In case you have any question about how to verbally direct someone to a website, no you do NOT need to say “www-dot” before the rest of the website name.
So please don’t, just let the W’s go. According to The Internet Fashion Paparazzi, they actually went out with the last Bush presidency…
Back in the younger days of the internet, the World Wide Web protocol meant something. In some odd fringe cases it still can, but unless you’re a serious nerd or are dealing with a website neglected for a decade or more, they are effectively synonymous.
Any website that you would ever be able to pronounce can do without your excess W’s
At 9 syllables for a mere 3 letters, “double-u double-u double-u” was the world’s most oxymoronic abbreviation anyhow. A dozen years ago, I campaigned for saying “sextuple-you” instead, because hey — doesn’t that sound like way more fun? Yeah, well funny enough, it never caught on. Anyway, now we can all just let less be more. No need to pronounce it again.
Same goes for that old “aiche-tee-tee-pee-colon-slash-slash” part. Don’t say it, just don’t. It sounds silly. You don’t really want to slash anyone’s colon, do you? Or aiche their teepee’s? Perish the thought! After all, you’re simply not that kind of person! So leave it out and let the miracles of modern browser do the rest. That’s what they are for.
Now if you’re WRITING CODE, the rules are entirely different.
Here, explicit extras mean fewer server hops, so more is less in terms of time and server load. You definitely want the HTTP:// (or better yet HTTPS:// if possible), likely the WWW and trailing dot (.). These things can affect cookies, so the most important thing is to be consistent. Of course you need the base URL part (the website name and domain type) — and if you’re sending viewers to a top-level domain (or any other directory/folder), it’s a good idea to add a slash at the end.
And being a good little Master of the Webs, you always test your links before publishing, right? …RIGHT?!?
For example, to link to the homepage for this very website in a new tab, it would be best to write:
<a href="https://medium.com/" title="Medium, a platform built for people" target="_blank">Medium.com</a>
Note that the title part contains something that actually tells people what it is, and the displayable portion in the middle of those <a> tags is a hybrid of the verbal and coded versions. It really doesn’t have to be, but it usually works out best that way.
For any websites or emails written for everyday use by everyday people, please UseCapsWhereAppropriate.com.
Which leads us to another news flash for the tragically un-hip: all top-level domains (the ones that end in .com, .edu, or .whatevs) don’t care about your capital letters either. So don’t say “cap” anything either, please.
Same goes for emails
So don’t worry about it, everybody can just go on with whatever is easiest and clearest to understand, and inboxes everywhere will overflow all the same. Yay!
Thanks for reading. You can direct any fanmail/hatemail for this post to CamelCase@UseCapsWhereAppropriate.com.
And if you miss the W’s and feel nostalgic, I suggest you join the National Association of W Lovers. I think this year’s convention is Wednesday at the W Hotel and they’re debuting the fan tribute version of their favorite movie…
I’m Sam and I help make change more doable by writing, speaking, coaching, training, and most importantly by building community hell bent on learning and conscious self-improvement. For more info, visit DoableChange.com.