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What does a host do that requires the "www"

What does a host do that requires the  "www" for a site? Or better, what does a host do to insure that a site works both with or without the "www?"

Here is an example, this is probably an old version of the site:

The "www" displays the new site:


Saturday, December 11, 2004

If the server is apache, it has to do with the configuration, I believe.  You can 'alias' the url so that both point to the same place.

I'm not an apache expert.  and even less so with IIS, but I think you can contact the hosting company to find out how to make both work

joel goldstick
Saturday, December 11, 2004

I'm no expert, but logic tells me it first of all depends on the dns entry.
...secondly the server configuration. If you have several webservers in your domain you could have your configuration treat the www prefix to the domainname as a logical server designation:,,, etc.

Anyone plse correct me if I'm wrong about the first statement.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

In this case the problem is primarily with DNS. points to points to

So it seems that DNS has these different domains pointing to different machines.

It's still possible thought that 207.etc and 208.etc point to the same machine in which case, the configuration has to do with the web server itself, but I don't think that is what is going on here.  I think you just need to update DNS so they point to the same machine.

Michael H. Pryor
Saturday, December 11, 2004

On a related subject, you can use this .htaccess commands (or httpd.conf, whatever fits your fancy) to ensure links are consistent, i.e., always using the www

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

Ivan V.
Saturday, December 11, 2004

My host does it correctly. But I needed something helpful to tell two part time webmasters.

Thanks so much.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

The "www" is just a sub-domain isn't it, like any other sub-domain?

John Topley (
Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Or, you could think of it as a machine name, it is the world wide web server at

Ron Lane
Tuesday, December 14, 2004

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