Best Practices for 301 redirect from "naked" to "www" via CDN?


Our company does business globally, but is physically located in Mainland China. Until now, we’ve had one domain for domestic (China) sales and another one for foreign sales. When I came in about 10 months ago, I moved foreign hosting out of China and set up a shiny new WordPress install. This has resulted in better service (no GFW) and better engagement from readers.


I have convinced the bosses to consolidate the two websites into one (with language and content localization). I have found a CDN service to provide Point of Presence in Mainland China, but there’s a problem: Our site is a “naked” url (, and the CDN needs to deliver through because of DNS and CNAME settings. We’ve invested a lot of time, money, and links into the root domain, so don’t want to change it.

We currently have a free CloudFlare account to help speed up delivery, but they don’t offer POP in China (well… $3,000/month). The CDN I’m working with says they can handle our server 2 ways: 1) used CloudFlare to set CNAME on the root domain. 2) 301 the root to www, and serve from there.

What are the pros and cons of each method? What are some traps to look out for? I’m not expecting absolute answers, I’m just trying to get a better understanding of it all before I pull the trigger one way or the other.

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