Charles Engelke's Blog

March 4, 2009

Update: Web Hosting with Google AppEngine

Filed under: Uncategorized — Charles Engelke @ 9:55 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been getting some comments recently on last summer’s post on Google AppEngine for web hosting.  I guess I’m not the only one who wants to add some simple static web pages to my Google Apps hosted services.

Most commenters are reporting success with the method, but Peter G has a problem getting the pages to work right at the naked domain name.  That is, pages at http://www.example.com work fine, but the same pages at example.com don’t.  Why did it work for me, but not him?  I had no idea.

I had to set up a new domain for a friend anyway, so I paid close attention to how to set this up.  And found that I couldn’t make the naked domain name work, either.  A little clicking around found the problem:

I’d like to map my app to http://myurl.com (also known as a naked domain).

Due to recent changes, Google App Engine no longer supports mapping your app to a naked domain.

Well, that’s just great.  I don’t know what recent changes caused this, but you apparently can no longer make AppEngine serve pages for a naked domain name.

The documentation does describe one solution: URL forwarding.  For this to work you need your domain name service provider (which is probably your domain registrar) to return an HTTP redirect response to any requests at the naked domain.  Then any web request to example.com/some/page gets redirected to http://www.example.com/some/page, which AppEngine will serve up fine.

The new domain I was setting up was registered with eNom, so I used their DNS dashboard to add a record saying that requests to @ (the symbol for a naked domain) should generate a URL redirect to http://www.example.com, and it all just works.

Hope this is helps anyone having trouble with this.  There is one potential problem, though.  The solution depends on services from your domain registrar, not Google Apps, so you may be out of luck if your registrar doesn’t offer URL redirection.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks very much for the post. I also have a domain registered with enom (through Google Apps) but it does not seem to work for me..

    Did you delete the four A Records? and, in what format did you write your URL? http://www.domain.com or just http://www.domain.com ? Thank you~

    Comment by Peter G — March 5, 2009 @ 1:19 am

  2. Oh, thanks it works perfectly now!

    Comment by Peter G — March 5, 2009 @ 6:16 am

  3. Hi. I just have a quick question. Did folks ever call you “Skip” ? Or did you spend time in Southern Colorado in 1970?
    Thanks, and sorry for interrupting… 🙂

    Comment by Laurie — April 21, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

    • No, and no. I would have been 14 then. I might have been in Colorado for a few days on a family vacation.

      Comment by Charles Engelke — April 21, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

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