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WWW vs non-WWW – Which Is Better for WordPress SEO?

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Are you wondering whether or not to use ‘www’ in your site URL?

People often want to know whether www or non-www URLs are better for SEO. Our users sometimes ask whether they should change their site URL from one to the other.

In this article, we will help you understand the difference between www vs. non-www URLs and which one is better for WordPress SEO.

WWW vs non-WWW - Which is Better For WordPress SEO?

Let’s clear this up before we start.

For an average user or small business owner, there is absolutely no benefit between choosing a www or non-www site URL. It all comes down to personal preference.

Yes, there is a technical difference between the two, and we will cover this later in the article. But for most people, it won’t matter either way.

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SEO Benefits of WWW vs non-WWW

The letters ‘www’ stand for ‘World Wide Web’ and are found at the beginning of many website addresses. However, many websites do not use ‘www’ at all. So, which is better?

When you are choosing a URL for your site, you should know that there is absolutely no SEO benefit to choosing www or non-www. You should simply pick the one you prefer.

What is important is that you stay consistent. You should continue to use the same URL you chose when starting your WordPress website.

In other words, you should never change your site URL to add or remove the www prefix. That’s because search engines like Google will consider the www and non-www versions as two different sites, leading to duplicate content issues and a drop in rankings.

However, if you are using the All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin, then this problem is removed. AIOSEO will automatically set the canonical URL in your site header as either www or non-www and let Google know about your personal preference.

That’s all you really have to do. You can check out our guide on how to set up All in One SEO in WordPress for more details.

You might be wondering about our preference between www and non-www.

On the WPBeginner site, we chose to use www. However, other sites such as and do not use www.

It’s just a personal preference, that’s it.

Technical Difference Between WWW vs non-WWW

When you add www in front of a site URL, it acts as a hostname. This is helpful in several ways, such as flexibility with DNS, the ability to restrict cookies when using multiple subdomains, and more.

On the other hand, non-www domains, which are also referred to as naked domains, do have some technical limitations. One example is that a CDN provider cannot redirect traffic from a failing server to a healthy server on a naked domain.

However, these technical differences are only felt if your website is receiving millions of page views on a daily basis. For most users, they make no difference.

Expert Guides on WordPress URLs

Now that you know how including or not including ‘www’ in your URL affects SEO, you may wish to see some other guides related to WordPress URLs:

We hope this article helped clear any confusion between www and non-www for your site URL. You may also want to see our guide on how to move WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS or our expert picks for the best SEO plugins and tools that you should use.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

62 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. John Culotta says

    Great post, thank you. Question, I changed my sites over to a new host. They automatically changed the primary domain to the NON-www. For years they have had the www. Should I change it back? Will this mess up rankings of very old pages/posts? Thanks!

  3. Frances says

    Hello! Thanks for this great article. Also: Help! I’ve just changed my (relatively new) non-www site to www because the new Google Search Console was being finicky. Have I just screwed up my SEO completely? Do I really need to use redirects? Thanks so much. Best, Frances

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You have not screwed up your SEO, As long as your site has the canonical URL set through your SEO plugin you should be fine.


  4. Rachel says

    I have used a few speed testing tools (GT Metrix, Pingdom, Google PS) and have entered my site with and without www. In each test my site received a better rating if I entered with www. Does the www actually impact speed or is it just a fluke?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on the specific warnings or messages but most likely, your hosting provider is redirecting one of the URLs to the other causing the slowdown which would mean it is nothing to worry about.


  5. Sean says

    What if I have both non-www and www version on my site? I previously use www version and it’s just okey. But, then I need also non-www version to verify with GA. Do I need redirect or it’s just fine. What about the penalty from Google for having same domain and subdomain?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Google Analytics accepts www versions of sites, you would want to also ensure you set your preferred domain with Google.


    • Peter Iriogbe says

      My little addition to what the admin has answered you.

      Having both non-www and www versions of your site without proper redirection can lead to duplicate content issues. It’s advisable to set up a 301 redirect from one version to the other to ensure consistency and avoid potential SEO penalties from search engines like Google.

      Regarding penalties, having both versions (www and non-www) typically won’t result in a penalty, but it’s crucial to pick one as the preferred version and redirect the other. Google may treat them as separate entities, potentially impacting your search rankings. Choose either www or non-www, set up the redirect, and stick with your preferred version for better SEO.

  6. ARPIT says

    I am Satisfied with this Article. Thanks for This type of Informative article. This article Answered my question.

  7. Giacomo Lawrance says

    I changed mine just now to www from non www, will this damage my prexisting SEO? I already have both added to Webmasters and just changed my preference.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you set up the canonical url then it should have minimal effect on your SEO.


