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Learn How To Customize Your Domain Name

By Mar 29, 2011 July 3rd, 2014 36 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links which may give us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you remember the post I wrote last month here on SITS?  It covered how not to design your blog and even included a fab makeover for one lucky blogger.

Turns out that lucky winner was Jean from Mommy To Two Boys.  Not only did I give her a brand new look, but I also helped her to change her URL to a custom domain name.  In other words, what started out as http://www.mommytotwoboys.blogspot.com became http://www.mommytotwoboys.com.

Jean’s site is hosted Blogger, so her goal was to remove the .blogspot from her URL. She had purchased a new domain name from GoDaddy but was unsure about how to change it on her blog.

domains

A sneak peek at Jean's new site. Isn't it pretty?

I often have this request from clients so I thought I’d share what I know about the process here on SITS.

There are a few ways to accomplish changing your domain name and each solution offers a slightly different end result. I’m going to be using Blogger as an example but it’s the same idea for WordPress.com,  SquareSpace, and TypePad.

Domain Forwarding

The quickest way to make the change is to simply forward the new domain name, e.g., BlogName.com, to the old name BlogName.blogspot.com. This can be done at the company where you bought your domain. The result will be that visitors who type BlogName.com into their browser will be redirected to BlogName.blogspot.com. The .blogspot will remain in their browser address field once they arrive.

Domain Masking

Domain masking follows the same idea as above except that when the visitor arrives at your site using the BlogName.com address, they continue to see that name in their address bar. Visitors never see the actual domain name that has the .blogspot in it and they won’t know they’ve been forwarded to a .blogspot site. WARNING: This is actually bad for SEO. Search engines view this as 2 sites that have the exact same content. There is a chance that they will pick only one of the names to index — and it could be the .blogspot one that you weren’t wanting to use. Or they could block both names altogether. Another problem you might run into is other bloggers having trouble linking to your posts and your recent posts not showing up in CommentLuv.

Domain Mapping

This is the best way to use your custom domain name. Visitors will only see your custom name, the custom domain is registered with your blogging platform, search engines will view it as your actual blog name instead of the .blogspot name, and your links and CommentLuv will work using the custom name. However, domain mapping is a lengthier, trickier process to go through and it can take anywhere from 24 hours to up to 3 days to take effect.

There’s good news, though. Some of the main blogging platforms will not only sell you a custom domain name, they will also take care of some or all aspects of the Domain Mapping for you. Other companies don’t sell domain names but do provide detailed instructions.

I recommend using your blog platform’s services, instead of trying to figure out the process on your own.

Here’s a bit more background on changing your domain name according to the platform you might be using…

Platform Provided Service On Your Own
Blogger $10/yr to register your domain name through Blogger and let them map it for you. Video instructions on using this service from Blogger can be found here. $12–$15/yr to register your domain at GoDaddy, HostGator, Network Solutions or a similar company.
GoDaddy instructions for mapping your custom domain name on Blogger can be found here.
WordPress.com $17/yr to register your custom domain name through WP.com AND an additional $12/yr for the domain mapping. Instructions are here. $12–$15/yr to register your domain at GoDaddy, HostGator, Network Solutions or a similar company AND $12/yr from WP.com for domain mapping (even though you have to set it up yourself). Instructions are here.
SquareSpace Squarespace does not offer domain name registration. You must purchase your domain through a registrar. $12–$15/yr to register your domain at GoDaddy, HostGator, Network Solutions or a similar company. SquareSpace lists their preferred registrars here. Click on any of the registrar names on this list and SquareSpace provides step-by-step instructions for the entire process.
TypePad TypePad does not offer domain name registration. You must purchase your domain through a registrar. $12–$15/yr to register your domain at GoDaddy, HostGator, Network Solutions or a similar company. TypePad recommends you purchase your domain through GoDaddy or Network Solutions. They also provide step-by-step instructions for entire process for these and other registrars on their help site. GoDaddy instructions can be found here.

Please remember to head over to Mommy To Two Boys today and compliment fellow SITStah, Jean, on her bold new look!

About Renee

AKA - Bold Mom. Graphic and Web Designer, Wife and Momtrepreneur. Eats, sleeps and breathes design. Loves helping bloggers look their best! Studio Bold | Bold Mom | Twitter | Facebook

36 Comments

  • […] Learn How to Customize Your Domain Name […]

  • Many Grenon says:

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Learn How To Customize Your Domain Name – The SITS Girls .

  • FultonLora says:

    It’s understandable that money makes us disembarrass. But how to act when one does not have cash? The one way is to receive the personal loans or collateral loan.

