Saturday, December 29, 2012

Adding The Domain Ownership Verification "CNAME", For A Non Root Virtual Host

Now that the new required custom domain publishing ownership verification feature has been out for several months, we are seeing it used in domains with multiple virtual hosts.

A few blog owners are even publishing their blogs to non root virtual hosts - and here we are seeing a new reason for a persistent Error 12 / 32, which just can't be solved.
I have followed all of the instructions, and I am still seeing Error 12. Help!

The "Advanced settings" Error 12 instructions - now provided on screen instead of requiring the blog owner to open an external "Settings instructions" document - require careful examination.

We have to look very closely at this variation on the publishing instructions, when publishing to a non root virtual host.
Advanced settings

http://www.blog.mydomain.com

We have not been able to verify your authority to this domain. Error 12.
On your domain registrar's website, locate your Domain Name System (DNS) settings and enter the following CNAMEs:

  Name, Label, or Host field    Destination, Target, or Points To field

  www                           ghs.google.com

  xxxxxxxxxxxx               gv-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.domainverify.googlehosted.com.

See our detailed instructions on providing CNAMEs for various registrars or see the full settings instructions for more details.
Taking these instructions at face value, and adding a "CNAME" record of relative Name value "xxxxxxxxxxxx" to verify the publishing address of "www", the blog owner is going to continue to see an "Error 12" or "Error 32" for a long time.

We have to look, very carefully, at the "Advanced settings" publishing address - in this case
www.blog.mydomain.com
In the registrar's Zone Editor (aka "Domain Manager" wizard), we see the Name value entered as an address relative to the domain root.
  • With "www" entered for the Name, this provides a published address of "www.mydomain.com".
  • With "www.blog" entered, this provides a published address of "www.blog.mydomain.com".

The Name value, for both "CNAME"s, as specified in the "Advanced settings" instructions, is relative to the domain root.
  • A Name of "www", to provide a published address of "www.blog.mydomain.com", should be entered as "www.blog" in the Zone Editor.
  • Similarly, a Name of "xxxxxxxxxxxx", to provide a published address of "www.blog.mydomain.com", should be entered as "xxxxxxxxxxxx.blog" in the Zone Editor.

Entering the domain ownership verification "CNAME" relative to the published URL allows non root virtual hosts to be used, in the domain, without chance of conflict.
  • To publish to "blog.mydomain.com", we add a domain ownership verification "CNAME" of "xxxxxxxxxxxx.mydomain.com" (with the proper value of "xxxxxxxxxxxx").
  • To publish to "www.mydomain.com", we add a domain ownership verification "CNAME" of "xxxxxxxxxxxx.mydomain.com" (with the proper value of "xxxxxxxxxxxx").
  • To publish to "www.blog.mydomain.com", we add a domain ownership verification "CNAME" of "xxxxxxxxxxxx.blog.mydomain.com" (with the proper value of "xxxxxxxxxxxx").
We simply have to read the "Advanced settings" instructions, and enter the Name values in the Zone Editor, considering the context of the instructions.

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