When referring to online content in print or in text, our preferred practice is to drop “http://”, “https://” or “www” in URL (web address) references. Most web servers will accept URLs with or without “www” and redirect as necessary, or the “www” prefix may conflict with another subdomain (example: news.tennessee.edu).
There may be exceptions in cases when the URL won’t work for certain browsers if the “www” is not inserted as part of the address. It is recommended that the URL be tested and confirmed — including whether the use of “www” is necessary — before it is included in written communication. Treat each case as practical considerations demand.
These same rules apply to writing for the web or digital platforms. In a digital context, present URL references as actual hyperlinks, linking to the full https:// URL in the link itself, but dropping the https:// or “www.” in the text itself.
Example: A webcast link for the Board of Trustees meeting can be found at tennessee.edu.
When referencing a URL (web address) on social media, be sure to test and confirm the full URL and copy and paste. Social media platforms each have their own way or conventions of displaying a web preview or shortening a hyperlink.