Yes, we believe so.
Using URLs with bare domains (like https://example.com/) creates several problems, and we strongly recommend that you avoid it for anything other than redirecting to the real website (like www.example.com).
Some of the limitations are:
- It creates noncanonical URLs for your site.
It is highly desirable to have one URL for each page for purposes of bookmarking, etc. Having multiple valid URLs for the same page (e.g., https://example.org/about-us and https://www.example.org/about-us) makes your site look less popular, for example, in search engine rankings.
- It is less reliable.
DNS CNAME records cannot be used with bare domain names. With our service, this is only an issue with third-party DNS, but if you're doing that with example.com, it's not as effective for load balancing and fault tolerance as doing it the "right" way.
- It becomes hopelessly confusing if you have (or might ever
have) more than one website under the domain.
Which site does example.com refer to? The "most important" one? Get ready for a knife fight between the site developers over whose site is the most important!
- One name should do one thing.
Bare domain names already organize the domain, and often they do email duty as well. Web traffic is better kept in a separate box. This aids in filtering, debugging, and compartmentalizing services. (We also see many domains with A records that result in the Internet trying to deliver the domain's email to our web servers. Hint: Not gonna work.)
Despite the drawbacks, this is something that visitors to your site expect to work, and we know that.
The best compromise is to redirect visitors from example.com to your www.example.com alias. To do that, add both www.example.com and example.com as aliases to your site and (unless you are using WordPress) enable canonical name redirection. If you are using WordPress, it will manage your hostnames automatically, and you should leave canonical name redirection off (the default).
There are, of course, exceptions; this is more of a guideline than an actual rule. It may make sense to forego the www for a business website if the website is the business. Sites with very short names are also perpetually trendy, and knocking "www." off the front in service of shortness is one way to chase that trend.
If you're sure you're an exception, apply these recommendations in reverse to direct visitors from www.example.com to example.com.