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Google Custom Domain - Case Study #1

If you're going to setup a Google Custom Domain, you have to start with DNS properly setup. In most cases, you will want the "www" alias, as well as the rest of the domain, to refer to Google. This requires you to properly use the setup procedures provided by your DNS Host, as a complement to the facilities provided by Google.

NOTE: This case study shows how a Custom Domain was setup, in the early days. A much more comprehensive tutorial can be found in Your Blog, Custom Domains, And Righteous Solutions. You may examine the illustrations below, for background, but the correct configuration is described in the latter article.

This case study uses my church website,, with DNS service provided by GoDaddy. So, I logged in to the GoDaddy control panel, and followed the Google GoDaddy instructions (instructions for other hosting services are also in that document). Steps 1 - 4 were on target. So, I document below Steps 5 - 7 of the instructions, which became my steps 1 - 8.

Note that GoDaddy is simply the example that I use here. Blogger provides How do I create a CNAME record for my custom domain?, which provides instructions for half a dozen different popular DNS Hosting companies. This case study describes my personal experince, with my custom domain. From what I've seen, you should be persistent and resourceful, when setting up your custom domain.

Step 1

The Default GoDaddy Settings

Here we see all DNS entries created by GoDaddy, when "" was setup originally. All entries point to GoDaddy, using an "A" record equating "@" (the domain root) to "".

Step 2

Just 2 Quick Changes

  1. I deleted the "A" record pointing the domain to GoDaddy.(See Note 2, below)
  2. I added a "CNAME" record equating "www" to "".
For more detail about DNS records, see PCMagazine Definition of: DNS records, or FAQs.Org: How DNS Works.
(Note 1): This example is for a domain setup for the ".org" TLD, and using GoDaddy as the registrar. All experience so far indicates that the different TLDs (.com, .info, .net, .org, ...), and the different registrars (like GoDaddy) have different rules. Be careful here, and ask questions in Blogger Help Group: How Do I?, if anything here is not completely clear to you. We are still learning the details, and I suspect Blogger staff is too. If you have any doubt about the effectiveness of your DNS setup, execute Step7 below, and proceed only when you get similar results.
(Note 2): If you have an existing website with other content, and just want to add the blog as "", don't delete the "A" record. Just add a "CNAME" record equating "blog" to "".

Step 3

I Setup Blog Publishing

I went into Settings - Publishing for the blog currently published at "", selected "Switch to: Custom Domain", and set it to publish to "". Note that it clearly warns us will redirect to your custom domain.
with no mention of This makes it unlikely that we should expect "" to work.

Step 4

I Tested martinezumc .org


Step 5

I Tested www .martinezumc .org

Here we see just what I predicted, in Step 3, above.

Step 7
And to verify the GoDaddy setup (and diagnose the 404), a simple set of ping tests.

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=94ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=92ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=94ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=94ms TTL=242

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 92ms, Maximum = 94ms, Average = 93ms


Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=94ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=93ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=93ms TTL=242
Reply from bytes=32 time=96ms TTL=242

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 93ms, Maximum = 96ms, Average = 94ms

And there is a demonstration of the dynamic name resolution of "".

And, seeing as "" resolves properly, in this example to "", we can conclude that the 404 above is coming from Google, not GoDaddy.

The host named "" is a load balanced server array. It's provided to give your readers the best performance possible, when visiting your blog.

And, last but by no means least, the DNS Report for "".

And with DNS Referral setup and verified in Step7 above, continue by setting up the blog itself.

Note: The above case study describes my personal experience. There are multiple bloggers, setting up blogs with different TLDs (.com, ,net, .org are simply 3 examples), using multiple DNS hosts. From what I've seen, you should be persistent and resourceful, when setting up your custom domain.

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Victor Valade said…
I really appreaciate the work you have done on this case study.

I had basically the same issues when I changed my blogspot settings to Google's Custom Domain change to .

After I did that about a week ago, I have been down a week.

Google Tech Support finally emailed me and confirmed my CNAME settings are correct. Previously, GoDaddy's Google team said they couldn't do anything.

So I went ahead and deleted the "A" record this morning and am now eagerly awaiting the results.

But, I did a ping on and it returns a "unable to locate" error.

Does the 24-48 hour wait apply also to the dos command "ping"?

Thank you.
Nitecruzr said…

You are experiencing one of the last problems with Google Custom Domains - the fact that they are a solution, provided by Google, that depend upon a third party, in your case GoDaddy.

I have 2 custom domains setup through GoDaddy, neither of which have an "A" record, and both have the root, and the "www" alias, working fine. And they worked within 15 minutes after I setup the DNS, not 24 - 48 hours.

You can test your domain easily enough.

Ping request could not find host Please check the name and try again.


Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=247
Reply from bytes=32 time=74ms TTL=247
Reply from bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=247
Reply from bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=247

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 70ms, Maximum = 75ms, Average = 72ms

Keep working with GoDaddy.
KrisH. said…
Thanks so much. Deleting the A name made my site work without the www (and I still can do www, too).
THANKS SO MUCH! I also had another problem which prevented me from editing my GoDaddy subdomain info. I had to upgrade to Hosting Configuration 2.0 (from 1.0) found on the GoDaddy Account Summary page (after opening my domain). Once I upgraded, I went to the DNS Control Panel, deleted my A(Host) for the subdomain to which I wanted to point my blog, created a CNAME for the same subdomain, named it and then pointed to Within five minutes, my site was pointing to my subdomain. THANKS SO MUCH!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad I stumbled into your site. I have been trying to make domain work on my blog I have deleted the A record as you suggested by i still get an error message. like smartseek, i was told that it might take 24-48 hours to for my blog to show up. what do i do? i've sent an email to godaddy earlier today but have yet to hear from them.
Anonymous said…
Removing the A record was crucial. Thanks for the tip. Why hasn't google updated their instructions?

