Confused on Which Domain Name To Use on Site Scanners and Google Search Console


My Wordpress Home and Site URL are set to

I have installed a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on my origin server under and I also have a permanent redirect https syntax in my apache virtual hosts file.

For the life of me, I am really confused on what domain name I should use when I conduct any online security, SEO, or speed test. For example, using pingdom or hardenize I get different results under both domain names.

Mind you, I am using Cloudflare's SSL certificate as well and already reached out to their community for some guidance relating to a duplicate 301 redirect. For example, if I go to this website: and type, I get two 301 redirects, whereas if I type I only get one. Bear in mind, disabling or enabling the redirect permanent syntax in my apache virtual hosts file doesn't resolve this Cloudflare issue.

Also, based on my server's configuration, if someone types he/she will be redirected to What kind of an effect does this behavior have on SEO, Google indexing, etc.? Would I be penalized as having two 301 redirects as in the above Cloudflare issue if someone types to be redirected to

Lastly, what domain name should I add to the Google Search console here: I am thinking since my WordPress site is named under, that’s the name I should use.

Thank you so much for looking into my questions. I hope they make sense. This definitely means a ton!

All my best,


2 Replies

Hey Joe,

It looks like your question boils down to two uncertainties:

  1. Does having a 301 redirect impact SEO
  2. Which version of your domain/subdomain should you use to monitor site health?

To answer the first question, the general consensus I can find among several sites is that yes, having a 301 redirect or multiple 301 redirects does impact site health. Please keep in mind, SEO can be fickle and how much any given item will impact your page ranking is prone to change. That being said, to address multiple 301 page redirects I would recommend taking a look at your Virtual Host configuration files. It may be possible you have one redirect telling all instances of to redirect to, then another redirect for to It may be better to make all redirects to point straight to

You can use SEO tools to investigate redirect chains and remove any unnecessary redirects as needed.

To address the second question, which is which version of your domain name you should monitor and add to the Google Search console, the general consensus is that Google doesn't have a preference and it boils down to what you prefer. As it sounds like you currently have your redirects pointing to I would recommend using that. I would also recommend using that same version of the domain to monitor site health as that will let you know how fast the website is actually loading without encountering 301 redirects first.

I hope this helps point you in the right direction!

Hey scrane,

Thanks so much for responding!

You're definitely on par.

Regarding my virtual hosts configuration, I don't have two redirects. The syntax I used was redirect permanent

However, based on Cloudflare's response, I have a setting called Always Use HTTPS setting enabled. That's the culprit. However, they told me not to turn it off otherwise it can cause other problems when you're running security checks. They also said my Cloudflare and server configuration are working as expected.

They said it's normal to have these redirects when you type the naked domain. They told me to run any scan, like you mentioned, with the full domain and add that very same name to Google Search Console.

Thanks for these useful tips!

My migraine has now subsided. Lol!

All my best,



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