February 16, 2014

How to Enable Domain Redirection in Blogger




Are you almost established your blog on a custom domain? Mmm... Looking forward to? Great! If you are an early friend or follower of Mayura4Ever, you might recall moving this blog to a custom domain after about one and half year of survival on blogspot subdomain - mayura4ever.blogspot.com. Does this domain name makes sense at all? Wrong question, kiddo! ;)


A Look Back


If you are still blogging on blogspot subdomain and willing to step into a custom domain in future, you might like to read How to Purchase and Set Up a Custom Domain for Your Blog in Blogger, and have it as a reference when you are gonna make it happen. As you go through that post, you can get an idea why a custom domain is a good investment toward blogging too.

As I've chosen GoDaddy as my Domain Name Registrar and purchased my custom domain through them, I had to go through the process of setting up my blog with GoDaddy. It was a smooth process as they had a simple tool to take care of updating DNS records. Then I turned my experience into a post too. If your choice gonna be GoDaddy, you can read how I did it and why I've chosen them here - How to Set Up Your Blogger Blog with a Custom Domain on GoDaddy.

Wish if I could write tutorials on setting up with other Domain Name Registrars too. But, I had no experience with others so far. But you can make use of references and posts / articles written by other authors online.


Domain Redirection


From now on, this post is focusing on bloggers who already made the transition. I mean, who already set up custom domains for their Blogger blogs.

Recently, Kaarunya, a new reader of my blog reached me out and asked about redirecting non-www to www version of the domain. Thanks to her, I thought I should come up with a post eventhough I had steps mentioned in above mentioned posts. As I decided to discuss them here, I've updated old topics with the reference to this post.

What is Domain Redirection? A good question! Let me explain without going into technical references.

Take this weblog's default domain - www.mayura4ever.com. You always find URLs of my blog posts starting with that domain name. What if someone type in mayura4ever.com instead (Without preceding WWW)? Even they both looks similar to us, technically they are different and there's a whole different background story.


WWW vs Non-WWW


What you need to keep in mind is that, as you purchase a domain, both www and non-www versions are under your control. Even we may find www and non-www versions are like two primary domain versions, they aren't. It's solely your preference to appoint either www or non-www version of your custom domain to your blog / website.

WWW - www.mayura4ever.com

Non-WWW - mayura4ever.com

Non-WWW aka naked domain is the base domain and www version is just a subdomain of your domain. What you really purchase is, the non-www version. Let me show you few examples, so you might find it easy to digest.

www.mayura4ever.com is a subdomain

blog.mayura4ever.com is a subdomain

contact.mayura4ever.com is a subdomain

mayura4ever.com is a base domain


Why Redirect Your Domain?


Even my blog is set up with www.mayura4ever.com, it doesn't assure to send users who type in mayura4ever.com instead.

As you already learnt, they both are identical and I could set up another blog in base domain too - mayura4ever.com. But we usually don't 'cause it may just kill the branding opportunity and visitors can be confused landing on two different web pages even both the blog addresses are looks pretty similar. Remember, for visitors' eyes, they both seem alike. Technically, they are not.

The reason behind domain redirection is... umm... let me put it this way - to avoid the confusion.

By redirecting, you assure even the visitors type in mayura4ever.com will land on www.mayura4ever.com. Even all the web pages available on the domain.

If you redirect non-preferred domain to preferred domain, even those who type in your blog URL without preceding www will land on your blog too. if non-www version is your preferred version, it will send visitors to your blog even they mistakenly type in www too.

Unless, those who type in your non-preferred domain name will end up staring at a 404 or Page Not Found page.


Test It Out!


Now it's time to know how redirection works for you on Blogger. Well, even if you are not using Blogger platform, you must assure redirection works for your custom domain as well.

If your blog almost on a custom domain, type in non-preferred domain name and see where it will leads you. If your default blog address is www.domain.com, type in domain.com. Else, type in www.domain.com.

