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Fix Your WWW!

By David Fiedler Do you advertise your domain.com address but your Web site doesn't work unless you specify www.domain.com? Here's how to fix it in Apache. Duh. That's what I say when I go to a Web site -- especially one where the company behind it has spent a lot of money advertising its shiny new domain.com address -- and it doesn't work. Not because the site is down, but because typing the actual address being advertised (domain.com as an example, though that one doesn't work at all so don't bother trying it) won't work unless you type "www.domain.com" into your browser. Well, double duh. Do they expect the average person on the street to know you're supposed to type in "www." in front of a Web site address? After all, browser designers quickly learned that forcing people to type "http://" was too great a strain for users' minds. Besides, spending millions of dollars to make people familiar with your address, and then having that address not work, is about as stupid as advertising your telephone number on nationwide TV without giving the area code. Try it with some well-known domains, and you will be amazed at how prevalent this problem is. Of course, if you're still reading this, it's probably because you've just frantically typed your own domain name into your browser and found out the bad news...or worse, you're the Webmaster at your company, and the company president just read this article and called you with the bad news! Luckily, it's simple to fix.


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