WWW or No WWW Does it Matter and How You Can Set Your Permanent Site Structure

I’d like to make it as easy as possible when I’m typing in my URL. Thus, I leave out the www. It gets me there faster and at the same time gets the job done with half the effort.

So if your cache isn’t yet cleaned, of course you can pull it from your browser’s URL line with just a keyword and click. But I wonder, what’s the SEO effect or is there any advantage to having a shortened version of your URL instead of the long way with the www?

When I covered ways to convince someone there’s value with blogging, one of the shots I put up covered both aspects of the URL, with and without the www.

seeing the backlinks and blog rankFrom within SmartPageRank, you’ll notice that without the www, I had more backlinks. Then on the www side I also had some too. The thing is you don’t want to have both show up and ranked differently at the same time. You want them both to be synchronized. This eliminates any slap you may have to encounter from Google later on when your site does eventually have content flowing out of it.

So how do you go about putting the URLs together?

I was wondering the same thing, but that question was answered for me when I read Make Money Online. I’ve already reviewed the book so you might want to take a look at it to see how it can help you with your blogging.

I’ll just cover a part within where John Chow showed me how you can set the preferred domain to your site using Google Webmasters Tools.

The preferred domain is the one that you would like Google to use when the search engine indexes the pages on your website. Sometimes the preferred domain is also known as the canonical domain. By setting the preferred domain, you help Google to better understand your website. This will also help to more accurately determine PageRank for your blog, which will help you rank better in search engine results. p. 46

We’ll walk through it today so you can have an understanding of what’s involved. There will be a little bit of code insertion into your .htaccess file so you might want to back that up if you can using your favorite FTP program or within your dashboard in your web hosting account.

Besides that, the rest is easy gravy.

Get a Google Account

google account logoNow is a good time to sign up for a Google Account if you haven’t already done so. It’s absolutely FREE. There are many features which you can later use like Google Docs for writing your blog posts, Gmail for e-mail, Analytics to track your site’s traffic and anything you may want to use inside Google. The point is they will all require you sign in using this login information.

Once that’s done, make sure you edit your profile. Put in the necessary information which can help you speed up the process in other applications you will want to use later on. Then head on over to Google Webmasters Tools.

Here are the steps you have to do.

  • Click on Add a site …
  • Enter in your site’s URL with the www
  • Google will prompt you to insert a 1 line code on your site for verification
  • Copy/Paste that code before your footer
  • Go back and verify to make the magic happen
  • Enter in your sitemap location (use WordPress plugin Google XML Sitemap– this should generate one for you)

Once you have gone through the steps above, your site is officially enlisted in your managed URLs for Google Webmasters Tools. You’ll notice your favicon also shows up. That’s the small square button next to your URL. Just click on it and continue on to the next process.

Changing the Settings

You should be in the dashboard by now. Go to Site configuration -> Settings and from there you’ll see the option for Preferred domain. Choose the one you want – with or without www. I personally prefer the www but most of my backlinks are on the one without so this will clear up any confusion for Google to check with my www instead of the one without to properly rank me.

Below you can see exactly how the configuration process looks like. It’s very simple. Just choose and click!

how to change the preferred domain setting inside GWAPin It

Redirect the URLs

Now you want all the visitors who are visiting your site to use the same domain name. You have to do something called a 301 redirect which I’ve mentioned previously requires a little code insertion into your .htaccess file.

Using an FTP program like FileZilla, you can edit the file directly. If you’re unsure how to use a program like this check within your web hosting account and see if there are any tutorials which will walk you through setting up a FTP connection to your blog. Consequently, you can also perform a search within and read further how you can input the required settings to get access.

Don’t worry, if all this is too complicated. Just go within your web hosting account and look for the the .htaccess file within your blog’s folder. For example:

This domain name is called bloggingfor.info.
So there's a folder within my account with the same name
but without the extention .info.
Therefore, I would go into bloggingfor
and look for my .htaccess file.

Back that up by copying it to a safe place on your hard drive. Now you’re going to make another copy of it and call it .htaccess2.

Depending on what you have set for your preferred domain, I’m going to assume you choose www just as I did. So you’re going open up the first copied .htaccess file from your hard drive with a text editor like notepad or an alternative.

Then you’re going to insert this code at the very end of your file:

RewriteEngine ON
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(.*)\.bloggingfor\.info$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.bloggingfor.info/$1 [R=301,L]

NOTICE this domain doesn’t have a DOT com. Instead it’s DOT info. You may have the same thing whether it’s DOT biz, DOT net and so on. Input the domain name accordingly. Save the file. Send it back to your domain name folder.

Remember you still have the backup sitting on your hard drive name .htaccess2 so if anything does go wrong. Just rename that file and send it back into your web hosting account.

Test Your URL

You want to make sure that what you’ve done actually worked. So the best way to check it is to type your domain name into the URL bar within your browser. Do it without the www. If it redirects you to one with www you’ve done the job. If it doesn’t, check to see if you’ve inserted the code right.

Here’s a text file of the 301 redirect code. Just copy and paste putting in your appropriate domain name.

I hope you’ve got something out of this tutorial because this is a crucial step towards getting your site properly ranked within Google. Also it helps to start somewhere if you’re going to be working with Google at some point.

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir