How to Redirect your Blog to a different URL Part 1: Google Blogger


This is the first in a 4 part series of blog posts about redirecting your blog to point to another URL.

In this post,  I cover how to set up your google blog so that someone can type in your custom domain name (mine is blog.bluedei.com)  and it shows your Google Blogger blog (mine is bluedei.blogspot.com). In other words, if you had a google blog already and you bought a domain name of your own and want to use it instead, this is how you would do it.

In Part 2  I will show you how to point your blog in WordPress.com to another URL and you will see that it is not at all as easy or intuitive and it is also not free like blogger. If you want to redirect in wordpress.com you have to pay for it.

And in Part 3, I will explain how to set up an existing wordpress.com blog to point not only to a new URL, but to one that also has a wordpress blog that replaces the wordpress.com blog (and has been loaded with the same blog posts as on the old blog). This is very poorly covered in the wordpress.com documentation.

Part 4 covers how to redirect a self-hosted wordpress blog on a subdomain to another URL.  My husband did this with his deep.bluedei.com blog. He purchased TSCRobinson.com from godaddy and redirected his blog to this URL.

Intro:

I am using a subdomain blog.bluedei.com for this since we have the ability to create subdomains (we have a web host). I could also have just used bluedei.com but we have several blogs (such as my husband’s blog deep.bluedei.com , his fun blog drawn.bluedei.com and my blog clear.bluedei.com) so we use different subdomains.

If you just want to point to your own domain name (like my husband also uses tscrobinson.com) and you don’t have a hosting service, you can buy the name/URL, you don’t need a hosting service. See step 1 for the best way to do this.

When I first decided to write a blog, I knew I wanted to go with either Google Blogger or WordPress.com (both free), but I didn’t know which one had the best features, etc. So I set up a blog on on both Blogger and WordPress.com and worked with both of them to see what they had to offer. And after working with both of them, I realized that I may want to get my own domain and use self-hosted WordPress from WordPress.org instead since it offers more advanced features and gave me more things to play with and learn. So after studying these 3 choices, I decided on my own self-hosted WordPress blog.

But in the process, I ended up with duplicate blogs in different places. And since I had my own URL, I wanted to figure out how to allow someone to use my new domain name ( blog.bluedei.com) and point to an existing blog and in this case, I was testing my Google Blog bluedei.blogger.com.

Redirecting a Google Blogspot / Blogger Blog to a custom domain:

Basically, there are only 2 main things you will need to do to redirect a Google Blog. You need to create a CNAME record on your own host server domain (and possibly A records) in order to point your Google Blogger blog to your new domain (or in this case, subdomain, the domain name is just bluedei.com) and you will need to tell Google Blogger the new URL ( e.g. blog.bluedei.com).

1. Create a CNAME record (and possibly A records) on host server domain

TIP: If you also need to buy your new URL, do it when you set up your Blogger (step 2) and you can skip all this setup and go directly to step 2. It costs essentially the same as any other ($10/year) and they will automatically take care of setting the CNAME, etc. They use godaddy.com, which is what most people use anyway.  If you do this, you can skip the CNAME setup instructions and go directly to step #2 since you will have them set the CNAME  (and A records) for you at the time you set up Blogger to point to the new URL.

“The easiest way to register a domain is to buy your domain directly through Blogger. If you go this route, we’ll automatically configure all of your relevant DNS settings and attach your new domain to your existing blog immediately.”

Here is a link to blogger help that is specific for several of the common registrars (like godaddy.com etc)

TIP: If you have used the URL to point elsewhere in the past, be sure to delete (or have deleted) any existing CNAME entries for the URL you want to set up.

If you can create your own CNAME record and have your host name server you would follow the directions here that google blogger says (or give them this information and ask your host support to do it):

# Log in to your account on your hosting service’s website, and go to the DNS management page. Since CNAME records are special Domain Name Service (DNS) records, they may be in sections such as DNS Management or Name Server Management. It’s possible that you will have to enable advanced settings to create a CNAME record.# Use the information in the following table when you create your CNAME record.
If your service requires you to enter server information directly into the DNS tables, the entry below needs to have a type CNAME associated with them.

Host Name/Alias  Value/Destination
www                        ghs.google.com

* This is the part of your website?s address that you designated. For instance, if you chose www.mydomain.com as the address, www is the host name.

I was not able to edit my own CNAME records so I just contacted my  inmotionhosting.com support and they set it up for me.  I told them to set the CNAME for blog.bluedei.com to ghs.google.com (specifically, “blog.bluedei.com IN CNAME ghs.google.com).

If you just have the URL, you would contact the company (i.e. we used godaddy.com) to set up a CNAME.

Additionally, if you are using a “naked domain” (like bluedei.com instead of a subdomain like blog.bluedei.com), you need to create the following “A” name records so you can use www.bluedei.com as well as just bluedei.com.

  • Create ‘A’ NAME records for your naked domain (blog.com)
    Creating A records for your naked domain is important as it allows Google to redirect people who use in your naked domain name (blog.com) to your blog page (www.example.com). If you do not do this, visitors who leave off the www will see an error page.
    There are four separate A records you will create, and can be done from the same control panel you accessed your CNAME records. Simply point your naked domain (example.com, without the ‘www’) to each of the following IP addresses:

216.239.32.21

216.239.34.21

216.239.36.21

216.239.38.21

2. Setting Google Blogger to point to your new URL

Go to the Settings tab and then pick the Publishing tab. At the top where it says “Publish on blogspot” you will see Switch to custom domain. Click on the custom link to tell Google you will be wanting to redirect your blog. The “custom” will change to “blogspot.com”

TIP: At any time, you can switch back to your free google blog by clicking on blogspot.com which will direct it back to your free Google blog.

TIP: This is when/where you buy your new URL if you need one. Click on the  Need a domain? “Buy one now” under advanced settings.need_a_domain_from_blogger.pngNow we need to tell Blogger the new URL that we want to use. We do this by going to the next section on the page (Advanced Settings: Your Domain) and entering the domain (or subdomain) that want to redirect to. In my case, I am using blog.bluedei.com.

You can also use a Missing files host by clicking on “Yes”. If you specify a missing files host, Blogger will look there if it cannot find a specified file on your regular domain. Learn more about missing files hosts.. Your missing files host must be a subdomain in the same domain as your blog. I don’t use this function at this time.

Per Google: “The most common use for this feature is when you have a number of images or other files stored on your own FTP server and then you move them to another server. Normally, this would break all the links to these files that are in your blog posts. However, if you use this feature then the broken links will all be redirected to the new location. (Assuming, of course, that the files all keep the same names and locations that they had on the original server.)

This situation may arise if you originally published your blog via FTP and then switched to using custom domain publishing. Images originally posted to your server do not get transferred over to Blogger when you do this, so you may want to move them all to a server such as images.yourdomain.com and use that as your missing files host.”

Now save your settings and that is it! You should now be able to key in your custom URL (mine is blog.bluedei.com) and it should pull up your existing Google blog. If this is all too confusing still, here is a search that pulls up blogger help pages about this.

It really is pretty easy and I was impressed with Google Blogger’s implementation.
Always move in a new direction!

~Susan Mellott

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