Could you land on your blog eventhough you had non-preferred domain name entered in the address bar?

If non-preferred domain name doesn't land you on your blog, you might wanna consider following the steps below to assure everyone will land on your blog safely with no confusions :) It's just a matter of a setting.

If you must know, Blogger will use 301 Moved Permenantly redirect to send visitors to your preferred domain. It will ensure, not only the visitors that access your blog, but also the search engines will be directed to the correct page. Isn't it great?

Now, let Matt Cutts fetch some information about server side 301 redirects from the search engine perspective. If you feel it's a bit technical, you can skip the video.


Wanna redirect your non-preferred domain and save visitors from confusions? Let's get started!


Steps:

1. Go to Blogger Dashboard.

2. Click on your Blog Title.

3. Navigate to Settings tab.


4. Find Publishing heading on Basic tab and click Edit link next to your custom domain.


5. Now check the Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com or Redirect www.mydomain.com to mydomain.com option.


6. Click Save button.

Note: It may take 30 minutes or more, up to 24 hours to start redirecting.


Enjoy :-)




Awesome! Thanks for coming by and taking your time to read this post :) I hope you have learnt something today. Now you can share it with your friends and I'd love to hear from you too.






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Harleena Singh said...

Hi Mayura,


That was yet another informative tutorial, and surely going to help a lot of bloggers :)

Just as I keep saying so often, I wish I'd found you when I was on Bloggers, I might just not have left that platform as it's surely become as good as WordPress now and they keep updating and adding a lot of good stuff, which wasn't the case way back when I left it.


You are absolutely right about the having the right domain, and I remember all your earlier posts about it, especially the one where you mentioned and told us the difference of www and non-www - major difference. I know I learnt this long back when I was on the free blogspot blog too and didn't have much of an idea, till I read a post about it and shifted my domain, and it's been like that ever since. It does make more sense to have your posts and blog starting with www.your blog name.com than anything else. 301 redirection and all those details I learnt much later, but I did :)

Thanks for sharing this with us, which I'd surely share all over, just as I always do as I know it would help a lot of us. Have a nice weekend :)

Angraj said...

How to do just reverse of it? like www.example.com to www.example.blogspot.com in Bigrock. I'm not talking about integration but just redirection...how to do it?

Noufal Binu said...

Mayura,

'www' is a subdomain? yeah i Supposed it is a base domain Formerly i Presumed it is right but some times things are not going well. Video of Matt cuts very helpful so why people doing redirects with another redirected domain?

Bren Lee said...

Fabulous tutorial Mayura! I've passed along the love as I have many blogging friends who are still on Blogger and could definitely use the help!


Great to see you back at it my friend!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Harleena,


Thanks for the kind words dear :) I hope this will, especially for those who expecting to set up custom domains soon.


Ha ha... There are Pros and Cons. But you are doing really great on WordPress and I don't think blogging platform doesn't matter after all. Isn't it Harleena?


Ah... You remember all that? Cool! :) Yeah, I took some time to explain it briefly in Google Webmaster Tools series too. You were no longer a stranger to all that and made clear you knew a lot of technical stuff than you claimed :D Didn't you?


Yeah, I prefer the preceding www too. But the base domain is very apt in some scenarios. Anyway, it's solely the preference of owner. Once you built on it, set settings preferred to the relevant domain, and start to get the traffic flow, domain name has no much effect :)


Thanks for coming by, and contributing your thoughts and knowledge into this topic, Harleena :)


You have a flourishing new week there dear!


Cheers...

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Angraj,

As you wanna redirect from your custom domain, you have to access the domain settings via Control Panel at Bigrock mate :)

Use their Domain / URL Forwarding options and set destination to your blogspot. I hope this knowledgebase article will help you on that - Managing the Domain Forwarding Service.

Cheers...

