SSL Certificates and Google Domains

Recently I ported my domain hosting from Godaddy to Google Domains. My main reason for doing so was to save money. Domain names on Godaddy cost $3 more per year, plus they charge you for privacy on whois searches whereas Google includes that for free. It was a fairly easy process to transfer my domain names in, but configuring the DNS was a little bit weird as their zone file editing interface was different that godaddy’s. However I thought I had it all good and working so I was happy with my setup.

Then last night one of my friends mentioned that he had just renewed his SSL certificate. That got me thinking I only had about 2 weeks left on my certificate and I needed to do that as well. I had mentioned previously that I switched my SSL certificates to Let’s Encrypt. The great thing about Let’s Encrypt is that it is free, and once you get it setup, less hassle to renew that other free certificate sites that I had used in the past. The drawback seems to be that they only issue certificates that are good for 90 days. I updated my Let’s Encrypt software (it is based out of a Github repository so there is normally a new version when you need to renew.) When I ran the renew command it failed on That is when I realized that I had misconfigured my cname record on Google Domains DNS setting and www. was completely broken only worked. It took me a little while to figure out. On Godaddy I think I would do the cname of www and point it to @ or * I don’t recall which they used. Google doesn’t let you point the cname to @. Aftering some googling I found out that on their DNS setup you have to point to your hostname that is registered at @. So it ends up being cname www and it points to Once I got that taken care of my certificate renewed without any issue.

While I was in there messing around I decided I would disable TLS 1.0. Doing so means dropping support for a ton of browsers including IE10. But it is widely considered as the next protocol to be hacked and at this point pretty much everyone supports 1.2 and the handful of readers I have I expect to be running current browsers (whether on their phones or computers.) I reran the Qualys SSL Test to make sure that I hadn’t broken anything. All looked well with the higher score now on the protocol section and many more test browsers that failed. In the course of running that test I noticed the HSTS preloading test that they are doing now. I didn’t even realize such a thing existed. I did some research and added the preload header to my HSTS header on my server and put my site on the preload list for Chrome. We shall see if that works or if I meet all the requirements, but I think I do. While I was editing my headers I noticed that I was doing the domain name rewriting wrong if the person came in through The code was working if they either came in without the www or they came in on www without the https. So it ended up being a useful night as I found 2 issues in my server config I was able to fix. In the course of writing this post I realized I should add the other cnames I have registered for this domain to my SSL certificate so that will be the next thing on my agenda.