Why Buy A Domain? Choosing, And Custom Domain With Blogger

Advantages and disadvantages of having a domain name
It is possible to have a domain name for your free Blogger account.
That way, you can have as url something like "www.myblog.com" instead of "myblog.blogspot.com".

Advantages of having a domain:

  • You'll never loose the links you gain if you move your blog to another service.

  • You'll never loose the Technorati links, Alexa rank, Google's PageRank, or any points or links that you gain from now on.

  • Google will index your website better if you have a domain name.

  • If your site becomes very famous, you can even sell your domain name.
The disadvantages of having a domain name are:
  • It costs some money.

  • It forces you to choose a topic for your blog. It's not good to buy a domain name without thinking it very much, because it's a decision that last for at least one year.

  • It takes you freedom to change your site in a radical way.

  • If your blog is a hobby or just for fun, don't loose your time buying a domain.

  • The best is to start with a free service, and when you see if your aims are real or not, buy a service.
But changing from "blogspot" to your domain name will have these consequences:
  • Loosing your actual PageRank.

  • Loosing your Alexa Rank.

  • Loosing many of your points in social sites.

  • Your links from other sites will work, but they will not score for the new domain.
These are problems that WordPress blogs don't have, as they can use a redirection (a "301 redirect"). Some people say you can, but it has the problem that you may by considered spammer by Google. It only works well for a site that is external to Blogger.
Others say Blogger already does that, and after a time you will see the same PageRank, but it's not clear at all.

These disadvantages don't have a solution, but can be minimized if you do some things that I will explain in another post.


What to do?
You may want to purchase your domain name if:
  • Your will is to maintain your site online in the long term.

  • You have a clear notion of what is your site all about.

  • You are going to make blogging or webmastering a part of your professional life.
If it's like this, don't wait to loose PR, Alexa Rank or external links that maybe later will be difficult to regain.
If not, take some time to decide the aims of your blog.


What do you need to have a domain name?
For having a domain name you need this:
  • A domain name provider. This is a company that registers the domain as your property.
  • A DNS provider. This is a company that sends the visitors to you.
You must try to get both things.

A domain name registrar uses to do both things. When choosing one, you have to do this:
  • See if it has good opinions of users.
  • See if their price for each renewal is the same through years.
  • See if it provides domain name, and DNS services INCLUDED.
  • Value the time that the company has been online.
After doing this with many services, I recommend 2 providers: NameBargain and NameCheap.

Finally, I have purchased my domain from NameCheap for these reasons:
  • It has good customer service. And when people have some problem, they fix them soon.

  • They have a forum and support center for solving problems.

  • They have good opinions from users.

  • They are the second brand of eNom, which is an more expensive and well-known brand. They give the same quality for less money, as they are the same reliable brand.

  • They give you free email forwarding. It is: you can choose 8 fake email names per domain, like this: "theNameYouChoose@yourdomain.com".

  • You can protect your domain name to be stolen by another registrar (registrar lock).

  • You can pay by Paypal. This is, to pay secure and easy.

To buy a domain name
Step by step:

1) Go to NameCheap: http://www.namecheap.com/
On the right side click a link in a login box that says: "Signup for a Free Account".


2) Click it.

3) Fill in your real data.

4) You'll be sent to your control panel. Now, if you want to pay by Paypal, you must click the link that is in red in this pick:


5) Click here, and you go to Paypal. Add funds to your account. Think in adding what you need. Each year costs 9.29 dollars. Multiply by the years you want to pay in advance, or just pay a year.


6) After you have the money added, go to "Register a Domain" in the upper blue bar.


7) Fill in the name and the extensions you would like to choose. Proceed.

8) You choose marking the case of the domain you want to purchase, and click "Add to chart".

9) After that, you'll be taken to a series of screens that allow you to insert your data for property, billing, etc. and pay with the founds you added to Paypal.

10) They will send you an email with a copy of the purchase contract. Now you are the proud owner of your domain!!!


How to link the domain name with Blogger
Now, go to your browser, and type the url of your domain name (www.yourdomain.com).
If you see a page that NameCheap has used to host your domain until you link it to your site, it's that you can proceed. If not, wait 24-48 hours. In my case, it happened almost instantly.

1) Go to NameCheap and login. Your control panel appears, and you click here:


2) Click your domain name.


3) Look on the left and click this:


4) Enter ghs.google.com in www and @ and select CNAME(Alias) in both options.


