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Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems

Of the many accessories and features in Blogger, Custom Domain Publishing is possibly the most problematic.

Looking at the Labels index in this blog, I see the Custom Domains label on 363 posts (as of 2015/06/15) - which makes it one of the most heavily labeled single topics here. There are several challenges with diagnosing and resolving a custom domain problem.
  • It has various different causes.
  • It leads to many different symptoms, which can easily be confused for other problems.
  • Its symptoms can be chronic or intermittent- and may be immediate, or may take months to exhibit themselves.
  • It may require resolution by any blog guest, by the blog owner, by Blogger Support, and / or by a third party such as the domain registrar.



As you read this article, click on some of the many links in the text, and read the linked articles.

Please think of this article as the first chapter in a very large book - right now, a book with 363 chapters.


How To Use This Guide

These are the known custom domain publishing diagnoses. Here's a brief, one line summary of the problems, which are discussed, in some detail, farther below. Click on any one, if it looks promising, to jump to the detail discussion.



Domain Purchase Unsuccessful
  • The domain will not be setup. The blog may, or may not, be published to the domain.
  • This will follow use of "Buy a domain".
  • The primary symptoms will vary. We see both "404 Not Found", and "Another blog is already hosted at this address", fairly common for this problem.
  • This will be an issue for newly purchased domains.
  • It will be diagnosed by use of the WhoIs log showing "xxxxxxx.xxx appears to be available", and verified by examination of the Google Checkout logs, and bank account ledger entries.
  • The blog owner generally has to correct a problem with his bank account, then repeat the purchase of the domain.


Only Name Registration Purchased, No DNS Hosting
  • The domain will not be setup, nor the blog published to the domain.
  • This will follow domain registration, purchased from a third party registrar.
  • The primary symptom will be the query "What are the DNS servers for Google?", "I need 2 IP addresses for my domain!", or "I can only change NameServer1, NameServer2 in my domain setup!".
  • This will be an issue for newly purchased domains.
  • It will be diagnosed by the stated symptom, with the blogger confirming the diagnosis by checking the registrar's invoice to see what services were paid for.
  • The blogger will have to arrange for DNS hosting - free or paid - but choose the right DNS hosting service. A free third party DNS hosting service may be useful, in this case.


Domain Addresses Not Defined
  • The blog will not be successfully published to the domain.
  • This will follow domain registration using "Buy a domain".
  • The primary symptom will be "Another blog is already hosted at this address", in the Settings - Basic - Publishing display.
  • This will occur for new custom domains.
  • It will be diagnosed using an excerpted Dig log, for both domain URLs.
  • Here, the blogger will be advised to contact Google Apps Support, for any domain purchase issues.


Domain Ownership Not Verified


Non Google DNS server Part Of Configuration


Domain Addresses Not Properly Chosen


Domain Previously Registered, And Used In Blogger
  • A Blogger blog was successfully published to the domain, at one time - by a different person. It is now not successfully published.
  • This may follow domain registration, purchased from a third party registrar, or using "Buy a domain".
  • The primary symptom will be "Another blog ...", when attempting to publish / re publish the blog to the domain.
  • It will be diagnosed using an excerpted Dig log, for the BlogSpot, and both domain, URLs.
  • It will be resolved using the Custom Domain Reset form - and much patience by the current domain owner.


Domain Registration Expired


Blog Published To Domain, Using Mixed Case URL
  • The blog will be successfully published to the domain, but will not be visible from either BlogSpot or domain URLs.
  • This may follow domain registration, purchased from a third party registrar, or using "Buy a domain".
  • The primary symptom will be a "404 Not Found", when attempting to view the blog using either the BlogSpot or domain URLs.
  • This will, typically, occur for new custom domains, immediately after the end of the 3 Day Transition Period.
  • It will be diagnosed using a RexSwain HTTP Trace set, starting from the BlogSpot URL.
  • It is typically resolved by publishing the blog back to BlogSpot, then re publishing to the correct URL, using all lower case letters.


Blog Published To Domain Root, But Asymmetrical DNS Used
  • The blog will not be successfully published to the domain.
  • This may follow domain registration, purchased from a third party registrar, or using "Buy a domain" - though "Buy a domain" will be far more commonly seen.
  • The primary symptom will be a "404 Not Found", when attempting to view the blog using either the BlogSpot or domain URLs - or the warning "Blogs may not be hosted at naked domains." or "Another blog or Google Site is already using this address.", when trying to publish or re publish the blog to the domain.
  • This will, typically, occur for new custom domains.
  • It will be diagnosed using a RexSwain HTTP Trace set, starting from the BlogSpot URL, and confirmed with a screen print of the Publishing wizard display, taken as the blog owner sees the error message in question.
  • It is typically resolved by publishing to the "www" alias.


Domain Redirected To Google Ad Services, Sites, or Start Page URL


Blog Published Partially, To The Custom Domain URL


Internal Blogger Database Corruption


The Blog And Domain Are In Transition
  • The domain will be setup - but will not redirect. The blog will be published to the domain URL.
  • This will follow use of "Buy a domain".
  • The primary symptom will be seen only by the owner (when properly logged in to Blogger). When clicking on the "View Blog" dashboard button / link, the owner will see an "In Transition" display.
  • This will be a temporary issue, for newly purchased domains, successful purchased.
  • It will be diagnosed using an excerpted Dig log, for the BlogSpot, and both domain, URLs.
  • It will go away, when Transition expires, 72 to 96 hours after successful domain purchase and registration. The blog, and the domain, will then redirect properly.
  • While you wait for Transition to expire, spend time reading what you will want to do, when Transition is complete.


All Issues May Not Be Yet Discussed Here
You could, occasionally, have a problem which is not diagnosed in this Guide - and in that case, please ask for help, politely, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Before asking for help, you can help the helpers if you have tried some affinity diagnostics or maybe some differential diagnostics - and if you are aware that not all problems may be exclusively caused by Blogger. And have some idea how many possibilities exist, for problems.

And if it's not too late, read Blogger Magic - How To Setup A Custom Domain, and Setting Up DNS Addresses For Custom Domains, before you start.

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