“WWW” is a sequence of letters that is quite convenient for us to see in front of a domain name, even if we are not quite sure why it is there. From time to time, however, you may notice a few numbers at the end – WWW1, WWW2, perhaps even WWW3.
Do Not Worry About Strange Site Names:
While you should always keep an eye out for strange site name changes, in this case you need not worry. The number probably just means that the site you are viewing uses a slightly outdated load balancing technique. You are still on the same site, but your traffic is directed to a specific server because others are busy.
What is WWW?
WWW is the host name or something that identifies the device on the network, and it was a way to indicate that you want to go to the server containing the website’s web page, as opposed to an email server or some other part of the site. WWW to “www.example.com” will lead you to a web page, and “ftp.example.com” to an FTP server, and “mail.example.com” to a mail server.
Web Pages Are the Most Popular:
We no longer need to indicate this, since web pages are by far the most popular thing on the Internet, and most servers will simply automatically direct you there without having to indicate that you want to visit the web server. However, it is still used as an agreement, and you can continue to enter it if you want – you will be taken to the same page regardless of whether you indicated WWW or not.
Why do some sites use WWW numbers?
Although this is an unnecessary naming convention, some sites, especially large and old, use the WWW [number] format as a way to name subdomains (separate sections of a single site, but not necessarily on separate computers) or as host names for different physical servers. In the latter case, this is probably a load balancing technique. Each server can only process such a number of users, so when you visit the site by entering an address with or without WWW, your request can go to the load balancer, which checks the status of each server and decides to direct your traffic, say, the WWW3 subdomain.
Testing or Updating Take Place in Case of Sub Domain:
It may also mean that their main server is having problems and you are going to backup, or it may mean that some testing or updating is taking place, or maybe they just decided that WWW3 is the way to go. In any case, you are essentially visiting the same site, although if you try to return to www3.example.com later, the load balancer may return you to the main site www.example.com.
Do no worries about Alternative Hostnames or Subdomains:
It’s hard to say what happens behind the scenes just by looking at the WWW prefix, but as long as the domain name matches, you usually don’t need to worry about alternative hostnames or subdomains.
More Sophisticated Load Balance:
You probably won’t see more sites using this anymore, since more sophisticated load balancing methods are now available that mostly work behind the scenes, but there is nothing unsafe to add numbers to your WWW, and if the site worked well with this method, they simply could not see the point in changing it. Indeed, it often appears on banking websites that use different subdomains for security and may have named them in accordance with the WWW agreement.