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Get Your Own Domain and WordPress for Your Blog



This is my entry for the blogging mistakes group writing project at Daily Blog Tips.

When I started blogging (almost a year ago!), I registered for a free account over at WordPress.com. This was a mistake.

If you’re really serious about having a quality, respectable blog, don’t hesitate to get your own domain. Install WordPress on it, and you’ll be ready to go.

Free hosts are great for the casual blogger, but they’re not right for companies or individuals wanting to distinguish themselves. The primary reason is control. If you own your domain and pay for hosting, you control your blog. You decide what you can and can’t do.

As you can tell, I’m no longer writing at WordPress.com. That’s because I migrated my blog to its own domain and host last summer. It was a pain in the neck to do. And I’m sure I lost some referral traffic in the process.

This is why you should start out on a custom domain and host from the get go. Save yourself the trouble in the future. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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Comments

69 Responses to “Get Your Own Domain and WordPress for Your Blog”

  1. Owen Cutajar
    March 29th, 2007

    Agree 100%. Would recommend to anyone that they get their own domain and take full control

  2. Andrew Flusche
    March 30th, 2007

    Owen,

    I’m glad you agree with my thoughts here. I just hope new bloggers will read this and heed the advice. :)

    Thanks for commenting,
    Andrew

  3. Shankar Ganesh
    March 30th, 2007

    I too agree 100%. I am thinking of a switch :)

  4. Andrew Flusche
    March 31st, 2007

    Shankar,

    Good luck with your switch. It’s a pain to move, but well worth it.

    Andrew

  5. Shankar Ganesh
    March 31st, 2007

    Thanks.

  6. Ferdinand Reinke
    April 1st, 2007

    I guess I’ll say I don’t understand. Sorry, maybe I’m being a little dense. (1) What do I want to “control” that I can’t do on the free blog at WordPress? (2) I’ve been doing the “free thing” for over a year now and have a substantial amount of content on the free WordPress blog site. If you convinced me to move to a paid WordPress account somewhere, what would be the benefits, challenges, and migration activities? Maybe I’m just being more than a little dense, but I have not seen anything “bad” at the free WordPress offering. And, I think I’m pretty critical. Thanks for the education, fjohn

  7. Andrew Flusche
    April 1st, 2007

    Ferdinand,

    I definitely don’t think WordPress.com is “bad.” In fact, for many bloggers, it’s a great option. It just wasn’t right for me, mostly because I didn’t have ultimate control over my blog. Here are some thoughts on limitations of a free blog:

    With a free blog, you don’t actually own the domain or the blog. You’re just using someone else’s space. I like having the keys to my blog, and knowing that I can do anything I want; I’m not at someone else’s mercy.

    Free blogs are inherently limited when it comes to customization. You’re usually stuck with a number of preset themes. WordPress has tons of plugins, but only certain widgets are allowed on WordPress.com.

    You also can’t do some things on free platforms, due to the Terms of Service. One example is PayPerPost. We can debate the paid posting model, but the fact is that WordPress.com won’t allow you to do it. I like flexibility.

    Migrating to your own custom WordPress installation shouldn’t be too hard. I did it last year. I copied each and every post from WordPress.com to my new installation. There’s probably a way to automate this, but I’m not sure. The biggest issue of migrating is that you’ll lose some referral and search traffic, if you’re not careful. You can put redirects on each old page, but this is time consuming. Once again, maybe there’s an automatic way for this to work.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide,
    Andrew

    PS: I’m happy to help with a specific issue or question. I hope this answers some general questions.

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    April 2nd, 2007

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    April 2nd, 2007

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  32. Ben Yoskovitz
    April 3rd, 2007

    For a lot of people moving to their own domain will just be a bit too complex technically, but I fully support your recommendations Andrew.

    With so many blogs out there it’s important to try and stand out as much as possible. Content rules that, along with participating in online communities and networks – but having a unique domain name and blog also help.

    It’s the same with blog design – using an existing theme is fine – but you can still stand out with something unique / different.

  33. [...] TECHNOLOGY: “free” WORDPRESS is too expensive http://www.legalandrew.com/2007/03/29/ get-your-own-domain-and-wordpress-for-your-blog/ [...]

  34. Andrea
    April 3rd, 2007

    Couldn’t agree more. Your own domain name is a must.

  35. Andrew Flusche
    April 3rd, 2007

    Ben,

    I completely understand the technical limitations for some people. It’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure.

    I do want to clarify that my main point of this post is for people to think about their own domain before starting to blog at all. It should be easier for people to setup their domain from the get-go, rather than deciding to migrate mid-stream.

    Thanks for stopping by to comment. It’s great to know that guys like you take the time to read my humble work. :)

    Andrew

  36. Andrew Flusche
    April 3rd, 2007

    Andrea,

    I like what you’ve done with your blog. Nice, simple layout.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Andrew

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  38. Jason Alba
    April 4th, 2007

    Solid advice. I started with a hosted blog and haven’t regretted it. I do have a great dev team behind me and they take care of all the technical stuff, but its cool to know that I’ll never (?) have to worry about losing all the google juice if I need to switch (cuz it all goes to my domain).

