www resolve

What is WWW Resolve?

No matter how technical it sounds, WWW Resolve really is a simple command that is used widely throughout the World Wide Web. If you own a website or manage one (or two) you must know that there can be two ways of inputting your website into the browser’s address bar – with www and without i.e. https://www.firetap.co.uk and https://firetap.co.uk.

To a regular user, it may not make any big difference whether the website they are navigating on has www-s in front of it or it doesn’t, but to Google and other search engine crawlers they look like separate entities. This can have an SEO implication on your website. WWW Resolve is basically a simple server command that redirects all URLs with WWWs to similar URLs, without WWWs or the other way around, depending on which is your preferred version of the website.


Why can WWW Resolve affect your SEO?

As mentioned above – Google and other search engines, while crawling and indexing your website, can see the same page as 2 different entities, i.e. https://www.firetap.co.uk and https://firetap.co.uk are seen as duplicates to each other and all other subsequent pages are going to be regarded as duplicates. Now, this hurts your pages from ranking high in search engine results pages as Google will penalise you in the rankings.


Adding WWW Resolve to your website

In order to add WWW Resolve to your website, you need to add a couple of lines of code to your .htaccess file. In order to do this, you will need to have an FTP Client. The one we at FireTap use is FileZilla. It is a free and easy-to-use client that helps you navigate through the files of the website.

If you don’t have, or don’t want to download an FTP client, your hosting provider almost certainly has an option to manage your files, including the .htaccess file. This is a very important file and a mistake in it can result in your website being down. It is stored in the same directory as your index.html file is stored and can be edited using notepad. As a precaution, we would recommend you to copy your current .htaccess file into your desktop and make the necessary changes to the copy file and then upload it to the server.


How to implement WWW Resolve?

Depending on what your priorities and preferences are, you can implement WWW Resolve to your website using the following two options:

To include WWWs in front of the URL:

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


To exclude WWWs from the URLs of the website:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://example.com/$1 [R=301,L]


Now that you chose your preferred option, change “example.com” with your website. For example, in our case, if we want to implement WWW Resolve so all URLs of the website redirect to the version with WWWs, the code will look as follows:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.firetap\.co.uk$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.firetap.co.uk/$1 [R=301,L]

After pasting the code and saving the file you can now upload the new .htaccess file to your website. Don’t forget to go back to your website and check if it works properly.


Keep following our blog for more information on new cool ways to improve your website performance and push your SEO efforts to new heights. Get in touch with us if you have questions about this or any other digital marketing topics we discuss in our blog, or if you would like to make an enquiry about our digital marketing services.