Why does my WordPress multisite redirect to wp-signup.php?

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We occasionally hear reports from customers who use WordPress multisite and find that when they visit their site without the www. in the URL, like this:

http://example.com/

.... they get automatically “redirected” to this strange URL:

http://www.example.com/wp-signup.php?new=example.com

This can be caused by accidentally entering “www.example.com” as the network site name, instead of the correct “example.com”.

Unfortunately this is hard to change afterwards, so we recommend adding a manual extra redirect to your site’s .htaccess file, telling it to fix a missing www..

To do that, you’d use these lines:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}  ^example.com$ [nocase]
RewriteRule ^(.*)         http://www.example.com/ [last,redirect=301]

This will detect and fix the missing www. before WordPress multisite even notices it, avoiding the problem.

If you’d like us to add this for you on a site we host, just contact us and let us know. (It may take up to one business day.)