Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Set up your own domain

So today I went ahead and setup this blog. I started playing around with the settings and saw that that blogger is setup for publishing on custom domains. As I did a bit more digging I saw that for a $10 domain name registration fee, I could get my own domain complete and attached Google Apps. Here's how it works. Here is a list of the standard and premium features of custom domain Google Apps. The standard free version is adequate for my needs so that is what I went with.

Click the link that says "I want to buy a domain name." Seriously all it costs is $10/year for domain name registration. Google Apps are free. Pick a domain name you like and move on to step 2. I chose to register mine through GoDaddy.com. The other option is to use eNom. Continue on through the purchase. When you finish, you will need to set up an administrator account that controls your domain with an email of name@yourdomain.com. (instead of .com you could just have easily have chosen .net, .org, .info or .biz)

You will automatically have Email, Calendar, Docs, and Sites enabled with your domain. You can log into these services at mail.yourdomain.com, calendar.yourdomain.com, docs.yourdomain.com, and sites.google.com/a/yourdomain.com. All of these URLs are customizable. They all seemed fine to me but I wanted Sites to be at sites.yourdomain.com so here is how to change that:
  1. From your Dashboard page, click the sites link toward the bottom.
  2. Next to where it says "Web address," click "Change URL"
  3. Now you can change it to [anything].yourdomain.com
  4. Click "Continue" when you're done
If you want your own website now, simply go to sites.yourdomain.com (assuming your changed the Sites address to that anyway) and start designing your own site. Google has done a pretty good job here of making a dead easy web page creator. Now, you probably will want your website to reside at www.yourdomain.com so here is how to make sure it is, or how to change it if you want it to be somewhere else:
  1. Click Site settings>Other stuff
  2. Scroll down to "Web Address Mapping" and click on "Map this site"
  3. Under where it says "Web Address" you can set the URL to be [anything].yourdomain.com
  4. Click "Add mapping" to finish
Have a Blogger account and want to make it accessible as part of your domain too? That is a little bit trickier but still not too bad:
  1. From your Dashboard, click "Domain settings"
  2. Click "Domain names"
  3. Click "Advanced DNS Settings"
    For these next few steps I will assume you have registered with GoDaddy.com, if not, there are detailed instructions for some of the other common sites here.
  4. The page you should see now will provide you with a sign-in name and password to use after you click the "Sign into DNS console" link
  5. Log into GoDaddy.com and on the following page click on yourdomain.com
  6. Near the middle of the page click the link "Total DNS Control and MX Records"
  7. In the section labeled "CNAMES (Aliases)," click the "Add New CNAME Record" button
  8. Enter the subdomain you want to use (if you want your blog to be at blog.yourdomain.com, enter "blog," if you want your blog to be at somethingelse.yourdomain.com, then enter "somethingelse"), then click "OK"
  9. Now log into Blogger and click "Settings"
  10. Click "Publishing"
  11. Next to "Switch to," click "Custom Domain"
  12. Enter in the name of your blog's new address (ex: blog.yourdomain.com)

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