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DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

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hvpswac
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Registered: ‎13-10-2017

DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Hello,

 

I'm having some challenges with a web site that I look after for my local pre-school.  I have the domain hosted by PlusNet (moved around 6 weeks ago from FastHosts which worked fine).  The web site is built on Google Sites and previously a simple DNS forward took care of the connectivity.  The following was in place and was working fine until the start of this week:

 

Left Field                                             Type                        Right Field

www                                                    CNAME                   ghs.google.com

harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk       CNAME                   ghs.google.com

 

I've been told through the support desk that this configuration is invalid and would never work (despite it working for around 6 weeks?!).  Also, they are asking me to point this to an IP address - something which Google do not support.

 

Has anyone seen this issue before?  We can't be the only charity using a free service to build their web site on Google?

 

thanks in advance for any help/advice

 

Rich

13 REPLIES 13
spraxyt
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

The records shown lack terminating full stops on all fully-qualified domain names. Without those they will not work because the DNS system adds your domain name (potentially again).

Assuming the Google side is already set up and what you posted is all that is required you need

Left Field                           Type      Right Field
www                                  CNAME     ghs.google.com.
harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk.   CNAME     ghs.google.com.

The references in the right field should provide the A records.

David
hvpswac
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Hello

 


Thanks for the response - sadly that was my laziness in typing rather than anything else.  They already have terminating full stops as per the following:

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 00.00.28.png

As I said - this was working until this week so I don't understand what has changed on the Plus Net side, I certainly dont know why they are telling me that this would have worked.

thanks

 

Rich

 

 

spraxyt
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Do Google require you to set up a CNAME record for domain ownership verification?

Is the domain also intended to handle email?

David
hvpswac
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

The email is done on PlusNet (using the domain name) - so it's only the web site traffic that needs forwarding to Google Sites.  

 

Do you think I need to set up an A name record?  I'm just really struggling with the fact that it worked previously and has now just stopped.

bobpullen
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Fix

I can't vouch for why this was working before, but trying to re-point the root of your domain using a CNAME record contravenes RFCs. There's some relevant discussion about it here.

One solution that might work would be to point the naked domain to your Homepages webspace on Plusnet and then redirect traffic from Homepages to the www Google-hosted address using a 301 .htaccess redirect or similar.

I've deleted one of your CNAMEs and created a couple of A records, so let's wait overnight and see how things look tomorrow.

If http://harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk points here tomorrow, and http://www.harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk points to Google then we're on the right track and I can guide you through the rest from there.

It will basically involve you deleting the index.htm(l) page from your Plusnet webspace and uploaded a file called '.htaccess' (minus quotes, and note the dot at the start of the filename) that contains this:

Redirect 301 / http://www.harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

bobpullen
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

@hvpswac, looks like everything is re-pointed as I was hoping, so let me know if you need any help setting up that redirect.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

hvpswac
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Thanks for all of your help so far - I can see that the standard www.harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk is redirecting to the Google Sites location and the naked domain is going straight to my webspace on PlusNet.

 

I'm afraid I don't know how to put the redirect in place - do I simply create a text file named .htaccess containing the text:

Redirect 301 / http://www.harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk  

 

I've not done much with websites - hence the use of Google Sites 🙂  Do I need to FTP this to the site?  I've seen some details on the PlusNet site that says I need to be using the PlusNet broadband service to connect - is this the case?

Thanks again,

 

Rich

spraxyt
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Windows does not gracefully handle files with only an extension name (eg .htaccess). So to set this up I suggest using a text editor (eg Notepad) to create a file called htaccess.txt containing just the single line shown below.

Edit: Small amendment to Redirect directive in earlier posts. A '/' needs to be added at the end of the target address as shown below. Without this redirects to addresses internal to the site will not work (browsers will show 'can't find address' errors).

Redirect 301 / http://www.harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk/

Then use an FTP program to login to your webspace at ftp.plus.net. The username will be your Member Centre username, and the password its password. If you are using a subscription (paid for) account you don't need to be on a Plusnet connection - but if it's a free account you do.

That should put you into the / folder, navigate to /htdocs and delete any files (eg index.htm) which might be in there. Upload the htaccess.txt file to /htdocs using an ASCII (text) transfer.

Using the FTP program change that file name to .htaccess (ie remove .txt from the end and add a leading full stop). It's possible the file will disappear from view at this point since it is now classed as a hidden file and some FTP programs don't display these by default. For example with FileZilla it is necessary to tick "Force showing hidden files" at the bottom of the Server tab.

Finally use your browser to go to the site without www - hopefully it will redirect to the Google www site. If so job done. Thumbs_Up

Should things not go to plan - eg you get an Error 500 on the server, just rename the .htaccess file to say a.htaccess to disable it and the current "awaiting content" state should be restored.

David
hvpswac
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Hello David,

 

I've tried using CuteFTP this morning but it's telling me that my username + password is incorrect?!  It isnt, as it's exactly the same that I use to login to the portal to make changes etc.  I take it I dont need to put in any other characters to the login details (e.g. " or / ?).

Host:             ftp.plus.net (also tried ftp2.plus.net after a brief web search but same issue)

Username:    hvpswac

Password:     as per standard

Port:              21

If you can't think of anything obvious then I'll raise a ticket.  I'll get there in the end!

 

thanks

 

Rich

spraxyt
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

The information you are entering seems correct. It's possible your FTP password needs resetting. Perhaps @bobpullen could help?

David
hvpswac
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

So my problem is now resolved Smiley

 

The support team rebuilt my account and the username/password worked.  I was then able to FTP to the site and add the file and rename to '.htaccess' .  I'm using 'CuteFTP' and have enabled 'Show Hidden Files and Folders' but I still cannot see the file.  However, I'm pleased to confirm that the redirect is working - so it must be there somewhere! 

 

The redirect for http://harlingtonvillagepreschool.org.uk/ is now going to the site on Google Sites so happy days!  

 

Many thanks to @bobpullen and @spraxyt for your patience and persistence in getting this resolved!  Much appreciated and the pre-school is grateful to see their website back up and running!

spraxyt
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Glad to hear the redirect is now in place and working. Smiley

It's strange that cuteFTP doesn't show hidden files when asked. However using a different FTP client should solve this problem in the unlikely event editing is necessary.

David
bobpullen
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Re: DNS Forwarding for Google Sites

Glad to hear it's working Smiley

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