Friday, October 12, 2012

Schizophrenia And Custom Domain URLs - October 2012

Now that the custom domain publishing feature is back online again, there remains one feature of custom domain publishing to be restored to the Blogger dashboard.

The very popular Blogger dashboard option to redirect the domain root (aka "naked domain"), to the "www" alias, may not be reliable - or even available.

Too many people report
I can't redirect the naked domain - I can select the option, but the next time I look, the box will be un checked.
and
My "www" alias works just fine - but the domain root now returns a "404".

Fortunately, there are alternative solutions to provide the naked domain redirect.

There are 3 ways to redirect the domain root to the primary ("www" - or any alternate selection) alias.
  • Registrar Domain Manager forwarding.
  • Blogger Publishing redirect.
  • Google Apps "Domain settings" redirect.


The Registrar Domain Manager provides, for some blog owners, the currently most obvious alternative to the Blogger Publishing redirect - but it is not the simplest to use. Depending upon the registrar, and the nature of the domain manager / DNS servers, this procedure may not even work.

Some registrars will recommend simple DNS or frame forwarding to the BlogSpot URL - and this "solution", we know from experience, will not work at all. One problem here will be spurious spam classification, caused by what looks like an offsite redirect of the domain root.

The Blogger Publishing redirect option, which currently may not work consistently, is normally the most obvious alternative. This is, however, the preferred option, in custom domain publishing - and re publishing - procedures.

A less obvious option, the Google Apps "Domain settings" redirect option, is currently the best solution. For any newly purchased domain - as well as for domains purchased directly from a registrar, it's possible (though currently, with some effort) to setup a Google Apps domain administrator account. Next, use the "Change how your naked domain is redirected" screen, and change or recycle the domain root redirect.

Which ever alternative you chose - or made to work, the domain root should now redirect to the alias of your choice.

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2 comments:

Pete Kosednar said...

Hey Chuck:

In the Google Apps "Domain settings" There is no way to map subdomains -- correct? Naked redirect works.

Chuck Croll said...

Pete,

You don't map the domain root - or any sub domains - in Google Apps. The only thing that you do, in Apps, is redirect the domain root (aka naked domain) to the subdomain of your choice.

The actual mapping has to be done in DNS, and it has to point to the Google servers. Once that is done (only after that is done), you can redirect the domain root to any mapped subdomain.