Friday, August 10, 2012

HOWTO: Redirect Blogger to a Country Domain

Recently a reader sent me a question asking how a Blogger blog can be re-directed to a custom domain representing a country domain. This post is about how this blog, The Blogger Guide, was moved in to its current address in the .lk domain.

Basically, there are two steps.

Firstly, you should configure a CNAME (or Canonical Name) record with your country domain registry. (Additionally you can provide an A-record as well, but that is optional). Let's look at this in a bit more detail.

When a visitor want to reach from a browser, the program will first contact a .lk domain registry through the DNS (Domain Name Service) system. Technically, this is called a DNS look-up. A DNS look-up simply maps a domain name (or URL) to a physical web hosting server which actually hosts the web site (or blog, or any Internet service for that matter) corresponding to that domain name. In this instance, the domain name is hosted by Blogger and, the .lk domain registry should return the Blogger's hosting service as the reply to the DNS look-up. A CNAME entry is, in fact, an alias to another server which actually hosts the given URL

For example, the CNAME entry given to the .lk domain registry for this blog is given below. 3600 IN CNAME
Once this CNAME entry is configured, for every look-up request for, the .lk domain registry (or the name server) will return (technically, that's another domain name which needs to be resolved, but that is not relevant for this post).

Secondly, you have to tell Blogger that you will be hosting the blog on a custom domain. This step will link your blog with the custom domain name. When that is done, Blogger will know that a request asking, for example, is actually looking for this blog which is running inside its servers.

The way to configure the custom domain in Blogger is very simple.
  • Go to Settings : Basic : Publishing
  • Click "Switch to advanced settings"
  • Enter the custom domain name and click Save

Once the above two steps are completed, you are done with moving your Blogger blog to a custom domain. Of course, the DNS system might take about 24 hours to properly start resolving this new name.

See the Blogger's help article on custom domains for more details.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Using CSS Web Design

Finding the right website hosting company is a crucial step in designing your own website online. With a professional hosting company such as Network Solutions supporting you, you can have access to a number of invaluable features that can make your website easier to manage, more simple to navigate, and just generally more professional. Of course, professionalism may not be your goal if you are simply experimenting or if your website is only meant for a certain select audience; but, if you are working on putting a business online, or if you are hoping to generate a large amount of web traffic, you will benefit greatly from a smoothly running and easy to manage website. One feature offered by some website hosting platforms that can contribute to giving you this type of smoothly functional website is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets.

Cascading Style Sheets, for all intents and purposes, can best be defined as a web design language that helps to save you time and effort in the management of your website. There are multiple alternatives for web design out there, but CSS is becoming the preferred method of many website owners, and is particularly useful for those who wish to simplify the design process. One of the most useful benefits you can receive from using CSS language is the ability to change every page of your website simply by changing one CSS style sheet; think of this as a sort of template. If you want to alter the format of your site, on every one of its pages, you simply make the appropriate change on the template, and it automatically applies to all of your website’s pages, saving you valuable time and effort. There are numerous other benefits as well, all of which you can find on the Network Solutions website.

While many people enjoy the use of CSS when setting up business websites, it can also be useful for simpler websites such as personal blogs. Generally, CSS is said to improve your success at drawing traffic from search engines and also improve the visual quality of your website, in addition to the aforementioned perks of saving you time and money. Therefore, you can have an efficiently run, easy to find, and aesthetically enjoyable web page whether you are attempting to run a business, or whether you are simply looking to enhance your blog and attract new readers. The range of benefits made possible by CSS design language make it well worth looking into during your web design process.

(This post was brought to you by Network Solutions)

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

HOWTO: Link to All Posts of a Given Day

If you have several posts written on a given day and want to create one link to all of them, here's a little tip that will help you to achieve that.

Even though there is no direct way of getting this done, you can use Blogger's Archive feature as a workaround. All you should do is to set your archive frequency to Daily. (Settings -> Archiving -> Archive Frequency). Then the Archive widget will show a breakdown up to a single day. (see figure below)

Each day in the widget carries a link to a page that lists all the posts in that day. That's the reference you need to use to link to all posts of a given day. Even if you don't have the Archive widget, you can still make up the URL for a given day. It has the format http://<your blog address>/YYYY_MM_DD_archive.html.