  • Thanks for that information. I’ll try domain mapping for my other sites. I just gave my new domain and the company just did it for me. It’s easy though. 🙂

  • Tonya says:

    I recently switched to WordPress and I went through GoDaddy, paid the $12.76 or whatever for the year. Then I went through Host Gator, I only paid the fee for ONE month, it was like $4 and something. When I attempted to see the price for 6 months or a year it was over $100…not $12. So I’m wondering where you came up with the $12 price for that and I’m also curious, because obiviously I will have to renew this next month if I want to keep my site open…but is Host Gator the best way to go? Thanks so much!

  • Tammy says:

    Whew! Looks like I did it right. I bought my domain through blogger and they did the switch for me. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for such an informative post! I purchased my domain several months ago and still have not made the leap to self hosting yet and am on Blogger. I have not forwarded it yet either, but that’s just silly of me since I have it! Thanks for the kick! :>

  • Very VERY helpful!!! And good to know I have options other than just WordPress. THANKS 🙂

  • Madison says:

    This is something I’ve been wondering about. Now I don’t have an excuse not to look at it more seriously.

  • Mimi says:

    I started both of my blogs with my own domain name. It’s the only way to do it if you’re blogging professionaly. I just switched one blog over to WP and love it there.

  • Tina says:

    Good info to know! Thank you!

  • barb g says:

    Great information here,thanks so much! I did use the blogger $10.00 a year about 6 months ago
    to drop my blogspot but it’s still ranking on google at a zero. I don’t understand that
    since on Mozz Rank it shows it’s 3.47 ranking. It is so confusing!

  • This is a grat tutorial for anyone looking to get a custom domain! You guys rock!

  • lisa fogarty says:

    tips and tutorials.. rule and you guys take the cake when it comes to great advice.. for life and blogs.

  • I have my own domain but this is an incredibly useful post for those who don’t 🙂

  • This is great! I’ve been sitting on a .com name but have been afraid to do anything with it because I didn’t know what to do with it. lol! Such helpful info. Thank you so much!! 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I was so excited when I decided to purchase my domain… It made me feel like a “real” blogger… 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Great article! This is one of those things that just takes some patience to get right… Slow and steady wins the race 🙂

  • Liza Morgan says:

    Thanks for the tips! I was just wondering about this exact topic this afternoon! XO

  • misssrobin says:

    Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much.

  • Emma says:

    Awesome tips! I’ve bought mine too and it makes me very happy 🙂 xx

  • Thanks for the tips! There are so many things to learn about when you start blogging!
    Bernice

  • Leila says:

    This is incredibly helpful, thank you!!

  • Renee didn’t add one detail: I had the domain bought at GoDaddy for over a year before I got in touch with her! So for one year I sat by and didn’t take the initiative to figure this out. So as others have written, thank you Renee, it is invaluable information.

  • Ms. Blasé says:

    INFINITE THANKS!!! Seriously, I purchased a couple of domain names from GoDaddy and have been sitting on them not knowing what to do. Thanks for this informative post!!!

  • PJ says:

    Hi Renee! I have a question. I have often thought about changing from my blogspot domain to just .com, but I have seen at least a couple of times where people lost their “followers” when they did this as well as their “page rank’ and other things. Is there any way to prevent the loss?

    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Renee says:

      Hi PJ! I’m guessing that in the stories you’ve heard, the user didn’t do the domain mapping or didn’t do it correctly. If you do the domain mapping for your Blogger blog there’s is a step when you have to login to your Blogger account > Settings > Publishing. This is where you tell Blogger your new domain name. It will say right on the screen “We won’t leave your readers behind! http://_________.blogspot.com will redirect to your custom domain.” Hope this helps!

  • Patty says:

    I just went to her site and forwarded her link over to my friend who’s baby boy just got diagnosed with autism. I am a parent to a 13 y.o. boy who is on the spectrum. I have added her blog to my list on my reader.
    Very well written and funny too 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Thanks for the tips! A little disappointed that my domain is already taken. I’ll figure out another name I guess.

  • HeiDi says:

    That chart is a helpful tool definitely!

    I always end up buying my own domain name through blogger, & then switching blogs right after. It’s such a waste of $ lol.

  • Lynda says:

    I’ve always used Godaddy to register and renew my domains and I never pay more than $10. Not sure why the price point is $12-$15 in the “On Your Own” section, but it doesn’t need to be that high. 🙂

    Boy, WP.com really does charge for every tiny little thing, huh!?

  • invaluable advice! I’ve bookmarked this. Thank you very much.

  • Devonay says:

    I learn something new here every day! This is information I can really use.

  • April says:

    Thank you so much for this! I was going to purchase the domain today through another company and had no idea I could go directly through blogger! Excellent article. So glad I read this first!

  • Thanks for sharing this information .. I just had my blog look updated and now am considering having a domain name…. this was great ..xo HHL

  • I love reading the blogging tips here at SITS – I always learn some great stuff.