07 May 2012

Setting up a custom domain for your Google App Engine (GAE) app

Setting up a Google App Engine application with a custom domain is a pain in the ass. Its overly complicated and takes much too long. Still, i did it and made it work, so I figured I’d write it down.

  1. Sign into GAE and in the list of my applications, click on your application. You should see the GAE dashboard. Somewhere down the list on the left you should see Application Settings. Click on that. Scroll way down and somewhere under “Domain Setup” you’ll see a button “Add Domain”. Now open a new window or something because we’ll need to come back to this tab later. This is where you’ll need to signup for Google Apps.

  2. Google Apps. I’m not 100% sure exactly how to define Google Apps, but I think it’s best described as a host of business services all under one roof. It’s basically a central place for businesses to utilise online tools to work and collaborate. My words, not Googles! Anyway, you need an account to make this work, it is free so go ahead and sign up and answer the endless questions. Get everything sorted and when its all up and running you can move on to adding the domain you bought to your Google Apps account.

  3. Register your domain. Next you need to add your domain to Google Apps, this means telling Google about the domain that you’ve already registered and proving you own it. Google is nice here, they have a few methods of doing this. The one I used is for Google to ask you to copy a verification code of sorts and add it to a special txt key on your domain. If you’re using goDaddy like I am, this is pretty straight forward. You just need to sign into your goDaddy domain manager and paste in the code. From there Google will verify the domain and add the domain to your account. You can also upload a special Google HTML file to your server, but that’s a lot of work!

  4. Update your DNS. Now we need to change our DNS to point to google. I use goDaddy and this was deceptively simple, basically just login to GoDaddy’s DNS manager and click edit zone for your domain name. You want to change the www attribute for your CNAME record. Change it to ghs.google.com and your done.

  5. Finally you can go back to your original tab from step 1 where you’re still in GAE and add “www” (not inverted commas) as the domain. This should magically link everything up and hey presto your domain should point to your gae app.

This is a much shorter, and helpful description, well done “Mark” who figured it out and helped me a lot: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/817809/how-to-use-google-app-engine-with-my-own-domain-not-subdomain

1 comment:

Geucimar Brilhador said...


I've created this Hello App in GAE http://objectivetools.appspot.com/, registered the domain objectivetools.com with GoDaddy and to configure a custom domain I followed this step by step of google site: https://developers.google.com/appengine/docs/domain

As result, the Google Apps for objectivetools.com added Google App Engine Service pointing to https://objectivetools.appspot.com
As sugested in Domain Configuration of Google Apps, I added www to redirect http://objectivetools.com to http://www.objectivetools.com and changed the A register from GoDaddy to redirect '@' as follow:

DNS Manager: Available
A @
A @
A @
CNAME www ghs.google.com

After past some hours, when I try this url: objectivetools.com the browser url is changed to http://www.objectivetools.com/ an the 404. That’s an error. page is displayed. If I try http://www.objectivetools.com/ the same page is displayed.

Do you have an ideia?