How I set up my Blogger custom domain

by - Saturday, May 12, 2007

I used GoDaddy to register my domain name, as this company seemed the cheapest dot.com domain provider, and also because they supply a free email address and basic hosting account with each domain, which has come in rather handy.

However, I'd read quite a few complaints about using GoDaddy for custom domains with Blogger hosting, so I was rather careful to make sure I did everything correctly!

Please do note that you can only link your site as http://yoursite.com or http://www.yoursite.com. Not both. It just doesn't work that way. My advice is to use the www prefix, and if you can make a simple redirect page in your host root, as I'll explain later

I followed Blogger's advice to the letter, and everything works fine. Here are the basics of their tutorial, or you can read the whole thing yourself on this page.

  1. Buy your chosen domain name and create your account.
  2. Once your domain has been registered, log in to your control panel, and choose to "manage domains".
  3. Click on the area marked Total DNS Control, and then on Total DNS Control And MX Records.
  4. Look for a record prefixed "WWW". If there isn't one, add a new CNAME record; if there is one, you'll need to edit this record instead.
  5. Insert these settings exactly as they are described! For the "Name" type "www" (as in www.yoursite.com). For the Host Name, you need to enter "ghs.google.com". Don't change or enter anything else except for these two functions. If this is a new CNAME, click "add". If you are editing an existing CNAME, click "update" and "continue".

Before you link this domain to your Blogspot blog, you may well want to check that all the settings are correct. To do this, you'll need to "ping" your new domain and ensure the host points to ghs.google.com.

If you're a Windows user, this is quite simple to do using the "command" feature. Windows 98 and ME have a "command prompt" program in the start menu; Windows XP has the "run..." feature, which brings up a box; simply type in CMD, hit enter and you'll get your command prompt.

Then all you need to do is enter the following:

ping www.yourdomainname.com

substituting yourdomain.com for your domain name and suffix. Hit enter, and see what happens. It should look something like this:

Pinging ghs.1.google.com [72.14.207.121] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 72.14.207.121:
bytes=32 time=85ms TTL=247
Reply from
72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=89ms
TTL=247
Reply from 72.14.207.121:
bytes=32 time=86ms TTL=247
Reply from
72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=86ms
TTL=247
Ping statistics for 72.14.207.121:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received =
4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip
times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 85ms, Maximum = 89ms, Average = 86ms




Notice that the ping recognises that my site is hosted with ghs.1.google.com. This means that I can (and indeed, have) followed the next step in telling Blogspot my new domain name. If you don't notice the host is registered as Google, wait a little longer before following the next step.

Log in to your Blogger control panel. In the settings section, click on the publishing tab. Near the top of this page, you'll notice "publish to a custom domain". This is what you want to do.

When prompted, enter the domain name you have directed to the ghs.google.com host, including the www prefix! Continue, and you should see that your new settings have been saved.

View your blog to ensure everything works and looks okay. Don't worry if at first you get a "404 file not found" page: it can take a few days for DNS settings to propogate across the whole internet. You can always switch back to Blogspot hosting and try again in a day or two. When this does work okay, you'll see your blog exactly how it is normally seen, with the exception that your new domain name is in the address bar. Blogger takes care of all the inter-blog links, page titles and such for you, and even redirects traffic from your old name.blogspot.com address to your new www.yoursite.com address! This is great as it means it's unlikely you'll lose traffic or page ranking stats.

Now here's the awkward part: as I mentioned earlier, you can only have http://www.yourblog.com or http://yourblog.com. Not both. Blogger/Google simply haven't recognised that this may be important, and only offer the function of linking one address to your blog. But in a strange way, this is good: you don't have to worry about having two seperate blogs listed in Technorati, for example.

I advised that you use the www prefix for a good reason. Many domain providers offer a single page (often called a "holding page") with each domain name. This will show when you type http://yourblog.com, even though www.yourblog.com will link to your Blogger blog.

So make use of it!

If you are able to edit the HTML, you could create a redirect page to automatically redirect visitors to your www address. That way, you won't lose any visitors at all. To make the page redirect to your www address, you need to insert this code between the head tags, substituting "mysite.com" for your domain name. You can do this using an HTML editor (I prefer Notepad).

<head><meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://www.mysite.com" /></head>

The part content="0; means that there is no pause before the browser is redirected. You can change this to "5" for example, to give a 5 second pause if you also want to include an explanation for the redirect in the body of the page. It is also a good idea to include a hyperlink to your www address in the body of the page, just in case the visitor's browser doesn't recognise the redirect command.

If you look at my redirect page at http://glamumous.com, you'll notice that there is an 8 second pause and an explanation for the redirect. Play around and see what works for you!

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13 comments

  1. Hi Glamumous, I found your blog via the SAHM carnival and wanted to say thanks for this great post. I've gone ahead and bought my domain with godaddy too and followed your instructions to the letter. Thanks for the help.

    Tracy

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  2. I just want you to know that this helped TREMENDOUSLY. Thank you so much for this article. I couldn't figure out the CNAME part, and Blogger Help wasn't any help. I found your article by chance. Again, thanks for walking through it step by step.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I first attempted this is was quite confusing, and from what I've read this is true for others too. I'm glad that this article has helped you both get your custom domain up and running. Thanks for your comments!

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  4. hi,

    By creating a redirect page means that we need a hosting account just for the myname.com to be directed to my blogger www.myame.com? Am I right?

    Rgds,
    Kaki Joran

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanx for this great post. it has helped a lot with my blog. I am still having one problem though.

    I have the www.mysite.com working great, but mysite.com will go to a page that says "This page is parked free, courtesy of GoDaddy.com."

    I was trying to do the instructions you set up for forwarding the address, but I couldn't figure out where. Do I insert that code in the blogger template or somewhere in my godaddy account that i cannot find?

    The funny thing is yesterday both www.mysite.com and mysite.com went to my blog, but i guess something i did yesterday also messed things up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, and DNSstuff.com ( http://www.dnsstuff.com ) provides really detailed reports on all aspects of your domain name. It really helped me while setting up mine.

    ReplyDelete
  7. hi thanks for the wonderful article, i have been on godaddy more than a year now and on blogger longer but i couldnt get my custom domain to work until now, i looked everytime and everywhere for help til i found your article, thanks very much!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a very helpful article...however, I still have some questions...

    I use Godaddy and it says my name is confessionsofaworshipper.com

    Does this mean I need to put confessionsofaworshipper.com in my blogger publishing, or should I put www.confessionsofaworshipper.com?

    I did switch it to confessionsofaworshipper.com in blogger, and I still get the page that says this page is temporarily unavailable. It's only been a few hours....should I wait a day or two?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you! Blogger's how-to isn't nearly as helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You overlooked the A Name part i think. That can help with the www and non www blog addresses.

    I'm no expert but several places on net mention this and i think this should work.

    N

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  11. Thank you for this helpful article.
    But before switching to a custom domain i have one doubt.
    It will effect on our current PR or not
    and the Internal links will also be redirect to new domain or not.
    Please guide me.
    Thank you

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  12. your post Why should you buy a Custom Domain with Blogger:Ten reasons inspire me tobuy my custom domain name but right now i'm having some problem redirecting i think this post will help me it's only 3 days but i still haven't regain my backlinks

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  13. thanks alot for making this helpful post & its realy help me out to setup my domain with blogger.

    ReplyDelete