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Mapping 1and1 domains with your Blogspot blog or Google Site

(This article was first published on May 8, 2011.)

My first websites were all hosted under Google’s free blogging service Blogger which attaches your site with a blogspot.com subdomain. I didn’t quite like the subdomain (it’s too long) and adding a custom domain to your blog makes it more professional looking at the same time helps promote your identity online. So I opted to register my own domain name through 1and1 since they offer discount domains for the first year. Additionally, private registration is free.

I used the subdomain mapping approach. The reason for this is that in order for Google to connect you domain with their servers, they require that you point your domain’s CNAME record to theirs. However, once you edit the CNAME record of a naked domain (or main domain e.g. yourdomain.com without the ‘www’)  in 1and1 , you will lose all DNS settings that you have configured.

If using a CNAME, all DNS settings configured through the 1&1 Control Panel will be discarded. A CNAME can be thought of as a kind of pointer for DNS. Instead of specifying DNS settings for a domain in the Control Panel, using a CNAME indicates that the DNS settings for the domain should be exactly the same as the DNS settings for the CNAME address.”

I used to work at 1and1, and one of the common issues that I encounter is a customer’s custom email address no longer works after they changed the CNAME record of their main domain name. And so, in order to avoid this issue, I came up with this subdomain approach.

UPDATE: Blogger used to allow you to point a naked domain to your blog but at some point they no longer allow this. If you will try this now you will encounter an error message that says:

"Blogs may not be hosted at naked domains (ex: yourdomain.com). Please add a top-level domain (www.yourdomain.com) or subdomain (blog.yourdomain.com)."

Mapping 1and1 domains with Blogger/Google Sites
Image credit: mashable.com

How To Map a 1and1 Domain to Blogger

 Decide first whether you want a top level domain (www.yourdomain.com) for your Blogspot blog or a specific subdomain (blog.yourdomain.com or travel.yourdomain.com). If you prefer a top level domain, create a 'www' subdomain in your 1and1 control panel. Regardless of your preferred address, the steps remain the same. This tutorial uses the 'www' subdomain approach for consistency.

In order for your subdomain to be linked to your blogspot blog, you must ceate a CNAME record for it that points to ghs.google.com. This was the only thing you need to do in the past. However, Blogger now asks that you verify your ownership of your domain by creating another subdomain and point it to a unique CNAME string. Note that these will vary for every user and are automatically generated. 

Since it takes time for 1and1's system to propagate, it will be logical to get first the verification details so you can create both your blog's subdomain address and the required verification string in one setting.


For Blogger/Blogspot (updated interface).

1. On your new Blogger dashboard, go to Settings. Under the Publishing category, click “+Add a custom domain”.


2. Enter the subdomain you want and then click Save


After you clicked the "Save" button, you might get an error just like the one shown on the image below. This is expected since we have not yet created the subdomain and have not verified ownership of the domain.

You will be given two sets of records. The first one is your preferred subdomain and the second one refers to the verification records. Take note of these and login to your 1and1 control panel. 


Create subdomain and CNAME records in 1and1

3.       Create the 'www' subdomain through your 1&1 Control panel. Again, it does not really have to be the 'www', you can create any subdomain you want. We are only using 'www' as an example.

Follow the instructions on this link: How do I create a subdomain?

Take note that you have to create 2 subdomains here, your preferred address and the verification subdomain. 

4. Create a CNAME record for your newly created subdomains. Note that you need to edit the CNAME record for your subdomains only, do not touch the DNS settings of your main domain name.

The subdomain that is to be used as your blog's address must have a CNAME record that points to ghs.google.com

The other subdomain that is used for verification must have a CNAME record that points to the unique string automatically generated earlier by Blogger. Refer to step 2.


It can take 24 to 48 hours for the above changes to propagate completely. One way of checking whether the DNS has successfully updated is to open your newly created subdomain in a browser. If it will display Google's 404 page, this means your subdomain is now ready.
Google's new 404 error page
5. Go back to Blogger's advance settings and enter your subdomain. Refer to steps 1 and 2. If everything is set up properly, you will now be able to save the changes. Voila! You have successfully linked your 1and1 domain with your Blogger blog.

Make sure that you click the option to redirect your old Blogspot URL to your custom address.

OPTIONAL: To ensure that your domain is accessible through any of the URLs (http://domain.com or http://www.domain.com), just forward the main domain to http://www.domain.com.

Where to Add the Custom Web Address in Google Sites.

1. On your Google sites home page, select the site you want to manage. On the upper right portion click on the drop down arrow of the More button and select Manage site from the drop down list.


2. On the left vertical navigation side, under Site Settings, click Web Address.

3. Enter your subdomain on the “Add a web address:” text field and then click Add.


Disclaimer: The above steps were derived from my own personal experience and are not endorsed by either Google or 1&1. Please follow the above instructions at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any damage or loss for doing so.

If you have any other approaches for mapping 1&1 domains with Blogger/Google Sites, or if you have anything to add. Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Comments/disqusion
7 comments

  1. Hi Thanks for this info - very useful.
    I'm trying Mapping 1&1 subdomain with Google Sites. I have followed the instructions and created a CNAME record for the subdomain. What do I do with the destination of this subdomain - do I need to create a new one or forward it?
    If you can help that would be great.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi David, thanks for dropping by.

    Assuming you have a subdomain, www.yourdomain.com with CNAME record pointing to ghs.google.com there is nothing else you need to do over at 1and1's control panel.You do not need to edit its destination. Go now to your Google Sites settings and register your subdomain

  3. MOMSGB says:

    Hi Jane! I am trying to do this right now. How did you verify your domain with google? Before I change my CNAME record for my subdomain, I just wanted to hear what your verification process was. I verified both my domain and subdomain by having 1and1 upload an HTML file provided by google, but from what I understand from 1and1 is that if I change my CNAME record then I will lose my HTML file they uploaded since my domain and/or subdomain will be hosted by google once I change the CNAME record. TIA!

  4. MOMSGB says:

    Hi Jane! What process did you use to verify your domain with google? TIA

  5. Are you trying to link your subdomain to Blogspot? I've used the meta tag verification since there is no way I can upload an HTML file to Blogger/Blogspot.

    The meta tag looks something like the one below and is randomly generated by Google:

    <meta content='gC-u-jBrQzK31fs8wcvgA9XgoLEC1mJg46zdWbLfnp0' name='google-site-verification'/>

    You place the meta tag within the <head></head> section of your Blogger/Blogspot template. Hence, you should be familiar with editing your blog's HTML code.

    If you will change your subdomain's CNAME record, yes you will lose the HTML file they have uploaded since your subdomain's host will now be Google. But this is something you should not worry about since your blog is with Google, not 1and1.

  6. Hi, I use the meta tag verification.

    The instructions in this blog post is actually outdated. Several changes have been made on Google's end but some information stated here are still relevant. I'll try to update this once I have time.

  7. wildan says:

    The instructions in this blog post is actually outdated. Several changes
    have been made on Google's end but some information stated here are
    still relevant. I'll try to update this once I have time.

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