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Monday, February 23, 2015

What Is "ghs.google.com" vs. "ghs.googlehosted.com"?

With Google Domains registered custom domains becoming more normal, we are seeing one odd attention to detail, expressed as confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
My website uses "ghs.google.com" - am I supposed to use "ghs.googlehosted.com", instead?
It's good to be attentive to detail, particularly with custom domain publishing. This is one detail that may not require immediate attention, however.

Long ago, with custom domains purchased and setup under "Buy a domain", a properly published blog always targeted "ghs.google.com".


mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.32.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.34.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.36.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.38.21
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


Now, with custom domains purchased and setup under Google Domains, we are seeing a subtle difference.


mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.32.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.34.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.36.21
mydomain.com. 3600 IN A 216.239.38.21
www.mydomain.com. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.googlehosted.com.


What is "ghs.googlehosted.com" - or more specifically, what is the difference between the two?

Let's look at a pair of Dig logs, using the Kloth.Net Dig utility.


;; QUESTION SECTION:
;ghs.google.com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
ghs.google.com. 404786 IN CNAME ghs.l.google.com.
ghs.l.google.com. 300 IN A 74.125.136.121


and


;; QUESTION SECTION:
;ghs.googlehosted.com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
ghs.googlehosted.com. 300 IN A 74.125.136.121


Here, we see that "ghs.l.google.com" and "ghs.googlehosted.com" are, essentially, the same host - two names pointing to "74.125.136.121". "ghs.googlehosted.com" apparently omits the extra "CNAME" referral to "ghs.l.google.com", used by "ghs.google.com".

Now, to the original question.
Am I supposed to use "ghs.googlehosted.com", instead of "ghs.google.com"?

I do not use Blogger Help: How do I use a custom domain name for my blog? casually - particularly since they insist on trying to tell us that the domain root DNS addressing is optional.
Optional: You can also enter A-records, which links your naked domain (example.com) to an actual site (www.example.com). If you skip this step, visitors who leave off the "www" will see an error page.
That "Optional" causes too much confusion. In this case, however, I'll suggest that they can provide a guideline.
Where it says Name, Label or Host simply enter "www" and list ghs.google.com as the Destination, Target or Points to.

If I were to get up tomorrow, and observe a change, I would probably react, as convenient.
Where it says Name, Label or Host simply enter "www" and list ghs.googlehosted.com as the Destination, Target or Points to.
Until that day, or until I see an announcement in Blogger Buzz, I might tweak any new domains, or new domain host, that I were setting up - when convenient.


myblog.nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.32.21
myblog.nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.34.21
myblog.nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.36.21
myblog.nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 216.239.38.21
www.myblog.nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.googlehosted.com.


or possibly


myblog.nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.googlehosted.com.


I probably won't be tweaking this blog, immediately.

Adding to the confusion, when treating some problems, Google Domains Support may advise you to use a "CNAME" to "ghs.google.com", instead of "ghs.googlehosted.com",

As always, I'll thank you for paying attention to detail - when publishing your blog - and when redirecting the domain root. And always, please retain control of your Blogger account.

Dude, hit me with a comment!