What address does your website use? What happens if your visitors leave out the
www at the start? [First published May 2006. Some details may be a bit dated.]
It’s common for organisations to have a web address like this:
http://www.example.org.nz. Your group probably has a website at an address like that.
The web’s been around for a decade or so now and Internet users are getting quite savvy. Most now know that when you type in an address you don’t need the ‘protocol’: the
http:// part. Why bother with that extra bit of tricky typing when you don’t need it?
Many have also realised that the
www. part is often also optional, so they are coming to expect to be able to type your website’s address not as
www.example.org.nz, but instead as
But what happens when they do that? A well-behaved website should just show up, but if it’s not properly set up the visitor may see an error message instead.
Check your website address; see what happens when you leave out the
www.. Talk to your web team and ask them to make sure it works, whichever form your visitors use.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, May 2006.
Disclaimer, February 2008: since moving my FirstBite portfolio website to Google Apps I’ve lost the ability to not use the
www.. I simply haven’t had time to use the helpdesk support I require to handle this. Mostly though, it’s a fairly simple thing to do.