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The website I built my girlfriend is not resolving on her Mac when she types www in before the domain name. Is it her browser or do I need to set up a www redirect somewhere?

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Does it work on your machine? If yes, what browser is she using? This has nothing to do with the mac. –  rpflo Jun 25 '09 at 4:32
I know this is a nitpick, but example.com/net/org were reserved especially for examples, use them! :P –  R. Pate Jun 25 '09 at 4:34
where you registered the domain? (in order to give you suggestion on how to configure the DNS as easy as possible) –  Magnetic_dud Jun 25 '09 at 7:11
I registered at Namecheap.com and host through servage.com. The only dns setup I can do at namecheap is to point is at servage name servers. –  Bryan Jun 25 '09 at 18:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I usually set the DNS records like this:

@  IN A
www  IN A

You could, of course, use a CNAME for the www but I prefer to use A records if not necessary. Also you may (or may not) prefer to use an Alias instead of a redirect.

You set it up in Apache like this:

    ServerName example.com
    ServerAlias www.example.com
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Precise and correct. –  pauska Jun 25 '09 at 8:16
Quite right! Additionally, I always add that ServerName/ServerAlias, respectively with and without the www. precisely for this reason. Many sites nowadays (look at your location bar right now) are opting to drop the www. –  msanford Jul 15 '09 at 0:01
I mean, respectively without and with. –  msanford Jul 15 '09 at 0:02

On your DNS management area for your domain you need to add a CNAME record, this basically means the www record will point towards the IP for yourdomain.com:

yourdomain.com  		300  	IN A
www.yourdomain.com  	300 	IN CNAME 	yourdomain.com

Most DNS control panels should give you this ability.

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If you only have an A record for example.com, people who query www.example.com will not get a valid response that points them to your server. Same goes for the other way around.

I have seen people set their example.com as an A record and then have a CNAME for www.example.com pointing to example.com. But as using CNAMEs is not encouraged (so I hear, I am not a DNS guy), having two A records for both example.com and www.example.com pointing to the same IP is fine too, I guess.

In short, yes, you need to setup a DNS record for www.example.com as well as for example.com. A redirect will not work, since it is not possible to successfully resolve both hostnames in DNS.

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This is because of the Google 'juice' is then split. You want to pick one or the other but not both. The one that is not picked should issue a 302 redirect to the correct name. –  Jauder Ho Jun 25 '09 at 8:01
@Jauder Ho - You should issue a 301 redirect, not a 302 –  John Rasch Nov 19 '09 at 21:03

Just add an '@' A record and point it to your server's IP address.

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Adding A record does'nt solve, They are already getting domain.com which is A record , They are asking why www.domain.com is not resolving. For that they have to add an CNAME record that may solve the problem. as Swanny says. –  Caterpillar Jun 25 '09 at 10:04

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