There are times where you’ll want to create a blog to call your own but want to keep things as simple as possible. This means no hosting fee, no complicated setup, no extra features such as custom email addresses, no sharing features, etc. You get the point. However, one thing that you might want to consider is using your own custom domain name. Even if you plan on making your blog look as simple as possible with no sidebars, fancy pictures and headers, you’ll still want to use a custom domain name to represent your site. One very popular domain name registrar is GoDaddy (I’m sure you’ve heard of them). In this article, I’ll go over how to integrate your custom domain name purchased from GoDaddy into your Blogger account from Google.
I’ve decided to create a new blog dedicated to reviewing books that I’ve read. I figured since I read a lot of books, why not publish my own reviews? I’ve gone ahead and decided to use the Blogger platform because I really needed something simple. AnotherWindowsBlog is my main website and because of that, I spend much more time on it. Therefore, it made sense to use a self-hosted WordPress installation. I’ve ruled out a WordPress.com blog because although its free as well, it doesn’t allow you to host your own Adsense code which I’ll be doing in the future on my new blog. Anyways, lets get to it.
Purchasing a Domain from GoDaddyBlogger/Google already have a built-in system for you to purchase your own domain name and evidently, they do so through GoDaddy as well! If you use Blogger’s method, Google will do everything for you and so you can pretty much skip the rest of this article. I like to purchase the domain name manually and then integrate it into Blogger and so that’s why I’m writing this article. No matter which option you choose though, your domain name belongs to you. Should you leave Blogger and move elsewhere (WordPress), you can do so in the future using either methods. However, it’s much easier to do so in my opinion if you purchase your name through GoDaddy themselves rather than through Google Apps. I found this the hard way when I moved anotherwndowsblog.com away from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress.
Before doing anything, you must purchase your own domain name. Consider this the “branding” of your website. There are a lot of domain name registrars out there for you to choose from and I’ve chosen GoDaddy because it’s the more popular one. By it being popular, there are bound to be many more tutorials on how to do things with your domain name by other users than say if you bought a domain name from some other company. Luckily, the steps should be familiar enough with all the other registrars but just remember that every registrar may require different steps to accomplish the same thing I’ve listed here.GoDaddy has a lot of sweet deals periodically. They often times have $.99 1 year new domain name registration coupons. You’ll want to check out Slickdeals often to see if you can spot one of those deals and be quick to act if you do.
You can choose to use any domain name you want just as long as it is available! The domain name I have chosen is www.anotherbookreview.com. Purchasing your own domain name is just like purchasing any other product from the Internet. The only thing you have to be careful about is attaching features to your domain name that you don’t really need. Domain names usually have a annual recurring charge. Some registrars give you a discount if you pay for future years in advance. It’s up to you what you want to do. Below are some of the screenshots I’ve taken while purchasing my domain through GoDaddy.
Integrating Domain Name to Blogger
So now that you have both purchased your own GoDaddy custom domain name and created your very own Blogger account, we can now begin the name integration.
First, we need to prepare our domain name in GoDaddy. Leave your Blogger account alone for now. Log in to your GoDaddy account. You should have gotten your log in information via the email they have sent you after confirming your purchase.
Once logged in to your account, simply click on the domain name you have just recently purchased.
You should then be taken to a page where you’ll get to see all the information pertaining to that domain name. Scroll a bit down until you see the section titled DNS Manager. Next, click on the Launch link.
You should now be in the Zone File Editor section. You’ll see a lot of stuff here but don’t worry. As long as you don’t change anything you’re not suppose to, nothing bad will happen! Find the section titled CNAME (Alias). Way towards the bottom, you should see a record simply titled “www”. Click on this record but do not change www. Instead, change the “@” symbol under the Points To column to ghs.google.com. You can leave the default 1 Hour option under TTL (Time to Live).
This next step can be considered optional. Blogger has an option, as you’ll see a little later, to redirect “naked” domains. If someone types in your custom domain name without first appending “www” to the address, they will get an error. To remedy this problem, we need to create four simple records (called A records) that each point to a different Google server. At the very top, you should see the “A (Host)” section. By default, there should be one record listed. We need to create four records, each having a host name of our domain name without the www prefix along with the four Google servers listed below:
In the end, you should end up with something like this:
Fortunately, that’s all we need to do on Godaddy’s side of things! Pretty easy right? Oh and don’t forget to hit the big Save Zone File button! Now we head back over to Blogger’s side where things get even easier.
You may want to wait a couple of minutes or so after making your GoDaddy changes (so the information can propagate throughout the Internet) before moving on to the next step. If you haven’t waited long enough, Blogger should spit out an error message letting you know.
Go ahead and log in to your Blogger account and hit the Settings button. Then head into the Publishing tab.
By default, Blogger will use the default .blogspot.com domain name for your blog. To change that, simply click on the Custom Domain link.
Google actually provides you with a means of acquiring your own domain name like I mentioned earlier but we already got one. So, click on the “Switch to Advanced Settings” link. Simply type in your custom domain name with the www prefix. Type in the word verification and hit the Save Settings button. If everything went correctly, you shouldn’t see any error messages. On the next page, be sure that you enable the redirect check box. This allows your readers to type in your custom domain name without having to append the www and still reach your blog. If not, they will receive an error unless you make the changes yourself within your GoDaddy account, which I’ve showed you how with the four A records mentioned above.
That’s it! You have now successfully integrated your custom GoDaddy domain name to Blogger. Immediately, I was able to access my Blogger blog using my custom domain name. However, it can take a while for the redirection to propagate throughout the Internet and during that time, you won’t be able to access your site without first appending the www prefix to the URL. Don’t freak out or panic. Give it some time. If after a day or two the redirection is still not taking place, then you’ll need contact GoDaddy or look back at the steps and see if you’ve missed something.