Requiring the “www” sub-domain in 2011? Really?

I’m currently researching some websites for a story I’m writing, and I’m amazed that one of the sites requires you to specify the “www” sub-domain or it just won’t work. “WTF? It’s 2011,” I thought. But am I wrong?

I decided to ask on Twitter. “How would you describe a business whose website demands that you use the ‘www’ sub-domain or it won’t work?” Here’s the first responses I got.

Ignorant. Fucking idiots. Sub Standard? Lame. Misconfigured. My work place *sigh* Partying like it was 1999. In need of some DNS sysadmining? Antiquated. One that doesn’t know how to configure their services properly. Pedantic. Woefully Witless Website? DNS-illiterate? Paying for poor advice, choosing inadequate consultants. One that needs help addressing user behaviour.

Well that seems fairly clear…

I had to stop looking after that, my question generated far more responses that I’d expected and the consensus was obvious pretty damn fast.

One person described it as a cPanel-based business, but I disagree. I use the cPanel web hosting control panel at Prussia.Net, and by default it sets up websites to work both with and without the “www”.

Another said he was about to go on a rant about but they’ve finally fixed it. As has Australia Post at

Are there any particularly annoying examples of this phenomenon?

9 Replies to “Requiring the “www” sub-domain in 2011? Really?”

  1. All in all, I don’t mind too much, though I prefer not having to type the www. when I can avoid it.

    What does annoy me is that the domain management tools of some domain Registrars do not seem to be able to handle setting CNAME records for the domain itself.

  2. If someone types in the domain without the www, you should assume the default – they almost certainly wanted the main web site.

    However, you don’t want two distinct URI’s both referencing the same content. www and non www should not return the same thing. If someone lands on non-www, they should be _redirected_ to www (or vice versa).

  3. TPG, the McDonalds of internet service providers, always advertised their address in print media as, but as recently as three years ago the address didn’t resolve without the www. on the front. They’ve fixed it now, and redirects to as it should, so clearly they’re less clueless than they were.

  4. DeConstructo the no CNAME for the bare domain is actually a result of the DNS spec. You have to use an A record to work around that.

  5. At my workplace, some bright spark set the Windows domain to the company domain name, so when you enter our domain without the WWW it resolves to the internal Windows Active Directory controllers, and thus the request never completes.

    This is a massive legacy thing and isn’t going to change in my term of employment, so we’ve had to get a completely new web domain. Makes me so grumpy.

  6. Heroku just today sent out a critical advisory saying they will be unable to protect you from DDOS targetted at you or any other subdomain-less customer if you don’t use a subdomain (because then you all share a proxy server):

  7. Personal pet hate along these lines at the moment is the resolution to “”

    I mean, FFS, why already?

Comments are closed.