Dave, I’ve been working with Google’s Blogger service for a while, running a weblog, but looking at your site and various others makes me want to have everything appear on my own domain, not theirs. So, how do I do it? Lots of people I’ve talked to say that it’s not possible with Blogger, but I can’t believe it.
While I have a basic blogger account of my own, I’m not an expert on how to work with the Google system. Instead, I asked my colleague Sarah Lewis of Abundant Media to share her expertise in this area. Here’s what she shared:
To configure your blogger account to work with a specific domain name, you need to have a Web hosting account with that domain name already set up, an account that allows you to access your files via regular FTP. Once you have that, you’ll start by logging in to your Blogger account, and, from the Dashboard, click the “Change Settings” link (it looks like a gear) for the blog you wish to change.
Click the “Publishing” link; it’s just under the tabs at the top. You’ll see something like this:
Click the “FTP” link (it’s highlighted in the picture). You’ll see a bunch of fields you need to fill out. I’ve numbered them in the picture below, and we’ll go through them one by one.
To fill in this screen, you’ll need to gather some information about your domain name and the FTP account that’s set up for it. Typically most of this information is in an order confirmation email from your host. If you’re already using FTP, it’s the same information. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. FTP Server: Frequently, this is just your domain name (in my case, somethingepic.com).
2. Blog URL: If you are going to make your blog the main part of your site, this will be http://www.yourdomain.com . Make sure to put in the http:// part, and don’t put a slash at the end.
3. FTP Path: This is the trickiest value. The easiest way to figure out what it should be is to log into your account with an FTP client. When you connect, navigate to the place where your main website files go. In my case, that means I click on a folder called “public_html”. The folder is typically called “public_html” or “www” but it varies by host. Once you are in the right place, your FTP client will tell you the path. Take a look at the highlighted portion of this picture:
You’ll just want to type in whatever you see there, in my case, /public_html/ .
4. Blog Filename: This can be anything you want, but normally, you’ll probably just use index.html . I’ve gone with index.php so that I can use some PHP features, but there’s no need to do that unless you have a specific reason.
5. FTP Username and FTP Password: These are just what they say they are. Your host should have given you these when you signed up, and if you did step 3, you’ve just used them.
Once you’ve filled in all of these items, just go to the bottom of the page and click “Save Settings”. If all was well, you’ll see a message at the top that says “Settings Were Saved Successfully. You must Republish your blog to see the changes.” Go ahead and click the “Republish” button. Depending on the size of your blog, this could take a little while, but eventually you’ll receive a “Your blog published successfully.” message.
Take a look at your domain. Doesn’t your blog look nice there? Test the links and make sure they work. If they don’t, there’s probably a setting that’s not quite right.
If you have any trouble with any part of this process, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you through it. The nice thing about Blogger is that even if you mess it up, your posts are still saved on their site, so you won’t lose anything if things don’t go as planned.