Web site vs. website

A few editorially conservative publications still use the two-word Web site, but this relic of the 1990s has fallen out of favor throughout the English-speaking world. The one-word, uncapitalized website now prevails by an overwhelming margin.

Exceptions are easily found, however, especially in American sources, where Web site (or web site, without the capital w) appears about once for every six instances of website. This is likely due to the influence of the New York Times, which is notoriously conservative with tech terms. The Times still uses Web site, and many American publications follow suit. Yet even those that often use Web site in their more closely edited sections tend to allow website in their blogs and other web-only sections. The exception, again, is the New York Times, where the one-word form is rare even on the blogs.

While Web site is still doing well in the U.S., it is all but dead in the U.K. Current Google News searches limited to U.K. publications find only about one instance of Web site (or web site) for every thousand instances of website. The ratio is similar in Australian and New Zealand publications. In Canada, the ratio is somewhere in the middle—about 20 to one in favor of the one-word form.

Examples

Website

Rep. Michele Bachmann promotes her new autobiography, “Core of Conviction,” on the homepage of her campaign website. [Wall Street Journal]

What is the difference between a national newspaper’s online offering and any other website? [Guardian]

Growing numbers of Chinese merchants are struggling to collect their money from daily deals websites. [Financial Times]

A statement on its website said customers may have experienced poor performance for 20 minutes. [Stuff.co.nz]

Web site

GoDaddy, a popular Web site hosting company, said on Tuesday that its extensive service interruptions on Monday were the result of technical problems. [New York Times]

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