paolo Palazzi and Tim Berners-Lee, the two persons who worked at CERN, disclosed the fact how the so popular use of www became widespread with naked domains. There was domain system before these incidents / accidents before 7 August 1991 but W3 ‘s system (which basically we use today) was not present. Oldest domain was without www :
www subdomain was created for the domain
cern.ch; the World Wide Web project’s page was intended to be published at
info.cern.ch was intended to be the CERN’s home page. As basically there was no website before them, the practical idea of using a bare domain name against homepage was not realized. However the DNS records were never switched, www became the homepage! As World Wide Web made the standards first and for gave free of cost, developers were sure that www is mandatory to add – quite wrong common sense like happens in our day to day life.
Other institutions started websites as they copied the steps to realize web server from command line to be a visible website! You will notice that we frequently write in the tutorials – “do not copy like a blind, read the stuffs before” ; this a great example of such copy-paste work. All others thought adding www. is the rule, the protocols were not so clear at that time to everyone. All of the newly created domains followed the first method.
Subsequently, domain name and hosting service was bundled by the providers, they also configured and sold the website (usually they offered designing service too) with www subdomain. Except load balancing, from server side
www subdomain has no value. SEO-wise www and non-www must be 301 redirected as the common users might type with www still today.