Teething troubles - from Blogger.com to our own domain

The change finally took place, the site reviewme finally got transferred to our domain name from blogspot.com. We are in the IT industry too, but we tend to leave the web side of things to the specialists. In this case it was as simple as setting your domain name for the blogspot.com address and voila, it gets transferred.

Here's a small run down of how involving it is and how tedious it can become.
So, first things first. We had a blog at whatsin4me.blogspot.com and we redirected our URL reviewme.oz-apps.com to the blogspot.com url. The main advantage was nothing, it was just a re-direction that meant nothing, it was as good as not having the url reviewme.oz-apps.com.

On our server, reviewme was a virtual host which had directories and folders, so all the files that were required went into this folder and then they were linked from the blog. This was a happy kingdom, till one day...

We pondered on it, when we have a custom url, why are we unable to use it, why do we have to use the blogspot.com address, specially when the custom url is free. If you were using wordpress, you pay like $12/year + other charges. So, all we need to do is make the shift.

Step #1. - Login as the Admin to manage your blog
Step #2. - Click on Settings -> Publishing

Step #3. - Set the custom URL and the blogspot domain

Now, you'd expect that all of this should work, right? Wrong! This is where the fun starts. Though it is as simple as directing your links and setting some url re-directions, it should all be fine, it is apparently not.

What we need to do now is specify that OurCustom.Domain.com is not at the IP address of our server but at the IP Address specified by Google (Blogger.com) The first thing is create a CNAME record. so we crate a CNAME record for OurCustom.Domain.com to ghs.google.com. If you google for results, there will be confusing responses about more stuff than you need. Since you might use Domain.com for other stuff, you might only want OurCustom.Domain.com to redirect to this blog.

OurCustom.Domain.com CNAME ghs.google.com

Do not specify any other settings as that will only confuse your server and settings and cause issues. There are some answers that ask you to create 4 A records as
Domain.com A
Domain.com A
Domain.com A
Domain.com A

The moment you set it up, it does not work, this is where DNS latency comes into play. If you access the URL OurCustom.Domain.com you will get a 404 error. You are not allowed to do that. The thing to see here is at first you might get a plain white page with that error. Stick a index.html page in the OurCustom directory and this page will be served. After a while you might get a 404 error again if you see the Google background, then you are fine Some of the name servers have now updated your settings.

Give it about 12 hours or so, the changes should be propagated and your blog will now be available at OurCustom.Domain.com

You can only learn from our mistakes,
We set the A records for oz-apps.com to the Google servers, so we could access our main site www.oz-apps.com or oz-apps.com but any other subdomain was inaccessable as there was no such site being served from Google's servers. So when we pinged for www.oz-apps.com it would return one of the 216.239.3x.21 address. Bummer!!

This was not all, our mail servers for emails on oz-apps.com (incoming and outgoing) were affected, they were now pointing to google IP addresses and our communications were down, cannot send or receive any emails.

Some of the images that were hosted off our servers were not being served on the site. We have deleted the A records for 216.239.3x.21 addresses, and now we are waiting for the DNS caches to update. We hope that this is soon.

Update: While we were typing this article, the server IP Addresses have been updated and we are back in business.

This is one of the other problems with the internet. There are more answers than there should be, so this causes more confusion and mayhem than results. What do you think? Write in the comments and let us know.