Alternate URLs

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What happens if someone visits Or doesn’t add the www? Will they still find your site? Typos in URLs are common. how many times have you ended up on a site you didn’t expect because you mis-typed the domain name. Your customers are doing the same thing, so you should try to plan for it.

You can register alternate domains if you have a frequently-misspelled name. Google has even registered for people that leave out the dot after www. With domains selling for as little as $8 per year, there’s no excuse not to.

You can also create a wildcard DNS entry that will catch typos in the www portion of your URL. If someone enters, or even, they will all get my Web site. Ask your hosting company to set this up for you.

Simon Willison
October 3, 2003 10:47 AM

The problem with wildcard DNS is that it means your site suddenly exists at a potentially infinite number of different addresses. This could lead to a number of subtle problems - naive search engines and spiders could index you multiple times and mischievous users could direct people to an obscene address that shows your site. A better approach is to have a single "definitive" address, then have wildcard DNS set up to send HTTP redirects to send people to that one site. If you go to for example you are bounced straight to, the preferred URL for that site.

Trackback from Gadgetopia
October 3, 2003 11:19 AM

Cybersquat Your Own Site

Excerpt: Alternate URLs : Some good points here. "What happens if someone visits Or doesn’t add the www? Will they still find your site? Typos in URLs are common. how many times have you ended up on a site you...

Martin F.
October 3, 2003 2:08 PM

And don't forget, use the status 301 to redirect.

This discussion has been closed.

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