Blogging 305: Domain Mapping

Domain mapping enables you to choose any available URL for your blog, regardless of the physical server you use to host your blog.

So, for instance, I started this blog at leeaase.wordpress.com, but when I decided to convert from a blog to a virtual university I mapped it to http://social-media-university-global.org/ (because getting the .edu domain would have been too much of a hassle.)

You’ll note that if you click either of the links above, it will take you to the front page of this blog. The purpose of this course is to show you how you can do something similar for your blog that is hosted on wordpress.com, and how that gives you and your blog room to grow for the future.

Here’s the slideshow that takes you through the process, step by step:


The example I used for the demonstration is a blog I helped my septuagenarian parents and their friends start for their local Republican party volunteers to have a means of expression. It was originally at sixissues.wordpress.com and now is mapped to sixbigissues.com.

If you have started a blog on wordpress.com and would like to get wordpress.com out of your blog’s URL, this is how you do it. For businesses and organizations, it’s an important way to have your URL reflect your brand. Either way, if you think you might just get serious about blogging and want to protect your ability to move your blog to a different server where you would have more flexibility and control, spending the $19.19 for a domain and mapping is a good investment.

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Check Out Our SMUG New URL!

Social Media University, Global is still hosted on wordpress.com, but thanks to the wonders of domain mapping, we now have a URL worthy of a higher education institution:

social-media-university-global.org

I have said previously that I would only put things on this blog that were free. The reason for that was so I could tell FUD-plagued prospective bloggers, “If you see it on my blog, you can do it without spending any money or involving your IT department.”

I decided to make this one exception, because it’s only about the URL, not what you actually see on the blog. And maybe I’ll create a new page called “What’s not free” where I can indicate this and any other enhancements I decide to purchase.

This blog has been at leeaase.wordpress.com since its inception, but with the rebranding I did last month, it seemed reasonable to spend the princely sum of $19 to get an appropriate URL. That way, as I recruit new faculty members, they’ll be writing for social-media-university-global.org, which sounds a lot better than leeaase.wordpress.com.

So I registered this new domain with GoDaddy.com for $8.99, and then paid the $10 to WordPress.com for domain mapping. It took a while for my WordPress.com credits to go through, but all-in-all it was a painless exercise. The gang at WordPress.com gave really clear instructions, and if I would have purchased my domain through them instead of GoDaddy it probably would have been simpler (although it would have cost an extra dollar.)

I mainly used GoDaddy to better understand how the domain mapping process works. If I had bought the domain through WordPress.com it would have been simpler (they would have managed steps I needed to do manually), but the process would have been opaque to me, and I wouldn’t have learned as much. And practical, hands-on learning is what SMUG is all about!

I will be writing about this experience in a future course in the SMUG Blogging curriculum, Blogging 305: Domain Mapping.

Meanwhile, I’ll be seeing if this change creates any problems for RSS feeds or anything else. I expect it will drain some of my Google juice for a bit, but I think it will help a lot in the long run, having descriptive words in my URLs.

Let me know what you experience with this change.