  8. Mintrx says

    When I enter URL directly of my website after clearing cache then store id is displayed along the url is it good for seo or not.
    Here is the url:

    • WPBeginner Support says

      They can be considered duplicate content when indexed, you can use Google’s URL parameters tool to avoid indexing those.


  9. Ahmed says

    This is very informative for me

    THANKS, WP Beginner,

    WordPress users exist because you guys exist on internet, otherwise many people got distracted and ruined their business.

    All best for you.

  10. Phil says

    This would be important if the domain was used before buying it so its important to check any existing backlinks as there may be a benefit to www or non www depending which has the best metrics.

  11. Khalid Abubakar says

    Hello, thanks for this great article I have successfully verified my side with www but to set www based version as my preferred one, I have to also verify the non-www version which fails after I add the tag and use other means of property verification but to no avail please help how I can achieve that… My site is

  12. Muhammad Abbas says

    Hello, After setting my preferred domain to www version , my non www version is showing me robots.txt fetch error, while in www version i have no such error. i set 301 redirect from non www version to www version too.
    But due to fetch error i cant see any indexing on non www version so what should i do with robots.txt fetch error for non www version of my site in search console.
    Sir/Mam, i am eagirly waiting for the reply.
    Thank you

  13. Prakash says

    I have a domain and Indexed like (not www) and I added my site(same domain) in webmasters like (www included) and I’m not getting any data like search and traffic info about the domain and nothing is happening there even after few weeks. is including www in webmasters for the domain is a problem for that? If its that how can I resolve it? Please give me some suggestions to overcome it

  14. Fabio says

    I have always wondered if not including the www in my url hurt SEO. Thanks for the article. Answered my question.

  15. Strats says

    Hi guys, I have a site configured as non-www but the www results are better than the non-www ones. Should I switch to www?


    • WPBeginner Support says


      If you are saying that the same website is indexed with both www and non-www URLs on the same domain name, then this is actually causing the duplicate content issue for Google. You would need to pick one and stick to it. You will also need to redirect users and search engines from the URL format that you drop.


  16. Gustavo says

    i just launched a new wp site using a subdomain – One of my friends told me “not working as“. So i checked and sure enough it wouldnt come up with the http://www., just “”

    So i went into the dashboard and changed it from to and as soon as i clicked “save changes” the site hasnt been able to be located anywhere, not even in wp dashboard.

    not sure what to do to get i back online, and am just reading here to NOT change it after the initial time… so, any ideas? didnt backup since i had literally just finished it enough to announce it but was still working on adding many pages and features

    • WPBeginner Support says

      As we have mentioned above, the www is technically a subdomain itself. Some web hosts configure their servers in a way that automatically redirects users to non-www url when someone tries to access it with www. It seems your host doesn’t support this by default. This means when you changed URL from WordPress settings to, then it started pointing to a subdomain that does not exist.

      Here is how you can fix it. Connect to your website using FTP. Go to your the folder containing your WordPress files. Then go to /wp-content/themes/your-wordpress-theme/ folder and open the functions.php file. Add this code at the bottom of your functions.php file:

      update_option( ‘siteurl’, ‘’ );
      update_option( ‘home’, ‘’ );

      Replace with your own domain name. Save and upload the file back to your server. You should now be able to visit your website again.



    i have set my preferred domain with www but i had done my seo submission without www. is their any technical issue in serp.

  18. Dustin Brohm says

    Here’s the question… just learning about SEO now. Before I setuo my new website I was putting my links all over the web as www. But then my new website shows up as non-www. Is google seeing this as 2 different websites? Are they not connecting the backlinks that have a www to the new website that is non-www?

    If all my backlinks have a www, should I have my website person change my site to include www? This has been so confusing to me, so hopefully you can clear this up

  19. Philip says

    Thanks for this tip – what is stupid is that Google gives you the opportunity to change the version in WebMaster Tools but they do not pass the domain authority from the old to the new…

    I saw this option after noticing that no one uses www anymore in conversation and it seems more streamlined (less is more?) so I removed it. I ended up losing massive amounts of SEO juice and that could have ruined my business.

    If Google is going to let you change, then why don’t they send the juice with the change!?!?!?!?!

    • Barry says

      Maybe you didn’t understand that www is a subdomain. When you switched, you technically changed your website’s “home”. You moved homes from the subdomain www to the “base” URL.

      Google let’s you update your webmaster to tell them you’ve moved homes. They won’t “send the juice” to your new URL because you didn’t gain the rank using that address.

      Effectively what you’re asking for is “tradeable” SEO. Not happening buddy :D

  20. Brittney says

    Where can this be adjusted in yoast?
    After making sure the redirect for www to non-www is in place, how long before webmaster tools will index the non-www version.

