Thursday, April 05, 2012

Confusion Over Domains Purchased Directly From The Registrar

Blogger / Google offers the optional ability to publish a Blogger blog to any available non BlogSpot URL, aka "Custom Domain Publishing" - and the process of setting up a custom domain is so simple - when we use the "Buy a domain" wizard. As simple as "Buy a domain" is, it involves details that are unbelievably complex - and too many blog owners, avoiding use of "Buy a domain", find out about these details the hard way.

One important detail about custom domain publishing involves the level of service, as purchased from the registrar. There are three basic levels of service, offered by many registrars.
  1. Name registration, only.
  2. DNS hosting / Name registration.
  3. Content hosting / DNS hosting / Name registration.
Choose the wrong service level, and you'll waste either time - or money. And, we all know that "time is money".

Too many blog owners, anxious to setup and show off their new, non BlogSpot URL, make the wrong choice of service - and end up in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, anxiously asking
What are the nameservers used for Blogger?
or
How do I publish my blog, using the registrar's Site Builder wizard?
The mistake of purchasing the wrong service is always a possibility, when buying directly from a registrar.

Since custom domain publishing was first offered as an option, I've been advising people to
Please, check the invoice or receipt from the registrar. If you purchased "Name Registration", instead of "DNS Hosting", you need to go back immediately, and upgrade your service.
GoDaddy, for instance, offers "Bring your own DNS", where they register the domain on your behalf, and you provide the nameservers. If you understand DNS, you are entitled to try this option - just please don't publish your blog and try to advertise it in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken as a solution. "Bring your own DNS" is simply not an advisable option, for 99.99% of all Blogger blog owners - and we do not need people suggesting it, as an immediate choice.

The sad thing is that Blogger, in even their current tutorial (which is, itself, subject to change), makes no canonical distinction between the three levels of service that the various registrars may offer. Long ago, they simply advised
... you only need to get the domain name; you don't have to pay extra for hosting service.
With that history, is it any wonder that we should expect to occasionally see the confusion
What are the primary and secondary DNS servers?

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