Tip: Don’t make me type www

This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for years. There remains a rampant problem in NZ: sites that lead to a Address Not Found error if you neglect to type www before the web address, for example…

These sites cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, maintain and promote. Adding a redirect to the www address is a basic, ten second job for any web geek (see: wildcard DNS redirect).

Please try your site now. If somebody can’t access your site by simply typing your domain and the suffix (ie .com) then go fix it now!! Getting an error is a bad experience. You’re losing business and you’re frustrating people who happen to be persistent and knowledgeable enough to re-try with www in front.

Care to out any other offenders?

14 Comments

Roger
November 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

acc.co.nz

Zavier
November 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

We use Australian Air Express for our deliveries.

aae.com.au is a culprit

Nigel
November 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm

I emailed graysonline.co.nz about this in 2006, it took them a couple of years to fix it, it used to go to graysonline.com.au which is arguably even worse than address not found.
cricinfo.org is another good one, that is the url for editors of the site, http://www.cricinfo.org get’s you to cricket scores ( you could argue it’s a redirect to www,cricinfo.com, but it start start out as .org :) ).

Ben Kepes
November 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

hurunui.govt.nz

Ben Kepes
November 18, 2008 at 4:52 pm

wdc.govt.nz
waimakariri.govt.nz

notice a theme here?

Warren
November 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

And how much money have these companies spent on their websites.

Better go check mine….

Nik Wakelin
November 18, 2008 at 5:49 pm

msd.govt.nz

@ben: I’ll see your theme and raise you the largest govt. department :p

Jack Pivac
November 18, 2008 at 6:34 pm

dcc.co.nz
dunedin.govt.nz

I approached them about it (irritates me that much) and got this back:
“We are aware of the issues and our configuration reflects what we want.”

Adam
November 18, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Ahmen brother.

Sam Law
November 19, 2008 at 9:52 am

I definitely agree, it’s a sure sign the site isn’t management by someone with a techie mind.

My second biggest complaint universally is dodgy/useless 404 pages, I ended up writing about it on my blog – http://www.dpixelblog.com/2008/08/crafting-the-perfect-404-page/ – but some of the biggest sites on the web (like youtube) have the most useless 404 pages.

Roger
November 19, 2008 at 10:05 am

at least ird.govt.nz is smart enough to add the www for you

Will Croxford
November 20, 2008 at 7:28 am

The one that bugs me is ravensdown.co.nz. Not only do they insist you use the www, they also want you to use IE. Have a look at it in Firefox…bad CSS alignment.

Why really interests me is why big companies like this don’t fix it as I pointed it out three years ago.

Martin
February 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

While not having to type ‘www.’ is nice, there is at least one company that allows domain.co.nz but only has a certificate for http://www.domain.co.nz, and requires https, duh.

Kirk Jackson
February 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Martin: You’re probably aware, but the standard way of ‘canonicalizing’ is to make all your urls redirect to one ‘proper’ url (e.g. http://www.domain.co.nz).

Something Phil didn’t mention was that you really only want one url for your website to be indexed by search engines, as otherwise your google juice will get diluted. Canonicalizing means that only the one url gets indexed.

Kirk

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