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Moving domain to Google Apps: A record versus CNAME record?
(GAfYD experts out there?) Is CNAME just for verification?
albo




msg:3455110
 5:00 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have studied:
https://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=48090#H

Context: the registered domain already has gmail (MX) records successfully set up. Copies of website files are ready in Google Apps. I'm ready to migrate.

The domain is currently set up with A records pointing to a file on a host on which it is parked. The domain is blind-url-forwarded. The domain has no CNAME records defined.

The domain is set up using the registrar's name servers.

Would the best and most appropriate procedure for me, be, to:
(1) delete blind-url-forwarding for this domain,
(2) delete A records, and
(3) define CNAME records pointing to ghs.google.com?

(I see that, when I did a NS search for the domain name, one search report stated that when registrar's name servers are used, no CNAME records may be defined...I have no idea what this means!)

I would appreciate your enlightened advice! It is a .org domain, and the not-for-profit group will appreciate the transfer to a less expensive situation. (Forgive my overwordy question...I posted this on Google Groups and had no response.)

 

jtara




msg:3455176
 5:52 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This just came up in another post.

You cannot use a CNAME record for your basename. (e.g. example.com). You must use an A record.

You can use a CNAME for any hostnames within your domain. (e.g. www.example.com). But I find it easier, clearer, and it can be faster for users - to use an A record.

Not sure what blind-URL-forwarding is. Never heard the term before, and a Google search comes up with only your posts. :) You might mean a "frame redirect"?

The domain is currently set up with A records pointing to a file on a host on which it is parked. The domain is blind-url-forwarded.

A records don't point to files. They point to IP addresses. And if the A records are pointing to a parking site, I don't see where forwarding is involved.

In any case, simply point the A records to the IP address supplied by Google.

albo




msg:3455203
 6:10 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google says they do not support IP...unfortunately.

So far as "blind-url-forwarding" I messed up, actually the registrar's control panel calls it "masked url forwarding".

The host is "owned" by www.mydomain.com. The parked domain is "www.otherdomain.org". The target file is www.otherdomainfile.htm on www.domain.com.

Masked-url-forwarding on the registrar involves the appearance, on your address bar, when you type "http://www.otherdomain.org", instead of seeing "http://www.mydomain.com/otherdomainfile.htm" you see just"http://www.otherdomain.org"

Google says in their instructions to go set up a CNAME record, and Google offers no "IP" address (unless that's what "ghs.google.com" will suffice for...).

I suppose then, you're saying, just jump whole hog and set A records to "ghs.google.com"?

(...and am I overbugging you with a question answered elsewhere? Please oh please forgive!)

albo




msg:3455247
 6:44 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

...and, yes...I found and am trying to read your other threads...I will read them, and Google's docs hoping I may understand what to do here. I know from having seen Google Groups that several folks have made GAfYD their base, so I know it CAN be done...I'm just frustrated on HOW it should be done!

albo




msg:3455249
 6:49 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

...okay...I see the line "Google Apps is not a domain host" so that means, I can't do it! The A record has to go elsewhere! Sorry I asked!

jtara




msg:3455287
 7:29 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Masked URL forwarding is another term for frame redirect. I wish industry would settle on common terms...

It's not at all clear to be just what you are trying to accomplish. Sorry, there are too many domains involved and it's not clear how you are "plugging them together." Is part of your site supposed to be at Google Apps, and part of it hosted somewhere else? Sounds like a good use for a subdomain. Or else, simply link to your Google Apps page directly, and forget about trying to make it look like the Google Apps page is part of your site, with the same domain name.

I have to say I am unfamiliar with Google Apps. I thought it was meant to provide an "intranet"-type home for internal use in companies. I guess I have misunderstood the intent of Google Apps if people are setting-up websites based on Google Apps.

Maybe you should back-up and explain how you are trying to use Google Apps.

Sounds like you will need to use a frame redirect, though.

You certainly can use a CNAME for www.example.com. You just won't be able to support having users access your site using the basename (e.g. example.com).

You also certainly can use an A record, though. Google won't know the difference. You just have to look-up the IP address of ghs.google.com, and use that IP address in the A record. But if Google changes the IP address, then you will have to change your A record. If they do that on a regular basis, you have got a problem. :)

Sounds to me like people are trying to use Google Apps for purposes for which it wasn't intended, with predictable results.

albo




msg:3455322
 7:55 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep, I looked up the IP for ghs.google.com and fetched it...

This domain is currently parked. It is a wholly separate domain, parked only because I am a miser and parking saves bucks. The domain has nothing whatsoever in common with the domain that "owns" the hosted space. Hence the desire to move its contents elsewhere!

