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  1. #1
    Member John Mc Grath's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Just two general questions here. Which is better to use in a web address or picture title, _ or -. Here is an example or some-picture.jpeg or some_picture.jpeg. Is there one that search engines or anything else prefer or are they both the same. I read in a few places that one is better than the other, but I heard that for each case. I myself wouldn't use them in a url but I do use them when I load info into a page from a database with php.

    Also when purchasing a url is it better to have the www included? e.g. or I also read somewhere that each was better than the other.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    1. Doesn't Matter
    2. Doesn't-Matter
    3. Doesn't_Matter

    4. The www is the same as non-www , it's just a pointer or (A record ) on a dns server. if using the link anywhere on the web, I leave it off ( as its assumed ), if the link is being displayed in a print ad, it draws attention to it as a web address to those that may not be all that computer literate.

    As for submitting to search engines... Pick one ( www or non-www ) and stick with it... Most now will only index one or the other, not both... But if they do, it doesn't help anything.

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    4. Not necessarily. It is possible, although very, very uncommonly used, to point the non-www to a different site than the www version of a site. It's far more common to set up an A record for both the non-www and www versions of a site to be one and the same.

    There was a semi-famous example of such a site referenced here (when in doubt, go to source):

    Although it's long since been updated so that the non-www and www are one and the same.

    I personally prefer the www version over the non-www version, just because I've found it's more recognizable when you say it out loud or put the link in offline materials. Again, as WZ said, it doesn't matter all that much as long as you pick one and stick with it.

    I actually use this setup on my dev server. I added a fake domain to it, along with a HOSTS entry. The non-www versions of sites are my own things, and the www versions are client projects. It's odd, but it works for me.

    As far as dashes vs. underscores, some of the information is dated (e.g. the EMD mentions), but the overall tone is there:

    I use dashes myself for photo naming and URLs, but not for the reason mentioned here. The reason I do it is because the links I've created often get shared and linked to, and quite often in turn those links are underlined (as is best practice). Whenever the _ character is underlined, it gets obscured, which can be confusing to people.

    If you're "purchasing a URL" (and I hope you mean registering a new domain as opposed to buying an existing one), you'll get both the WWW and non-www to work with. You also get,, and (SSL for the https:// versions sold separately).
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