We all know that "WWW" stands for World Wide Web, which is a kind of prefix before a normal domain name known as a subdomain. The web was created around 1990 in Geneva, Switzerland. But what is WWW1 or WWW2?
- Typically mirrors of WWW.
- Alternate web locations that can be used if the main server is under development.
- May be used with server web balancing to reduce load between servers.
- May be used to serve different geographic locations.
You may have noticed www1 or www2 once in a while when you are visiting a website. WWW1, WWW2, or even WWW3 is nothing but a mirror of the original web server which is typically WWW. In other words, they will simply duplicate the exact content that is on the WWW server.
Sometimes with a website, the original server needs to be updated or modified but major websites cannot just shut their main server down for hours to update their system. Therefore, they may provide an alternate way to access the content by using www1 or www2 duplication of their mainframe server. Many websites like the government, banks, and even major search engines like Google and Yahoo have used www1 and www2 in the past.
Popular websites may also use subdomains like this, possibly just internally that can be utilized with a web server balancer. This balancer will keep track of the load on different servers and route traffic to the servers that are currently experiencing the least amount of load. From the visitor's point of reference, they will be using the WWW version of the website, but depending on the load balancer, under the hood, they might be using WWW1, WWW2, or some other mirror.
Sometimes these different WWW servers are used for serving users based on their geographical location. Suppose, if someone typed
https://www.google.com from the USA, they might be taken to the original google server which means
https://www.google.com, but if someone types
https://www.google.com from Africa, it might take them to