Switching your blog from one custom domain to another

This article is about how you can change a Blogger blog to use a different custom domain.


Previously, I've described how to use a domain that you bought from  Google / Blogger for something other than a Blogspot blog.  But sometimes, you may want to keep using the blog, but switch it between custom domains - ie give it a different URL.

Fred  started out with fred-goes-fishing.blogspot.com, and initially purchased fred-fish.com.   But after using that for a while, he found that it wasn't quite right, so he changed to  FredsFishyTales.com.

There are several ways to do this, but the simplest, and I believe most successful, is to:

1)  Switch the blog back to use Blogspot (for a short time), and then
2)  Repeat the custom domain purchase and switch process for the new domain, and
3)  Tidy up the old custom domain.

Switching the blog back to Blogspot:

Log in to Blogger with the account that owns the domain.

2  From the Dashboard,
In pre-Sept-2011-Blogger (the old interface):  choose    Settings > Publishing > Switch to:  blogspot.com 
In pre-Sept-2011-Blogger (the old interface):  choose    Settings > Basic, and in the Publishing area click on the cross to the right of the Edit link

This changes your blog back to be www.YOUR-BLOG-NAME.blogspot.com, and removes the DNS records that pointed your blog to the old custom-URL.

It may take a few hours (I've heard up to 72) for these changes to be applied to computers around the world, so people who go to the old custom domain may still get re-directed to your blog for a day or two. 

Apparently it can take some time for Comments to be switched back, so before doing the next step you may want to wait for a short while, a couple of hours or maybe even a couple of days.

Switching the blog to the new custom domain:

1)  Make sure that the Google account which you want to own the new domain has administrator rights to the blog.

(This isn't an issue if you only have one Google account, but may be worth thinking about if you plan to transfer the blog to someone else in future.)
2)  Log in to Blogger with that account

3)  From the Settings > Publishing tab, choose Switch to Custom Domain

4)  Use the standard blogger method of buying the new domain.

I very strongly recommend setting up an administrator account for the new domain so that you can manage this domain in the future

If you are asked if you want to enable Sites, answer NO.

If all goes well, your blog should now be pointing to the new web-site address that you have purchased.   If there's a problem, post a question in the Blogger Help Forum.  Include the URL of your blog and the domain name (aka URL, website-address) that you're trying to switch to.

Once the new custom domain is working, you way also want to change the source for any RSS feeds that were coming from the old domain.

Cleaning up the old custom domain:

Even if you don't want it any more, you still own the old custom domain for as long as you had purchased it for.   If you got it from Google, this will be until a year after your last purchase. The only exception is if you purchased from a registrar who allows refunds (most don't.)

You may want to sure that you're not going to automatically renew the old domain (make sure the box is un-ticked instead of ticked).  

In the meantime, though, your options for the old custom domain include:

  • Do nothing
Anyone who goes to it will just get a 404 / site not found error.

  • Use a blog to tell people about the redirect:
Create a new blog that just has one post explaining where your old blog has gone.

Set up this new blog to use the old custom domain from Settings > Publishing > Switch to Custom Domain > Switch to Advanced Settings.

I'm 99% certain that you don't need to worry about the set-up instructions, because they will have been done the first time around.

  • Use a domain re-direct
This means that anyone who goes to your old domain (either directly or by selecting it from Google search results) is automatically taken to your new domain.

There is a way to do it from Blogger - but it's a hack that tends to get your blog detected as spam.

The better way is to set up a re-direct with the domain registrar (ie whichever of GoDaddy and eNom the old domain was purchased through).  The directions for doing it are different for every domain registrar, so you need to read their help instuctions.  You do need to get into the domain control panel to get the access details.  If you don't have the details (ie domain administrator ID and password) for doing that, try using this help-process choosing:
- I never created an administrator account, then
- I signed up at Google.com/a and purchased a domain name at the same time

If you need help, check the support forums (etc) provided by the relevant domain registrar.

  • Use the old domain for something else
Previously this could include AdSense for parked domains (if you're already an AdSense publisher) - but that option has now been turned off>   So you may want to investigate other , or something totally different - see the second part of using a custom domain for something other than a Blogspot blog for help with this.

You may even want to sell the old domain to someone else, in which case you'll need to learn about the domain transfer process.

Related Articles: 

Using a custom domain for something other than a Blogspot blog

AdSense for parked domains

Setting up the domain administrator for your domain

Automatically renewing your custom domain

Understanding Google accounts

Transferring ownership of your blog to another Google account

Blogger and other Google products - an overview


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