Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Custom Domain Publishing, And Google Apps

I've been writing about setting up a Google Custom Domain for a while, and I've described the process of setting them up, and various configurations that are produced from the setup. Most of the setup processes have focused on new domains, where the blog owner simply wants to publish the blog to a non-Blog*Spot URL, and no complications exist.

But what if you want to use different services in your domain, which you may or may not be already using? Maybe you have email, an FTP server, and / or a third party (non-Google) web site, hosted on a third party server.

Or, maybe your DNS host won't let you redirect the primary domain using a "CNAME" referral.

That's what you use Google Apps for - integrating existing and new domain components.

Let's look at this domain, "nitecruzr.net", which I setup using the "Buy A Domain" wizard. You can do the same, or use Google Apps, which will give the same results for you without a lot of work. Or, if you already have your domain, and it has existing services, you can setup the domain in Google Apps manually.

First, you setup the DNS for the domain, using the domain manager wizard provided by your DNS host. You may find Custom Domains - The Details In The DNS Settings, to help you understand the information provided in the Dig logs, presented below. You may also wish to read about proper DNS configurations, and alternately about improper DNS configurations.

Let's examine a brief Dig log for the primary domain "nitecruzr.net".
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;nitecruzr.net. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121 <<== Do not include this server - See Below.
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 66.249.81.121 <<== Do not include this server - See Below.
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121


There are the 3 Google Apps servers - and currently, only 1 of them is active. If we directed the primary domain to "ghs.google.com", you'd lose any email, FTP, and other special services, because "ghs.google.com" doesn't provide special services. Instead, we use Google Apps.

Next, a brief Dig log for the "www" alias "www.nitecruzr.net".
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.nitecruzr.net. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
ghs.google.com. 586847 IN CNAME ghs.l.google.com.
ghs.l.google.com. 203 IN A 72.14.207.121


There we have "ghs.google.com". You will probably publish the blog to the "www" alias, and redirect the primary domain to the "www" alias, using Google Apps. See Google Custom Domains - The Two Step Domain Referral for detailed explanation.

Effectively, and showing what I call an excerpted Dig log, you should have
nitecruzr.net.  3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121
www.nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


And, remember to setup an updated sitemap, when it is all working.

If you get the well known "Another blog is already hosted at this address." error, and your DNS is absolutely setup per the above advice, recycle the domain settings in Google Apps. If you get another well known error, "404 Server Not Found", publish the blog back to its BlogSpot URL, then re publish to the "www" alias.

Having done the above, you'll have one blog published to your domain. If you have a multiple blog domain, this will be your "home blog", similar in function to my blog "www.nitecruzr.net". If you want more blogs published to your domain, you setup a virtual hosts cluster, ala my blogs "blogging.nitecruzr.net" and "recipes.nitecruzr.net".

(Update 10/13/2008): The complement of servers, as described above, has been changed.

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17 comments:

EcoFloridaMag.com said...

This looks kind of tricky, but I think it's worth a try. Thank you for helping me with my custom domain quetion.

Events by Heather said...

Hi. You just responded to my post for help. Thank you so much. Are you saying that the solution is as simple as checking the box which says "Redirect eventsbyheatheratl.com to www.eventsbyheatheratl.com" ???

Chuck said...

Heather,

In your case, and with Google Pages involved, you'll have a bit more to do than just the selection to redirect. Please refer to your thread in GBH: Broken for details.

­ said...

Even after enabling the check box at custom domain settings to
redirect gtricks.com to www.gtricks.com and waiting for 10 days I
couldn't open my blog without www.

I bought only domain name and my web hosting company doesn't provide
redirections.

Is there any way to open my blog both from http://gtricks.com and
www.gtricks.com ?

Chuck said...

Hey Said,

We do have an open thread on this, don't we? The online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving.

Snow said...

I am having the same problem too. I'm currently connecting my custom domain thebudgetshopper.bet to my blogspot but i am having a tough luck. any advise you may have?

Chuck said...

Snow,

Problems with setting up a custom domain are probably best resolved using an open forum, such as GBH: Something Is Broken. The online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving.

Gonom. said...

Gosh! Thank you so much.. I've trying to find out for past 21 hours and you have solved it so easily. The biggest problem I had was I didn't understand what
"gonom.org. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121 " means. If you would have image captures, I could able to find it without bothering you. Anyway Really really Thank you so much

Genius24k said...

Hi,

Thank you for responding to my post, but my main problem is not setting up dns, I moved the dns of www.review-ninja.com so I know its pointing to 000webhost.com, anyway my main problem is i can't revert back to my blogger url genius24k.blogspot.com from www.review-ninja.com, I get the error below when I attempt to save or change my url.

bX-e3i9af
Additional information
blogID: 9441465
host: www.blogger.com
uri: /blog-publishing.do

Btw thanks for helping poeple on the group :)


Jonathan

Chuck said...

Jonathan,

I rather suspected that your problem isn't your DNS settings. From experience though, I know that any report that I make to Google, asking for your problem (another bX-e3i9af error) to be fixed, will start with verification that your DNS is solidly setup. It's like a visit to the doctor, where they always weigh you, and take your pulse. You can't escape it. Sorry.

The RIpple Effect said...

Chuck, my problem is the opposite. We had successfully been on blogspot as host, then through google switched to www.theripplemusic.net. Quickly, we decided that we wanted to go back to blogspot, which I did in our publishing settings.

But, when you google search our posts, they still come up as .net and when you click to the .net you get a 404 error, server not found.

Help!

Chuck said...

Hey Ripple,

You're getting the old "Server Not Found Error 404". What does it show in Settings - Publishing?

I suspect that you need to post in GBH: Something Is Broken, so we can discuss this in detail.

Stretch Mustachio said...

Chuck,

I am writing as I am having a similar problem that a lot of people seem to be having and I have sorted through the posts and blogs and I am still confused on how to resolve it.

It relates to the first paragraph of this post. I have a blog at http://themustachebash.blogspot.com in which I bought a custom domain from google/go daddy which is http://themustachebash.com. I simply want the blogspot address to forward to the non blogspot address.

When I go to the site I keep getting the error message:"This webpage has a redirect loop.

The webpage at http://themustachebash.com/ has resulted in too many redirects. Clearing your cookies for this site may fix the problem. If not, it is possibly a server configuration issue and not a problem with your computer."

Can you help me with resolving this? From some of your posts it seems to be that the settings are wrong, but I am having difficulty figuring out where/how to change them. You seem like the guru that just may be able to help! Thanks!

Chris
NDStretch@gmail.com

Chuck said...

Chris,

I see one problem, but I'll need a thread in GBH: Something Is Broken, to escalate it properly. Have you posted there?

Syahuri said...

thanks so much...!!!!

this tutorial very help me...

mUTe said...

then what is this code bX-cmn6r3 mean? thanks

Chuck said...

Mute,

A bX code is a diagnotic tool which Blogger Support uses for aggregating and diagnosing Blogger problems.

You can report your details, using the Code Reporting form. Your reporting your problem may help Blogger Support diagnose the problem which you are experiencing, sooner.

You're also welcome to search BHF: Something Is Broken for other people reporting the same code, or to start a discussion. Please, focus on that specific code, if you do so. Any different code may involve completely different problems.