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Diagnosing Problems With Custom Domains: Dig

Whenever I answer a problem report in an open forum, in my email, or just in general life, which involves a blog published to a Google Custom Domain, I always start my research with a Dig log.

Dig is a very commonly used tool for querying DNS configuration data. Since many custom domain problems involve DNS setup, Dig is my first diagnostic tool.

Dig can be run locally (from your computer), or online (from a Dig server). Since Dig accesses online data, I find it reasonable to run it from online servers. For detailed analysis, I use the Kloth.Net Dig utility, which lets you select specific record types to dig for, and lets you specify a DNS server to Dig into.

AN alternate Dig tool, which is useful for DNS address documentation and packaged advice, is DigWebInterface.

If the Kloth service doesn't fill your needs, you can try Dig Web Interface, which I show in my later post, Blogger Magic - Reading A Dig Log.

Let's Dig the DNS records for this domain, using Kloth. Let's first look at the primary domain "".

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost A ; (2 servers found) ;; global options: printcmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 55301 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 3, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ; IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A ;; Query time: 160 msec ;; SERVER: ;; WHEN: Fri Oct 24 23:43:30 2008 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 79

Next, the "www" alias "".

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost A ; (2 servers found) ;; global options: printcmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 12647 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 3, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ; IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: 3600 IN CNAME 34422 IN CNAME 300 IN A ;; Query time: 175 msec ;; SERVER: ;; WHEN: Fri Oct 24 23:43:42 2008 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 99

Now please note that the above logs are enormously wasteful in space. When I present Dig data in an online forum, I'll typically excerpt it to just the essential data. 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN CNAME --- 34422 IN CNAME 300 IN A

In some of my articles, I'll abridge the log, showing the context of the query.


What do we see in the above examples (abridged or condensed)?
  • The primary domain (ie, the "domain root") is redirected by Address ("A") to 3 servers, provided by Google Apps, "", "", and "". Please note that, as of 2008/10/24, this configuration became out of date, and was replaced by 4 mutually redundant servers.
  • The "www" alias is redirected by Alias ("CNAME") to the Google custom domain load balancing DNS proxy, "".
  • Each Address and Alias has a Time To Live ("TTL") of 3600 seconds, ie 1 hour. That one hour is the amount of time that a local DNS server can consider the DNS entry in its cache to be fresh.

    If a non authoritative server is asked for DNS information, it checks its cache, and it find data which is stale (has expired past TTL), it must refresh its cache by getting fresh information from an authoritative server.

    Note that TTL is a tuning factor, and it varies by DNS server. When you add a DNS address entry to your domain, unless you know what you're doing, accept the default TTL provided by the DNS Manager wizard.
  • With "" referred by "CNAME" to "", "" is referred by "CNAME" to "", and "" referred by "A" to "".
  • To see this information in a real life GUI display, as setup with the GoDaddy DNS Hosting service (for instance), you may read Setting Up DNS Addresses For Custom Domains.

Note that, occasionally, you may see slightly different results than what you see above. There are a couple subtle syntactical conventions, involved in using the various DNS Manager wizards provided by the thousands of registrars all over the Internet, which periodically create challenges for us.

Also note that if you just updated DNS addresses, you may have to wait while your local DNS server is refreshed. If you run a Dig against the domain authority server, you can get up to date results instantly.

Regardless of its intricacies and weaknesses, Dig is one tool in my Custom Domain Diagnostic toolset - the one tool that I use most often, in my custom domain diagnostics.


Pareen Lathia said…
Do I have to put in A records or just CNAME?

I have a Google Apps account working fine at

I am trying to set as my custom domain.

I wrote CNAME record for the url pointing to

Also, my settings were accepted successfully in Blogger publishing.

Still I am getting a 404.

I read your and followed the instructions. But no use.

Please help me.
Chuck said…

Please, ask this question in GBH: How Do I?, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging. The online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving.
FreeWebsite said…
Nitecruzr Best Problem Solver
I've a blog and redirected to my custom domain name that I've bought 1 week ago.Yesterday I've added a CNAME record for it.
The details are :
VALUE : (Fully Qualified domain name)
TTL : 38400
Whenever I tried to open the site or tried to redirect the blog the same parking page is appearing.
Again I tried to create a CNAME record but it is showing the error message as
Error Message: A record Exists having same name.Please Check For Record Conflicts.

What should I do? Please help me.
Chuck said…
What should I do?

Post these details in BHF: Something Is Broken, so we can discuss them easier.
rocky franks said…
i just bought a domain from go daddy.I did not have an account with blogger or google.While creating an account on the name the blog page,it asks me to search for url using blogspot .com.Do I do not have a blog right now,so i need to know if there is a way to point thisurl to blogger without first using a domain.

thanks for the help
Chuck said…
1. Setup a Blogger account (free).
2. Setup a Blogger blog (free).
3. Setup a righteous custom domain.
4. Publish your new Blogger blog to your new custom domain. said…
Thanks for good explanation of Dig-tools.
Wanderer said…
My goal was to keep everything on the same blogger dashboard and with the same accounts, etc. except for an email @ the .com address.
Rahil Uneja said…
hello sir, few days ago, i bought domain from Godaddy and set up with blogspot/ but for some dns issue i removed all dns setting of my domain from godaddy, and now can't able to find the token on to add custom domain. can you help me please, what should i do.
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Rahil,

Have you posted yet in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging? If so, and I missed the post, my apologies. The online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving. Peer support is the thing - and BHF is where you get peer support!
Fawn Rosenbohm said…
I need help. I have had a working blog through blogger with my own domain for over a year now and all of the sudden the last few months when I click on my blog ( this message comes up on a blank page: This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later. I contacted godaddy and they said everything looks fine on their end it must be an issue with blogger. I have no idea how to fix this. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Fawn,

Thanks for the question.

Like many blog / domain GoDaddy customers, you need help with your DNS addresses.

Have you posted in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue? That is where you get the correct DNS addresses, that you need.
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the comment.

Your DNS addresses are righteous. If I were you I would publish the blog back to BlogSpot (if necessary), then re publish to "", using the Blogger dashboard Publishing wizard.
Anonymous said…
THANK YOU! Thank you, thank you! I have spent a part of almost every evening for three weeks trying to troubleshoot on a bunch of different places that didn't fix the problem. Thank you for spelling everything out so clearly I had my problem fixed in less than fifteen minutes. :)
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Carrie,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm pleased that my post gave you the instruction, that was needed. Enjoy your new blog address!
Robert Brave said…
Hello sir
I cant link my domain to my blog from to
i have tried severally but it keeps tell me this

We have not been able to verify your authority to this domain. Error 14.

I will be grateful if u can help me with the solution
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Robert,

Thanks for the problem report - and welcome to Nitecruzr Dot Net.

To diagnose your problem, we need to use Blogger Help Forum. Can you please post there, in a new topic?

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