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Custom Domain Publishing, And Something Completely Different

Setting up a Google Custom Domain is not a complicated task, when you understand that, for all its simplicity, it is uncompromisingly rigid in its simplicity. There are but 2 or 3 possible solutions that will work properly. Much time is spent dealing with alternate solutions that won't work properly, in the long run.

Unfortunately, until Blogger fixes all of the problems that cause the "Server Not Found Error 404" symptom, even the righteous solutions will sometimes come up with the "404" symptom.

Here's an excerpted HTTP trace of a typical "Server Not Found Error 404" symptom. You may wish to compare this with a similar trace, but for a working domain.

Sending request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: mydomain.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:
1.8.1.18) Gecko/20081029 Firefox/2.0.0.18
Connection: close

• Finding host IP address...
• Host IP address = 209.85.171.121
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Waiting for response...
Receiving Header:
HTTP/1.1·302·Moved·Temporarily(CR)(LF)

Sending request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mydomain.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:
1.8.1.18) Gecko/20081029 Firefox/2.0.0.18
Connection: close

• Finding host IP address...
• Host IP address = 209.85.171.121
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Waiting for response...
Receiving Header:
HTTP/1.1·404·Not·Found(CR)(LF)

There we see the secondary URL redirected, by "302 Moved Temporarily", to the primary URL (which is the URL to which the blog is published). Attempt to access the primary URL returns the "404".

Here, it matters not the style of the DNS configuration - I've seen Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, and Virtual Host configurations, with the primary URL being either the domain root, or the alias - and the "404" can be seen in all possible combinations.

And now, for something completely different, seen starting today.

Sending request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: mydomain.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:
1.8.1.20) Gecko/20081217 Firefox/2.0.0.20
Connection: close

• Finding host IP address...
• Host IP address = 216.239.34.21
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Waiting for response...
Receiving Header:
HTTP/1.1·404·Not·Found(CR)(LF)

---

Sending request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mydomain.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:
1.8.1.20) Gecko/20081217 Firefox/2.0.0.20
Connection: close

• Finding host IP address...
• Host IP address = 209.85.171.121
• Finding TCP protocol...
• Binding to local socket...
• Connecting to host...
• Sending request...
• Waiting for response...
Receiving Header:
HTTP/1.1·404·Not·Found(CR)(LF)

Here, we see the secondary URL returning the "404" without the redirect of "302 Moved Temporarily" being involved. Either Blogger has developed a way for the secondary URL to fail in the same way that the primary URL is failing (dual, symmetrical failures), or there is a new problem altogether which affects both URLs identically.

It will be interesting to see what develops over the next few days.

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