4364 - On The Ferry: Looking Back

My primary domain ‘manessinger.com’ today seemed to point to the digital void. It’s IP address did not have the same value as ‘gifted-panini-8eb4bc.netlify.com’ (the “real” name of my static blog site) any more, or rather, Netlify seemed to have moved. Hard to say, because I can’t look back in time. There are services for that, but they normally don’t track subdomains.

That’s unfortunate. The root problem is, that I have stupidly set up my blog as ‘manessinger.com’ instead of for instance ‘blog.manessinger.com’. That was many years ago and it seemed like a good idea - for a few days.

For a subdomain I could set up a so-called CNAME, basically an alias, that does not point to an IP address but instead to another domain name, in my case ‘gifted-panini-8eb4bc.netlify.com’. This is robust, because any DNS lookup for an alias automatically yields the IP of the target domain name.

For a so-called apex domain (‘manessinger.com’ in my case), you can’t set up an alias. My DNS registrar offers a URL redirect service, but that does not work for HTTPS.

Anyway. While I was unhappily changing DNS settings, domain settings on Netlify, etc, I found out, that in reality I have no problem at all.

Google had or was the problem. A while ago I had set the DNS server for my Mac to Google’s public DNS. Yes, I know, you shouldn’t do that 😃

In any case, when I wanted to check if a DNS change had already been propagated, I did an nslookup manessinger.com a few times, and to my surprise it toggled between the correct IP address and two others that didn’t reverse resolve.

Sometimes I got the correct IP, most of the time a wrong one.

I tried a few other DNS servers. All yielded the correct IP all of the time.

What a fine way to kill two hours of one’s morning, especially when you’d have a lot of work to do 😝