Alternate URLs

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 19 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

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.

Recently Written

The Trap of The Sales-Led Product (Dec 10)
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features (Dec 7)
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management (Nov 16)
When you're hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
Strategy Means Saying No (Oct 27)
An oft-overlooked aspect of strategy is to define what you are not doing. There are lots of adjacent problems you can attack. Strategy means defining which ones you will ignore.
Understanding vision, strategy, and execution (Oct 24)
Vision is what you're trying to do. Strategy is broad strokes on how you'll get there. Execution is the tasks you complete to complete the strategy.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI (Oct 21)
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
Developer Relations as Developer Success (Oct 19)
Outreach, marketing, and developer evangelism are a part of Developer Relations. But the companies that are most successful with developers spend most of their time on something else.
Developer Experience Principle 6: Easy to Maintain (Oct 17)
Keeping your product Easy to Maintain will improve the lives of your team and your customers. It will help keep your docs up to date. Your SDKs and APIs will be released in sync. Your tooling and overall experience will shine.


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2023 Adam Kalsey.