Friday, September 28, 2007

Custom Domain Names And DNS Settings

The Google Custom Domains, and the possibility of having a non-Blog*Spot address without the lack of functionality from setting up an external published blog, are a major improvement over plain old Blog*Spot to some folks. But be aware - some technical expertise is required.

Setting up a DNS entry is not a normal task for Bloggers. The draw of Blogger One Button Publishing is that you
  • Choose a Blog*Spot address.
  • Choose a template.
  • Post and publish (and for New Blogger, forget the "publish" too).
So what's up with setting up DNS?

There's some occasional confusion in the forums.
The site says to create a CNAME for example.com.. CNAMES are not for DOMAIN NAMES, they are for subdomains.. i.e, www, pages, users. DOMAIN NAMES use A records to point to an IP address.


But the difference between an A record, and a CNAME record, is pretty simple.
An A DNS record directly equates a hostname to an IP address.

A CNAME DNS record does not directly resolve to an IP address. Instead, it refers to a relative or absolute hostname. A relative hostname is indicated by no period (.) at the end of the hostname. An absolute hostname is indicated by the trailing period (.).

When a DNS query is made for a CNAME, the hostname that is pointed to is used to obtain the actual IP address. The pointed-to hostname may itself be another CNAME, or it may directly provide the IP address using an A entry.


As an example, let's look at Google Apps for Your Domain: Creating Your Canonical Name (CNAME) Record: GoDaddy.com.
  • Click Add New CNAME Record. If you've already created a CNAME record for your website's address with Google Apps, click Edit next to the existing CNAME record.
    1. Enter the part of your website's address that you picked in your Google Apps control panel. For example, if you picked urban.mydomain.com as your address, enter urban for step one.
    2. Enter ghs.google.com as the host name.
    3. Leave as default selection.

Not too much confusion there. As long as you decide upon your domain names before you start, it's just another recipe. Mix a, b, and c, and serve.

(Note): For some detail about DNS records, see PCMagazine Definition of: DNS records. For still more technical detail, you can see FAQs.Org: How DNS Works. Or see my case study, Google Custom Domain - Case Study #1

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2 comments:

199 Inc. Design and Project Management said...

I built my friend's on a blogspot address, and I guess it just switched over to the domain name I bought, because suddenly I can only access the front page of it. I can't follow any of my own links to past posts (they worked fine before), and I don't know code....how can I get it to work again? Are all my old posts lost? All this CNAME stuff is very confusing. I had been under the impression that buying the domain name through blogger would avoid all this....Do you have any idea what I can do?

I built it here:
http://199incprojectmanagementstudio.blogspot.com/

And it is now here:
http://projectmanagementstudio.com/

Isn't there supposed to be some way this automatically translates?
i'd appreciate any help you can give.

Thanks.

Chuck said...

199 etc,

I'll try and help, but not here. I can't do conversations using this commenting system.

Reply here with your email address, I won't publish the next comment, and we can get on with it using email.

I would suggest Blogger Help Group but today that's not happening.