Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Your Custom Domain and Your Registrar

When you setup your Google Custom Domain, and publish your blog to a non-Blog*Spot URL on a Google server, you enjoy the personal satisfaction of having your own domain, while your BlogSpot addresses still works. This lets people and processes like search engine spiders continue to find your blog in BlogSpot. Before you can define your domain to your registrar, your registrar has to define your domain to the Internet.

You define your domain, and how the content is hosted, using a series of "A" and "CNAME" referrals, pointing to Google. Before you can do that, your registrar has to define how the domain is hosted, using a series of "NS" and related records.

Here's what I might see, in a Dig log for my domain "nitecruzr.net".

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @ns54.domaincontrol.com nitecruzr.net ANY
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 32937
;; flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 14, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;nitecruzr.net. IN ANY

;; ANSWER SECTION:
nitecruzr.net. 86400 IN SOA ns53.domaincontrol.com. dns.jomax.net. 2008032400 28800 7200 604800 86400
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.32.21
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.34.21
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.36.21
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.38.21
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN NS ns53.domaincontrol.com.
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN NS ns54.domaincontrol.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 10 aspmx.l.google.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 20 alt1.aspmx.l.google.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 30 alt2.aspmx.l.google.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 40 aspmx2.googlemail.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 50 aspmx4.googlemail.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 50 aspmx5.googlemail.com.
nitecruzr.net. 604800 IN MX 50 aspmx3.googlemail.com.

;; Query time: 152 msec
;; SERVER: 208.109.255.27#53(208.109.255.27)
;; WHEN: Wed Jan 28 04:19:13 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 394

Before I could define the Google servers "216.239.32.21", "216.239.34.21", "216.239.36.21", and "216.239.38.21" as hosting the domain content, my registrar had to define the domain itself to the Internet. Essential domain entries are the "SOA" and the 2 "NS" records.

If my registrar had not setup my domain properly, I might have seen other results.

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost myfictiousdomain.com ANY
; (2 servers found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 61551
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;myfictiousdomain.com. IN ANY

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
com. 900 IN SOA a.gtld-servers.net. nstld.verisign-grs.com. 1233112405 1800 900 604800 900

;; Query time: 35 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Wed Jan 28 04:13:42 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 111

Here, we see that "myfictiousdomain.com" doesn't exist, excepting in my mind. In this case, we get the "SOA" record for the ".com" TLD.


; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost myfictiousdomain.com ANY
; (2 servers found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 5712
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;myfictiousdomain.com. IN ANY

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
myfictiousdomain.com. 1800 IN SOA dns1.name-services.com. info.name-services.com. 2002050701 10001 1801 604801 181

;; Query time: 111 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Fri Aug 28 15:41:10 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 94

Here we see that "myfictiousdomain.com" was registered by eNom ("name-services.com" is an eNom domain), but no DNS addresses have been setup.

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost myfictiousdomain.com ANY
; (2 servers found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached


Here, we see that "myfictiousdomain.com" is apparently defined to the Internet, but the name servers provided by the registrar are improperly setup, or are simply not responding.

In neither of the latter cases will you have a working domain. You, and your readers, will see (yet again)
Server Not Found

Error 404
or a similar error.

Please, know your responsibilities, and your registrar's responsibilities.

>> Top

7 comments:

Annie said...

Hi,
I notice that you are using the new asymmetrical structure with the new servers. Have: 216.239.32.21; 216.239.34.21; 216.239.36.21; and 216.239.38.21 been officially released by Google and should we now enter them into our DNS setup?

I'm currently using 64.233.179.121 and 72.14.207.121.

Thanks

Chuck said...

Annie,

The new asymmetrical structure came out last November, with claimed plans to deploy it officially by end of December. We're still awaiting an official announcement, but while we wait we'll note that new custom domains, purchased through "Buy A Domain", all use this structure.

I guess that you could say that this is me, learning to read the handwriting on the wall. And, ignoring the normal Blogger Silence, while I read.

Unknown said...

Hi,

What instructions would I give my registrar if I am setting up an asymmetrical configuration for a blogspot account?

Essentially, what would I tell them I want my SOA and NS records to be?

Thank you,
Don

Chuck said...

Don,

If you purchase domain registration / DNS hosting from a full service registrar, that question will never come up. If you pay for service, that's what you pay for.
1. The service.
2. Knowing what the service involves.

If your registrar asks you for instructions for the "NS" / "SOA" records, it's time for you to find another registrar.

You give them the "A" / "CNAME" records - and they give you the "NS" / "SOA" records.

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

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2007/10/dns-host-is-crucial-for-custom-domain.html

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2008/12/your-blog-custom-domains-and-righteous.html#ASymmetricalDNS

TheoJ said...

Hi Chuck,

my registrar is Aplus.net

They said my NS records are as follows:

candhoffice.com. 3600 IN NS ns1.aplus.net.
candhoffice.com. 3600 IN NS ns2.aplus.net.

She said I would need to find out from google what the appropriate NS records would be if the current ones aren't satisfactory.

To follow up, do I have an inept registrar or am I not knowledgeable enough at this point to give them the correct info to help me with. I did setup the A and CNAME records per your recommendation and gave them that information when asking for the NS update.

Thank you,
Don

TheoJ said...

Also,

When I asked about the SOA she said
"The SOA records is set up when you transfer domain to us, it is not changed in control panel"

I dont know enough about this to give her further info.

Sorry for all the requests for help but your time is truly appreciated.

Thank you,
Don

Chuck said...

Theo,

We really need to discuss this in detail, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.