WWW Subdomain Makes The FQDN

Using WWW or no-WWW for web addresses sure seems to be a personal preference. I prefer to not use the www to keep things simple. Less to type, yah?

But, by leaving off the “www” in typing in a webpage address, we’re having to make an assumption or rather your browser has to figure something out. What’s the host?

Other people can’t seem to find a website unless they use the www — like they think it’s mandatory to use it. But, when there’s a different subdomain, like mail or demo, the www usually isn’t warranted.

So, what the heck is FQDN and why do we need it? It’s a question that may pop up when you’re about to install some “goody” on your website.

FQDN? It stands for Fully Qualified Domain Name which is to say a complete domain name or an absolute domain name.

FQDNs require a hostname plus a domain name.

The domain name is the web address you purchase, like sitepoint.com or wordpress.org.

The hostname is the prefix or subdomain for a web address, like www or mail or demo.

Splicing the hostname to the domain name gives one the FQDN.

Examples of fully qualified domain names:

  • www.ebay.com
  • mail.ark.edu
  • demo.oba.net

The domain bbc.com isn’t complete because we don’t know the hostname. Granted, most browsers and people will assume the hostname to be ‘www’, but you know what they say about assuming anything. 🙁

When specifying a FQDN we lose the ambiguity because the exact webpage location has been spelled out. There’s no guessing involved and that’s a good thing.

When installing a package on your server or computer you might be asked for the FQDN and now you know what that means!


The Main Points: Using a FQDN is the same thing as specifying a complete web address. FQDNs consist of a hostname plus domain name. A hostname is often assumed to be ‘www’ but it can also be the name of a server, like ‘mail’, or another subdomain like ‘demo’.

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