So far, I have:
- Registered a domain name with a registrar
- Purchased a hosting plan with Hostgator
- Updated the DNS records with my domain registrar with the values provided by Hostgator
- Signed in to Hostgator portal and gone through the "Add-on domain" steps to add my domain name
- Gone into the DNS control panel and reset the settings, then modified the CNAME record which shows the www subdomain so that its value is ghs.googlehosted.com
- I have also updated the .htaccess file to include a 302 redirect for the root directory, to the Google Sites address
- Have added the domain as a property within Google Sites, and added a TXT record in Hostgator to verify ownership (and Google is happy with that)
- Configured Google Sites to serve my specific site for my domain
What happens when I punch my domain name into a browser is that I end up seeing the website, but the URL in the address bar updates to the Google Sites URL.
This suggests to me the CNAME record is being ignored and the .htaccess redirect is being applied.
Why would the CNAME record be ignored? These config changes were made 24 hours ago. When I "reset" the DNS settings in the Hostgator control panel, it produced a large number of other records, but note - I previously had this domain pointing to a different web hosting provider (named Format) and that was working. I backed up those domain settings and all looks similar - the only setting making any reference to "Format" was the CNAME record for WWW - so I should expect that if I simply changed that value to Google's address, it should work.