eBay Sucks at Domains

May 3, 2009

If you go to http://ebay.com you will briefly see a naked text page with the following text, broken sentence structure and all:

The page you are looking for has been moved. If this page does not redirect you in 10 Secs,lease click here.

It will only be visible for a fleeting moment, because your browser will be redirected to www.ebay.com. The world’s flea market fails the no-www test in the worst way - if you try to go to their website without a www subdomain, your are sent to said subdomain. eBay fails in a special way; rather than simply using an Apache RewriteRule:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

they send a web page containing an HTML meta refresh to send you to www.ebay.com. This is a clumsy and slow way to perform a redirect, particularly for the front-page of your website. If you are a website administrator or webmaster, please, don’t be as hackish as eBay - embrace Class A no-www compliance or at least redirect using HTTP status codes rather than browser redirection.