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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blogger Magic - Changing Your Custom Domain

The process of changing one custom domain URL to another is similar to the task of changing the BlogSpot URL.

The risk of identity theft is not as great, when you change a custom domain. You will continue to "own" any previously used domain, even when unpublished - but the risk of technical error is just as real.

If you care about blog accessibility, you will plan this process, with some care.

Changing one domain, for another, will take some work.

Because a domain change involves worldwide services, a domain should be verified over a longer time span.
  1. Register the new domain.
  2. Setup the new domain, with proper DNS addresses.
  3. Give the new domain time to stabilise.
  4. Click on the "X", and publish the blog back to BlogSpot.
  5. Change BlogSpot URL, if desired.
  6. Publish the blog to the new domain.
  7. Verify the blog, published to the new domain, is working.
  8. Re direct the old domain, to the new domain published URL.
  9. Publicise the new domain.
  10. Update any owner added internal links.

Register the new domain.

Choose a registrar who can provide the necessary services - such as email, if that's important to you.

A properly chosen registrar won't be free. You are unlikely to get a free domain, that will be reliable.

Setup the new domain, with proper DNS addresses.

Just as important as a reliable registrar is a proper address complement. You need a reliable registrar, for a dependable domain - but even a reliable registrar won't necessarily understand what DNS addresses are needed.

It's up to you, to ensure that your domain DNS addresses are properly setup. Nobody can do this, for you.

Give the new domain time to stabilise.

The DNS addresses need to propagate uniformly, through the worldwide DNS infrastructure. Having some computers able to access the domain, and others not, may lead to Google database corruption.

If the domain was used previously, and repurposed, you'll still have to wait - while any previous DNS addresses expire, from the many DNS servers, worldwide.

Click on the "X", and publish the blog back to BlogSpot.

If you wish to publish the blog to the new domain, it must be first published back to BlogSpot. Skipping this step may be another cause for database corruption.

Change BlogSpot URL, if desired.

Having prepared the new BlogSpot URL, now you swap the operational blog and stub blog URLs - if desired. This is the simple 1 - 2 - 3 swap that must be done in one uninterrupted 5 minute session, to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Publish the blog to the new domain.

Now, you see how well the DNS addresses are setup, and hope that the addresses have propagated uniformly. And be prepared to verify domain ownership. This is what follows, when you click on the "X".

Verify the blog, published to the new domain, is working.

Test all 3 URLs - the BlogSpot URL, the domain root, and the "www" host - and ensure that all work. Use multiple browsers, multiple computers, and various online services.

Verify from multiple locations, using services like GeoPeeker, and What's My DNS. And do this over hours, if not days.

Be diligent and thorough, here - don't get caught, unaware, when your readers in another country contact you, complaining of the blog being offline.

Re direct the old domain, to the new domain published URL.

If you are retaining the old domain, at least temporarily, redirect it to the new published URL. This must be done from the DNS host, it's not a Blogger option.

If done properly, redirection from the old domain URL, to the new URL, will provide some initial search engine reputation, and traffic. This can't be done until the new URL is working - but should be started shortly afterwards.

Publicise the new domain.

As you did when you started the blog - and as when you published to the first custom domain, the blog needs to be re indexed under the new URL. Make the reputation of the new domain justify the effort involved in the above process.

Update any owner added internal links.

When you publish to a custom domain, all Blogger generated dynamic links - such as Archive and Label index gadgets, and Label links at the end of the posts - are updated, to point to the custom domain.

When you publish back to BlogSpot, all Blogger generated links are updated, to point back to the BlogSpot URL. When you publish to the new domain, the Blogger generated links are updated, to point to the new domain.

Owner added links are not updated, in either case. As when publishing from BlogSpot, all owner added links are the owners responsibility.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Mark Wallis said...

Hi.
As an assembly language programmer I'm a little unsure of some of my words within web/blogger/internet but hopefully this is relatively clear;

I am trying to move my Custome Domain address from my OLD blog, to my NEW blog

My OLD blog's (blogger) address is: wallisonwheels.blogspot.com, reached by from wallisonwheels.net, but would like it to point to the NEW blog here; wallisonwheelz.blogspot.co.uk

Can I - from within the; Blogger>Basic Settings page - simply delete the blog's redirection, and then (within my NEW blog's Blogger>Basic Settings page, add my Custom Domains address there, to show my NEW blog??

Thanks for any help!
Mark Wallis, England.

Chuck Croll said...

Hi Mark,

What you are asking about is Step 4 ("Click on the "X", and publish the blog back to BlogSpot."), followed by Step 6 ("Publish the blog to the new domain.") of the above procedure - the basic steps in changing the domain. The other steps - though less basic than steps 4 and 6 - are no less necessary.

If you want to walk through this, in detail, why not post in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger? It's a lot easier to provide detailed help, in the online forums.