How would be the following different? Disregard the domains.

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

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.yourdomain\.com
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [L,R=301]

The main difference is "^"?

Things I essentially wish to accomplish is have my website as rather than possess the www appear. To begin with its shorter and it is great for Search engine optimization as my website will not be judged as two sites. One with www and something without.

Thanks all

No, they won't be the same.

The very first states, redirect towards the host when the host is
The 2nd states, redirect to when the host isn't

And even when you'd rewrite the 2nd towards the following (getting both rules redirecting to

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^example\.com$
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [L,R=301]

To ensure that it might redirect to when the host isn't The end result may be the same when the host are only able to be and But when it may convey more values than that (e.g., the the first rule wouldn't redirect while my would redirect.