Custom Domain Publishing, And Google Apps - November, 2008

As a blogger who publishes many of my blogs to a Google Custom Domain, I'd say that one of my fears (which has been experienced at least once, already) is seeing
Server Not Found

Error 404

when accessing my blogs.

Based upon experimentation and reader feedback, I can now state that some 404 errors can be avoided, or corrected, by correcting your DNS setup.

This is an excerpted Dig log of the current DNS setup, as currently provided by Google Apps, or when you use the "Buy A Domain" wizard to setup a new custom domain. If you don't see at least some of these addresses in your Dig log, you have a different configuration, and can skip this advice.

mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 66.249.81.121
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


Reliance upon the DNS server "66.249.81.121" contributes to at least some of the cases of 404s being currently seen. Removal of that server from your setup is now an essential task, and may prevent trouble later.

This is the DNS setup which I am currently recommending for blogs published using an asymmetrical (Google Apps based) setup. Here, you remove the entry for "66.249.81.121" only.

mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


This is the DNS setup which I hope to be recommending for blogs published using an asymmetrical (Google Apps based) setup, sometime in the near future. Here, you remove the entries for "64.233.179.121", "66.249.81.121", and "72.14.207.121", then add the 4 new entries.

mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.32.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.34.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.36.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.38.21
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


The latter uses the newly deployed Google Apps Engine DNS servers, which will hopefully be more reliable.

If you purchased your custom domain using "Buy A Domain", you start from the Google Apps Domain Manager, and login to your DNS Host (eNom / GoDaddy) Domain Manager wizard. See The GoDaddy Domain Manager: Removing An Address Entry for details on how to remove the unneeded DNS address entries, first.

As you have the time and ability, do this. If your blog is not yet experiencing the 404, that may be all that you have to do. If your blog is currently in a 404 state, you'll have to republish it back and then forward, after you correct the DNS setup.

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Comments

But these ip is blocked in China Mainland....
this is totally happening to me and I am freaked out. I have read and re read you post about the DNS thingy and I need to remove it but I am just not getting how I do that... Is there a way to just go back to how things used to be? oh, man, I could cry.
Kristen said…
i dont understand what you mean. my blog is doing this too and i cant access anything, i bought my domain last monday and none of it shows up anymore. help!
Nancy Baird said…
Fine, Chuck, but how does one delete the unwanted one?
I'm in the second day of waiting for the transfer and having read all this I'm wondering if it will actually happen. I doubt whether I've got the ability to do all the above
Chuck said…
Linda,

The above looks complicated, but it's a lot easier once you get started.
Cherie said…
This problem cropped up for me when I turned on the additional redirect setting, "Redirect www.books.cheriepie.com to books.cheriepie.com", beneath my custom domain.

I've had my domain name a lot longer than I've had this particular blog, and I'm using only the subdomain books.cheriepie.com for this domain, so your recommendations about changing the DNS settings, which assume that you're using Google's DNS servers, didn't apply for me.

Yes, if you take a look at my domain, you'll actually see that the main domain is also currently redirecting to books. But that's just something I'm doing with Namecheap's URL redirection right now since the primary site that cheriepie.com used to go to went down due to disk problems. And of course, I only want the books subdomain to be associated with my blog, so any permanent setup should be for books.cheriepie.com only.

In any case, after about 1/2 hour of it still returning the 404, I turned OFF the above setting which redirects www.books.cheriepie.com to books.cheriepie.com, and then about 5 minutes later it started working again (after publishing it to blogspot and then back to my custom domain).

Anyway, I've now left that setting off for now as I'm kind of scared to try it again, especially since your fix here doesn't apply in my case. But I thought I'd let you know of another instance where this 404 was cropping up. *shrug*


PS - Great blog by the way... adding to my reader now. :)

PPS - You can reach me via my own Blogger profile if you're so inclined or what more info. :)
Dick Margulis said…
I purchased my custom domain yesterday, ampersandvirgule.com, from eNom (where Google directed me--I wasn't offered a choice). I'm getting a 404 error. The 4 identical A records are all set to 216.239.32.21. From reading this thread, I take it I'm supposed to change them all to 64.233.179.121, then cycle the publishing status back and forth. Is that right, or am I misunderstanding your instructions?

Thanks!
Chuck said…
Dick,

If your domain uses the "216" series servers, you have a new configuration. Leave it be.

If you have any problems, please post in GBH: Something Is Broken.
Prayer Partner said…
I bought a domain name from GoDaddy, followed the instructions from Blog.spot - Blogger.com on how to transfer it to Blog.spot. It has been 3 days. Do you think I have I done something wrong, or is it too soon to have happened.
thanks
Chuck said…
Hey Prayer Partner,

That's a good question to raise in GBH: Something Is Broken.
Rob said…
Thanks for you help with my dns problem