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I have this kind of settings for Google Sites and Blogger in Godaddy, below. I cannot get URL Framing (not URL masking) working with them. I am unsure what the problem, cannot understand what services such as Blogger and Godaddy really do.

Wrong A-records in Go Daddy!

; A Records
@   3600    IN  A   216.239.32.21
art 3600    IN  A   64.202.189.170
abc 3600    IN  A   64.202.189.170
@   3600    IN  A   216.239.34.21
@   3600    IN  A   216.239.36.21
@   3600    IN  A   216.239.38.21
lol 3600    IN  A   64.202.189.170

; CNAME Records
www 3600    IN  CNAME   ghs.google.com
mobilemail  3600    IN  CNAME   mobilemail-v01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net
pda 3600    IN  CNAME   mobilemail-v01.prod.mesa1.secureserver.net
email   3600    IN  CNAME   email.secureserver.net
imap    3600    IN  CNAME   imap.secureserver.net
mail    3600    IN  CNAME   pop.secureserver.net
pop 3600    IN  CNAME   pop.secureserver.net
smtp    3600    IN  CNAME   smtp.secureserver.net
ftp 3600    IN  CNAME   @
webmail 3600    IN  CNAME   webmail.secureserver.net
e   3600    IN  CNAME   email.secureserver.net
  1. Please, explain the "Custom Domain" and how can I hide my blogger url?
  2. ok I am still unsure what the "custom domain" in blogger really mean, does it mean that the content hosting is moved to some other site?
  3. Or does it mean that it just hides the blogspot url with other url?
  4. Or is it this so-called "301" thing or "URL redirection" or something else?

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2 Answers 2

"custom domain" means Google's computers handle requests for mysite.com and/or any subdomains like blog.mysite.com or www.mysite.com. Google provides very detailed instructions for how to set this up: How do I use a custom domain name for my blog? Can you point out which step you don't understand? Are you trying to redirect from a sub-domain or top-level domain?

The difference between top-level domain and subdomain:

Google help documentation asks you this question because different setup is needed for each case:

Where would you like to host your blog?

  • On a top-level domain (www.example.com).
  • On a subdomain (foo.example.com).

Top-level domain:

  • Going to mysite.com will go to the Google-hosted blog.
  • Set up by configuring A records to point to Google.
  • Example: leftium.com

Subdomain:

  • Going to mysite.com may not go to non-Google-hosted content.
  • The blog is accessed by going to a specific subdomain, like blog.mysite.com or puzzles.mysite.com).
  • Set up by configuring CNAME records to point to Google.
  • Examples: www.leftium.com, blog.stackexchange.com

Note Top-level domain and subdomain can be configured simultaneously. Most people do this so mysite.com redirects to www.mysite.com.


My guesses:

  1. In addition to CNAME records, you also need to configure the A records (also called host records). The CNAME records just take care of sub-domains like www.domain.com or blog.domain.com. The A records describe how the actual top-level domain is processed. From the Google documentation:

    The following action links your naked domain (example.com) to your actual site (www.example.com). If you skip this step, visitors who leave off the "www" will see an error page.

    Enter your domain name in the format example.com, and list the I.P. addresses shown below in the "A" section. You'll need to create four separate A-records which point to four different Google IPs.

    216.239.32.21
    216.239.34.21
    216.239.36.21
    216.239.38.21

  2. Update your Blogger settings (and wait). You need to tell Blogger to expect requests from the custom domain and wait an hour (sometimes a few days) for the DNS changes to propagate.


I don't recommend it, but there is an alternate, slightly simpler solution: many registrars support "masked" URL redirection. In your registrar's settings, just forward your domain to BLOGGER_ID.blogspot.com. This solution is domain-registrar-specific; NameCheap calls this option "Url Frame".


update: (GoDaddy's UI is a PITA, so I migrated to NameCheap.)

I found the easiest way to modify DNS records at GoDaddy was to export your zone file as a text file, edit it, then import it back to Godaddy. Also try from Internet Explorer, to be safe. I've had issues with GoDaddy on other browsers.

Add the relevant configuration line you need in the zone file (also remove any conflicting/unwanted entries) I am not sure if it makes a difference, but take note the white space between columns are TABS:

; CNAME Records
puzzles 1800    IN  CNAME   ghs.google.com

Also I have successfully pointed multiple CNAME records to ghs.google.com from GoDaddy. This is what my zone file looked like:

; CNAME Records
www 1800    IN  CNAME   ghs.google.com
iknowjohn   1800    IN  CNAME   ghs.google.com
mail    3600    IN  CNAME   ghs.google.com
ftp 3600    IN  CNAME   @
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unfortunately the GoDaddy instructions by Google are out-dated, there is nothing like "Total DNS Control And MX Records" in GoDaddy, out-dated instructions here. But I guessed the spot. I am now stuck to the point how to set up "puzzles.mysite.com" to the CNAME record? When I put "puzzles" to the first field and "ghs.google.com" to the second as host name, GoDaddy rejects it. Dunno why. –  user8926 Jul 24 '11 at 14:22
    
ERROR: "All records not containing errors have been successfully saved to your zone file. Zone File Record Host Status CNAME @ A record of a different type exists for the hostname @, could not create CNAME" –  user8926 Jul 24 '11 at 14:33
    
Godaddy does not allow me to point many subdomains to ghs.google.com for some reason, how can I do it? –  user8926 Jul 24 '11 at 14:34
    
the URL Frame is poor, I had it but I am now trying to get the URL Redirect working. Stuck just to the latter err, I think Blogger does not accept my settings because the GoDaddy is not configured correctly. –  user8926 Jul 24 '11 at 14:36
    
@hhh: I added some notes for how to update your GoDaddy DNS. I would really recommend another registrar, though. –  Leftium Jul 26 '11 at 7:39
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Please, explain the "Custom Domain" and how can I hide my blogger url?

"Custom domain" is a marketing term, to hide its real meaning from content hosting, DNS hosting and registration. Google profits from its partnership with registrars such as Go Daddy so that is why it offers registration services first under the name "Custom Domain". Only after you click so-called "advanced", meaning go-to-DNS-settings, you can configure your DNS for your domain, despite your registrar. "Custom domain" in this spot means "URL framing" (not URL masking, other way to hide an url).

ok I am still unsure what the "custom domain" in blogger really mean, does it mean that the content hosting is moved to some other site?

No, only DNS hosting.

Or does it mean that it just hides the blogspot url with other url?

Yes, no change to content hosting.

Or is it this so-called "301" thing or "URL redirection" or something else?

It is URL Framing (not URL masking), done with DNS settings configured in Google and in your Registar such as Go Daddy. Your registrar must have the correct A -record to get the DNS -hosting working! Similarly, your DNS host (in this case blogger) must have your DNS setting, in this case confusingly named "custom domain".

The case with Go Daddy and Blogger (the same logic works with Google Sites-Go Daddy -case)

You must have "64.202.189.170" in the A -record to point toward Go Daddy, more here, to get your sub-domains working with URL Framing, it is not clear from the instructions offered by Google but it works for me! Replace the four IP addresses in A -records with the IP "64.202.189.170" offered by Go Daddy. And you should be good to go, hopefully, they would clean the messy instructions -- very misleading or even wrong.

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