When users type URLs into the browser (i.e. in order to visit a web page), of the 6 possible permutations, what is the percent of the time that each permutation is entered?

  1. example.com
  2. http://example.com
  3. https://example.com
  4. www.example.com
  5. http://www.example.com
  6. https://www.example.com

The reason for wanting to know this is because it can be (surprisingly) challenging to get all 6 permutations working (depending on things like the domain name registrar and hosting provider used) so sometimes a site will not be set up in a way such that all 6 permutations work. Having knowledge of the percent of the time each permutation is typed would help quantify the extent of inconvenience to users when one or more of the 6 permutations don't work.

A random example would be in the case a site had 5 permutations working, but not https://example.com; such statistics would allow for estimates of the approximate percent of users who attempt to type in a URL who will be inconvenienced.

  • 3
    My comment is off question and not UX rerlated, but I question your presumptions. Where are you having this problem? Redirection is commonplace, and two redirects reach all six variations. Also, "users typ[ing] URLs" is only one way sites are requested---you're disregarding links, I think a more likely source of "http/s" and "www" variations. Jan 8 at 12:12
  • @bloodyKnuckles your comment is very relevant. What prompted my inquiry was someone discovered my guide to setting up domains using two technologies (heroku and route 53) actually doesn’t work for one of the six permutations (see a comment here). I guessed that particular permutation is probably not very important, but I’m only guessing and that’s definitely not based on any data (and frankly could be wrong). I figured there may be a study on this which could be learned from.
    – stevec
    Jan 8 at 12:30
  • 2
    I see—Heroku and Amazon S3 is the problem: "S3 won’t allow you to configure an SSL certificate...". This article might help: Route53 SSL Naked Domain Redirect. Jan 8 at 17:59


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