  21. Mike says

    Thank you for the article, it answered a couple questions I have had. I am wondering if we set our preferred domain with Google WMT and set the same domain structure (non-www) in the wordpress settings does that alone define the canonical url? or should we also add a www to non-www 301 in our htaccess file? Thank you

    • sid says

      Seriously guys I would always choose www.

      I decided to choose non www. because I liked it better but I am now having all kinds of problems later down the line.

      For example.

      My host offers cloudflare at a reduced rate. After spending 19 days on tech questions they now tell me that I cannot have a non www. domain running cloudflare through my control panel.
      Instead I have to go to cloudflare and set up through them at an extra 15 dollars a month. :/

      In changing over I have also had problems with my ssl certificate.

      Non www. just isn’t as flexible at DNS.

      This situation has got very messy the further I have progressed with it and multiple changes in htaccess, server setup and code have been needed to maintain proper operation. It isn’t worth it, it slows your site eventually through all the mess it creates.
      Some of the problems I have encountered have been my own fault but I like you was stumbling blindly into stuff and just did what I was told. The free advice wasn’t always all that great and now I’m in a bit of a mess that could of been avoided if someone would of just warned me against the vanity of the non www.

      When I was first reading this up everyone was like… Oh yeah use non www. if you like…Google doesn’t care. Well I now have all my webmaster tools set up, analytics, company stationary, business cards and all the rest done and my site won’t work properly with cloudflare. I think there may be a work around at cloudflare but to use a cname requires a business account at £200 a month.
      I haven’t fully investigated that option because I can’t afford it before anyone asks.

      Also, I get the redirect thing but it’s not the point? It’s all extra work that can be avoided and when your site gets big it adds up.

      If your coming to this raw I would advise you to set up as www. If nothing else to save yourself months and months of reading and frustration.

      You have been warned.

      • Eder Lugo says

        Dude. I’m running my domain without www under cloudflare with SSL for FREE, maybe is something about your server. You can see my site here:

      • Alin Pogan says

        Hi SID,

        I use for several years the www. and no www. for my blogs and its no technical issue, the only problem is with the SSL certificate, you must release it with the www. version so it can work on both versions if you release it on non www. it will work only on your non www. site.

        Hope it helps.

  22. James Canning says

    Its so obvious that wpbeginner changes the date on their old posts to make old content look newer.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We do not change dates. Actually we display the last updated date of a post and not the published date. We regularly update our old articles with new information. We update screenshots and make corrections when necessary.


      • Lonnie Jones says

        Yeah, I do the same thing. Every year I have to re-evaluate the “best” overall tools. If I find something important sooner than later then I just post it immediately.

      • Brandon Still` says

        Kudos to you guys for getting proper use out of your blog posts! Seriously folks, if you are a blogger and do not regularly revitalize and update old posts you are missing out on opportunities!!!! I see nothing wrong with updating older posts and displaying the recent updated date as opposed to the original post date.

  23. Erick says

    I don’t think you really need to worry if you want to change the url from www to non www or vice versa at a later date. You don’t really need to be consistent anymore.

    WordPress 2.3 version has already improve on this and the only thing that is needed is to go to your wordpress settings->General and add or remove www. wordpress will automatically change all redirects by itself and you don’t have to do a thing, you don’t lose anything, no serp no likes nothing. The only thing you need to change is your webmaster tools url and thats it. Google might take a bit to index all your pages again but google its pretty fast.

    In conclusion don’t worry if at a later date you want to change your url again. You can do it as many times as you want.

    • Gillian says

      Hi Erick, Was trying to find an answer to this question as I too would like to change my non-www to www domain and am thrilled to hear its really this easy! What about internal links and media stored on the site? Will that need to be redone? Also, will I need to update my settings with plugins like jetpack or will they automatically be informed?

      Thanks so much for your comment, it really makes things so much easier for me as I’m very new to wordpress!


  24. heather arnita says

    So when you list your bog on other sites should you stay consistent and use www or non depending on your preference?

  25. Praying to the Google Gods says

    Let’s just say a designer did change your site from www to non www. And your site dropped out of Google. It is advised to wait it out? Or change it back to www ??

  26. Mark Davis says

    Thanks for post such a nice blog,
    But my opinion is this,there are no difference between www or without www effects on seo traffic and ranking.
    But technically www is standard way to represents url address so we should prefer with www url.

  27. cyberarm says

    The one click install on most cpanels seem to omit the WWW in the setup. This has been my experience anyway.

  28. Chris says

    Good article. I would just add the importance of doing a 301 redirect from one to the other, whichever way you choose. Thus way all links get resolved to the same domain (subdomain) instead of splitting backlinks.

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