5) Leave the sub-domains in blank, and select this to have emails named as your domain for free. Click the blue button of "Save Changes".


6) Go to your Blogger blog control panel. Enter the Settings. Click "Publishing".


7) Click on "Custom Domain".


8) A bit below, to the right, you have this. Click it.


9) Then appears a box to enter your domain. It is important that you enter it with the www.
And click "Save Settings".


10) After the page reloads, go where you wrote the domain name and check the case:


After all this, you will have to wait some time until it goes all perfect. For me it was 2 days.
You may have these problems:
  • Your blog shows a 404 error all times, or sometimes.
  • Your blog shows that error when you try to enter from your domain.com (without the www).
  • Your blog takes more time than normal to start loading.
Don't worry for this and just wait. After 48 hours (or less) it may be better, and after some days it will not happen, if you did all well.
It's normal, because the domain name is being notified to all the DNS servers in the world.

The same may happen to your email forwarding. It can take some days to work well.

After this, your blog may be reached from: the old url, www.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com (without www) .
Congratulations!!!


What's next?
You will notice that, if you have the widget to vote on Digg, it shows zero points.

This is because your new url for those posts is not the same as before buying the domain.

To avoid this post becoming too long, in some days I will publish another post explaining this:
  • How to do a script to show the old points in the old posts, and the new ones in the new posts.

  • How to minimize the time for regaining your Alexa rank.

  • How to minimize the impact of this change in your social sites.
I hope all this will be valuable for you. Good luck with your domain!!!

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.



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34 comments:

Hin Man said...

You are absolutely amazing. I wish I know all of what you know. Thank you so much for your information. Not only I admire at your artistic quality of your site, I learn so much in subscribing to your blog.

I wish I can learn how you manage to develop your senses of art and your in-depth knowledge with blogging, software and great intellect in the web.

I have total admiration for your writing and your art work. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge -- it is beautiful art shared by a wonderful and resourceful soul and mind.

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you very much for your words.

tammyteaches said...

As I understand this means the hosting is still being dome by blogger and the blog data is "at" blogger, it is just done with a custom domain?

Emma Alvarez said...

Yes Tammyteaches, the blog is hosted by Blogger but the domain name is yours. So if you change your blog to another service, everybody will find you and you will retain your rankings and visitors.

Snafzg said...

Hi Emma! I feel slightly less confused after reading this post! ;)

Here's my situation:

1) I registered "thegreenskin.blogspot.com"
2) I then purchased "thegreenskin.com" from 10dollar.ca
3) I went into my advanced DNS settings for "thegreenskin.com" and was shown two A records - a www and an @ pointing to the IP address for my new domain...
4) I left those fields alone and created a third CNAME (Alias) record with "www" and "ghs.google.com."
5) I did this many days ago and kept my main blog URL as "thegreenskin.blogspot.com"
6) This morning, I logged in to Blogger and changed my Publish Custom Domain to direct to "thegreenskin.com" and redirected "www.thegreenskin.com" to it by checking the box
7) I saved it, however, now when I view my blog, I am taken to a generic 10dollar.ca landing page

I added the CNAME alias about 4 days ago but redirected my Blogger account to my custom domain only hours ago. Do I need to just wait for things to sort themselves out now?

Thanks for the great tutorial, and hopefully, in advance for a positive response! :)

Snafzg said...

I have a help request on the Blogger forums if you'd like to have a loog: http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-troubleshoot/browse_thread/thread/3b10f68672b0fd3a/82ae2d9817f2b49e#82ae2d9817f2b49e

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you Snafzg.
I read all those explanations of your problem.

I think that "A records" should be used only if you have your blog hosted outside Blogger, which is not your case. For example, A records send your visitors from your domain name to a static IP of a server.

As your blog is hosted on Blogger, like in this tutorial, you just have to use the CNAME settings, and not the A records.

So you should try to delete those A records, and use in positions 1 and 2 ghs.google.com in @ and www, just like in my tutorial. After that, wait 24-48 hours, and do what I explained in your Blogger panel.

Tell me if it worked.

flo said...

I wish now I had never bought godaddy. They don't allow an '@'CNAME for some reason. And this is why people are having issues, and it gets really complicated. I still to this day can't figure it out.

Emma Alvarez said...

Ooff!!! Flo What a problem...

Honey Star said...

Thank you for the informative and easy to follow tips. Will try to change mine soon.

