Custom Domain Blog, Checked!


What a challenge!

I finally managed to change my blog address to a costum domain name. After three long days of confusions and helplessness and headaches and miseries, it is now official. Adieu adhylanggar.blogspot.com, welcome www.adhylanggar.com!

What's with the confusion, you may ask. There are tons of online articles and blog posts and video tutorials out there about how to change your blogspot address with your custom domain. Sure. Google may have answers to everything you entered at the search bar, but is it the correct one? Isn't it? No? Wanna find it out? Yes?

And that's where the headaches comes. Soon followed by confusion, and there it comes, misery.

Okay, perhaps I'm a little exaggerated on the misery part.

This self-led-confusion-project actually started out of curiosity. Curiosity kills the cat, they say. But not this time. After having myself a self-hosted wordpress blog, my last year self-led-confusion project, I feel it's time to test myself on something else. Instead of writing, I am more excited on the idea of having another blog site.

As a blogger, this is kinda fail. Blogger blogs, not making blog sites, right?

So, as not to fail even deeper for not being a decent blogger, I will share you the steps of changing my blogspot address with my custom domain. You may call this a tutorial, if you see it fit. Or not.

Anyway, how did I get it done? Here's my two cents.



  • Get the domain
Off course-lah. A custom domain is a must. I purchased my domain several days ago. I have forgot the exact date. Why? Check my third paragraph.

You've checked it, didn't you? :p

Let's carry on.

The typical package of a domain registration service contains a domain and a hosting service plan from the registrar. Since I already have the hosting service (which is from blogger.com, the humble provider of every blogspot pages around the web), I picked the domain parking plan (read more about domain parking).

My local Indonesian domain registrar offer a year free hosting service in their domain parking plan if the domain purchased there or Rp1 if it was bought from somewhere else. And I'm hooked.

In short, I have the domain registered and the hosting service ready to my expense. I registered a top level domain (or TLD) to be exact.



  • Get the Blogger.com account
This one is easy. It's your blogname.blogspot.com. No explanation needed.

Image: support.google.com



  • Set the custom domain
This, too, was easy. Since you're at your Blogger Dashboard (settings > basic), locate to the Publishing section. This is for the blog address changing.

Here are the steps, quoted from Blogger Help section:

Go to your blog and click on Basics under the Settings tab. In the "Publishing" section, click the link to add a custom domain.

Type the url of the domain you've purchased, keeping in mind that it must begin with www in order to work.

Image: Cara Pasang Blogspot Dengan Domain Sendiri - Qwords.com

Click Save.

You should see an error, and two CNAMEs listed below. Each CNAME is composed of two parts - Name, Label or Host and Destination, Target or Points to. The first CNAME is the same for everyone, Name being "www" and Destination "ghs.google.com." The second CNAME is particular to your blog and your Google Account, and is therefore different for each person.


Image: Cara Pasang Blogspot Dengan Domain Sendiri - Qwords.com


There you go. Just ignore the error written in red.

Now leave the Setting page on your Blogger Dashboard and go to your domain registrar page. This is the first part.



  • Set the DNS for your domain name
You are now at your domain registrar control panel.

When I purchased my adhylanggar.com, my registrar send me an e-mail contains a url link to the control panel, along with it a username and a password. Followed the link provided, enter the credentials and I'm in.

The control panel for your domain may vary. I am using cPanel, provided by the registrar. Once logged in, I proceed to the Advanced DNS Editor.

The main tasks here are:
  1. To change the CNAME record of "www.yourdomain.com" >> "www.yourdomain.com" into "www.yourdomain.com" >> "ghs.google.com"
  2. To add another CNAME record of "somerandomcharacters" >> "evenmorerandomcharacters.googlehosted.com"

After the agonizing two days of trial-and-error, I realized that I have to make several adjustments while I'm here as well. Wish I knew that earlier. 

The adjustments are:
  • Remove the existed "A" record (you have to be sure that you are ABLE to revert it to default DNS setting if something went wrong), and then 
  • Add New "A" records. There are four of them, in form of IP Addresses.

More on that, I pay specific attention to this. As quoted from Blogger Help page:

Optional: You can also enter A-records, which links your naked domain (example.com) to an actual site (www.example.com). If you skip this step, visitors who leave off the "www" will see an error page.

Optional continued: After completing Step 8, 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
End of optional section

The term "optional" in italics above really makes me completely ignore this step. It turns out to be the perfect solution to my never ending error 12 and error 14 when trying to add my domain name at the Blogger Dashboard.

At this point, every one of us have to wait for the DNS records to be active at the servers around the globe. To be sounded like a tech savvy, it's DNS propagation. This propagation takes time as minimum as it stated in the designated TTL, time to live, measured in seconds. Mine are 14400, around four hours.

Recalling it back again, I should have waited. But no, I rushed back to blogger dashboard, enter my own domain and misery started.

So now, at this point, I have had changed one CNAME, added another CNAME, removed one A record, concluded by added four other A records. This is part two.



  • Set your domain name
After some (supposedly) meditation...

... I went back to the Blogger Dashboard, headed out to the Publishing section (Settings > Basic) and clicked open the +Add Custom Domain. Here I put my own domain name. Do not forget to tick the redirect option.

Image: AdhyLanggar.com
After I hit the "save" button,

Image: AdhyLanggar.com

Eureka!

Salam,
Adhy Langgar.
hei(at)adhylanggar.info
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Image credit:
Top picture credit to T.Nijeholt at nl.wikibooks [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Notes worth sharing

  1. I found browser issue here. I cannot change anything under Settings > Basic while on Google Chrome. All the setup process mentioned above were successfully conducted with the great help of Firefox. A similar problem is being discussed here.
  2. Give a moment or two before you start access your new blog domain. Reload the Blogger setting page and clear your browsing data to ensure it a fresh start. I even flushed the DNS through the "ipconfig" command. :D
  3. Please double check your DNS zone, it should only have two CNAMEs and four A Records, among other necessary records. That's all it takes to get your custom domain up and running.

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