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com

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  41. Ben Yoskovitz
    April 4th, 2007

    Andrew – most certainly, if you’re thinking about setting up a blog and haven’t yet – get your own domain. It’s not that hard and with a bit of help from a more technically savvy friend, it can be done quite easily. Once done, management is fairly minimal (although a bit more than hosting with a service.)

    For those that have a site already, they’ll probably need a bit more help – get a friend or hire someone to be involved in the transfer process – it’s worth it!

  42. Andrew Flusche
    April 4th, 2007

    Jason,

    You point out something important – a good development team can fill in crucial gaps. If you don’t have the knowledge yourself, other people can help. Or, as Ben suggests, a friend might help on a small project.

    Take care,
    Andrew

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  46. SEO Consultant
    April 7th, 2007

    Having a blog on your own domain is essential to gaining the advantages of being indexed by search engines and to getting traffic that acutally means something. We have a series on our site 10 Essential Plug-ins for WordPress Version 2.1 designed for people who are interested in hosting their own wordpress powered blog on their own domain. We also have an article about flash and frames being bad for websites.

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  50. Nick
    May 5th, 2007

    Absolutely. I’ve had the experience of unravelling domain onwership – and those who control your identity will ry to charge you anything before surrendering that control.

  51. Andrew Flusche
    May 5th, 2007

    Nick,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment. I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience, but hopefully things are worked out now. Domains are definitely tricky to deal with.

    Take care,
    Andrew

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  53. Tay
    May 29th, 2007

    I’m using Blogger (the biggest mistake of MY blogging life), and I want to switch to WordPress. I want my own http://www.MYBLOG‘SNAME.com domain, but I want to still use WordPress to do everything. And mind you, right now I’m on Blogger! I wouldn’t even know how to go about this change, but I want to it before my blog grows anymore. The longer I wait, the worse the change will be. So what should I do?

    Thanks,
    Tay

  54. SEO Consultant
    May 29th, 2007

    Tay, you can get your own domain for pretty cheap (about $40 dollars a year) I use http://www.Ipower.com.

    Then you can install WordPress on you host server, then you can import your posts and comments from blogger.

    It isn’t really that hard to do. I could do it for you, but I don’t’ think you’d like the price. I usually charge $450 to set up a blog, theme it, install all the plugins, etc. I would include the import for you if you wanted.

    If you drop me an email at designer(at)recruiting-usa.com we can talk more about it. -Carl

  55. Owen
    May 29th, 2007

    Hi Tay,

    Funny that, a friend of mine asked me the same question a couple of days ago. I’ve heard good things about BlueHost so I did a write up about them on my blog here:

    http://www.u-g-h.com/index.php.....-bluehost/

    The great thing about them is that they have a tool in their control panel to install WordPress for you at the touch of a button. The people I know who use it are really happy with it.

    Hope this helps

    Owen

  56. Andrew Flusche
    May 29th, 2007

    Hi Tay,

    As Carl and Owen mentioned, getting your own domain is not very expensive. Many hosts have the one-click WordPress installation, so that part is pretty simple. The main thing that takes a little time is getting the blog setup and customized the way you want it. But I’m sure you realize a blogger constantly tweaks things. :)

    Feel free to email me (aflusche@gmail.com) or ping me via IM anytime (AIM: andrewfflusche). I’m happy to help walk you through anything you need help with. I love helping fellow bloggers!

    Thanks a ton for commenting, and good luck,
    Andrew

  57. domain
    June 7th, 2007

    If you own your domain SE will index your blog faster and you’ll get traffic easier.

  58. [...] Get your Own Domain and WordPress for your Blog by Andrew Flusche [...]

  59. Ian
    June 21st, 2007

    What about the idea of grabbing a domain and hosting that on wordpress.com as an intermediate approach? That should mean your URL structure will be the same wherever you host it (provided it’s WordPress).

    Wouldn’t that still leave you the option of migrating to your own hosted WordPress once you decide you have outgrown wordpress.com?

  60. Andrew Flusche
    June 21st, 2007

    Hi Ian,

    I think you’ve got a good idea there. The only problem is that you’ll still have to migrate your content off of wordpress.com. Any site move is a pain.

    With that said, if you don’t think you’ll outgrow wordpress.com, go for it. Only you know what your plans actually are. :)

    Thanks for commenting,
    Andrew

  61. Ian
    June 21st, 2007

    I would hope the WP export/import facility would make that pretty painless but, you’re right, nothing ever goes that smoothly.

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  67. IonosIonas
    November 5th, 2008

    It has long been looking for this information, thank you.

  68. Shoutcast Reseller
    June 26th, 2009

    Shoutcast Reseller…

    Awsome post, i would like to a reference that can help to someone that wants……

  69. adamoerikom
    September 19th, 2009

    Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !

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