Diagnosing Problems With Custom Domains - Case Study #5

In my first 4 custom domain case studies, I presented working, or semi-working domains, each being a case where the domain owner appeared to have tried to setup the domain properly. By action of the DNS host, or maybe of the Blogger wizard, some of the cases didn't exemplify proper setup, but the owner at least tried to do properly.

In some cases, maybe through ignorance, or stubborness, the owner will simply ignore instruction, and do his own thing. Sometimes, the setup will work, but it will still be wrong. Maybe it's a setup recommended by the DNS host technical support staff.

Let's look at one case, again a fictional example "mydomain.com", setup using the "Advanced Settings" wizard.

There are 4 URLs to study here.
  1. The primary domain "mydomain.com".
  2. The "www" alias for the domain "www.mydomain.com".
  3. The primary BlogSpot URL "myblog.blogspot.com".
  4. The "www" alias for the BlogSpot URL "www.myblog.blogspot.com".

First, let's dig the DNS records for the primary domain "mydomain.com".
;mydomain.com. IN A

mydomain.com. 3600 IN A

Next, the "www" alias "www.mydomain.com".
;www.mydomain.com. IN A

www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
ghs.google.com. 364681 IN CNAME ghs.l.google.com.
ghs.l.google.com. 300 IN A

And examine "".
pwfwd-v01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net ( -
GoDaddy.com, Inc.

The latter is using URL forwarding, to redirect "mydomain.com" to "myblog.blogspot.com". URL forwarding is preferred by some DNS hosts, who prefer to not to provide "CNAME" referral for the primary domain, but it's wrong when used in a custom domain setup. For Google Custom Domains, it will partially work, for a while, but unreliably at best. Even if it works for a while, it will potentially cause problems, for everybody.

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