What to do if a GoDaddy domain won't work without the 'www' when using Blogger

For those of you who are using the Blogger platform for blogging and who have tried with some frustration to get your custom domain from GoDaddy to work smoothly, I'm going to share a few tips on the issues I had and how I solved them.

If you find that typing in the URL yourdomain.com doesn't work (sends you to an error or placeholder page) while www.yourdomain.com does, here is the fix I came up with for a few blogs (including this one) that had this same issue.

Blogger settings page.

You should have two tabs open: your Blogger account and your GoDaddy account. We'll be going back and forth between the two.

In your Blogger account, go to Settings > Basic. The Publishing section is where you will adjust these settings in Blogger.

GoDaddy is constantly changing their platform so find a way to go to DNS and Manage Zones for your domain. You want to end up on a page entitled something like DNS Management.

+++ Magical Steps +++

1. Put www.yourdomain.com in the top box in the Blogger settings area, right below where it says "Third party domain settings." This is shown in the image, blacked out.

2. In your GoDaddy account, put the custom CNAME information from Blogger settings in the domain you're using for your blog. You will do this by editing two CNAMEs. Find one with "www" in the "Name" column on the GoDaddy page, and add the ghs.google.com as instructed in your Blogger settings. Create another CNAME using the "Add" link found at the bottom of the DNS Management section. In the new CNAME, you'll put the two pieces of custom code found in your Blogger settings. I've blacked mine out because you don't want that getting out for others to use. It's specific to your blog.

3. Back in Blogger, select the option to redirect yourdomain.com to www.yourdomain.com in your Blogger settings. I've checked the box (though I've blacked out my domain info) in the example. Do thou likewise.

4. Still in Blogger, download the DNS settings file (highlighted link in yellow in the image). This is where I had to come up with a wonky work-around for the www problem described at the start. That file will download and be named www.yourdomain.zone. You can try to upload that into the GoDaddy DNS Management section (in the "Import zone file" section of the GoDaddy page), but I never had any luck. Instead, go to where the file was downloaded on your computer, and do a right-click, renaming the file to www.yourdomain.txt. You'll probably get a warning message about changing file names, but ignore it and finish the renaming. You want it to be a plain text file so you can open it up.

5. Open up the text file. You'll see a bunch of IP and other info. The top line might look something like @ 3600 IN A xxx.xxx.xx.xx (the X's are numbers). Copy the numbers, and then paste them over in the @ A line in GoDaddy, as shown below. Yours might have originally had something like A @ Parked. Put the number in the "Value" column.

Theoretically, this should work. I'd give it about 20 minutes or so to all work its way through the system. So do this, go make yourself a cup of tea, and come back and try it out with your custom URLs.

If you'd been using the yourblog.blogspot.com URL for a while (as I did), don't worry. All of the old links will still work even with the custom domain.