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Redirecting non-www to www with .htaccess

Updated on July 20, 2013
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One of the most common mistakes done by online business owners is having two versions of websites - the one with “www” and without “www”. Search engines like Google is actually seeing two different versions as two different websites and since they have the same content, Google will end up penalizing the website.


Just a heads-up, Google has two types of algorithm - Penguin and Panda. Penguin is about links. It is about how clean your backlinks are. Panda is the one looking into your website contents.

I have been to this area of specialty; I use to optimized my blogs and the blogs of my friends who asked me to do so. The best approach done, most especially by SEO enthusiasts, is to redirect non - “www” version to the one with “www” or vice versa. How to do this? Seriously, I learned it just now; when I found out that one of the websites I optimized is in trouble in the eyes of Google because of duplicate content.

Take Time: Reflect

Which version do you use for your website / blog?

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Which one does Google indexed more often - the one with or without www?

Let’s put into account that you have already chosen which version to pursue - the one with www or the one without.


Another question is raised - Will it matter which version am I going to use for my website? Which one does Google indexed more often - the one with or without www? Oh, fella! It doesn’t matter. I’ve heard that Google preferred to rank the ones without “www” because it is easier to remember compared to the one with “www”; but what’s the difference? Let’s take Google’s website as an example. They too have redirected their non-“www” version to the one with “www”.


To make the conversation short, it doesn’t matter! Just a few reminder, make it uniform - whatever the version you've started with your past websites, do the same thing.


Here’s what I did:

GO TO YOUR CPANEL


You can access your cpanel page using this link - http://your-website.com/cpanel - where “your-website.com” is your domain name. Make sure, you know the credentials - username and the password or else you can’t access it. (lol)

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LOCATE YOUR FILE MANAGER FOLDER

Your "File Manager" folder serves as your container of all your files - Image or Text files.

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ACCESS YOUR PUBLIC_HTML FOLDER


You can access your public_html folder inside your FILE MANAGER. When accessing your public_html, make sure that you checked the check - box saying “Show Hidden Files (dot files) “.

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LOOK FOR .HTACCESS FILE


If you can’t see dot files or files with dot or period (.) in the beginning of the file name, you have to go back to your FILE MANAGER and check the check - box as mentioned above.

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EDIT .HTACCESS

Edit the .htaccess file and add the following codes:

Redirecting www to non-www

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

Redirecting non-www to www

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^my-domain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://my-domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Is it working?

Is it working now? Good Luck :)


Few things you can alternatively do after make changes to your .htaccess. Now, you can modify your Webmaster Tools and change your preferred domain to the version that you've used. The preferred domain is the one that you would like Google index your site's version (Canonical Domain).

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    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 3 years ago from India

      well described about non-www redirection issues. Thanks for sharing..

    • hazyula profile image
      Author

      Haze Yula 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks :)

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 3 years ago from India

      Welcome hazyula!!

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