April 21, 2009

Another blog is already hosted at this address - How to fix

When attempting to set up their Blogger custom domain, many Blogger users have received the following error message:
Another blog is already hosted at this domain
Although I have set up many custom domains to use with Blogger, until this weekend I had never experienced this issue for myself (and was unable to offer any definitive solution for those experiencing this problem). My friend was experiencing this very problem after setting up her new blog a few days ago. We have been able to find some solutions which I hope may help others who see this error message when attempting to set up their custom domain.

Assuming you have already configured the DNS settings for your particular domain provider and have attempted to publish to a custom domain through your Blogger dashboard, here are the steps you should take:

1. Publish back to your Blog*Spot domain

In order to make your blog accessible while troubleshooting your custom domain, it is advisable to publish back to your Blog*Spot domain for the time being.

To do this, simply go to Settings>Publishing and click the link to publish your blog to "blogspot.com".

Once this setting is changed, your blog will be accessible at your-blogspot-address.blogspot.com until the custom domain issue is resolved.

2. Check your DNS Settings are correct

When setting up a custom domain for your blog, you need to have a CNAME for your domain which points to ghs.google.com

Adding (or editing) the CNAME for your domain is the most complex and problematic issue when publishing to a custom domain.

Those who have purchased a custom domain through Blogger/Google (usually through the Blogger dashboard) will find their DNS settings were automatically configured when the domain was purchased.

If you purchased your domain name through a different vendor (ie: directly from the domain provider) you would have had to set up the CNAME setting for yourself.

To check that the CNAME setting has been configured correctly, you will need to login to the domain settings dashboard for your domain provider, and take a look at the CNAME setting(s). If you use GoDaddy, you can take a look at my GoDaddy domain tutorial. For other providers, take a look at one of these pages from Blogger Help:
Most people want to link their entire domain (eg: www.mydomain.com) to their Blogger blog. In this case, you need to look for the CNAME for the WWW prefix and ensure this points to ghs.google.com (the correct setting). If you notice that the entry for WWW points to an IP address (a series of numbers), this setting is incorrect and should be changed to ghs.google.com instead.

Those who wish to point their blog to a subdomain (eg: blog.mydomain.com), you will need to add/edit the CNAME for your subdomain (in this example, this would be "blog"). Ensure the CNAME entry for your subdomain points to ghs.google.com or change it so that it does.

Important: you should not attempt to use a naked domain (eg: mydomain.com) when setting up your Blogger custom domain or you will experience issues! Be sure to use "WWW" or a subdomain and set up the CNAME accordingly. Once your domain is properly set up, you can choose to redirect the root domain (mydomain.com) to your blog's home page as I will explain later.

Save any changes you have made in your domain dashboard and wait an hour or two for any changes to take effect. If you made any changes to the DNS settings, wait a few hours before attempting step 3.

3. Ping your domain to check it has been set up correctly

By "pinging" the domain you want to associate with your blog, you can check to be sure the settings have been configured correctly.

If you use Windows, click the Start Button, then choose "Run". In the box which pops up, type CMD and hit Enter. This will bring up a box like this:

If you use a different operating system, find out how to access the command line utility instead, or visit KLOTH.net to use the online pinging service.

Type in the following, substituting "www.mydomain.com" for your own custom domain (including either the www or your subdomain prefix):
ping www.mydomain.com
If your using the KLOTH service, you simply need to input the URL of your domain.

Then hit Enter.

If you have set up the CNAME correctly, you should see something like this (performed for www.bloggerbuster.com):

Notice how it says "Pinging ghs.1.google.com? If you see something similar for your own domain, this means it has been set up correctly.

However, if you see something like this (where a string of numbers is displayed instead of ghs.1.google.com or similar)...

This can mean one of the following:

  • The DNS settings have not yet taken effect. Wait a few more hours and try again (it can take as long as 48 hours for settings to propogate, though most become ready within 24 hours).
  • If you have waited longer than 48 hours and pinging your domain still does not resolve to ghs.google.com, it is likely that your CNAME is set up incorrectly, in which case you should go back to Step 2 and check again.

