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To WWW or not to WWW

The great debate

In this module, we chose to have the bare or apex domain as our primary site. Many folks prefer to have as the primary site.

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer. It's easy to have the www version of the domain by inserting it in the appropriate locations.

What about both?#

Another common desire is to have both the bare domain work as well as the www version. You can take two approaches:

  • redirect one to the other

  • alias one to the other

For this course, I'm assuming that the bare domain is the primary and the www is the secondary. If you choose the opposite, reverse the terms while reading.

Redirect one site to the other#

Redirection means that the browser can load but receives the HTTP response of 301 moved permanently. This means that the browser is redirected to and navigates to that site.

The user sees the address bar changed to be (although many browsers now hide the www part of the address anyway), and the new page loads.

Redirection requires an HTTP server running at If you already have an HTTP server running, then it will be straightforward to configure the web server to send the redirect.

If you don't have a server, then you can use a static web site service like S3, Github, or Netlify to provide the redirect.

It is a little bit inconvenient to set up an entire web server to just send a 301 code. However, this method is well understood and supported.


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