Thursday, January 13, 2011

Correcting The GoDaddy Custom Domain Setup Advice

In Custom Domain Setup Advice From GoDaddy Is Wrong, I described the recently updated instructions provided by GoDaddy, to their customers, in Mapping Your Domain Name to Work with Blogger - and I described the observed results.
When investigated, an excerpted Dig log shows a common symptom.
mydomain.com. 3600 IN    A    64.202.189.170
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME    mydomain.com.
What we see there is a forwarded domain - and as I have explained a few times, domain forwarding does not produce an effective and reliable custom domain.

The irony here is that using GoDaddy instructions is actually more work - and their instructions are more complex.

If I duplicate and correct their instructions, and write in their style, setting up a domain is actually simpler, to make the domain use referral instead of forwarding.


(Update 2011/07): Blogger / GoDaddy now offers an automatic DNS setup wizard, which will take care of the setup process for you.

My Instructions, Simplified

To point your Blogger blog to your domain name, you set up domain name mapping, which configures your blog settings and domain name. You update your settings in your Blogger account and their Domain Manager:
  1. Edit the 4 domain root A records, and the www CNAME record, for the domain name you want to use with your Blogger account. This update tells the Web browser to open your Blogger blog when visitors enter your domain name's URL in the browser address bar.
  2. Configure your Blogger account to use your domain name.

To Edit Your A and CNAME Records
  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. In the My Products section, click Domain Manager.
  3. From the Tools menu, select DNS Manager. The DNS Dashboard displays.
  4. For the domain name you want to use with your Blogger account, click Edit Zone. The Zone File Editor displays.
  5. In the A (Host) section, click the @ record.
  6. In the Points To field, type "216.239.32.21".
  7. Repeat steps #5 and #6, 3 times, for "216.239.34.21", "216.239.36.21", and "216.239.38.21". If you do not already have 3 more "@" records, add them using "Quick Add" 3 times.
  8. In the CNAME (Alias) section, click the www record.
  9. In the Points To field, type ghs.google.com.
  10. Click Save Zone File, and then click OK.

Having executed the above instructions, you should have a properly referred domain.
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.
Please check out the results, using a Who.Is DNS log, which should show the proper results, immediately. If this is a newly defined domain, wait a full 72 hours, before proceeding with the second step.

To Configure Your Blogger Account
  1. Log in to your Blogger account.
  2. From the Settings tab, select Publishing.
  3. Click Custom Domain.
  4. In the Buy a domain for your blog section, click Switch to advanced settings.
  5. In the Your Domain field, enter your domain name. In this example, you enter "www.mydomain.com".
  6. To specify another location in which to look for files, in the "Use a missing files host?" section, select Yes and enter the path. If not, select No.
  7. In the Word Verification field, enter the characters as they display in the image above the field.
  8. Click Save Settings.
Avoiding a "404 Not Found" or similarly an "Another blog is already hosted at this address" error is a good idea.

For background here, you may see my original GoDaddy domain setup instructions.

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26 comments:

Miss Lindsay said...

Thanks this is really helpful!

I followed the Go Daddy instructions and it didn't appear to work.

Question - Do I need to update any of the Nameserver or Forwarding settings that GoDaddy instructed? Or does updating the A and CName take care of this?

THANK YOU!

Chuck said...

Lindsay,

You should never change the Nameserver settings, unless you absolutely know what you are doing.

Forwarding requires an "A" record pointed to the GoDaddy forwarding server. If you get the "A" and "CNAME" settings right, that should override the Forwarding settings specified by GoDaddy.

Miss Lindsay said...

After waiting 24 hours everything kicked in - thanks Chuck! Hopefully they update their instructions, because anyone following them likely does not know what they are doing.

MoonWiseMama said...

Worked great for me - thanks so much!

Alina said...

You are awesome! You fixed my problem. Godaddy phone support had NO idea. I'm very grateful!

Jack Holmes said...

Worked perfectly. Thanks so much. Very grateful.

Joe F said...

I recently updated a friend's blog to a GoDaddy domain and his daily site visit count has gone down right after the change. Now it is understood that for some time people will be going to the SiteName.BlogSpot.com domain and the www.SiteName.com domain. But shouldn't the site visit count be consistent?

So in searching for a fix for this, I came across these instructions. I did not setup the A records. Will this fix the site cisit count statistics?

Yos said...

Thank you very much, that's really help.

Jenesis said...

Thank you!! So much easier to understand, and it actually worked!

Lelia Fore said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! This was so so so helpful!!!!!

m.s.g. said...

very grateful for this site.

My objective: Custom domain setup using referral (instead of forwarding), for a newly defined domain.

