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What does wwws mean?

Sometimes I have www1 starting URL. Is it a new standard?

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1 Answer 1


That's no standard, both "www" and "www1" are simply subdomains under the "schuh.co.uk" domain. Websites can be configured to have any number of subdomains, named pretty much however the webmaster or owner of the website wants.

Subdomains in the form of "www" followed by a number sometimes indicate that the website is using a cluster of web servers for load balancing. In that case, "www1" points to the first web server, "www2" to the second, and so on, with each request to the main site being automatically transferred to the server with the least amount of load. (This was common in the past, but these days most websites just put all servers under the same subdomain, and rely on DNS or special load-balancers to do the job invisibly to users.)

For instance, when I visited "schuh.co.uk" just now, I got redirected to "www2.schuh.co.uk". A quick experiment also shows that they have at least five web servers - "www1" to "www5", each serving up the same site.

  • 1
    Then why not www.www1.schuh.co.uk/
    – J.Olufsen
    Oct 15, 2012 at 18:06
  • 1
    Their personal preference Oct 15, 2012 at 18:09
  • 6
    Because there's also no standard that mandates the presence of "www" at the beginning of URLs. It's simply a custom, to show that the host being connected to is a web server, as opposed to, say, a mail or FTP server. These days a lot of websites, like the one we're on right now, are dropping the "www" to make URLs shorter and more easily pronounceable (for instance, in English, "w" is a three-syllable word).
    – Indrek
    Oct 15, 2012 at 18:10
  • They could have as many levels of subdomains as they want, up to the limits of their DNS and webserver, RCola. It's their choice. If they wanted www.www1.schuh.co.uk, they could certainly do that. Oct 15, 2012 at 18:14

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