Welcome to The Real Blogger Status - Beta. Please note the warnings (as of 6/13: 0 active), and the alerts (as of 1/10/2007: 5 active).

Please be aware of the naming variances in this blog. You will find various references to "Classic" / "Old Template 2006" Blogger, and to "Beta" / "New Template 2006" Blogger.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Setup Your Google Custom Domain Name Properly

To let you have your blog using a custom domain name (not yourblog.blogspot.com), but without most of the drawbacks of a New Blogger blog published externally, Blogger now provides custom domain names, where you can have, besides yourblog.blogspot.com, yourblog.com.

(Note): This post has been migrated to (and improved in) The Real Blogger Status: Setup Your Google Custom Domain Name Properly.

To setup a custom domain name, you simply

  • Setup DNS (at your expense) to point your blog's URL to a Blogger server.
  • Setup your blog to publish to the custom domain.


Like all Blogger products, this one is a little Beta still.

Don't Cause A Redirect Loop
If you currently have your blog hosted as yourblog.blogspot.com, and you republish it as yourblog.com, Blogger will even maintain yourblog.blogspot.com for you, and forward all traffic to yourblog.com. And there is one problem.

If you observe my advice for transferring your blog to external publishing, you'll create a stub blog as yourblog.blogspot.com, and you'll setup a forwarding from the stub blog (either a manual link, or an automatic redirect) to yourblog.com.

In some cases, you might try the reverse. Maybe put your blog on yourblog.blogspot.com, and forward traffic from yourblog.com to yourblog.blogspot.com. This, however, is not a good idea. If you setup an automatic redirect from yourblog.com to yourblog.blogspot.com, then publish a second blog to your custom domain yourblog.com, your readers will watch their browsers try to load yourblog.com, which will redirect to yourblog.blogspot.com, which will then redirect to yourblog.com. And so on.

So, if you are going to publish to a Google Custom Domain, forget about the stub blog. Blogger will handle that for you.


Wait Until DNS Points To Google
In Blogger Help: How do I use a custom domain name on my blog?, we see

It appears that Blogger checks out your domain name, and if it points to somewhere other than "ghs.google.com", responds with
Another blog is already hosted at this address.
If you get that response, verify the IP address of your domain, by pinging. If the ping comes back with
Pinging ghs.l.google.com [64.233.179.121] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=93ms TTL=245
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=111ms TTL=245
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=116ms TTL=245
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=116ms TTL=245

or the like, your domain is ready. Otherwise, you need to wait until it is ready. Or face getting
Another blog is already hosted at this address.

A Possible Problem With The .Info TLD?
Jon Anderson writes
In a nutshell, it doesn't work with the TLD (top-level domain) of .info. More than one person is experiencing, and writing about, this problem.
Maybe a timing issue with the .Info TLD servers? I hope this one isn't just solved in silence.

(Edit 2/4): Blogger Buzzer states that
Currently .info doamins are disallowed due to the large number of spam blogs on these kind of domains.


Don't republish straight from FTP to a Custom Domain.
When you republish your blog from Blog*Spot to a custom domain, the blogspot URL of the blog is forwarded to the custom domain. So the blog starts out with the "xxx.blogspot.com" address.

When you have a blog published to an address outside of Blog*Spot, using FTP, then republished to a custom domain, you don't have a corresponding Blog*Spot URL - just the external address that you have just forwarded to "ghs.google.com". So what gets forwarded? Apparently nothing, and that may be a problem.

So, before you publish to a custom domain, take your FTP blog, and publish it back to a Blog*Spot URL. Blogger will forward the Blog*Spot URL to the custom domain, when you republish the blog to the custom domain.

Blogger Plus blogs can't be published to a Custom Domain.
Blogger Buzzer explicitly states that
Unfortunately currently there is a limitation that plus blogs cannot be converted to be served from a custom domain.


>> Top

9 comments:

George said...

I have a .info domain and am currently seeing the error described in this post ......

HJG

David said...

Hi there!

I am just facing something and wondering if it has to do with the same issue. Here is the story:
I have two blogs: nomadtest.blogspot.com, and blognomadland.blogspot.com

and one domain name: www.davidg.es
By error, I switched to nomadtest.blogspot.com to custom domain www.davidg.es. In fact I wanted to swicth the other.

When I realised I went back immediately, reversing nomadtest to blogger publishing, then switched blognomadland to www.davidg.es. Surprise, error message saying "this domain is being used by another blog".

So I deleted nomadtest ( the whole blog) and I tried again. Still same error. Seems like a blogger caching error, any idea? Now I can not publish my blog on my own domain.... :-((

thanks!

Chuck said...

David,

This really needs to be discussed in Google Blogger Help Something Is Broken.

Russel said...

So are you saying that it's not a good idea to point www.mydomain.com to myblog.blogspot.com?

That's exactly what I'd like to do, but what are the problems?

Chuck said...

Russel,

You need to point your blog, using a CNAME referral, to ghs.google.com, which load balances each blog reference among the Google server farm (my guess, 5,000+ servers), giving each of your readers an IP address that's valid at that immediate time.

If you use a normal DNS reference (URL referral to xxxxxxx.blogspot.com), your readers will be getting a cached IP address from any DNS server between them and Google. This will be a problem both for you (your reader) and for Google.

Any IP address in DNS cache points to a server that was just referenced, and is likely still busy. Your reader gets a cached IP address, and goes hammering on a server that's busy, instead of letting ghs.google.com assign the next available one.

That's like you walk into the bank, bypass the line in there, and accost the nearest (and occupied) teller, screming for service NOW. Get your ass back in line, and wait for the next available teller!

For load balancing to work, everybody has to play by the same rules. Google's rules say "Use a CNAME", so that's what you need to do.

Scott said...

"So, before you publish to a custom domain, take your FTP blog, and publish it back to a Blog*Spot URL. Blogger will forward the Blog*Spot URL to the custom domain, when you republish the blog to the custom domain."

Thank you so much for this. I had just switched my FTP-published blog, to a Custom Domain. It worked for a few days, then all of a sudden, it was gone, consistently giving me 404 errors.

I switched it to hermick.blogspot.com then back to www.hermick.com, and it was fixed. Yay!

Now I know where to go to get real blogger.com answers.

Chuck said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Scott. You don't have it quite right yet, though.

The "www" alias is fine - CNAME to Google. The primary domain though is using URL forwarding, probably to a fixed IP address. That will work OK for a while, but eventually that will die and you'll be out of luck.

It would really be a good idea for you to post in Google Blogger Help, so we can discuss the details. It's a true pain in the ass posting diagnotic logs here.

Josephine said...

oh my god, this is so frustrating! would somebody do a step by step guide in very plain english because everything i've read so far is leaving my head spinning!!! a simple step by step guide with screenshots would be so useful, if the whole process is so easy then why are so many people struggling with it????

i think you can tell i am getting annoyed with this whole thing.

i bought the domain name through blogger so they were supposed to set it up automatically and they haven't so now i'm stuck with all this techno-mess! gee, thanks blogger!

Chuck said...

Josephine,

I've written various procedural instructions, but there are an almost infinite number of problems with writing an all-inclusive all-understandable version that doesn't require personal attention for some folks.

To add to that, there are at least 2 open problems right now with Google and their Custom Domain product. And many problems I can't even explain, because I don't personally know enough about how it works.

I'll try to help, if you can post in Google Blogger Help, and be patient with me. I'm only human though.