Your Blog, Custom Domains, And Top Level Domains

This blog is "blogging.nitecruzr.net". It is published as a virtual host in the domain "nitecruzr.net". We say that the URL element "nitecruzr.net" is the domain name.

The URL component "net" is significant, and in Internet terminology is called a Top Level Domain ("TLD").

There are 7 generic Top Level Domains ("gTLD"s) which relate to domain content.

These TLDs were defined when the Internet was very young. They are USA centric - in that many USA based domains use these.

  • com - Commercial.
  • edu - Educational.
  • gov - Governmental.
  • int - International treaty based organisations.
  • mil - Military.
  • net - Internet organisations.
  • org - Non profit organisations.

This blog, The Real Blogger Status aka "blogging.nitecruzr.net", is a virtual host in the "nitecruzr.net" domain. Similarly, Nitecruzr Dot Net aka "www.nitecruzr.net" is a virtual host in the "nitecruzr.net" domain. I treat Nitecruzr Dot Net as the "home" blog in the domain cluster "nitecruzr.net", but it has no special significance otherwise.

Blogger lets us alias specific domain hosts, for reader convenience.

Blogger permits "www.nitecruzr.net" and "nitecruzr.net" to be (optional) alternate URLs. Previously, "www.blogging.nitecruzr.net" and "blogging.nitecruzr.net" used to be (optional) alternate URLs. When custom domains first came out, this option didn't exist, this was made available sometime afterwards.

When I publish the blog "Nitecruzr Dot Net" to "www.nitecruzr.net", the Blogger ("Settings" - "Publishing" - ) "Advanced Settings" wizard treats "nitecruzr.net" as the domain in the URL "www.nitecruzr.net", and is then able to offer the option
Redirect nitecruzr.net to www.nitecruzr.net
because "www.nitecruzr.net" and "nitecruzr.net" are (optional) alternate URLs. Here, the wizard treats "net" as the Top Level Domain, and "nitecruzr" as the domain within "net".

The blog in question is published to "www.nitecruzr.net". The ability for "nitecruzr.net" to redirect to "www.nitecruzr.net" is not magic - this will happen only when "Redirect nitecruzr.net to www.nitecruzr.net" is selected, as part of the custom domain setup process.

This only works when my domain DNS addresses are properly setup, with essential URLs directed to Google servers.
nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
www.nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


"nitecruzr.net" is an Internet related organisation, intended for USA activity. Organisations related to non USA activity may have country code Top Level Domains ("ccTLD"s), instead of generic Top Level Domains ("gTLD"s), in the top position of the URL.

Non USA centric domains have still more TLD codes.

Organisations related to foreign countries will have different URL structures.

If my "nitecruzr" organisation were commercial, and were United Kingdom related, it might be registered as "nitecruzr.co.uk". If I were to publish "Nitecruzr Dot Com - United Kingdom Edition", I might address it as "www.nitecruzr.co.uk". Upon using "Advanced Settings", I would hope to get the option
Redirect nitecruzr.co.uk to www.nitecruzr.co.uk
but that will happen only if the "Advanced Settings" wizard treats "co.uk" as a ccTLD, and "nitecruzr" as the domain.

And again, this only works when my domain DNS addresses are properly setup, with essential URLs directed to Google servers.
nitecruzr.co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
www.nitecruzr.co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.

"co.uk" is an example of a 2 Level TLD.

We describe "co.uk" as a 2 level TLD.

With software that's not 2 level TLD aware, "uk" may be treated as the Top Level Domain, and "co" as the domain. In those cases, "nitecruzr" and "www.nitecruzr" would be treated as different virtual hosts within the domain "co.uk". The wizard would not treat "nitecruzr.net" and "www.nitecruzr.net" as (optional) alternate URLs. The alternate URL option for "nitecruzr.co.uk" would be "co.uk", and for "www.nitecruzr.co.uk" would be "www.www.nitecruzr.co.uk".

How many bloggers will setup DNS addresses
co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
nitecruzr.co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.

or
www.nitecruzr.co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
www.www.nitecruzr.co.uk. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


One of the causes of the old
Another blog is already hosted at this address
and the newer
Blogs may not be hosted at naked domains
errors starts with lack of the essential DNS address definitions, directing a given URL to Google.

Blogger domain processing code has to identify 2 level TLDs, by context.

URLs that contain 2 level TLDs are a challenge for custom domains, where the ability to treat "www.nitecruzr.co.uk" as a possible alternative to "nitecruzr.co.uk", and not to "www.www.nitecruzr.co.uk", is a desired option. In both the "Advanced Settings" wizard, and the unavoidable alternative (for some bloggers) Google Apps domain settings recyling process, 2 level ccTLDs may be relevant.

The Custom Domain "Advanced Settings" wizard has to offer the option
Redirect nitecruzr.co.uk to www.nitecruzr.co.uk
with the understanding that "nitecruzr.co.uk" and "www.nitecruzr.co.uk" are possible alternate URLs. If the code behind the wizard can't reliably detect a 2 level TLD, this won't happen all of the time. This may be one of the primary causes of the
Blogs may not be hosted at naked domains
error.

If you can't publish your blog to "www.mydomain.com", and select "Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com", without seeing
Blogs may not be hosted at naked domains
it's possible that somewhere in the wizard code, there's confusion resulting in either "com" or "www.www.mydomain.com" being considered as the valid alternate URL. And if this is the case, my suspicion is that it's caused by dodgy 2 level TLD detection code.

Considering these details, I think the Blogger decision to restrict the ability to alias various domain hosts is completely logical.

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