Jul 27, 2012

Custom Domain Setting for Blogger

What's the minimum you need to do for Custom Domain:

If you have purchased a custom domain for your blog through Blogger, you need to do three things: 
Keep the email(s) telling you how to access the Domain Manager very carefully.  You may need this information in the future, if you change the way you want to use the domain, or for troubleshooting.
Go into the Google Apps domain tool (the email in step 1 has a ink to use), andset up at least one account with administrator rights,  and make sure that you remember the password for it.   (This isn't an account that you'll be using very often).
Go to Domain Settings > General and specify a secondary email for the administrator account  (just in case you ever do forget the password).
Unless you plan to use Google Apps email for the domain-administrator account often, then log in to Google-apps-mail for the admin account and set the forwarding address to an address that you do check regularly.   This is necessary because Google and the registrar (GoDaddy or eNom) may send important technical messages to the administrator account.

Note:  Google Apps email looks a bit like Gmail, but it's not the same thing (today, anyway ;-)    You need to go to www.google.com/apps (for business), and then sign-in by entering your domain name (the one your purchased) and choosing "go to email".

During the domain set-up process, you may be asked if you want to activate in Google Sites.   Unless you want to manage the domain in Google Sites (unlikely, since you're reading this article about Blogger), the answer is NO.


What other thing can you do:

As well as the domain-management essentials, there are a number of optional features that you may want to use - either when you first set up your custom domain, or perhaps a lot later when you want to use it in a more sophisitcated way.   The following notes are a very general taste of what's available - see Google Apps itself for the full range of options.

User accounts and services:
If you have purchased a custom domain for your blog through Blogger, you can create up to 10 email addresses for free (more if you're using a paid version of Google Apps).

You can choose which other Google-apps services are available for these accounts (choose from Gmail, Google Calendar,  Docs, Sites, Talk - and many many others).  By default, these are all ON, but you may have reasons for wanting to disable them.

Groups
These are collections of  users, which you can set up here.  Each group has its own email address.

Auto-renewal
You are given the option to automatically renew your URL every year while you were creating the account:  if you've changed your main, you can change the option selected in the Domain Administration too.

Look and feel
Under Domain Settings > Appearance, you can set Google Apps to use your logo when your domain-users are accessing other services (Gmail, Calendar, Sites etc) on your domain.   I don't do this if a domain is just for my own use, but it can be helpful to remind people exactly which gmail (etc) they're using.

Security
Under Advanced tools > Authentication, you can require verification (via a code sent to the user's mobile phone) when someone logs in from a new or unrecognised computer.


... and many more:
There are an ever-growing list of options under the domain manager.   Some of them won't be relevant to people who are using a custom domain just for a one-person blog, but some of them could be handy.