WordPress redirect loop

My customer has a WordPress site that is somewhat complex.  The DB is over 1 GB, the folder tree is about 6 GB, and it runs about 80 plugins.  And it's a multi-site installation.

For some maintenance / development work, I'm trying to make a clone of the site.

On the same server as CoolSite.com I've set up TestingCoolSite.com.  I changed the wp-config.php file to the correct file path and domain name.  Though TestingCoolSite.com is not a registered name, HOSTS file entries both on the server and on the clients of those testing have it.

In the DB, I found some settings with this:
select * from wp_options where option_value like '%coolsite%' and length(option_value) < 150;

And corrected them with these:

update wp_options set option_value = 'http://testingcoolsite.com' where option_name = 'siteurl';
update wp_options set option_value = 'http://testingcoolsite.com' where option_value = 'http://coolsite.com';
 update wp_options set option_value = replace(option_value, 'http://coolsite.com', 'http://testingcoolsite.com');

.htaccess, of course, does not mention the domain name:

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*\.php)$ $1 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

# END WordPress

some sites claim to have the definitive answer on breaking the redirect loop.  So I've added this to wp-config.php.

/* Fix redirect loop */
/* https://tommcfarlin.com/resolving-the-wordpress-multisite-redirect-loop/ */
define('ADMIN_COOKIE_PATH', '/');
define('COOKIE_DOMAIN', '');
define('COOKIEPATH', '');
define('SITECOOKIEPATH', '');
/*Another attempt on the redirct loop ... */
/* https://trustiko.com/this-webpage-has-a-redirect-loop-wordpress-fix/ */
define ('WP_HOME', 'http://testingcoolsite.com');
define ('WP_SITEURL', 'http://testingcoolsite.com');

Of course, neither of those helped.

Some sites claim cookies are to blaim.  I tested using wget from a machine that had never visited the site.  I still get the redirect loop.

What else do I need to change?

LVL 32
Daniel WilsonAsked:
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
Some of the plugins may have some settings that are conflicting. Do you have the loop no matter what page you visit?
Daniel WilsonAuthor Commented:
No page will come up.  At least, not the login page.

Another WP expert tells me which page to go to to try to fix it.  But I can't get any page.

wget http://testingcoolsite.com
--2015-07-29 08:43:53--  http://testingcoolsite.com/
Resolving testingcoolsite.com...
Connecting to testingcoolsite.com||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://testingcoolsite.com/wp-signup.php?new=testingcoolsite.com [following]
--2015-07-29 08:43:53--  http://testingcoolsite.com/wp-signup.php?new=testingcoolsite.com
Reusing existing connection to testingcoolsite.com:80.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://testingcoolsite.com/wp-signup.php?new=testingcoolsite.com [following]
--2015-07-29 08:43:53--  http://testingcoolsite.com/wp-signup.php?new=testingcoolsite.com
Reusing existing connection to testingcoolsite.com:80.

After 20 times, wget gives up.
Daniel WilsonAuthor Commented:
What table(s) should I look in to figure out which plugin is giving me trouble?
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
First, any chance you have an htaccess rule that redirects non-www traffic to www sub domain? Or any other redirect rules?
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
I'd also review the DNS settings for the original domain and make sure they are replicated on your test server.
Daniel WilsonAuthor Commented:
I don't think there's a redirect, but the .htaccess file is in the original post.  Do you see anything messed up with that?

The live & test sites are on the same server.  the test domain name (represented as testcoolsite.com) is provided by an entry in /etc/hosts

Do you suppose something is actually doing a DNs lookup and skipping what's in hosts?
>> Do you suppose something is actually doing a DNS lookup and skipping what's in hosts?
Connect via telnet (you supply the IP to connect to; the hostname is used by the server to determine which site should handle the request in case the server hosts multiple sites). I think you'll find this useful:
Daniel WilsonAuthor Commented:
I have virtual hosts involved.  If I make an HTTP request to the IP address, I will get neither the live site nor the test site but some default.

The question does not involve connecting to a default Apache website.  The question does not involve figuring out whether my request is finding its way to the right server.  This isn't a routing issue or an Ubuntu issue.  I don't think it's an Apache issue.

The question is why the WordPress installation is looping with these 302 redirects.  Can you help me on this WordPress issue?

Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
The reason I was asking about the DNS settings is because WMU has a unique configuration, so it can accommodate all of the sub-domains created in the MU environment. If you were to have these settings wrong, you could see weird conflicts in this scenario.

What you are describing seems to be a common issue with WMU. Specifically a redirect loop to wp-signup.php?new=domain.com in a WMU setup.

Does the same redirect take place when visiting the www. version of the site?

Also, the steps you outlined above are perfect for migrating a basic WP site. However, with WMU, there are many more steps involved and the site url is contained in more tables than just wp_options.

If you haven't already, I'd run through this basic overview and see if you've missed any steps, before we begin trying to change anything:

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Daniel WilsonAuthor Commented:
www.testingcoolsite.com goes to the default Apache site -- empty directory .

Thanks for those steps.  I'll check them out.
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