Domain Mapping Sort Order

Hello All,

We have a WP 3.4.2 multisite installation with WPMUDEV multidomains 1.1.6 and multidomains 3.07 installed.

Some sites have 5+ main urls each with a different extension of the base url mapped to the base site. Visitors arrive at the site perfectly regardless of the domain they initially visited. (Yipee!)

However, when the user begins to navigate the site, the url in the browser always switches to the lowest alphabetized extension.

For example, one site has the following mapped domains:

When a user arrives at any one of the domains on a site and begins navigating the site, then the url in their browser ALWAYS switches to the lowest alphabetical extension. (.biz if present. If not, then .cc, etc.)

So a user arriving at the site on will get shifted to as soon as they navigate on the site.

A user arriving at the site on will get shifted to as soon as they navigate on the site.

This results in user confusion and we cannot keep the users at the .com url when they begin navigating.

I propose that the url a user arrives at should be set in a session variable and maintained during their site visit unless they manually change it.

If they leave and return from a different extension, then that would get set and they would navigate the site at the new extension for the duration of their visit or until they manually change the url in their browser.

With this tweak, then a user arriving at (or any other) could navigate the entire site and the url would stay .ws (or whatever it is) rather than the url changing to the lowest alphabetical extension as soon as they begin navigating.

Who do I have to bribe to get that tweak implemented? :slight_smile:

Phil D

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Hey Phil,

    That would be Barry. Pro Tip: Tell him that you are into diving and that you own a yacht or something of that sort :wink:

    Jokes aside, I get the idea and I will pass this onto Barry, but am not sure if this is a good idea from a usability and / or SEO perspective. What url would search engines index?

    I think no matter how many domains are pointed to a site, once the user lands up on the site he (and the search engines for that matter) should be taken to the same link. i.e. support if they come from a .biz link they land on your site and the link should read .com (if that is what you set for all the users) and then the whole navigation happens with the .com link. So essentially the .biz one acts as a redirection.

    That's my opinion. What do you think?

  • SooBahkDo

    Hello Arun,

    Couple of thoughts.

    Disregarding the search engine issues for a moment, I see this as a usability issue first. Perhaps similar to the feature keeping a user logged in across domains.


    1) when a user arrives at one of the domains regardless of how they came to arrive (SEO or directly typing in the url) a session cookie gets set that keeps the user on that domain for the duration of their visit.

    Or if there is something I do not understand about that

    2) when multiple domains are mapped to the same site even if the admin user had a feature to set one of them as the primary domain, that still would not solve the issue that a user arriving from one of the non-primary domains. For example a user arriving from .ws is currently being redirected to .biz. Even if .com were somehow set as the primary and they were redirected to it, that still would not make sense to a user who arrived from .ws when they now see .com or .biz etc. in their browser.

    It seems that setting a session cookie identifying the domain a user 1st arrives from could be used to solve this. (or however it is solved in cross domain log-in scenarios)

    Every instance of user navigation while on the site could refer to that reference and thus call the url extension that has been set for that user/browser session. This would keep the user navigating at the url extension they arrived from.

    Unless I am missing something here.

    Phil D

  • SooBahkDo

    New information.

    Only the HOME link on the menu (Blogs MU theme) makes the browser url reset to the lowest alphabetical extension. The url stays the same when clicking all the other links in the menu. Try it out to see what I mean. Visit the site directly by any one of these mapped domains and then click the menu items. As you do, you remain on the url that you arrived from UNLESS you click the HOME link.

    On the other sites with multiple mapped domains and which are experiencing this issue, it seems to be different links in the themes that reset the url.

    What is happening differently on the HOME link than on the other links that would cause this?

    Phil D

  • SooBahkDo

    I read somewhere that a major update to the ??Domain Mapping or Multi-domains ?? is underway?

    Is that correct?

    If so, what are the odds of this quirk being addressed in that update?

    I also see on the WP forums a coordinated effort by some WPMUDEV players with the Domain Mapping System plugin developer to try and make it work with WPMUDEV Domain Mapping and WPMUDEV Multi-Domains.

    Now THAT will be the sweetest combination of mapping features on the planet if/when all three of those can coexist.

    And of course, if this little quirk of resetting the user url to the lowest alphabetical domain extension can be fixed... then life would be good. :slight_smile:

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