ARCHIVE / What does WWW stand for?

WWW stands for the World-Wide Web, often written without the dash.  The reason "www." is often prepended to the addresses of web sites is that not all Internet domains used to actually have web sites.  While this may come as a surprise today, Internet domains were originally used only for sending email, connecting to remote computer systems and transferring files.  It was thus common to have email servers identified as mail.domain.name and file transfer servers identified as ftp.domain.name, with individual servers identified by their assigned names such as server.domain.name.  When web servers began to be used, their addresses were subsequently identified as www.domain.name to distinguish them from other services available on the Internet and associated with the same domain.

last updated 2007.09.26

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