My hope was not a subdomain but the "whole kit and kaboodle", as some other folks (there) have reported to have done. I suspect YOU are more correct, in saying it is a usage type the Google folks hadn't intended...

Elimination of domain parking would have cleaned up a lot of grief, but now I understand (I think) what you're saying about the A records, and I appreciate your help.

(BTW, the registrar offered a one-click button to set up access to GAfYD, and all I could get them to tell me, as to what the button accomplish, was "it'll give you 'pretty much' instant access to GAfYD from everywhere in your website"...in other words, no specific info on DNS records to be changed...the registrar is domainsite)

Thanks again!

jtara




msg:3455384
 9:54 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This domain is currently parked. It is a wholly separate domain, parked only because I am a miser and parking saves bucks. The domain has nothing whatsoever in common with the domain that "owns" the hosted space. Hence the desire to move its contents elsewhere!

Sorry, still confused.

There are 3 domains here right?

example1.com
example2.com
google.com

What all goes on each domain, and why do you need two of them? Which one is parked? What's on the other one?

Sounds like maybe you are trying to do two separate things:

(1) Move your content from an old domain to a new one, that's been parked until now

(2) Integrate Google apps

I can help you with (1) if I'm guessing correctly as to what you are trying to do.

Why not do this one step at a time? I think you may be unnecessarily complicating things.

albo




msg:3455406
 10:25 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Very sorry for unclarity! Here:

Two domains, both registered with domainsite. One is, www.mydomain.com. The other is, www.myorg.org.

Both domains are hosted at ASO. www.mydomain.com "owns" the ASO host. www.myorg.org is parked at www.mydomain.com.

On www.mydomain.com is a file, named myorghome.htm.

The target "home page" for www.myorg.org is myorghome.htm. This is where the mask-url-forwarding is defined, too. So that, when someone types "www.myorg.org" on the address bar, they don't see "www.mydomain.com/myorghome.htm" but rather, "www.myorg.org" - a mere cosmetic deception, I know...but it persists through all links within myorg's website.

(The UNFORTUNATE cosmetic effect is that a search on myorg keywords yields www.mydomain.com's index.htm's title ... which is I suppose to be expected)

I hope I'm clear so far.

The goal is, to take www.myorg.org, and move its files ALL over to Google. I already have its email over there. MX records are already set up. They've been using their email for quite awhile. They have a blog. They have a GAfYD set up, but it's www.myorg.org-a.googlepages.com/myorg.htm (that's the way Google does it, until one sets up DNS records...).

Clear so far?

I've been "sharing space", with "www.myorg.org", on "www.mydomain.com", to save the folks at "www.myorg.org" some bucks. All their files are completely separate (logically) from mine, though they currently reside in my root. I've uploaded copies into the GAfYD space.

Google would be the new home of "www.myorg.org". There would be no more parking on the ASO host on which "www.mydomain.com" is hosted. This is the mechanism which I would LIKE to set up on the registrar (domainsite) control panel, but which, from YOUR info, and domainsite's VERY VAGUE info, and Google's SOMEWHAT SKETCHY info, and my VERY VAGUE understanding, it does not appear I can do.

...In an ideal world (heh, heh) unparking would eliminate a lot of grief for both "www.mydomain.com" and "www.myorg.org"!

jtara




msg:3455531
 1:15 am on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Two domains, both registered with domainsite. One is, www.mydomain.com. The other is, www.myorg.org.

OK, your two domains are mydomain.com and myorg.org. The "www" isn't part of the domain name. "www" is a host within each domain.

Both domains are hosted at ASO. www.mydomain.com "owns" the ASO host. www.myorg.org is parked at www.mydomain.com.

Um, not really. When you say "parked", that is usually taken to mean you've pointed the domain's nameserver entries at your registrar to those of a parking company. (Or in some cases, you'd point an A record to the parking company. But most prefer or insist that you use their DNS server, and simply change the nameserver pointers at the registrar.

On www.mydomain.com is a file, named myorghome.htm. (Plus mask forwarding description)

OK, so you are mask forwarding the organization's domain to a section of your own site. All irrelevant to the problem at hand, though. Throw mydomain.com out of the discussion. There's nothing you have to change at mydomain.com, except to delete the organization's content once this all works.

The goal is, to take www.myorg.org, and move its files ALL over to Google.

Let's start from there then. That's a clear statement of your goal.

This is the mechanism which I would LIKE to set up on the registrar (domainsite) control panel, but which, from YOUR info, and domainsite's VERY VAGUE info, and Google's SOMEWHAT SKETCHY info, and my VERY VAGUE understanding, it does not appear I can do.

