Bug and solution – Google Apps / Sites and Blogger using the same domain name

15Jul08

Spoiler: this post describes the problem when an Internet domain is is setup for Google Apps AND Google Pages is activated.  If you want to use that domain for Blogger as well instead of the xyzabc.blogspot.com, Blogger refuses to accept that domain with an error message (see below).  (There might be other causes for the error message as suggested here.)

“Another blog is already hosted at this address.”

You wanted to submit something like http://www.mymegadomain.com in the Blogger publishing settings instead of myverycomplicatedname.blogspot.com.

That is the error message that Blogger gave me for a couple of days, though I had done all the requested changes to the DNS configuration.  At first I thought it was temporary, it often takes time for DNS settings to take effect.  Then I tried again, same message, no time to fully investigate, researched a bit, rechecked settings, no solution, no time, mmhh, postboned. And again… until urgency crept in and it had to be solved…

I remembered my pal Google, incidentally the step-father of blogger.  Over 9000 hits. Mmmh. I am not alone, the reassuring feedback when faced with a problem.

After a couple of sites, eureka, it’s a bug. And a quite old one.  Turns out, it is a problem with the combination of Google Apps (combined with the domain name you want to use for blogger), activrted Google Pages (Google Sites seems innocent) and Blogger.  Google Pages and Blogger apparrently share a table regarding the Google DNS management.  The web, ie Google Groups offered two solutions: a rather months old one and a newer one, both workarounds.  The first one is based on the experience of some bloggers.  A lot back and forth, de-activating Google Pages from Google Apps, then re-activating and a bit more.

Then I found a semi-official Google workaround. Funny enough hat one demonstrates a usage of a public Google spreadsheet as a web form, called the Magical Custom Domain Form.  MMMhh.  Magical, right.

Okay, my Sherlock brain combined: they haven’t solved the bug yet (July 2008), the problem still needs a manual workaround either by a Goggle guy via the form or the DIY de-activation of Google Pages plus… mmmh.

I decided to first try just disabling Google Pages which was activated for trial purposes only.  Waited a bit more than 30 minutes.  And bingo.  After another go to change the publishing setting, it went through, everything is fine.

Message: simply de-activate Google Pages, if you don’t need that service and wait for more than 30 min, maybe a little longer. Then try again submitting your web address for Blogger in the <Publishing> section.  Magical.  Less is more.

If you need to re-activate pages, do it as the blogger in Google Groups suggested. I have no need for Pages, which seems to be orphaned within Google anyway, Blogger is much better and powerful as a customisable Google web hosting solution.  Google Sites is more practical especially for intranets, the user friendly wiki Intrathingy. Blogger offers so much manipulation of the HTML and CSS code (search for anything you want to do, strip it of blogger elements, new templates, Javascript whatever), that you can basically use blogger as a powerful CMS system, hosted for free.  It would be nice to be able to combine Blogger and Google Sites more easily, especially using the logins of Google Apps etc.  But boy, the combination of Picasa (heck even Flickr), blogger, widgets, Google Sites, Google Analytics, Google Apps, Gmail, Calendar, App Engine is damn attractive. Search for specific solutions, there are so many scripts, workarounds, tricks, APIs available, the problem is not if they exist but rather, will I find the right one in the masses of possibilities.

Oh and before I forgot, I wondered how to point the domain default without the “www” prefix to the blogger site as well.  Problem is, your DNS wants the default to be an IP number, not a domain.

Once the http://www.mysuperdomain.com is accepted, Blogger offers the option to use the domain setting without the “www” as well, hurray, next headache prevented.

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3 Responses to “Bug and solution – Google Apps / Sites and Blogger using the same domain name”

  1. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU………………………….YOU SAVED ME!

  2. 2 Gina

    Thanks for posting this – I was tearing my hair out with this issue. Google was completely unhelpful, and their documentation didn’t cover the conflict.

    You ROCK!


  1. 1 Bug and solution - Google Apps / Sites and Blogger using the same domain name | Available Domains - Industry leading domain name news

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