Forwarding A Domain Requires Experience

I constantly advise Blogger blog owners to avoid forwarding, when setting up custom domain publishing.

In the rare cases where forwarding is actually required, not every blog owner reports success.
My blog now displays a non Google search page!
or worse
My blog now displays
404 Not Found
What did I do wrong??
Depending upon what setup work was done by the blog / domain owner, and what effort is required by the registrar, one may expect to see, quite predictably, either of the above errors.

When you just publish your blog to the primary domain, you're using the Blogger Publishing wizard.

Many domains will require two settings, to forward a domain.

When you forward a secondary domain to the primary domain, you're using the DNS Manager wizard provided by the registrar, for that secondary domain. Frequently, this is a 2 step process.

  1. You use the DNS Manager for the secondary domain, and designate the primary domain as the forwarding target for this domain.
  2. You setup a DNS address for the secondary domain URL, and target the redirection server - as provided by the DNS host.

Some domains may make one setting, for you, automatically.

Some wizards will handle one step for you automatically, while others will require that you do both steps separately. I have had both experiences, when forwarding different domains using the GoDaddy DNS manager. You may need to experiment, here - or ask an experienced technician at the registrar, for advice.

If both settings are not made, the domain will not forward properly.

If your zone editor requires that you perform both steps separately, and you only do the first, your domain gets redirected to the redirection server. If you don't define a redirection target, you have a parked domain, similar to an expired domain - and your domain will serve the ads display page provided by the registrar.

If your zone editor requires that you perform both steps separately, and you only do the second, your domain will be properly redirected from the redirection server - but the redirection server will not be defined, for your domain. If the redirection server isn't defined, the domain will be "404".

You may need to contact your registrar, for detailed instructions.

If your registrar does not provide explicit instructions - or if you use the domain manager wizard and get either of the above results, it may be time to contact a registrar customer service representative - and possibly, insist on support from a senior technician. Using a third party registrar, or a third party DNS hosting service, you may have to improvise.

Forwarding a domain - when you must serve two domains (or more) from one blog - is simply not a task for the inexperienced.

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