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Noufal,

Indeed mate :) It's been very popular among users like .com did, so most embraced that along the way. Further, you can get a better picture by referring to the hierarchy here - Domain Name.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Matt Cutts' video, and a good question there :) Even unlimited redirections are possible, it's not a good practice to get used to mate. Mostly, the reason someone need redirects is changes to domain or URLs.

Imagine you changed your domain name last year, and switched from .com to .net again in this year, and so on. There you might wanna use multiple redirects from different domains.

However, it's a rare scenario and most aren't even thinking about such amount of redirects as Matt demonstrated in the video. If someone had to, it can affects on reputation badly and confuse the search engines along with visitors too.

Thanks for coming by and sharing your comment on this topic mate. Hope my explanation makes sense to you, Noufal :)

Cheers...

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Brenda,


It's really nice to see you too dear :) Missing your Pibbles blog, though. Yet new stuff of his coming up on social networks.


I really appreciate the compliment and sharing amongst your Blogger friends :) I hope they will make sure they have redirection enabled and working properly. Else, just few steps to follow.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment on this post, Brenda :)

Cheers...

Jeevan Jacob John said...

I had the hardest time with this one...I didn't have any idea on how to do it (everything I looked up was about doing it manually on the CNAME records - and I didn't want to mess with those).


I think I eventually did it (I don't remember how - might be through Google Apps...because I remember it having an auto redirect option).\


Fortunately, I didn't have to worry about that (until I decided to switch over to WP). Certainly made a lot of mistakes with that one, but it certainly wen smoother than I expected (probably because I already had experience with blogging; I switched over to WP about 2 years after I started blogging)


Good to see that Blogger has added in-built version :D Would be very useful to blogger users :)


Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Mayura!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Jeevan,

Ha ha... Those good old times, eh? ;) But you did it and learnt something new. Ah... It was easy when you do it again while switching to WordPress then. There you go! I believe it's your experience assisting you there :)

Oh yes! Google Apps have a redirection option too, mate. Anyway, it's no longer required for Blogger as it can be taken care of in a few clicks now.



Indeed! Things were getting simpler for bloggers and they can focus on blogging itself :)


Thanks for coming over, and sharing your thoughts and experiences Jeevan :)


Cheers...

Donna Merrill said...

Hi Mayura,

You always wow me! Although I'm not on Blogger, I have many friend who are and this will help them out.

Also, there has been much chatter lately by sub-domains and I didn't quite grasp the idea until I came over here. You have explained it well and now I do have a better understanding.

I sure need to know these things when talking to people because I find myself saying "what????" I always pick up some great language when I come and visit.

Thanks again,

-Donna

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Donna,

Ha ha... Then I guess, you don't have to play "What???" impression when talking about subdomains from now on ;)

Cool! Glad to hear it was helpful on grasping the idea better about subdomains dear :) As you know better, you can make use of 'em better.


Yeah, there are different kind of discussions about subdomains lately and mostly what I've come across were talking about how it can affect on SEO and marketing effectiveness though.

Well, I hope your friends on Blogger might find it helpful if they don't have redirection enabled already :)

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts on this topic, Donna :)

Cheers...

Sylviane Nuccio said...

Hi Mayura,

So sorry for being so late here.

This is a really complicated, but interesting topic. I've never really understood the difference between www and non-www, still don't understand why the www, in the first place.

Since I'm not a naturally tech inclined person, even Matt Cutts video is tough to understand, but I get some of it :)

Thank you so much for all this great information.

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Sylviane,

Gosh... I'm way behind dear :) Sorry for the late reply here. No problem on being late at all.

Well, it can be kinda complicated as it leans toward technical aspects. May be you can get a better idea by referring to the hierarchy (image) demonstrated in here - Domain Name. Yet knowing the difference between base domain and subdomain is enough :)

You can skip the Matts video, Sylviane. It's just background information and they are being handled in more simpler ways now. May be you can refer later on as you grasp more about redirections.


Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts on this topic, Sylviane :)

Cheers...