1. Question:
These 'corrected' instructions, are for page referral, instead of forwarding - right?

2. I completed the steps (1 - 10), listed under "Edit Your A and CNAME records".
The 4 "A" records, look fine.
However, using WhoIs DNS log, I see that the CNAME is not ghs.google.com, but still mydomain.com.

Question: could it take longer than a couple of hours, for the ghs.google.com to "show up"?

I'll wait the suggested 72 hours before configuring the blogger account.

3. Selecting "Redirect Type" via the GoDaddy "Forwarding" menu:
The GoDaddy instructions, has a section of steps, under "To Forward your Domain Name". It is only via the Domain Manager>Forward list>Forward Domains>Advanced Options tab, that I can select to 'redirect site" using a "301 Moved Permanently".

Question: This GoDaddy step, was omitted from your corrected GoDaddy set up. So I was guessing that I am supposed to ignore this. Sorry to be so lame.

4. Question: with a page referral method, will the blog URL be displayed in the browser's address bar?
Or is that only avoidable, with a "Forward with Masking" (GoDaddy's terminology) approach?

Thank you again, for The Real Blogger Status. You guys are truly amazing.

Pagoda Road said...

I'm a complete novice yet I was able to use your instructions successfully. Thank you so much!

One question: I want people to be able to reach my blog by typing in just pagodaroad.com (without the www). That doesn't work right now.

To make it possible, do I need to check the "Redirect pagodaroad.com to www.pagodaroad.com" box in my Blogger - Publishing - Custom Domain - Advanced Settings?

Thank you. Without all the help I've found at your site, I would never be able to have a blog!

Manabharana said...

why is only this
http://www.gamerblogspot.com/

works and not this
http://gamerblogspot.com/

do i have to wait 72 hrs

Chuck said...

Manab,

According to what I'm seeing, both "gamerblogspot.com" and "www.gamerblogspot.com" redirect to the Blogger blog. If you're seeing anything different, you need to start a discussion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Chuck said...

Pagoda,

According to what I'm seeing, both "pagodaroad.com" and "www.pagodaroad.com" redirect to the Blogger blog, just fine. If you see anything different, please start a discussion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Nini said...

Hi Chuck, I've been perusing so I hope I am using the right instructions. I recently purchased a new custom domain name through godaddy (lifeasmrsh.com). I followed your instructions to add the A and Cnames.
Question do I now have to wait a full 72 hours before going into "publishing" in my blogger and putting in my new domain name. The current domain (www.ninisays.com)
name is also custom (but purchased through blogger).
Will readers typing in www.ninisays.com be re-directed to www.lifeasmrsh.com after the 72 hours or am I missing a step? Or am I wrong all together?

Chuck said...

Nini,

You really should wait 72 hours, if you want a stable custom domain.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2008/12/custom-domains-dns-and-latency.html

Nini said...

Chuck I have waited the 72 hours. I have tried going into the publishing setting and putting in my new custom domain and it works BUT....now I can't redirect my old custom domain to go to the new custom domain. Why doesn't blogger automatically redirect from www.ninisays.com over to my new www.lifeasmrsh.com
When readers type in www.ninisays.com it says 404 No blog found.
I don't want to lose my readers so for now I have set it back to ninisays.com
How can I change it to www.lifeasmrsh.com but still get it to redirect to that as well if people type in my old address ninisays.com?
I truly appreciate your help because I have gotten no response in help forum on blogger.

Chuck said...

Nini,

We have to discuss this in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, where we can keep the details together. I can't track you from there to here, and remember what your problem is, so I can help you.

The 4 Geibels said...

Hello,
I transferred my domain name to GoDaddy last week, they (two different employeeds) tell me that to transfer to Blogger, I need to update the nameservers w/Bloggers. I tried using your instructions, but when I click on Tools to go to DNS Management, there is nothing there (my domain name is showing up domain manager page--unlocked and isn't expiring soon. Please help! THANK YOU!!!

The 4 Geibels said...

One thing that you should know, I transferred this domain from Domain.com and so the nameservers are theirs and not GoDaddys...
Thanks!

Chuck Croll said...

Geibels,

This is a problem that really needs to be discussed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

David John said...

Thanks! I ready config domain godaddy now....

Andie Watson said...

I'm hoping this finally fixes my problem. I've been trying for a week to get my blogspot blog to come up when I type in my new domain. I tried GoDaddy's instructions and nothing worked. I followed your instructions earlier then called GoDaddy and they said "I can see your blog just fine.. maybe you need to clear your cache or try a different browser." Really?? I've tried 3 different browsers and they all say 404 error so I don't know what they're seeing. I'm going to give it another day or two and then I may just give up. This is SO stressful. Thank you for your information. I'll update whether or not it works for me.

Stanley Gitau said...

Great work, I knew that the instructions given by godaddy were wrong but dint have the answer. now i do. Thankyou.

scollier said...

Thanks a ton. Worked for me.