At some point every regular blogger writing on a .blogspot.com website will think of adding a custom domain to their Blogger blog. This decision may come early or later on when your blog is finally starting to get a lot of traffic, and you feel that it is time to profit from it. Many serious bloggers advice switching to a custom domain because a custom domain looks more professional and trustworthy than a .blogspot.com website. Then there are SEO experts who swear that a .com website will rank better than a .blogspot.com website. This is party true, but if you’ve already built loyal fan following then you can actually establish your BlogSpot website as a reputed source of information for your readers.
You can chose to stick with blogger permanently but if you are ever thinking of moving your blog to your own personal hosting via HostGator or BlueHost, then I suggest you add a custom domain to your Blogger blog as soon as possible. This is because when you add a custom domain, Google will automatically do the 301 redirects to your old .blogspot.com domain and eventually your old blog will be replaced by the new one. After, that if you want to move from blogger to a different host with WordPress installed, you just need to export the blogger data and then add the custom domain Name Servers to your own hosting account. On the other hand when you try to move directly from .blogspot.com to a self hosted (HostGator, Bluehost etc) Domain, you will have to do the 301 redirects yourself and that is where a lot of things can go wrong for someone who isn’t technical.
Now that you have understood the benefits of adding a Custom domain in Blogger, you should also understand some of the risks, specially if you have been writing on Blogspot for many years and already have acquired a large number of regular visitors/readers. Read: My experience of switching from “.blogspot.com” to a custom domain. The linked post shows how the domain switch affected the traffic of my 1.5 years old blog.
If you have decided to switch to a custom domain, here are the steps to do it:
Research a domain name
A lot of people take domain names for granted only to find out that it is the most important part of your website. Domain is your brand and you don’t want it to be something that is forgettable, spammy or generic. Many people stuff their domain with keywords only to be ousted by a competitors who has a cooler name with 0 keywords. My advice is to go with a catchy brand-oriented name instead of a keyword based domain. If you have to include a keyword, make it an interesting one. For example- Engadget, sounds much cooler than just”Gadgets”.
Buy a custom domain
You can buy custom domain from many companies. I personally buy from Namecheap.com and sometimes from GoDaddy.com. The price difference is very minimum among them, but you can choose any company you prefer and purchase a domain from them.
Add the custom domain to Blogger settings
- Go to Settings >> Basics
- Under “Publishing”, right below your Blog address, click “+Add a custom domain”
- Type the domain name you just purchased and click “Save”
- don’t forget to include www at the beginning
- Now you will see an error message that will give you two CNAMEs
- You will have to add these CNAME records to your domain account
- Each CNAME has two values: First is Name, Label or Host and other is Destination, Target or Points to.
- Login to your domain name account (Namecheap, Godaddy etc)
- Go to your domain list and click on Manage
- Go to “Advanced DNS” tab and click on “Add New Record”
- Add the two CNAME Records >> Save Changes
- Wait for an hour so that the settings are activated
- Go to Blogger Settings >> Basics >> Publishing and add your custom domain
- Save Changes
There you go, now your old blogspot.com url will start redirecting all of your posts to the new .com custom domain urls. It may take up to 24 hours for the changes to be completed.
How to add Namecheap custom domain to Blogger or BlogSpot
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