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Custom Subdomain with New Blogger

Blogger, if you aren't aware, is a very simple, free platform that Google offers for anyone that wants to start a blog, like this one. Very easy to get started with, it allows people with little or no web design experience to start blogging, without having to hire professional help.

Should you decide to use it in future (or already do), one of the features of Blogger is that it allows you use a custom domain, meaning instead of yourblogname.blogspot.com you can change your blog address to something a bit more catchy like my.shinynewblog.com or whatever you prefer. When giving this a bash yesterday, I found it to be a more complicated than I remember it being on the old Blogger platform so if you also get stuck then this is a simple guide to try and help. If you find this guide too confusing and get stuck then don't forget to consult Blogger Support where you can ask questions and search answers.

To setup a custom subdomain you are going to need to be able to login to your website host and change the DNS records. If you have not done this before and are already incredibly confused by the last sentence then it is advised to seek assistance rather than go ahead and mess with the DNS if you have no idea what it is. That would be a terrible idea and if don't know what you are doing then rather leave it alone as you really can mess things up if you make a mistake. If that sounds like you then it would then be a better idea to continue to read the instructions below, get your CNAME values and then open a support ticket with your web hosting company who should be able to assist. If you think you have enough knowledge and are confident you won't accidentally put your website offline then login to CPanel or Plesk or whatever else you may use for hosting admin and head over to your domain DNS settings. 

At this point you may head straight to a button that says ADD SUBDOMAIN or something similar. However, from what I read on Blogger Support and my own testing this appears not to be the route to go. I had issues when using this method as the subdomain is created as an A record not a CNAME. So, rather don't jump ahead and don't click ADD SUBDOMAIN. Rather, go to domain list, find the domain you want to add the blog subdomain to, nicholasimon.co.za for example, and then modify the DNS records.


Now, without getting too technical about differences between A records and CNAMES, as I am not exactly sure myself, you are going to need to ADD two new CNAME records to your DNS records. These CNAME values can be found by visiting the link below, obviously you will first need to change https://my.shinynewblog.com/ to whatever your shiny new blog is called.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/verification/verification?hl=en&siteUrl=https://my.shinynewblog.com/



When you are in Webmaster Central, as in the images, select DOMAIN NAME PROVIDER then in the drop down list scroll right down to the bottom to find OTHER. Once OTHER is selected you should see a link in blue under a heading that says' Having trouble?' for ADD A CNAME RECORD. Click this and you will be presented with two values, a random sequence of numbers and letters before your domain name, for example 4321abcd.my.shinynewblog.com and the second 9876abcd.dv.googlehosted.com. These are the values you need to add.

Now, in your web hosting control panel DNS settings for your domain, click ADD RECORD, select CNAME, and in the DOMAIN field add 4321abcd, the first string of ADD_THIS.my.shinynewblog.com, DO NOT add .my.shinynewblog.co.za. Then, in the CANONICAL NAME field (might be called something slightly different dependent on your control panel) add 9876abcd.dv.googlehosted.com (remember to change it to whatever the value of the first string is for your own website), the entire thing including .dv.googlehosted.com. and click OK or SAVE. Adding this value is similar to a house address, so when someone visits my.shinynewblog.com it directs the browser to the address of the files hosted by Google instead of at your hosting company.

Secondly, you need to add one more value, which is another CNAME, so ADD RECORD, select CNAME and then in the domain name field add BLOG, or NEWS or whatever you want the subdomain to be, in the CANONICAL NAME field add ghs.google.com, then click OK or SAVE. Now you should have two new DNS records in the list, similar to what is below, just with different values.

4321abcd.my.shinynewblog.com.         CNAME         876abcd.dv.googlehosted.com.

blog.myshinynew.com.                         CNAME         ghs.google.com

You will probably need to press one more button to UPDATE or CONFIRM or SAVE or something similar to save changes and then you will have added the CNAME values for the subdomain.

Now, head over to Blogger.com, go to SETTINGS, scroll down to publishing and then click CUSTOM DOMAIN. Enter your subdomain name, save and then if your site uses HTTPS, not just HTTP, then make sure this is turned on. 

With all that done your blog should now be using the custom subdomain, however sometimes DNS can take a while to update. In some cases it can be almost instantaneous, and you can be reading your blog on the new subdomain in a minute two. However, I have had to wait a few hours on other occasions so maybe set it up before you go to bed at night. If you wake up in the morning and it is not working then you have probably done something wrong so start again. Alternatively, if you are very confused, head over the Blogger Support and ask a question or search for an answer.



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