Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Resolving That "404 WWW" Blogger Issue

For those of you who switched their blog*spot blogs to Google's custom domain for blogger, you may have run into some unexpected errors, mainly being only able to publish either directly to your domain (example: mycoolblog.com) or to the "www" address (example: www.mycoolblog.com) but not both.

After finding many other bloggers experiencing the same thing, I decided to do some testing to see if there was a way to resolve this.

Note: Make sure your CNAME has an alias of www (or the place you want to publish your blog) as well as having the host account point to ghs.google.com.

  1. The first thing I did was create a Google Apps account, adding my blog domain to its services.
  2. Next, I would select the available Google services. Although you can select all or none of the features to add to your blog, you must choose the Domain Web Pages feature.
  3. After adding this feature, you should see a link that says something to the sort of Activating the web pages (underneath the Domain Web Pages image). Click on it.
  4. Make sure that you put "www" as the publishing address. This will do one of two things. Either a) It will kick blogger from originally publishing to the domain (which is good) or b) blogger will refuse to move (not as good, but okay). If blogger is stubborn simply publish on mycoolblog.com, in order to let Google Apps have a turn at "www."
  5. If you are unable to publish to "www" via Google apps, create a new sub name/alias instead. On the left should be in bold a category called Services. Find the Domain Web Pages link and then click the Change web publishing address on the screen and select an alias such as "about," "google" or even "darnell" if you would like. ;-)
  6. Visit the "www" domain (or the alias you created in its place) and make sure you see a 404 error in an off color mellow yellow orange (note: what is that color anyways?). If you don't see it, try refreshing a couple of times.
  7. Wait about five to ten minuets after seeing the 404 error, and then delete your Domain Web Pages from your current account, and republish blogger to the "www."
  8. Give the internet 24 hours and with any luck (as well as some prayers) your mycoolblog.com should redirect to www.mycoolblog.com.

After testing this on several of my weblogs (ColonyWorlds.com, IsraGood.com, InsideOrkut.com as well as this one) I found this to be the only consistent method that seemed to make this work (as to why it works, you'll have to ask someone else that question).

One of my blogs redirected within a few seconds. Another one took several minuets while two of mine took almost 24 hours before they were functioning. I would also give it 48 hours until all of your friends see the same thing, (as it takes awhile for the new settings to register throughout the entire internet.

If you have any problems, comments or questions, feel free to post them here.

Update 1/17): If this doesn't work (or is too slow/confusing for you) try this easier and (hopefully) faster one.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post!

My problem is a little bit more difficult. I want to keep my website at google apps (accessible through mysite.com or www.mysite.com) and have JUST the blog.mysite.com referring to my blog at blogger.

I configured everything correctly for the google apps, but when I access blog.mysite.com, I see the yellow box.

Do you have any idea on how to solve this problem?


Jeremy Moseley said...

Thank you for your resolution Darnell. I don't think it worked for me, but maybe I was just to impatient to wait for 24 hours. I did come up with another Blogger Custom Domain Workaround. To the comment poster just before me, did you make sure that you entered blog.mysite.com into domain under Settings->Publishing? You probably did, but just to make sure.

Louie said...

Hey Darnell.

Thanks for dropping by. To be honest this is driving me crazy. I tried what you posted first
and then tried Jeremy's advice. I got 404s all over the place this
morning and I almost deleted the whole lot.

I'm loathed to start messing around again (especially with google
apps)...but if you have any advice to get rid of the current redirect
at everythingispointless.com, I'd love to hear them.

Although I did send google a couple of emails asking them to delete my google apps account in frustration, so I don't know what's going to happen!!

Kudos for the altruistic behaviour. though. :) Louie

Steve said...


Thanks for the help. I keep doing something similar and it works--for a day or so. Then I find I'm right back to the same place and it's pretty annoying. Every couple of days, I just go back to forwarding my domain to the blog and give up for a bit, fancy URL or not.

What keeps changing? It worked fine when I just used a custom domain and hadn't set up a Google apps account... I'm pretty tempted to delete it and live without my own email!

Steve said...

Today, my new subdomain for a start page (start.crosstie.org) works perfectly, but www.crosstie.org is down again with a generic 404 (not the nice orange one from Google). I'm baffled--they both are set as CNAME records with GoDaddy (start and www, both pointing to ghs.google.com) and worked last night even after the blogger outage. However, one is fully managed by GAFYD and my original blogger address (crosspurpose.blogspot.com) goes through the blogger custom domain process. Is it possible that the two Google applications cause the conflict? Do I need to create a second GAFYD for the original blogger address? Also, crosstie.org (no www) goes to a parked page with GoDaddy and seems oblivious. Any ideas?

Darnell Clayton said...

Hey Steve,

From what I'm seeing, Google Apps and Blogger Custom Domain may not be compatable...at least not yet.

I visited your site and noticed the errors with a GoDaddy parked page, your "start" page, and a 404.

I would recommend creating a new subdomain (say "google") and have it either redirect to the "www" or to your start page.

In theory Blogger and Google Apps should work as long as blogger is not at "www" (because Google Apps uses this field by default).

But since both are unofficially "in beta" (sorry Google, there are still too many bugs) we will have to wait for both departments to work the bugs out of each of them.

Steve said...

Thanks Darnell--I may be a little over my head. I just barely understand that crosstie.org is the real domain and www.crosstie is a sub (I think)! I'm going to cut services from GAFYD or delete my GAFYD account until it's working again. Then I may give it another shot in a month. Maybe I can eventually transfer the domain to Google and streamline things.

Chris Brown said...

I'm at a blogger's crossroads. Last weekend went to SOBCon with 110 other bloggers. By far everyone was touting wordpress, but I've already got over 320 posts in blogspot and a pretty good ranking in links from like minded bloggers (part of my goal). Anyway, what are the advantages of custom blogger over wordpress other than not losing all my work to date?

Is it as flexible as wordpress. Plenty of widgets & plug ins?
Easier to use?


Chris Brown said...

Thanks so much for the long answer.

Sounds like I should add to my own company's website with my blog, either using wordpress software or blogger software, but really plan on switching to something like:

blog/resources-results.com or
resources-results.com/blog rather than keep going with a separate domain for the company blog. right?


JP said...

Thanks for this workaround. It went exactly as you outlined. I'm using GoDaddy and it took less than 24 hours for mydomain.com to turn around. Now I'll actually look into using Google Apps since I signed up for it.

Hezron Mariano said...

i blindly sign up to google apps with the iblogall.com as the domain. and after i signup for the google apps my blogger hosted blog which i usually publish on www.iblogall.com is now gone on internet i recieved "error404" whenever i typed my domain.

I try to follow your instructions but unfortunately i can't follow it clearly.

Can you help me with this problem?

I hope you can help me soon.

holmes221 said...

are you aware that you haven't solved your own problem?

I mean http://www.darnellclayton.com/ works but http://darnellclayton.com/ doesn't.

http://darnellclayton.com/ only works in Firefox but not in IE6 and Opera9.

Darnell Clayton said...

Hey Holmes221,

Thanks for letting me know!

As far as browsers go, I only use Firefox (my primary one) and IE7 (my back up).

I rarely use Opera, mainly because the internet looks "really ugly" through it (despite the fact that it is an excellent browser, aside from the beauty issues) and I no longer use IE6 because of security issues.

I'll check those sites to see if I can find a work around for those.

Thanks again for the info!

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