Tuesday, 2 March 2010

With or Without WWW?


Salam Anak IT.
WWW (also known as w3) stands for World Wide Web, invented by Sir Tim Berners Lee in 1990's. If you say "www" to computer literate people, they would definitely think about a website and if you ask your friends to open certain website, most of them would probably type "www" in the first place followed by the website's address.
Since its existence up until now, everyone knows what it is all about. But now, a question has arise whether we still NEED to include it into a web address or not? How many of you only type "anak.it" on the web browser's adddress bar rather than typing "www.anak.it"? Or even worst typing the whole "http://www.anak.it/"? Huhu I personally think that the trend has changed now. As example, everyone understood what is "google" and how to access it. But for time constraint, would you actually type the whole "www.google.com"? I honestly type "google.com" on the address bar to save seconds of my time (but now the web browser that I am using already has "Google" feature so I just type directly into it for "googling").
Another example would be your name. If your name is Mohammad Zulkhairi bin Haji Anak IT, it is understandable if people call you "zul", they are actually referring to YOU. You can't ignore them by replying "if you would like to have my attention, simply say my name; Mohammad Zulkhairi bin Haji Anak IT" and again, what I actually meant was, people knows that "anak.it" IS ALSO "www.anak.it" so why do you have to type 11 characters long if you can type shorter (7 characters)?
It would be another story if you want to have different contents from website with "www" and without "www" e.g, "http://anak.it" will have "malay language" content while "http://www.anak.it" will have another language of content. But who would actually do that kind of "confusing-web-routing"? Hahaha unless the reason is "saja buang boring" or maybe "testing~" but that is not actually a good practice for any organisations' websites.
But, if we ditch the "www" now from the web address, it may cause a little trouble as well. Yesterday, I've found certain websites which do not work WITOUT "www". Here are SOME of the websites:
Without "www"
With "www"
Without "www"
With "www"
Without "www"
With "www"
As you can see, it doesn't work without "www". This also applies to http://moe.edu.bn/ and certain local websites. What does this mean? It means, roughly 60% of the visitor MAY THOUGHT that the website is currently "DOWN" or apa nya urang kitani "pajah". Alright~ make it 30% then? But you will still lose your precious visitor/customer if there is no action taken by the web administrator.
One good example is GOOGLE Search Engine website. You may try it yourself by just typing "google.com" and see what will happen.
Tadaaa~ It AUTOMATICALLY force the web browser to have the sacred "www" infront of the web address and the site is actually AVAILABLE rather than having "The page cannot be displayed" error. This kind of method will make sure that THE 30% of the user who only type "google.com" WITHOUT "www" will STILL reach the website.
So... Miana tah tue in order to force the web ada "www" when people inda taip "www"? Here I would like to share with you what would I do to "force" the website to have "www" infront of the web address when people did not even enter it just like what is happening with google example above. I've wrote a simple code in PHP to make it simply work (which I think almost all of the web servers now support PHP). Here is the code:
<?php     $httphost = $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];     if ($httphost=="websitebiskita.com") header( 'Location: http://www.websitebiskita.com' ); ?>
Copy the code and paste it at the top (first line) of your index page (usually index.php). Replace the "websitebiskita.com" with your web address. "websitebiskita.com" is just an example. What the code does, it detects if the address entered has "www" or else, it would "redirect" the same website but adding up the "www". If any problems regarding the code occur, you may contact me using this online form.
As for conclusion, for those web developer or website administrator out there, I would like to share one BIG point to all of you:
- There are 2 types of internet user. One who will type "www" and the other one TOO LAZY to type "www" -
Sekian, Wabillahitaufiq Walhidayah.