TQ!

viking said...

Dear Emma,

I found the post useful except for one thing. It assumes that your reader has a blogspot blog and converts to a custom domain. In my case I already have ftp and and have been having problems publishing. I don't think Blogger is going to solve this soon, so I want to try still using my domain name but have the blog hosted by Blogger. Does that make sense to you?

Emma Alvarez said...

Viking I think you could host the blog on Blogger and configure the domain name as explained in this post, and if after a time you change where your blog is, you can redirect your domain name to where it is.

SAB said...

Emma,
Excellent article. I appreciate your willingness to outline all the steps. I have namecheap and I had set it up incorrectly until I read your post. Thanks so much! And, I also browsed your site, which is fantastic!
Best Regards,
Steven Boorstein
Landlord Business Insider

Emma Alvarez said...

Glad that I can help you, Steven. One gets very nervous when you buy something and it doesn't work.

Avanzaweb said...

Great article.. I am waiting for my 48 hours

Emma Alvarez said...

Good luck :)

Greentac said...

I have just registered one new domain from Namecheap.com. Credit to you.I manage to setup a custom domain for my blogspot!!

OAL said...

appreciate your help.Tks.
Pictures say a thousand word.

Chuck Wise, Transportation Planner said...

I appreciate you taking the time to outline this process. Thanks so much for the information.

A Namecheap search brought me to your site. Now I'm going to peek at the rest of your work!

AussieinAmerica said...

Hi,

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! I have been trying to figure this out all day.

After I tried it your way it worked in minutes. I am really grateful that you took the time to post this.

Stacy

TCL said...

Hi, I bought a domain name from 1&1 couple days ago. I want to use this domain for my new blog. However, blogger is saying the name is unavailable! I can't even get to your steps of a custom domain without making it past this stage.

You have offered some great tips to your readers. I hope you can be of help to me to.

Thanks in advance!

Emma Alvarez said...

Hi Tcl, maybe you have not awaited enough time until your domain name is active and redirected to Blogger. But if it keeps giving you that error, email your domain provider.

Roland said...

Thanks Emma. I found this posting by a Google search. It saved me hours...even days of frustration. You deserve a cookie. :-) Go have one now.

Emma Alvarez said...

LOL

TCL said...

Thx for the response. I tried again a few times last night. But I'm not sure what to ask my domain provider or if blogger can cure the problem. This is all happening at the sign-up page. I am not able to Name My Blog..it says name is not available. So I wonder if it's becaue the domain name is not available (likely because I purchased it) but I don't know how to communicate this to blogger at the sign-in page which doesn't offer me any advanced options. (just blog title, blog address, option to host blog elsewhere and then continue)

Do you think, maybe I can name my blog a random name and then change it to my purchased domain name after I have successfully signed up? I am just starting fresh so I won't have anything to loose.

That was a mouthful! Any thoughts?

Emma Alvarez said...

TCL Yes you have to create your blog first, and then follow the tutorial and set it to your new domain name.
Good Luck :)

TCL said...

Hi Emma,
I followed the blogger directions to create a CNAME for the 1and1 domain I purchased..that didn't work. I had to call 1and1 tech support for help. Now that the CNAME is fixed, my url is still showing a 404 error code after two weeks. I'm not sure what to do at this point to see my blog on my custom domain. 1and1 said its out of their hands. Help!!!

Thanks

Emma Alvarez said...

These instructions work well for NameCheap. Ask 1and1 what are the equivalent steps for them, and repeat the process.

Teetotaler said...

This is a pretty comprehensive explanation.

Thanks. I have done what is recquired, now waiting for things to unfold!

Cheers!

Joe said...

Hi Emma! Thank you for the tutorial. I was wondering if you could help me out with something.

I have a store (still in development) with www.bigcartel.com I have a blog page there, but I had to create a blog in www.blogger.com and link it to my bigcartel store. Everything shows fine, BUT for people to reply they have to go to my blogger page and reply there. I wished they could reply directly in my big cartel store. Is there a way to do this? Do you know how to do it?

Thank you.

Joe

Emma Alvarez said...

Hello Joe,

I think that you've done it right and can't be done in another way.

Muhammad khabbab said...

Very good tutorial indeed.

Adol said...

For a longtime, I am having this doubt why custom domain is effective? Now only I have got it. Thanks for sharing.
Buy domain name

Shree Radha said...

thanks

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