Naked Domain Redirect Failing when using HTTPS SSL on Google App Engine

Update 16 Sept 2015

It appears this may now work as per Forum post and Issue 10802

Previously applicable info below...


Currently it's not supported. The naked domain redirect is a workaround only for http and you'll probably notice that specific IP addresses you need to be put in your DNS for that differ from the approach and IP addresses for ghs.googlehosted.com.

This seems to indicate that it's different parts of Google's infrastructure and they haven't yet managed to make them consistent or work together. I haven't seen any details on when they will resolve this so it might be a long wait. e.g. Related post from 2009

There is an "acknowledged" issue for Naked domain support so when that's fixed then likely this issue also resolved.

As Google is not going to correctly serve your certificate on their naked domain redirector then for now there are these options that I see:

  • Make/provide your own reverse proxy (Apache httpd, varnish etc) or use a reverse proxy service (eg. CloudFlare) and point your naked domain there. You'd install your SSL on the reverse proxy, clients would connect there for your naked domain (no certificate errors) and you'd proxy all traffic to your real site. It might create a single point of failure and costs depending what you use.

  • Rent a cheap VPS where you install a web server, your cert and a redirect script to https://www.feeltracker.com. In DNS map your naked domain to that server. It can be a really cheap linux server as requirements just to redirect are very low.

  • Find a domain redirect service that supports https and allows you to upload your certificate. Sadly I'm not aware of any.

  • Use VIP (Virtual IP) SSL and configure it in DNS for your naked domain. I haven't tested myself but it seems it should work, although I did find a old comment here that it may not. Has someone tested? NOTE however as far as I could see the DNS entry has a TTL of just 300 (5mins) and Google doesn't advise it, so even if it did work you might need some scripts to update your DNS entries as there's a strong chance it changes from time to time. If it does work then DNS providers like DNSSimple have an API so it would be possible.

Probably the second option is most applicable in your case as you don't seem to mind about the naked domain (which for many is an issue).

I recently found a good example: https://khanacademy.org/ They appear to use an Amazon EC2 host as per the second option above.

https://khanacademy.org/ Resolving khanacademy.org... 107.20.223.238 
Connecting to khanacademy.org|107.20.223.238|:443... connected. 
WARNING: cannot verify khanacademy.org’s certificate, issued by “/C=US/ST=Arizona/L=Scottsdale/O=GoDaddy.com, Inc./OU=http://certificates.godaddy.com/repository/CN=Go Daddy Secure Certification Authority/serialNumber=07969287”:   Unable to locally verify the issuer’s authority. WARNING: certificate common name “*.khanacademy.org” doesn’t match requested host name “khanacademy.org”. 
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 301 Moved
Permanently Location: https://www.khanacademy.org/ [following]
https://www.khanacademy.org/ Resolving www.khanacademy.org... 
72.14.249.132 Connecting to www.khanacademy.org|72.14.249.132|:443... connected. 

whois 107.20.223.238
OrgName:        Amazon.com, Inc.
OrgId:          AMAZO-4
Address:        Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2

As of 12 April 2014 it looks like Google makes some progress and now allows mapping of non Google Apps domains (seeissue 8517), although SSL appears not to work for that method yet (see issue 10794 for tracking that).


Best free SSL redirect service I found was CloudFlare. To get it working:

  1. Add your domain and switch your name servers to CloudFlare (signup process walks you through it)
  2. Once added goto CloudFlare Settings and down to SSL. Change the setting to 'Full SSL (Strict)' this requires you to have a valid cert on the subdomain your redirecting to (SNI works fine).
  3. Go back to your websites list, select the domain again and on the options goto page rules. Add a 'Forwarding' rule that redirects https://yourdomain.com/* to https://www.yourdomain.com/$1 (replace www with any subdomain), make sure the redirect is set to 301.
  4. Save your settings and sit back and wait for everything to propagate.

Done. Free and secure SSL redirection for your naked domain.