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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Custom Domains And URL Forwarding - A Bad Idea

If you're trying to get your Custom Domain setup to work, and are frustrated (as I am) by the fact that you can't get both "www.yourdomain.com" and "yourdomain.com" to forward properly, you may have complained to your DNS provider, suspecting that the problem is one which they must resolve.

And in some cases, your DNS provider may not know how to setup a "CNAME" record. Some providers only use "A" records.

Some DNS providers will convince you to use URL forwarding, where your domain is redirected to the DNS providers servers. They set their servers to simply load any portion of the desired website ("www.yourdomain.com" or "yourdomain.com") from your Blog*Spot website ("yourblog.blogspot.com").

This will indeed load the content, as desired. There are several downsides to this "solution", though.

  • Your DNS provider may have to set this up in their servers, it's possibly not a DNS setting that you can make.
  • As the reader views your redirected blog, the content of the address bar in the browser will constantly indicate "www.yourdomain.com" or "yourdomain.com", with no detail about the actual URL being viewed.
  • We're unsure about how well search engine spiders, and other robotic visitors, will react to URL forwarding.
  • URL forwarding bypasses the load balancing provided by "ghs.google.com", and this is bad for everybody.


Blogger has admitted that Custom Domains needs work. Let's wait for them to figure out how it should be setup, at their end. Try and avoid using URL Forwarding, unless you are really desperate.

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4 comments:

Val said...

please help. I followed direction of blogger for changing my registrar's settings. the domain name refers back to either a yahoo starter page or if i type my domain with www, then it forwards to a google page. Below is what my dns settings look like:

Type: Source: Destination:
1. A Record banfastfood.com Yahoo! IP Address
2. CNAME Record *.banfastfood.com Yahoo! Hostname
3. CNAME Record mail.banfastfood.com Yahoo! Hostname
4. CNAME Record www.banfastfood.com banfastfood.blogspot.com

yahoo is telling me to forward instead but i don't want to. somehow i can't change the destination address to my blog in number '1'. I should be able to but i kept getting error messages. but why does '4' take me to google and not my blog?

Chuck said...

Val,

Please post this question at Google Blogger Help, so I can work on this with you.

Hestakaup! said...

I have the same problem, but only in FireFox (I don't have IE on my Mac). In FF, www.pineplainsdemocrats.org brings up the site, but pineplainsdemocrats.org (without the www) takes me to a GoDaddy parking site.

But... in Safari, both work! I have cleaned out my cache in FF, but nothing helps.

Odd...

Stan

Chuck said...

Interesting, Stan.

I've noticed this sort of inconsistency with some blogs, maybe involves the DNS hosting or similar component interacting with some odd feature in FF or IE (or not interacting).

I haven't seen enough cases to get a handle on what it might involve though. And it starts with other peoples blogs, and most folks don't leave their blogs partially broken, for any amount of time so the anomaly can be studied.

Why not post a description of the problem in the Broken forum, and see if one of the other helpers has an idea.