Friday, July 14, 2017

Google Sites & Domains, and as a work-in-progress...

In my last post (yesterday), I mentioned that currently redirects to my Twitter profile at (BTW, I plan to update my Twitter profile page ASAP...) Since that post I've done a little bit of home page formatting with my work-in-progress Google Sites website (mostly pertaining to my logo), which the actual "Sites" URL is At the moment it's bare bones, but I feel like the logo and introductory statement are substantial enough to where I decided to go ahead and update the Google Domains redirection service to point "" to my newly established website presence. At this point I'm not trying to garner traffic, so it really doesn't matter how complete (or incomplete) my website actually is.

Speaking of which, if you're interested in this sort of thing, there are two ways to accomplish pointing a domain name to a Google Sites address. If you are using Google Domains as your Registrar and domain name hosting service (and I highly recommend that you do), the easiest and most straightforward method is to use Domains' "Configure Website" service to simply forward (i.e., "redirect") users who enter your website address (e.g., "") to your Google Sites website address. Once an Internet DNS root server has passed along the relevant IP address information--which in my situation is for ""--the actual domain name itself is no longer relevant. Of course, the down side to this method is I currently have a relatively lengthy and not-so-user-friendly Internet URL for my website. So if you are trying to brand your fabulous "" domain name, this approach isn't ideal.

In an important sidebar note to the above stated, if you are not using Google Domains, your hosting service should have a similar configuration option for forwarding/redirecting domain names. If not, you should definitely find a new Registrar and hosting service that provides this standard functionality. There are many Registrar options (and I've personally used a number of them), but I have moved all my domain names to Google Domains. Interestingly, Google considers "Domains" to be a beta product. Having used various other services, and despite being an allegedly "beta" version, Google Domains is, IMHO, far and above the best service for domain name management and administration. I'm very much invested in the Google Apps universe, and Domains integrates seamlessly with Sites, making it a no brainer for a website admin who is also managing domain names. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a day job as an IT/IS Manager, and I utilize Domains and Sites in that "enterprise" capacity as well.

In regard to my own personal endeavors, once I'm further along with setting up my website, I will want to use the "Web address" configuration in Google Sites (in the "Manage Site" section) to permanently associate the DNS for "" with my Sites website. The reason to do this is so that when visitors are visiting my website, "" will be displayed in the address bar of their web browser. It should be noted that this method requires going through a domain name ownership verification process whereby Google confirms with the Registrar that you have ownership rights to the domain name you are attempting to set up as your website address. You will also most likely need to do some configuration with your domain name's DNS CNAME record. Google Domains provides clear, step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish all this, so even if you are new to DNS configuration, you should be able to do it yourself without too much trouble.

Although the above described methods for domain name usage are essentially technical specifications that ultimately make little difference to most end users, if you have a specific domain name, then branding that Internet address is probably of relevance to you, and hence I figure this might be useful information to someone who is in the midst of setting up their own web presence.

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