4. Try to set up your custom domain once more

By now, your domain's CNAME settings should be in order, so it's time to try linking your blog to your domain once more.

Go to the Settings>Publishing tab of your Blogger dashboard and click the "Switch to: Custom Domain" link.

Since you have already purchased your domain, you now need to switch to the Advanced Settings page by clicking the appropriate link.

In the "Your domain" box, type the URL of the domain you want to associate to your blog:

Remember to use either www.yourdomain.com or the subdomain (eg: blog.yourdomain.com). Do not simply type yourdomain.com!

It is also very important to type your URL in lowercase letters! If you use a combination of upper and lowercase letters (eg: www.MyDomain.com), this will cause problems for your custom domain. Once set up correctly, you will be able to access your blog through the custom domain even when typing upper and lowercase URLs in your browser. Check www.BloggerBuster.com to see this for yourself.

If you are able to save this correctly and can access your blog at your custom domain URL, congratulations you are all set up and ready to go!

But if you are still receiving the "Another blog is already hosted at this address" issue, continue to step 5.

5. The Magical Custom Domain Form

Because so many people have experienced issues with the "Another blog is already hosted..." message, the Blogger team have set up a form which you can use to resolve this issue.

The reason I included all other steps before this one is because this service will only work if the CNAME settings for your domain are correctly set up and verified. You should only fill in this form when you are sure the CNAME settings are correct.

You can access the Magical Custom Domain Form here, and read more about it on this page of the Blogger Help Group.

This form works by clearing any Google associations with the URL you are attempting to use for your blog (which seems to cause the "Another blog is already hosted" issue).

Within 48 hours (possibly less), your URL will be cleared and ready to use for your Blogger Custom domain.

Does this work for you?

After checking all other settings, my friend filled in the Magical Form and found her custom domain issue resolved in about a day.

I hope this tutorial will work for you too, but if not, please take a look at these other helpful tutorials:

Linking your "naked" domain to your "www" domain

As I mentioned earlier, you need to use www.mydomain.com or [subdomain].myblog.com when setting up your custom domain. You cannot set up the domain effectively using the root URL of your domain (eg: http://mydomain.com).

Those who have purchased their domain name through Blogger should be able to redirect their non-www domain to their blog with ease. Simply check the setting on the Settings>Publishing page which says "Redirect yourdomain.com to www.yourdomain.com and save.

If you purchased your domain from a different vendor, checking this setting will probably not work. In other words, yourdomain.com will not redirect to www.yourdomain.com even when this setting is checked.

For this issue, there are a number of "fixes" you could use:

For Blogger Buster, I created a "meta-redirect" page which is hosted with my domain provider, GoDaddy. You can read how I set up this redirect page here.

For a different domain, I set up a 301 redirect using .HTACCESS. This requires Linux hosting to be available at the root domain (check here for instructions for free basic hosting if using GoDaddy as your domain provider). Setting up an .htaccess file is not particularly easy, but if you're interested, take a look at this in-depth article from Taming the Beast (in particular, the section for "www vs non-www).

Another possibility is to forward your non-www domain to your www domain using the forwrding settings in your domain dashboard. Ettiene has written a tutorial for this which may be useful for those wishing to try this possibility. Although I have never used this method for my own blogs, I'm assured by others that this works to redirect the non-www domain to the www domain of your blog address.

Your thoughts?

I hope the methods outlined in this article have helped resolve any issues you are experiencing with your Blogger custom domain.

Please let me know your thoughts and opinions, particularly if you have advice on other methods which could work to prevent the dreaded "Another blog is already hosted" message, by leaving your comments below.

Advertise on Blogger Buster

Browse through the Archives

All existing posts are still available to view while I'm working on the site, albeit seen in a much simpler interface. Feel free to browse through the archives to find tutorials, templates and articles to help you build a better blog:

© Blogger Buster 2010 Home | About | Contact | Hire Me | Privacy Policy