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WebSites with an without “www”

Will your clients find your site when they type http://yourdomain.com and http://www.yourdomain.com? Is it crucial to have both versions (with and without “www”)?

We think it is as it increases the chance that your web site will be found. Some people will just type your company name appended with “.com” and hope to find your site. However many web hosting companies only configure their DNS (Domain Name Servers) to route requests for www.yourdomain.com to your web site. In order to have both versions accessible, the DNS-Master (the person in charge of the DNS system) needs to make a few minor changes to the setup whereby the DNS zone (yourdomain.com) is also assigned an IP-address.

A typical correct zone file will look like this:

;       @(#)yourdomain.com.hosts
; Addresses and other hosts information
; Start Of Authority Resource Record
; increment Serial Number when data change occurs
@       IN      SOA     ns1.hostingcompany.com.
dnsmaster.relay.hostingcompany.com. (
          2007040301      ; Serial Number
          28800           ; Refresh every .. sec
          7200            ; Retry after .. sec
          604800          ; Values expire after .. sec
          86400 )         ; Minimum keep time TTL .. sec
; Define Subnets, NameServers, MailServers
          IN      NS      ns1.hostingcompany.com.
          IN      NS      ns2.hostingcompany.com.
          IN      MX      120 ns2.hostingcompany.com.
          IN      MX      100 relay.hostingcompany.com.
          IN      A
; Define the hosts in the zone
relay     IN      CNAME   relay.hostingcompany.com.
www       IN      A

In this example we have following important information:

More information about DNS setup and configuration can be found at Men&Mice [1]. A good tool to check the health of your DNS setup is called DNS Expert [2] and is also published by Men&Mice.

One of my favorite DNS tools is the DNSReport available at http://www.dnsstuff.com [3]

O’Reilly Media publishes a book called DNS & BIND [4] which is the official reference for anything related to domain name setup.