Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Schizophrenia And Custom Domain URLs

When you setup a Blog*Spot blog, and publish to "myblog.blogspot.com", Blogger automatically defines "www.myblog.blogspot.com" and redirects it for you, to "myblog.blogspot.com". This is a traditional convenience for your readers. When custom domains were first developed, they didn't provide the same thoughtfulness - the ability to (optionally) redirect "www.mydomain.com" to "mydomain.com" (or vice versa) wasn't added, as an option, until much later, and after a lot of pleading by the blogger community.

The great majority of all bloggers consistently select the "Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com." option, when setting up their custom domain publishing. It's also possible that Blogger has, maybe not intentionally, enabled that option by default, in some (though maybe not all) custom domain scripts.
I am trying to use the custom domains option to publish my blog but I keep getting the 'Another blog is already hosted at this address' error.

Investigation of the current DNS setup shows us, as summarised in an excerpted Dig log:
mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.

or
mydomain.com.  3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
mydomain.com.  3600 IN A 72.14.207.121

or maybe
blog.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.

rather than the more traditional (and complete) configurations, as described in Your Blog, Custom Domains, And Righteous Solutions. Having a domain with only half of the DNS address defined produces the same result as a domain with only half of the DNS address properly defined. You will, eventually, see our old friend
Another blog is already hosted at this address.


Unlike the normal redirection of "www.myblog.blogspot.com" to "myblog.blogspot.com", redirection of "www.mydomain.com" to "mydomain.com" requires the DNS definitions, as shown above. Blogger doesn't provide these settings - you (or your DNS host) do. Without both settings (the above provided intentionally, or by mistake), you should expect to see
Another blog is already hosted at this address.

Why not offer both URLs to your readers? If it solves your personal experience of
Another blog is already hosted at this address.
so much the better - for both you and your readers. Take a look at Your Blog, Custom Domains, And Righteous Solutions for the correct DNS configurations, for detailed, up to date configuration information.

Having changed your DNS to use "A" / "CNAME" referrals for both URLs, remember to publish back to BlogSpot, then republish to your "www" alias, to ensure a clean repair of the problem.

And finally, having made the above improvements in your domain DNS setup, you may still need to select the Redirect option. You'll have only 2 choices here - select or don't select. You'll only have one option - for any primary URL, there is one and only one possible secondary URL.
  • If you publish to "mydomain.com", you'll have the option to select "Redirect www.mydomain.com to mydomain.com.".
  • If you publish to "www.mydomain.com", you'll have the option to select "Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com.".
  • If you publish to "blog.mydomain.com", you'll have the option to select "Redirect www.blog.mydomain.com to blog.mydomain.com.". (You should have this option - though right now, you do not.)
  • If you publish to "www.blog.mydomain.com", you'll have the option to select "Redirect blog.mydomain.com to www.blog.mydomain.com.".
  • If you publish to "blog.mydomain.com", don't look for the option to select "Redirect www.mydomain.com to blog.mydomain.com.".
  • If you publish to "www.mydomain.com", don't look for the option to select "Redirect www.myotherdomain.com to www.mydomain.com.".

(Update 12/3): This issue gets odder, with more interesting symptoms.
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3 comments:

Harper said...

Hey Chuck,

I've been reading your blog for the past few evenings-- great stuff!

I'm still somewhat of a beginner, and was wondering if you could explain what you mean by the "900 IN" included in your example. (mydomain.com. 900 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
www.mydomain.com. 900 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.)

I'm battling the dreaded monolithic
"Another blog is already hosted here" Beast.

My DNS is set up correctly,(when I ping it, it returns correctly pointed at google)but I am still getting the "old friend" message.

Also, do you offer personalized service for a fee?

Thank you- I appreciate your time,
Harper (my custom domain is ironswan dot com)

ahardslojdlife said...

Hey, I started here and somewhere along the way I got my custom domain to work. Thanks! I got both the 404 message and the message that there is already a blog on that domain. I did a dig log (which I have never done) and it turned out my CNAME was ok. I had to disable the custom domain and enable it again. (I read your commenting policy, I hope I didn´t break it now!)

Best regards and thanks for helping out!
/Niklas

oldmilwaukee said...

Thank you for the information that enabled me to get my custom domain working. Publishing once more to blogspot and then going back to custom domain publishing fixed everything! So simple. Thanks!!!