Finally, It’s Time to Retire Your WWW


Sites like ours that have been around for a decade accumulated rank on pages that have sustained incredible traffic over the years. As with most sites, our domain was In recent years, the www has become less prominent on sites… but we kept ours because that subdomain had so much authority with search engines.

Until now!

Moz has a great breakdown of changes with 301 Redirects that Google has announced which are helping search-centric sites maintain their authority while modifying their site's location. The two that are key, in my opinion, are:

  • SSL – Google has encouraged websites going secure and announced there would be no impact in redirecting http to https. If you're accepting any data on your site, I'd encourage you to make the move as well.
  • 301 Redirects – Gary Illyes announced that 3xx redirects no longer lose authority. So, it's time to retire that www subdomain and push your traffic to your domain. We're now just without the www!

Moz 301

This is a great time to retire that old www and modernize the address of your site. We've already done it on Martech and our agency. We'll also be rolling these changes out to our client after having changed and tested it with our own sites and not seeing any degradation in ranking.

Apache .htaccess Redirect www to non-www

If you're running a site like WordPress on Apache and can edit and add rules to your .htaccess file, here's a snippet to 301 redirect (with https):

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(?:www\.)?(.+)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^ https://www.%1%{REQUEST_URI} [L,NE,R=301]

Don't Forget Webmasters

One note on this, don't forget to update your Site Settings on Google Search Console to specify the preferred domain. Register both the www and non-www versions of your domain with Webmasters, then click the gear icon and select the non-www version.

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