is back baby! [solving redirect loop issues]

Okay, so I just spent a crap-ton of time (that’s a technical term by the way) pulling my hair out, calling GoDaddy about DNS hosting issues, and fruitless other troubleshooting methods to solve a WordPress multisite domain mapping issue I was having.  These troubleshooting steps ultimately led me to drop my sites and start over from scratch (twice!… and almost a third time)!!  There was a much more simple solve for the issue… read on and watch the YouTube video at the link for that fix.

So here’s the issue i was having:

I was migrating all my sites over to GoDaddy under a WordPress 3.1 MultiSite install with domain mapping to make managing all my sites an easier task.  The two sites I started testing with were the following:

  1. A site where I write about fitness gadgets, health, and my transformation from fat to fit.
  2.  A domain I never ended up using but purchased thinking it was the greatest name ever and that I was going to create this awesome twitter aggregation service… that didn’t happen.

I didn’t care much about ubervoyant but I had a decent amount of traffic on my blog so naturally I started checking that site first after getting the hosting and WordPress multisite install up and functional.  I couldn’t for the life of me get to work.  I spent  a lot of time on the phone with GoDaddy tech support (whom are all awesome human beings for helping me out as much as they did and humoring me as if I were a newb).  After hours of troubleshooting I just typed in the domain and was floored to see it working as described.  I scratched my head a bit wondering what the deal was and rationalized that something must be screwed up with my DNS Zone files…. so what did I do?  That’s rights, I called GoDaddy and bugged them again.  No luck there… they did help me troubleshoot though and verify that everything was set up correctly on their side.  Finally late Saturday night out of frustration I deleted the domain and started that site over again… my theory was that something was screwed up in the database pointing the redirects and that it wasn’t actually being deleted when I deleted the mapping… maybe deleting the site would work again.  At this point I was super tired and just went through the motions of setting up the mapping for  Low and behold it worked!  I had “solved” the problem.  I now “knew” that if mapped the domain too early it would corrupt something and my only resolution was to drop the site and start over.  Whew.  Problem solved… but deleting the site and starting over sucks.  No big deal I’ll just be careful to give things time to propagate on GoDaddy’s side next time.  <—– Little did I know I was full of shit here and making up some pretty good rationalizations stories in my mind.

This happened when I tried to map again… but this time I thought I waited long enough for “DNS Stuff” to propagate on the GoDaddy side… so after about 10 more minutes of troubleshooting I deleted the site and started over.  Problem solved?  You betcha… in about 20 minutes I was back in business.  I thought to myself next time I’m going to give it a while to propagate just to make sure I don’t have to do this again.

Enter this site:… a site with my name.

A name I sign, type, or see at least 100 times a day…. which as it turns out is part of the problem.  So do you know what I was doing wrong yet?  Do you see it there in the text above… it’s right there in front of you and I’ve given you some big clues.  As it turns out after routing over to GoDaddy hosting (registered with 1and1 and previously hosted at hostmonster) last night, I waiting until tonight to create the domain mapping. After I put the boys down to bed I sat down in front of my iMac… waiting to bask in the glory of having my website back up and running (okay, okay…. it wasn’t exactly glorious but after seeing this happen twice before I knew it was the moment of truth).  I typed into Google Chrome: and … … … crap this is taking too long … … ..

An image of the error that Google Chrome gave me while i was having a wordpress multisite domain mapping redirect loop issue.

Needless to say I was frustrated.  I don’t have much hair… and I practically pulled what I have left out over the next 2 hours troubleshooting everything I could think of. I Googled like a mad man!  I even googled with Bing just be sure (okay, that’s not true… I just think that’s a funny saying that I picked up from @Shanselman).  I unintentionally stalked @andrea_r as it seems she is everywhere on the Internet thanklessly (thanks Andrea!) answering question after question about WordPress Multisite installs.  I checked here, here, here, and here…. no luck.  My big break came when checking this anonymous post about a paid plugin that seems to do the same thing as the free version that I’m using.

So what’s the solve?  Can you recreate the issue?

Yes, I can recreate the issue at will and I show you how to solve it in this little YouTube Video:

So that’s it folks just make sure when you create you domain mapping you use all lowercase letters.  Not sure if this will fix your WordPress MultiSite domain mapping redirect loop issue… but it certainly solved mine.


Domain Mapping

Map any blog/site on a WordPressMU or WordPress 3.0 network to an external domain. Frequently used to mask multisite install subdirectory URLs with the URL of the registered domain.  This is generally done to cut down on multiple blog maintenance and upkeep.

WordPress Multisite

As of WordPress 3.0 there is now a native ability to create multiple blogs, referred to as a network of sites. Previously if you wanted multiple blogs using WordPress, you had to actually install each separately (that is, as a separate WordPress installation). Or use a separate branch of the WordPress code called WordPressMU.


12 thoughts on “ is back baby! [solving redirect loop issues]”

  1. I feel your pain, I’ve experienced this before. Since then I’ve switched to JJJ’s WP Multi Domain plugin. I also have an older version of WPMu Dev’s Domain Mapping plugin… Not my fav. I’ve also thought about purchasing andrea_r’s plugin just to demo.

    1. Yeah, andrea_r was everywhere I looked on the internet for a solution. She does a really great job of replying to people online and helping out I think.

  2. Thanks for this. I had this problem yesterday and left it over-night so that any DNS propagation issues could work themselves out. Guess what it still failed this morning.

    One simple search later, I found this post and now I am working fine. Such a simple thing and you would have thought that they could fix this in the code.

    Thanks again


  3. You’re a legend! Solved my problem immediately.

    By the way, I was able to just edit the domain in Network Admin > Domains to be lower case, rather than having to delete it and recreate as you do it the video. Might help people claw back a few seconds from the hours they’ve wasted on the problem already… 🙂


  4. Exactly the same just happened on my multi site installation. I’d created some landing pages – one for each town & copy & pasted the town names into excel before bulk cloning mini-sites. Capital letters at the start of the town name messed mine up. You’re a live-saver.
    It’s a shame we’ve all wasted so much time with something that can be resolved with some simple css formatting on the backend, not allowing capital letters in the text box! Thanks again.

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