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I need to go multisite for a live site. The site is already indexed by Google at www.example.com and I don't want to move it to example.com for SEO reasons. The network will contain sites with independent domain names, not third level domains.

Multisite setup procedure shows a warning message telling that I should remove the "www" component from the main site, but I don't want to do it.

What problems could arise in the future if I keep the www prefix for the main site of the network?

  • I hit this too, but unfortunately don't remember the exact issue it caused -- but there was an issue and I remember thinking "wow they were not kidding about this". I ended up using AWS Route53 as a custom DNS and pointer from www to the non-www domain. Alternatively I believe you can achieve what you want with a rewrite rule added to .htaccess (to point www.example.com to example.com). Finally, I'm no SEO expert but I'm surprised to hear that a simple change from www to non-www would make Google cough up a hairball. – C C Sep 29 '16 at 12:56
  • I'm no SEO expert either, but my customer, who is very much into SEO, is sure that such a change disrupts the pagerank because Google sees duplicate content and that it takes months before it settles down and rebuilds the same pagerank. Months with lower pagerank, in my customer's language, means lots of money loss. – Lucio Crusca Sep 29 '16 at 14:29
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    My customer, who believed to be a SEO expert, was wrong. There's a setting in the Google console that allows you to tell Google the domain name has changed. Then we ended up removing the www, but our solution does not answer my question (what problems could arise otherwise?). – Lucio Crusca Oct 13 '16 at 6:24
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It does not matter to have enable both versions: www or no www. Inside Google Webmaster Tools you can tell Google what domain you prefer.

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