OK–I give up. Trying to use the new Google domain hosting feature I blogged about a couple of days ago has proven to be a disastrous idea. Big (BIG) mistake. This thing is one of the worst user experiences I have ever had, and I am a pretty patient guy in the technical world.
This horrible service is based on a great idea, but its lousy implementation and buggy, confusing, destructive architecture killed my traffic for a few days and screwed up my own URL. I can’t get doublebassblog.com out of Google’s grasp at the moment.
This is a long way of saying that this blog will remain here at jasonheath.blogspot.com for the future. I don’t have the time or the inclination to mess with this behind-the-scenes garbage–I wouldn’t have tried this feature if it hadn’t appeared to be so easy. Let me assure you–it is not as simple as it sounds.
After about 12 hours of being up on doublebassblog.com, the blog would vanish and be replaced by a welcome screen. I could tinker with some settings and get it back, but it would break about 12 hours later.
The big problem (and one that is not clear when you begin the process) is that you have to use a service called Google Apps for your Domain. The idea is great, but the implementation is confusing, archaic, confusing, and downright lousy.
For one thing, I could easily sign up for the service, but there is NO OPTION TO CANCEL THE SERVICE! It sinks its Google Apps talons into your URL and won’t let go. You have to contact Google Customer Service (there’s a fun link to try to find–ever e-mail Google Customer Service before?).
Here’s my pleading letter to the Google customer Service folks:
Dear Google Apps Support,
I have a Blogspot blog located at jasonheath.blogspot.com. I wanted to use the new custom domain name Google Apps for your Domain. I created a username in Google Apps of jasonheath for my doublebassblog.com domain and put in an MX record in GoDaddy. It worked fine–traffic could get to my blog at doublebassblog.com and was being redirected from jasonheath.blogspot.com without any problem.
I noticed that www.doublebassblog.com didn’t go anywhere. I decided to create a welcome page within Google Apps and entered “www” as the subdomain for the publishing page. Big mistake, it seems. My blog all of a sudden started automatically directing people to this welcome page and not to my blog. It was not possible to visit doublebassblog.com–it would bounce you back to www.doublebassblog.com in an endless loop.
I went into Google Apps and changed the subdomain to welcome.doublebassblog.com. The same thing happened, only now it automatically bounced you to welcome.doublebassblog.com in an endless loop.
I turned off the service of custom subdomains within GoDaddy, but this made no difference. It still endlessly bounced you to the welcome.doublebassblog.com page.
Putting my blog back on Blogspot at jasonheath.blogspot.com, then waiting a few minutes and republishing would fix everything. Approximately 12 hours later, that irritating welcome.doublebassblog.com page was back and no one could access my blog.
I went into the GoDaddy MX records for doublebassblog.com and deleted the CMANE record for jasonheath pointing to ghs.google.com. My blog is still being redirected to Google with a 404 not found error (I know it’s a Google 404 by the favicon in my address bar). I am trying to forward doublebassblog.com to jasonheath.blogspot.com, but it won’t redirect.
There is no option in Google Apps for your Domain to cancel the service. PLEASE cancel this service for me. It is not working for me and now I can’t even forward my own domain name.
If you can offer any advice on how this problem could have been fixed, please let me know, but for now please immediately remove doublebassblog.com from the Google Apps for your Domain service.
I am an early adopter oftentimes, and this is the price I sometimes pay. I just want to offer this up as a cautionary tale about this service.
OK–I’m done ranting about this–I just had to get it out. I’ve got all sorts of new fun stuff to share with my readers, and that will happen starting tomorrow, but I just had to get all of this off of my chest. I’m too exhausted now to post anything else tonight, but tomorrow is another day.