I used DomainDiscount24 to buy custom domains for some of my Blogger sites.
The first was a .co.nz site that Google facilitated the process of: Originally Google partnered with eNom and GoDaddy, then added dd24 to extend the offer. And I bought a custom domain, and a custom email address associated with them.
Then the Google domain service had problems and was suspended. Eventually they developed the new Google Domains, and they expanded this to more countries (my country took enough q while being added to the list). But in the meantime, I wanted to start several new projects, and since I couldn’t buy a custom web address through Google, it made sense to use DD24 because I already had an account with them. And their service offers a way to have custom email addresses for my domains.
However, earlier this year DD24 emailed me:
…. On August 2, 2021, we will retire our legacy web and email hosting and move to a new modern cloud infrastructure based on cPanel. To continue using domaindiscount24’s hosting services, you will need to migrate your services to our new cPanel infrastructure.
What’s in it for you?
- Get 3 extra months added to your cPanel hosting, at no additional cost
- As industry standard, we offer web space and email in one hosting planfast SSD hosting, and multiple PHP versions
The problem is in the bit I highlighted: if I want email for my custom domains, I also buy web-hosting, even if I don’t use it because I’m a Blogger user and Google provides my web-hosting . I currently pay for domain registration, and a small amount for custom mailboxes that are linked to the domains I own. Under the new arrangement, I will still pay the registration of the domain, but also have to pay for the host – the most basic game is 4.12 € per month, that is 49.44 € per year. It may be possible to acquire some of my domains as add-on domains (it is not exactly clear if this is how things work, or if the add-on domains should be subdomains of the first one). And the bottom line – I pay for something I don’t want, and I don’t use, for a number of small blogs hosted by Blogger that I really want to have a domain specific email address.
Where to change
I spent some time checking the other registrars I use to see if anyone offers separate email/DNS hosting versus web hosting. In short – no.
- I offer what I want
- It has a reasonable price ($ US 1.67 per month for email – this is $ 20 on top of domain registration).
- They have help pages that say their DNS hosting works with Blogger, and that describe how to set them up.
There are a few reviews online that say their support is minimal (but hey, I don’t really want to pay that much), and their TrustPilot rating is 4.8, out of 1800 reviews, so I was confident enough to proceed.
How to make the transfer
Transferring the domain
In the DreamHost dashboard:
Start in the RegTransfer tab
In the DomainDiscount24 dashboard
Go to the Domains tab
MyDomains > Advanced
Scroll down the page until you see Transfer, and click on it to expand the panel.
Under External Transfer, click Request Authcode: a message will appear in the upper corner saying
The authcode for the domain mpm-publications.com has been successfully requested and will be sent by email.
And the code is emailed to the email associated with my DD24 account (nb this is not the email I’m transferring)
Back in the DreamHost dashboard:
Enter my details, and the authorization code that DD24 emailed me.
I had the opportunity to review the order (transfer cost plus one year of registration) – after a payment screen – pay only by credit card (PayPal is not currently available)
Once the payment is successful, I received a message noting that
Provided your domain is unlocked and privacy protection is disabled at your current registrar, the transfer process will take 7-10 days.
Your current registrar may send you an email to approve the transfer. (This part of the process is now optional).
DD24 actually sends a message saying that a transfer has been requested, and gives me 5 days to click a link to STOP the transfer. So at this point, it’s five days of waiting. During this time, the website is still available.
When the five days were up, DreamHost and DD24 emailed me to say the transfer was complete. At this point, the website was no longer active. In order to use the domain from Dreamhost, I had to go to Blogger, cancel the existing custom domain mapping, and set up a new one with Dreamhost – they have an excellent article about this.
There were a few sticky points.
First, now enter the domain configuration options in Dreamhost? The only button on the page was “Add Hosting” – but I didn’t get web-hosting from them. In the end I tried it, and I realized that, of course, I get DNS-Hosting from Dreamhost. The steps are:
Domains > Manage domains
Find the domain you want to move, it is listed under “Registered Domains Without Hosting”
Next, click + Add Hosting,
Scroll down to DNS only, and click Host DNS Only
This returns you to the Manage Domains tab, and your domain is now listed under Hosted Domain. Find it, a sub says DNS / Visit. Click the DNS link
Go back to Blogger, and on the Settings tab, click Custom Domain.
There is already a custom domain, from my DD24 registration. First, remove that, then refresh the Settings tab, and go to the Custom Domain field again.
Troubleshooting tip:Most of the time, the DD24 custom domain mapping was correct after I deleted it, and I was able to set the “new” custom domain as intended. But a couple of times, Blogger refused to tell me the CNAME values - it just behaved as if the mapping was already done. In this case, I used https://www.google.com/webmasters/verification/home?hl=en to see the list of domains that I checked, selected the custom domain that I was moving, and clicked on the link Details of verification – two of them on subsequent pages. This showed a box with the 2nd CNAME value – there are two strings of text, with a very small space between them, almost where the arrow is below. These are the name and the value. The first pair is www ghs.google.com
Enter the name of your domain, with the www in front, in the box that opens, and click Save.
From the small red picture now shown in the box, note the two CNAME values you need to set.
Return to Dreamhost and click Add a Record
Add the two CNAMES
Click on Add a Record again, and this time choose A record as the type. Add the 4 A-records that Google wants:
Click Save, because DreamHost will save your changes.
At the top of the screen, wait for your Domain Propagation status update to complete (takes 5 minutes).
Back in Blogger > Settings > Publishing, enable the Redirect Subdomain link
You may also want to enable HTTPS availability, as it is enabled by default for subdomains.
Job done! Except that you may have to work up to 72 hours, for the transfer to cmplete.
Once it has been installed, I can go again by clicking the DNS link under the domain name in the main Dreamhost > Domains > Manage domains screen,
The other was nameservers: should I use Dreamhost, or my own. Blogger’s help pages, and many other help articles, are not really helpful, because they all explain to set A-records. However, even after doing this, Dreamhost still wanted to keep at least two nameserver records. In the end, I just chose to use Dreamhosts, so I ended up with a screen like this – it works:
Did I understand correctly? Blogger and domain registrars advise that custom domain mapping may take 72 hours. But I’m used to being done in between 15-30 minutes. However, with Dreamhost, it was not. In about 15 minutes, the navigation at the highest level (www.myDomain.com) was working in 15 minutes, but if I tried to go to a page or post in it (for example www.myDomain.com/search/label= Songs) , I got a connection closed message. This was annoying, there was nothing for it, but wait up to 72 hours. As it happened, with the first domain, I tried again in about 18 hours, and it has the same result. So I double-checked the name server settings, and clicked Refresh DNS in the Dreamhost panel. Checked again and – voila! all pages work.
How to transfer email address
I’m not sure if I need to export the contents of the email account before doing the domain transfer – I suspect I do. So I started first to make an account that doesn’t have an email address, and then one that I don’t care if I lose the content – I have a screenshot of the content, so I can check what it looks like. .
Watch this space for more information as I learn more about how it works.
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