Www resolve to itself and not non-www with WP Engine and Cloudflare

So the main question is: Can we add www. as an available url that doesn’t resolve to the non www for the website? The client has an IT company that handles things for them, and they’re not able to get the new website to pull up in their in-house offices. Has something to do with their security measures.

Here’s the message they sent as well as asking that above question:

The internal domain and the public domain are the same which is why the website is accessible externally but not internally. We have been able to work around that issue in the past by having a www.hsk-law.com dns record internally pointed to the webhost. This is currently setup and pointed to the new IP of the host and does resolve internally. However the page still does not load, I am unsure if this is an issue with the requested url that Cloudflare is receiving or if www simply isn’t allowed for the page.

The site is managed through WP Engine and we can’t solve this there they said – but can we through Cloudflare?

That is certainly one way of saying failed to follow Active Directory: Best Practices for Internal Domain and Network Names that has existed for more than a decade.

The short answer is yes. You need to identify the source of your current redirect from the www hostname to the apex name and reverse it so that your www name becomes the canonical hostname. You will need to sort this out with WP Engine as you do not appear to be using your own Cloudflare account. It should not be difficult for them to get you through, and there is a good chance that they already have some relevant articles that might get you where you need to be on your own.

Thank you for the great response! Unfortunately WP Engine support said they couldn’t do it. Not sure if another tech would maybe be more helpful. But we’ve run WP Engine sites through our own Cloudflare account before for various reasons. I’m thinking we could run the DNS through Cloudflare if we had to. However, that Support Center article is great! I saw some similar stuff online and wondered if that was a solution but also read about the negatives, which I did somewhat relay to the client’s IT. I’ll reiterate that best practices info again though, for sure!

They may or may not appreciate that. :wink: Not everyone is prepared to suffer the labor required to rename an Active Directory domain, even if it is the right thing™ to do.

Consider if you wanted the site be named shop.example.com. Surely they could accomodate that configuration. Using www should be no different.

There must be somewhere in the WP Engine dashboard where you can update the site to use the www name. From there it should just be matter of making sure that the www → apex redirect is replace with an apex → www redirect.

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