On the other hand, Cool URIs Don't Change, so expect problems, though probably briefly.
No they don't. And that is why I'm making the decision out of the box on this next project, no changing afterwards.
Most email clients, forums or blogs won't link automatically to example.com ; only to www.example.com or http://example.com.
Yes I know, a flaw that one day may get fixed. Keep in mind that this applies to sub-domains (hosts) too.
Most internet-lay people expect the www. If you give them your url over the phone or in person, and the url is example.com, they will ask you: "Do I need to put the www in front of it?" and you will have to reply "No, only ["....] So what is easier to say: www or [?...]
Yes, most of the previous generation are expecting the www. That's fine, they can use it too. They'll just end up at the wwwless version through a seamless 301. No big deal.
Many directories and other websites add the www automatically, so you end up with links to www and non-www versions of your site.
Those are probably directories that I don't want to be listed in anyway. If they can't take the time to follow protocol and to check the actual address, which the major directories will, then I'm not concerned about it as I'll have a 301 in place to address that issue.
Yup, whoever added www in the first place should have been &*&*$%%$^%$ (and probably was), but we're stuck with it.
Speak for yourself! I just rid myself of it!
I get visitors who type in "www. keyword phrase" yes, just like that: www. blue widgets to let the search engines know that it's a web page they're looking for. A lot of the rank and file out there expects it.
While they may expect it, they won't get it in this instance. They can type in www, link to the www, promote www, speak www, do whatever they want with www, once they arrive, I'm stripping them of www. :)
The only way to kill the www would be to lobby for new standards.
Ah, I don't want to lobby for something that is already in writing. There is a protocol for host names and I'm just stepping outside of it a little bit.
I have avoided the www. for years and I haven't noticed any negative consequences whatsoever from doing without it.
I'd be interested to know how the sites perform within their target market. I have this Tin Hat notion that a "root" reference tends to have a bit more weight than a host reference (www.). Not much, but just enough to make a difference in an extremely competitive environment.
Whilst I agree being shorter can be better, I also feel it is a recipe for future problems. At the moment, you handle your web pages from the same place as the root of your domain; but with future site enlargement, you might wish to have one machine handling your local DNS and quite another running the www. With your new system you will end up using your local DNS machine as a proxy server to your www content... dub-dub-dub
I doubt that "I" will ever need that type of development environment, there are other ways to skin that cat.
double-you, double-you, double-you?
As a result, there is no single "correct" answer.
Just what I was hoping not to see. So, its one of those decisions you make at the onset and stick to it no matter what you may read?