If they have a specific setup option for Google Apps, I'd go with that option and trust them not to have put it there if it doesn't work. If your registrar has a support forum, you might want to ask other users first: "does this really work?"

My guess is that this does mask forwarding to your Google Apps subdomain. That is, exactly what you are doing now, but to Google rather than your site.

Oh - and, if it works let us know, and if you'd like sticky me with the domain name. I'll try to explain what's really going on behind the scenes. This will help others trying to do the same thing who don't have such a simple option available.

albo




msg:3455545
 1:37 am on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

domainsite has no "support forum", just the vague tech answers, both of which I've stated.

Google's stated setup is CNAME records pointing to ghs.google.com (which would I suppose would involve me looking up IP for ghs.google.com then entering that for CNAME records in domainsite's control panel). Google says nothing about A records.

masked-url-forwarding of myorg.org to Google: I can do that.

That leaves me, still somewhat taken aback, as to A records for myorg.org. To what IP address do I point them? (I want myorg.org to be totally free from any other hosting computer dependency.)

It would be nice to have myorg.org Google-searchable, since I've gone to so much (well, such puny effort as I can, heh, heh) SEO trouble for them.

albo




msg:3455611
 3:33 am on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

...or...am I in my density BEGINNING to understand that the A record states that the IP address for myorg.org is the unique IP address shown in the A record, and the CNAME records dictate how url calls for myname.org, www.myname.org, #*$!.myname.org, etc. are directed? Could it be that simple?

jtara




msg:3455638
 4:08 am on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

the A record states that the IP address for myorg.org is the unique IP address shown in the A record

Correct.

and the CNAME records dictate how url calls for myname.org, www.myname.org, #*$!.myname.org, etc. are directed? Could it be that simple?

Close. DNS has nothing directly to do with URLs, though. It deals with domain names only - the part to the left of the "/". (As in your example above.)

A better term for CNAME would be ALIAS. But, alas, it was set in stone years ago.

Two examples:

www.example.com A 1.2.3.4

www.example.com CNAME www.example2.com

The first example says: the IP address for www.example.com is 1.2.3.4

The second example says: I don't know the IP address for www.example.com. Go look up www.example2.com, and use that IP address. Oh, and if that's a CNAME too - keep following along until you find an A record.

You can certainly do this:

www.example.com CNAME ghs.google.com

You can't do this, though:

example.com CNAME ghs.google.com

It's just not allowed. It won't work. And if it does work, it won't work for everybody. ;)

But I don't think Google will know if you are using an A record or a CNAME. I think they are insisting on using CNAME becaue they don't want a barrage of complaints if they change the IP address. I have a feeling, though, that they will try awfully hard not to change the IP address.

I'm guessing that Google anticipated that you would create an additional host for your Google app site. and keep your main site somewhere else.

example.com. A 1.2.3.4 (or, @ A 1.2.3.4)
www.example.com CNAME example.com
mygooglestuff.example.com CNAME ghs.google.com

Like I said, I don't know anything about Google Apps. But it *is* called "Google Apps for Domains". I think they are assuming that you already have a domain with stuff in it, and want to keep that.

Ahhhh... here it is. They really haven't thought this through very well, have they?

For custom URLs, pick an address at your domain (e.g. pages.my_domain.com), and create a corresponding CNAME record that points to ghs.google.com.

See how they have you creating a host within your domain? The host name is "pages" in this case.

I think they anticipated this being an add-on for existing corporate sites - then they decided to also market it to small businesses that don't already have a web site. And.... they really didn't think of the implications.

Yup, yup, yup! Here are some "user generated instructions" for a certain domain registrar:

1. Go to <registrar name>.com, click my account and log in to your domain.
2. On the Domain tab, click Advanced Settings.
3. Click Edit Zone File.
Note: Do not delete the A record for "*.domain.com" and "domain.com" or you will have problems later.
4. Under CNAME, add entries for "calendar," "docs," and "start." Or any custom URL that you've chosen.
5. Point each of them to ghs.google.com.

Arggh! I wish Google wouldn't call a hostname a "custom URL"...

Marcia




msg:3455658
 4:43 am on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

When I was checking out the google apps pages, I checked with my hosting company and they said I couldn't set it up myself, that I didn't have the authority to, but that they'd be happy to do it for me at their level.

albo




msg:3455932
 1:43 pm on Sep 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok, then, it appears, I must keep the A record as is. I will try "masked-url-forwarding" to ghs.google.com and see what that garners, and realize that I must never get rid of ASO and parking...in this case

How may I return, to you all, the most gracious favor of your generous time and capable attention? Thank you very much!

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