Blogger has officially announced that it would be shutting down the FTP publishing feature on March 26 2010. So the existing FTP publishers are advised to move onto Blogger Custom Domains.If you are not currently using the FTP publishing option, you can just skip this tutorial :)
Blogger has already posted about the advantages of custom domains.
Where do you currently publish your FTP blogger blog ?
1.If you are publishing at a root level domain or sub-domain, then the things are pretty easy. (eg. www.yourblog.com or blog.yourdomain.com).
2.If you are publishing your blog at some subfolder within your domain or subdomain(www.yourdomain.com/blog), then you can no longer host your blog at that address, because Custom Domains can be setup at root domain or sub-domains only.Blogger will soon release a migration tool which will help you in properly redirecting such blogs.
Can i get rid of my web-host?
If you are hosting your blog at a root level domain or sub-domain and not inside a directory and if you are have not published any images via FTP(images are hosted on other sites like flickr), then you no longer need a web-host.
Migrating www.yourblog.com (FTP) to www.yourblog.com (Custom Domain)
Note:- The following steps can also be used to migrate a sub-domain from FTP to Custom domain(ie blog.yourdomain.com from FTP to Custom Domain). This method cant be used for migration of a blog located at www.yourdomain.com/blog or subdomain.yourdomain.com/blog
1. When you move your blog to a custom domain, you will have to move all the images to a different sub-domain on your server
2.Create a new sub-domain like files.yourblog.com and move all your images to this sub-domain (For example www.yourblog.com/uploaded_images/image1.jpg should now be accessible at files.yourblog.com/uploaded_images/image2.jpg)
3.If you are using a shared hosting service, ask your host to create a Canonical Name(CNAME) record for www with value ghs.google.com
(DNS changes are cached at many levels and your ISPs may take time to get in sync with the 13 root level domain name servers. So the changes may take time :)
4.Once your host is done with it, Log in at your Blogger Dashboard and navigate to Settings > Publishing
5.Opt For Switch to: Custom Domain (Point your own registered domain name to your blog) and switch to advanced settings
6.Type your new domain/subdomain there and in the missing file host option type in files
type the captcha and save the settings. If everything goes right, your blog has now been successfully moved to the custom domain.
What does the Missing files host do?
When blogger is not able to find a file like www.bloggerplugins.org/uploaded_images/image1.jpg , it will try to find it at files.bloggerplugins.org/uploaded_images/image1.jpg [Click on the link to see it in action]
If you are hosting your blogger blog on a sub-directory, then wait for the Blogger FTP migration tool(it will be out in a couple of weeks). Once you are done with the migration tool, just follow the steps 4-6.You wouldn't need to use a missing files host in that case.
If you have any questions about the migration, leave your questions in the comments section.