However, I wanted to tell you taht for my .org domain, I did have to add two CNAME aliases in my godaddy account:

www -> ->

Then, I checked redirect to

I'm not sure why godaddy behaved differently for my .org TLD than the one in your case study.

I'm posting in case someone else has the same issue.

Many thanks for demystifying this process.
Heath said…
I followed the steps that Jeff provided and it worked!!!! Finally the www address is linking to my blog and not just the http address. Many thanks!
I've gone over both of your case studies with a fine tooth comb and I'll admit you've gotten me farther than Blogger's help pages. However, the best I've been able to get is a notice saying, "The blog you were looking for was not found."

My www CNAME is pointed to and I've deleted the ANAME record.

In Blogger, I've pointed my blog ( to "" (Not, "")

Now, when I point my web browser at "" it is immediately forwarded to "" (and I like that). Unfortunately, this is where I get the error indicating, "The blog you were looking for was not found."

You've helped me make forward progress, but now I'm at a wall. I'm really at a loss on this one. Any suggestions???

- RD
Nitecruzr said…

Some browsers will return a "404 Not Found" ("The blog you were looking for was not found.") from DNS errors. Try a 301 (NOT 302) Redirect from "" to "", to start.

If that doesn't help, post in GBH: Something Is Broken, and let's try interactive problem analysis.
I love your information! It is very helpful. I wish I had found your information instead of the help I received. I ended up deleting my blog, so I recreated part of it. Now when I select custom domain, through the advanced settings, it tells me that another blog is host at my address Any suggestions? I would appreciate any help you can give me. You seem to be the only sensible one and I'm so glad I found you. :)
Unknown said…
Great Job!

I was kinda lost in all the techy stuff you were writing about but the screenshots helped a lot. I have 5 godaddy domains. I already successfully tested one. Back then I had to type www to arrive at my website. After I deleted the A Host, within 2 minutes is already forwarding to

Thanks man!

I did the same for another website and it worked also.
Deborah Vogts said…
Hi Chuck,

I think I've followed your directions accurately, however, when I ping my name, I get "ping request could not find host ...

Need help. Thanks.
Nitecruzr said…

Here's what I see. 3600 IN CNAME

Here's what you need. 3600 IN CNAME
jonpayne said…
I've been having the same issue trying to get to resolve to the blog which is currently at The www. version works fine using the Goolge/Blogger/GoDaddy instructions, but the non-www brings up GoDaddy's parked page.

I just removed my A record in GoDaddy and now have none. Let's see if it works...
jonpayne said…
Yup removing the A record in GoDaddy and pointing the CName record (www) to worked for me. Now both www and non-www versions work! Took about an hour to "kick in".
Hi! i am still in "transition period" to custom domain, so soon to say. Anyway, in DSN i see i have the three codes you mentioned, and a third one:
Is it ok to have it or shall i delete it? i only have one main domain and no sub domains (
Thanks so much for looking into this, much appreciated.
Nitecruzr said…

Here is your setup: 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN CNAME

That's spot on. Leave it be, and wait.
Chuck, can't believe i did all correct the first time? Sure i really don't have to change anything?
Will they see me (eventually) worldwide?
Thanks so much for your reply and kind help.
Nitecruzr said…

Your web page is working from here. You should be visible worldwide by now.
Hi Chuck. Nice to visit you again.
I see that now my blog is accessible from both .blogspot and also .com
What i would like is to be available just the .com address, and that when people type in .blogspot to be redirected to .com
How to achieve that?
Under "publishing" i have the option "redirect to, it won't let me; anyway, is this latter the option to change? I have one domain, no subdomain.
Thanks so much, really.
Nitecruzr said…

As far as I see, your blog is now accessible from all 3 aliases. You might want to continue by reading Custom Domain Publishing, And Google Apps, where you should find the updated detail which you seem to need.
Laibeus Lord said…

If I delete my GoDaddy A record, the non-www errors out.

What I did instead is to trace the IP of and and use one of the IPs that showed up.

I still have to observe tho, as I'm sure there is a reason Google is not suggesting any IP addresses - they might be changing IPs frequently or randomly.

In any case, I don't know how to fix the "no-A_record" error when visiting the non-www address. T_T
Nitecruzr said…
Hey Laibeus,

I suspect that you need to tell us more about your problem. This is where I highly recommend that you post in GBH: Something Is Broken, and PLEASE provide the domain URL. Help us to help you properly - use community help!
Unknown said…
Hello- I have completed custom setup on blogger to direct my blog to However, its been more than 3 days & my site is still showing my old site content. I have also added the cname record pointing to
Do I need to delete A name records or leave them as it is? My site DNS settings are currently showing 2 A name records (mottobiz & * pointing to some ip addresses.

I truly appreciate your support.

Thanks in advance,

Chetan- AKA Mottobiz
Nitecruzr said…

This would be better discussed in GBH: Something Is Broken, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging. Online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving.

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