Thursday, March 18, 2010

Domain Mapping: What It Is and How to Do It

Domain Mapping: What is it?
The easiest explanation is this. When you sign up for your blog, you get a url with the blog name imbedded in it. For example, http://coffeeshopbloggers.blogspot.com

You might not want the "blogspot" in your url, right? It makes your url longer and harder to remember. You are not so concerned about promoting blogspot/blogger as you are about promoting http://coffeeshopbloggers.com.

So mapping replaces the first url with blogspot or wordpress in it, to the one without it.

How to Do it?
Wordpress. You pay $10 ( if you already own the domain and $15 if you buy through Wordpress and now want to map) and repoint the domain name servers from the place you bought your domain name to wordpress.

From their website:

The Domain Mapping Upgrade allows you to use a custom domain name such as example.com instead of the standard WordPress.com domain name – example.wordpress.com – for your blog. This is a paid upgrade.

  • Domain name registration + domain mapping costs $14.97 per year, per domain.
  • Domain mapping for a domain (or subdomain) you already own costs $9.97 per year, per domain.
This is the url for How To Do Domain Mapping:

If you bought your url from go daddy, you would log into your account and go to domain management. Then you'd change the DNS servers to Wordpress Servers:

NS1.wordpress.com
NS2.wordpress.com
NS3.wordpress.com

It takes about 24 hours for it to go into effect.



Blogger/Bloggspot. Different process. You change the cname and the aname.
here's the url for the instructions below: http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=2518740760470664122

Update the DNS Settings

DNS stands for Domain Name System, and a DNS server determines what site a given address takes you to. So far, you have a domain name but none of the servers on the internet know what to do with it yet. To take care of this, you need to do two things:

  • Create a CNAME record for your blog's address, which should be a subdomain of the form www.example.com.
    To create a CNAME record for your domain with the DNS, associating your domain with:

    ghs.google.com.

    The exact procedure for doing this varies depending on your domain registrar, but you can find instructions for many common registrarshere. If yours isn't listed, or if you run into other difficulties, you can contact your registrar directly and they'll be able to help you out.
  • Create 'A' NAME records for your naked domain (blog.com)

    Note: The following information applies to naked domains only!! If you're setting up a subdomain then this does NOT apply to you! :-)
    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

Your DNS setup is now complete!

Here is the url for the specific instructions by hosting companies:

Here's the Go Daddy! instructions because that is what I used:

GoDaddy.com

  1. Log in to your account at www.godaddy.com.
  2. Open the Domains tab and select My Domain Names. You'll be directed to the Domain Manager page.
  3. Click the domain that you'd like to use with your blog.
  4. Click the Total DNS Control And MX Records link at the bottom of the section entitled Total DNS.
  5. Click Add New CNAME Record in the box labelled CNAMES (aliases). If you've already created a CNAME record for your blog's address, click the pencil icon next to the existing CNAME record.
  6. For the Name, enter only the subdomain of the address you want to use for your blog. For example, if you pickedwww.mydomain.com as your address, enter www here.
  7. Enter ghs.google.com as the Host Name. Specify a TTL or use the default setting of 1 hour.
  8. Click OK, and then click OK again.
Note that you now have to set up the aname for new blogs. I just figured this out today. Make sure you remove the old aname that Go Daddy! has set up and replace it with 4 new anames:

aname #1:
first field: @
second field: 216.239.32.21

aname #2
first field: @
second field: 216.239.34.21

aname #3:
first field: @
second field: 216.239.36.21

aname #4
first field: @
second field: 216.239.38.21

Changing the cname and the aname takes less than 24 hours to go into effect.

Update Your Blogger Settings

Almost done! At this point, you have a domain name, and the DNS servers know to direct people to Google when they want to see your blog. But Google hosts lots of blogs, so we have to make sure the right one is associated with this domain. You'll do this on the Settings | Publishing tab for your blog in Blogger.

If you're publishing on Blog*Spot, you'll see a link near the top offering to switch you to a custom domain. Go ahead and click that link.

The Blog*Spot Address setting now changes to Your Domain. Fill in the domain you registered, and then save your settings.

Now the only thing left to do is to tell everybody about your new address!

Notes:

  • If your new domain isn't taking you to your blog, wait another day or two to make sure all the DNS servers have been updated. If it still isn't working, contact your registrar to make sure you entered the DNS settings correctly.
  • Your original Blog*Spot address will automatically forward to your new domain. That way, any existing links or bookmarks to your site will still work.
  • You can use this feature with domains (e.g. example.com) or subdomains (e.g. ). However, you cannot specify subdirectories (e.g. example.com/blog/) or wildcards (e.g. *.example.com).
  • Your posted images will continue to display on your blog as described here.


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