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Understanding Joomla 4: The Difference Between Non-WWW and WWW

Understanding Joomla 4: The Difference Between Non-WWW and WWW

When it comes to managing a website, choosing between non-WWW and WWW versions can be a perplexing decision. If you're using Joomla, a popular content management system, you have the flexibility to select either option. In this article, we will delve into the distinction between non-WWW and WWW in Joomla, helping you make an informed choice for your website.

Non-WWW and WWW: What's the Difference?

The main disparity between non-WWW and WWW lies in the structure of the website's URL. The WWW prefix is a conventional subdomain that typically precedes the domain name. For example, "www.example.com" includes the WWW prefix. On the other hand, non-WWW, also known as the naked domain or apex domain, does not have the WWW prefix, presenting the domain name alone, such as "example.com."

Historically, the WWW prefix was utilized to differentiate web servers from other services like FTP or email. However, with the evolution of the internet, the distinction has become less relevant. Today, the decision to use WWW or non-WWW is primarily a matter of personal preference and branding.

Setting Up Joomla with Non-WWW

This tutorial will show you how to redirect your whole Joomla site to either non-www or www.

  • Open your .htaccess file and find the line that reads:
RewriteEngine On
  • To redirect non-www to www, add this code below it:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [L,R=301]
  • To redirect www to non-www, add this code after RewriteEngine On:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.yourdomain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://yourdomain.com/$1 [L,R=301]

To configure your Joomla website to use the non-WWW version, you need to adjust the site settings in the Joomla admin panel. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Joomla admin panel.
  2. Navigate to the "Global Configuration" section.
  3. In the "Site" tab, find the "Site Settings" field.
  4. Locate the "Canonical URL" option and ensure it is set to the non-WWW version (e.g., "example.com").
  5. Save the changes.

Once you have made these adjustments, your Joomla website will be accessible without the WWW prefix. It is essential to note that existing URLs may need to be redirected to the non-WWW version to ensure a seamless user experience and avoid duplicate content issues. This can be accomplished through server configuration or by utilizing Joomla extensions designed for URL redirection.

Configuring Joomla with WWW

If you prefer to use the WWW version for your Joomla website, the setup process is similar to that of the non-WWW version. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Access your Joomla admin panel.
  2. Proceed to the "Global Configuration" section.
  3. In the "Site" tab, locate the "Site Settings" field.
  4. Set the "Canonical URL" option to the WWW version (e.g., "www.example.com").
  5. Save the changes.

Similarly, if you choose to switch to the WWW version, ensure that proper redirects are in place to avoid any content duplication or accessibility issues. Implementing 301 redirects is recommended to redirect users and search engines from the non-WWW version to the WWW version.

Considerations for Choosing WWW or Non-WWW

When deciding whether to use the WWW or non-WWW version for your Joomla website, consider the following factors:

  1. Branding: Consider how you want your domain name to appear to your visitors. Some organizations prefer the more traditional WWW version, while others prefer the simplicity of the non-WWW version.

  2. User Experience: Ensure that whichever option you choose, users can access your website consistently. Implement appropriate redirects to avoid confusion or broken links.

  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Both versions can achieve good SEO results if properly configured. However, consistency is crucial. Choose one version and stick to it to avoid splitting your website's authority and diluting SEO efforts.


In the realm of Joomla websites, the decision to use the WWW or non-WWW version is primarily a matter of personal preference and branding. By understanding the distinction between the two and properly configuring your Joomla site, you can ensure a consistent and accessible experience for your users. Whether you choose WWW or non-WWW, remember to implement the necessary redirects and maintain a unified approach to maximize your website's potential.

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