Last week we encountered an issue that could affect Blogger users in the process of configuring a custom domain, during the verification of ownership of domains between the provider and Blogger. Blogs with previously configured custom domains were not affected.
With the reason for disabling custom domain publishing being security, Blogger Engineering has added a step in the publishing process, to add a random token as a "CNAME", and verify your right to publish to your domain, from Blogger. You get the random token from the "settings instructions" document, "How do I use a custom domain name for my blog?".
See the URL of this (hypothetical) settings instructions document?
This is an example. If you're registering a domain other than "www.hotspotshield.com", you're going to have a different token - which should be a function of the BlogSpot and domain URLs. You'll also note another case sensitivity issue - "www.hotspotshield.com" and "www.HotSpotShield.com" will produce completely different tokens.
Now, it's an out of date example.
http://www.blogger.com/custom-domain-instructions.g?cnameVerificationToken=GKBPLXBRMT5M+gv-H5FFOYEKYNXE46EE4A3PLAK6HCDIELS27KQUR5OBKHFKXRKMCTDA.domainverify.googlehosted.com.&domain=www.hotspotshield.comThat's what you get, for "www.hotspotshield.com", today. We'll check again, tomorrow. Also, we need to know when "today" ends.
If you buy a domain using "Buy a domain" after today, Google Apps should setup the domain for you - including the second "CNAME". If you bought the domain directly from a registrar, you're going to have to click on "settings instructions", and get the token for your domain. Note that a "CNAME" is required - a "TXT" won't provide the same verification. Also note the various registrar entry conventions, which will affect your use of their domain manager forms.
We are learning a lot of details about the domain verification process, some of which were known in custom domain setup in general - and which are absolutely critical to the process. You will want to read the [FAQ] Why is my domain still in "12" / "404" State?, to get all of the details. The FAQ has been updated several times, so re read it often..
This will, hopefully, provide a solution for the Abandoned Domains problem, and allow everybody to publish to their domain, regardless of whether the domain was previously used for Blogger / Google custom domain publishing by another blog.
On the other hand, if you purchased your domain using "Buy a domain", and you ever need to recycle the publishing settings, you're probably going to have to add this new "CNAME" to your domain, before you can re publish. This will possibly include everybody who purchased their domain, before the Publishing option was disabled - if the domain is not operational right now - and possibly, blog owners who need to un delete a domain published blog.