My 1st post here, and an honor it is too - I've been following Expert Exchange since my early web design days back in 2003.
I work as a web developer for a UK charity. We're aiming to in-house web production and using affordable hosting appropriate to our requirements (Fully managed VPS), and based on WordPress MultiSite (WPMS) mainly to reduce production costs.
The purpose of this post is to allow me to reach a conclusion regarding future-proofing our Domain Name in light of various conditions, which I've been trying to reconcile. My reconciling has been concerned with research and testing installations, and learning thereafter.
My Ideal Scenario
Use a cdn-mydomain2 .org.uk OR subdomain.mydomain.org.uk for static content.
If and when the website's visitor numbers increases, migrate over to one of those CDN...
Be considerate of our future Microsoft Dynamics CRM requirements form integrating elements and other objects, possibly via a 3rd party integration services too, and API.
And most importantly:
The setup must be self-sustaining, and as stable for my non-web-dev-colleagues. Less complex is GOOD. Using cPanel level services is preferred, such as CF Plus, or MAX+W3T
I've been greatly influenced by the http://www.yes-www.org/why-use-www/
- especially the 4th paragraph, given that Dynamics CRM architecture application service provider models: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/bb928229.aspx
1. WordPress MultiSite Naked Domains vs. WWW. CNAME options
WordPress MultiSite recommends changing the SiteURL to mydomain.org.uk; meaning: http[s]://mydomain.org.uk.
My recent tests of setting https://www
. as the SiteURL, Domain, Home during WPMS activation resulted in the need to use .HTACCESS to force WWW. Otherwise, any attempt to access https://mydomain.org.uk/sample-page
resulted in a redirect to https://www.mydomain.org.uk
Typical account of this issue can be seen here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3525994/links-with-www-in-wordpress-redirect-to-home-page
I don't have access to httpd.config to set the default (Canonical) URL. I DON'T want to use .htaccess to force (redirect to) https://www
. The neatest way therefore is to activate WPMS using the naked domain, https://mydomain.org.uk
WordPress' Core obviously handles the automatic correction of the URL when WWW. is NOT used, i.e. redirect https://www
. to https://
. But it's unable to correctly redirect https://www
. without .htaccess.
Also, another issue or consideration is that WordPress can update .htaccess, just as various WordPress plugins can. Using .htaccess seems like a precarious option.
I want https://www
. in WordPress MultiSite without using .htaccess to force (and correctly redirect) URLS to WWW. when WWW. is omitted.
1. A solution not using .htaccess?
I don't want to mess-about with WordPress Core. The only solution I've seen repeated everywhere across the web is: .htaccess 301 permanent redirect. Are my, and possibly everyone else, missing a more stable method for using https://www
. for WPMS?
Would the .htaccess be acceptable? Assuming I use the .htaccess solution, I would need to keep-an-eye-on the .htaccess at crucial times, such as installing W3T-Cache, for example, or when installing anything that updates .htaccess?
UPDATE: ADDED QUESTION
Is installing WordPress MultiSite using http[s]://www. irrelevant as far as those points outlined in YES-WWW are concerned?
2. Would WWW. be more stable, future-proof, more 'compliant', and flexible?
If YES-WWW is to be believed, which I think it should, does using WWW. as permanent Canonical Domain Name make more sense for the reasons pointed out above? (My Ideal Scenario).
1. Install WPMS using HTTPS://WWW .MYDOMAIN and force WWW. using .HTACCESS in order to preserve URLs accessed without WWW, e.g. from external websites, social networks ...
2. Install WPMS using HTTPS://MYDOMAIN, and NOT force WWW. and hope that this won't limit any future application level developments or integrations. YES-WWW, I'm sorry!.
I would rather be free to use CNAME for WWW. whenever required. Does the YES-WWW belief merit using .htaccess to force WWW. in WordPress MultiSite (WPMS)?
What problems might I encounter if I force WWW. using .htaccess?
I understand that mydomain.org.uk must be: mydomain.org.uk -- IN -- A -- IP#. Similarly, using CNAME here would override other records.
My DNS Record, considerations
Correct me if I'm wrong, some CDNs & cloud/app services, especially provided through Hosting Providers (aka Partners), require: www.mydomain.org.uk
. -- 1400 -- IN -- CNAME www.mydomain.org.uk.cdn.CDN-NAME.com
, in other words, some CDNs will only work through a domain using WWW.
However, some CDNs allow the use of naked domain names, but this demand updating Name Servers & DNS Zone File to point to whichever CDN selected. I prefer simplicity! But, we won't need a global CDN to begin with, just FEO and a DIY Static CDN
Please see attached, FYI, my DNS record from WHM.
Any advice would be gratefully received.
I hope this information is clear, please feel free to point out any misinformation.