In order to acquire your own domain name you must go to a registrar like GoDaddy and pay the annual registration fee to become the registrant of that domain name, but how then to point that name where you want it to go? Besides being just a catchy name that people can easily remember, what makes a domain name valuable is the content or service behind it, and MobileMe is a good repository for that content, especially for those who are already subscribers to the service. Here’s how to connect your GoDaddy-registered name to your MobileMe site.
Linking Your MobileMe Web Content to Your GoDaddy Domain Name
Once you have a domain name, you will want to associate it with the content you have created on your web site. The servers that this content resides upon will already have an IPv4 address, something like 18.104.22.168. That address will have at least one domain name assigned to it. Most online hosting services allow you to associate your domain name with the content of your hosted solution. This includes MobileMe. Both domain names, yours and MobileMe’s, can be registered to point to your content. To associate your domain name registered on GoDaddy with your web content hosted on MobileMe, all you need to do is the following:
- Log on to your MobileMe account in Safari
- Navigate to your Account Settings and select Personal Domains
- Click on the Add Domain button and enter your GoDaddy domain name (e.g. “ggeoffre.com”) twice
- Log on to your GoDaddy account in Safari
- From “My Account”, click on “View in Domain manager”, select the domain name you want to work with, and launch the DNS Manager from the Tools menu
- Click on the www record in the CNAME section of the Zone Filter and enter “web.me.com”
At this point, your GoDaddy domain name, www.ggeoffre.com for example, is just another name or alias for web.me.com. MobileMe will take care of routing the incoming request for http://www.ggeoffre.com to your MobileMe account’s web site.
Fixing the Root Domain Problem
What you will notice is that if you try to access your domain name directly, without the “www” in front of it, you will be directed to what GoDaddy refers to as a parked page that claims that your domain name is for sale. To get around this, you will need to Forward your domain to the “www” address you created above as follows:
- Log on to your GoDaddy account in Safari
- From “My Account”, click on “View in Domain Manager,” select the domain name you want to work with, click on “manage” from the Forwarding item of the Domain Information section
- Enter the URL you what to forward to (e.g. “www.ggeoffre.com”)
In the example above, ggeoffre.com will be forwarded to http://www.ggeoffre.com which again is just an alias for web.me.com. So now both ggeoffre.com and http://www.ggeoffre.com will each be directed to the appropriate web content hosted on MobileMe.
Getting Around iWeb’s Sites
Internally, iWeb has its own idea of what a ‘Site’ is. This iWeb ‘Site’ is not a separately hosted location to which you can register a unique domain name to. Each ‘Site’ created in iWeb will become a separate folder of your root domain name. Trying to create something like a “ggeoffre.com” ‘Site’ within iWeb, the resulting URL will actually be more like “http://www.ggeoffre.com/ggeoffre.com/home.html”.
To resolve this, you basically must stop using the convenience feature to publish directly to MobileMe. Instead you need to publish to a local directory on your Mac. At this point you can then elect to promote or copy the individual ‘Site’ content that you created with iWeb to MobileMe, not the entire contents generated by publishing from iWeb. I like publishing content to my Mac user account’s local ~/Sites folder so that I can test the site out before promoting it to MobileMe.
All you then need to do is replace the MobileMe content located in your iDisk’s /Web/Sites folder, with the content you published from iWeb in may case located in my user accounts ~/Sites folder.
- Move all content on your iDisks’s /Web/Sites folder to the Trash.
- Copy the contents of your locally published ~/Sites folder to your iDisk’s /Web/Sites folder.
Ready to Surf!
Now you have a unique domain name of your choosing that anyone can use to access the content you create in iWeb and publish (via a partial copy) to MobileMe. And by following the technique outlined above, it will behave exactly the way you likely expect it should.