Force www in .htaccess

force www hero image

Many customers at some point request to either force www or non-www version of their site to display in their visitor’s browser. For example, you can have or simply display in an address bar. While this difference won’t affect how visitors find your site, it can be a matter of aesthetic preference. This article will guide you through how to force www or non-www in your .htaccess file. You can access the .htaccess file through the cPanel File Manager.

Force www or non-www in your .htaccess file in cPanel

  1. First, log into your cPanel.
  2. Once logged into cPanel, Find the Files category and click on the File Manager icon.
  3. Next, click Settings at the top right corner.
  4. In the Settings Menu, choose the document root (or folder) for the domain you are working with and be sure the checkbox next to Show Hidden Files is checked. Click the Save button.
  5. Look for the .htaccess file and right click on it. This brings up a menu. Find and click on the Edit option.
  6. You are now in the text editor. Place either selection of code in the file and click on the Save Changes button at the top right corner of the screen. Be sure to replace ‘‘ with your actual domain name. NOTE: do not place both selections of code in the file as it will cause an error. Below are examples of code that you can use to implement the desired change to the website.

Force www

#Force www:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301,NC] 

Force non-www

#Force non-www:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

Congratulations, you have successfully forced www or non-www! Now when you type in your domain name with either www in front or not, it should display as you have set it in the .htaccess file.

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Alyssa Kordek Content Writer I

Alyssa started working for InMotion Hosting in 2015 as a member of the Technical Support team. Before being promoted to Technical Writer, Alyssa developed expertise in the fields of server hardware, Linux operating systems, cPanel, and WordPress. She now works to produce quality technical content featuring cutting-edge topics such as machine learning, data center infrastructure, and graphics card technology.

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