Kilian Valkhof

Building tools that make developers awesome.

Websites that don’t work without www

Web, 31 August 2009, 2 minute read is no longer online

One of my biggest internet-petpeeves is websites that force you to put www. in front of them. It’s 2009, so we should be able to get by with just the domain name, right? Wrong. There are still quite some websites that simply don’t work without www.

So I decided some action needed to be taken. I got the domainname, installed Chyrp, got a Thumbalizr API key and started making a list. Name ’em and shame ’em!. If any of the websites fix their non-www version, the without thumbnail will automatically update and I’ll add a link to their site :)

Input time

The site is there, and it has a couple of websites on it, but now I need your input to start adding more and more! If you encounter sites that don’t work without www., please send them to You can also @reply the twitter account: @wtdwww. (and better yet, follow it!)

The Firefox thing

During development I got a couple of remarks that “well, site X just works you know”, to which I could wittily (*ahem*) reply “Nope, it doesn’t. I bet you use Firefox 3.5!”. That’s because Firefox 3.5 automatically adds www. in front of domain names if they don’t work without. While this is awesome for end users, it just hides the fact that a lot of hosting providers/webmasters are incompetent at doing their jobs. In that regard it’s a shame.

Since I don’t want to just point and laught, fun as that is, I’ve also added a help page, where some explanation of how to fix the non-www website will be placed. I’m still working on that, if you want you can help (just shoot me an e-mail!)

This was a fun little project I made in a couple of evenings. I still have to soften up some of the edges and tweak parts of the “site”, but overall I’m pretty happy with how easy it was to set up.

Polypane browser for responsive web development and design Hi, I'm Kilian. I make Polypane, the browser for responsive web development and design. If you're reading this site, that's probably interesting to you. Try it out!

  1. […] Websites that don’t work without www […]

  2. I’ve just finished for applying to uni in the UK and wow, the ucas website fails without www. (, it’s the single most important site for uni people. Massive fail, because works!

  3. Fernando

    What a snob! Get over yourself. Can’t be bothered to type www?. . . stupid idea.

  4. Passeridae

    I don’t really get it. Why should anyone feel ashamed?
    Many people refer to “the internet” as “the web” or even “the www”.

    I know it’s not necessary to type “www” (like http, ftp, other protocols etc.), but a lot of people learned (and others teach them) a webpage should always start with “www”.

    I’ve noticed you’re only using http://, without www, a while ago. You even redirect traffic when they enter using www. It might be a some kind of useless little DNS prefix, but why make such a big deal out of it?

    Oh, my website works with both by the way.

  5. Shawn Q

    Not a stupid idea. Also not a snob, just playful sarcasm when he talks about shaming people. I’ve wanted to do this sort of thing to people you see walking out of the bathroom without washing their hands. :) You know when you visit a company’s site and notice it looks unprofessional? Well this www issue is one of those unprofessional, behind-the-times, not quite polished things that is also a pet peeve of mine. So much so that I googled it and found this blog post! Thanks Kilian, for your tiny bit of activism to make the world just slightly better. Maybe just a pet peeve to us, but will save a lot of people a tiny bit of time.