What is WWW?

WWW stands for World Wide Web and is another term for the Internet. It allows users to access all forms of available digital content, share material, and connect to people online. 

The Web is usually accessed through a server and using a digital device such as a personal computer or mobile phone. 

It functions utilizing the Internet’s basic client-server format; servers are computer programs that can save and transfer documents to other computers on the network, while clients request documents from a server as the user asks for them. Meanwhile, browser software allows users to view the retrieved documents.


HTTP is the standard computer or code ‘language’ used to communicate between web browsers and website servers.

WWW stands for World Wide Web, and it’s used mainly as a prefix. However, it does indicate that a given website uses HTTP to communicate.

While they’re both used in website URLs, the primary difference between WWW and HTTP is that they refer to different concepts. 

Simply put, HTTP is the protocol that enables communication online, transferring data from one machine to another. WWW is the set of linked hypertext documents that can be viewed on web browsers (such as Firefox, Google Chrome, and more).

The use of hypertext or hyperlinks helps documents be visible to users as these links can connect relevant pieces of information.

Hypertext allows the user to select a word or phrase from text and then access other documents that contain additional information relevant to that word or phrase. Hypermedia documents feature links to images, sounds, animations, and movies. 

Do You Need WWW in URLs?

It’s not necessary at all to use WWW in URLs. However, its purpose is to identify the address as a website. And it should be noted that other core URL signifiers, such as a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server or news server (news), can’t perform that same function. 

In a sense, WWW can be classified as a subdomain of a more extensive website. But for the most part, WWW serves no technical purpose. You can create a domain without its presence, and the website will still operate as any website should.

So, why is WWW used so frequently? Well, the use of WWW has been around since the creation of the internet, and its widespread use as a subdomain was, interestingly enough, largely accidental.

The first web server was nxoc01.cern.ch. When publishing the website, the creators fully intended for info.cern.ch to be their home page, and WWW, as such, was excluded. However, the Domain Name System (DNS) records for the server were never switched, and the use of WWW became an unintentional standard practice.

So, while it continues to be in use today, it’s still entirely possible to create a domain without WWW included. 

Can WWW Affect SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably one of your core priorities if you manage a website, which is sensible. Having an intelligent SEO strategy in place allows you to drive more traffic to your web pages and ensure that they rank high in the search results.

Now, when it comes to WWW, it has no impact on your SEO. So, whether you add it to your domain or not shouldn’t matter.

However, what does matter is that you choose to stick with one or the other (either add WWW to your domain or not add it instead of mixing the two).

For SEO purposes, it’s better that you use one URL (either WWW or non-WWW) consistently throughout the website. In turn, all your URLs attached to a specific domain will have the same designation.

Key Takeaway

WWW stands for the World Wide Web and is used to access digital media and data through web servers via digital devices such as smartphones and laptops. While it’s not necessary to add to a site domain, it does help identify an online address as a website.