So, you want to start a new blog. Maybe you don’t have much experience with blogging, so you don’t think it’s that big of a deal which platform you choose or whether you have your own domain name. Well think again.
Don’t fall trap to the disaster that I landed myself in, where I started casually blogging and ended up regularly blogging and hating the platform I was using but can’t easily switch because I stupidly put my blog on a subdomain of typepad (http://blogging.typepad.com)
Now I’m at TypePad’s mercy. They own my ass because they own my address – even though I’m paying $150+ a year for their service. The same could happen to you whether it’s a subdomain on typepad.com, blogspot.com, or wordpress.com.
By not having your own domain name, if you ever decide to move to another blogging platform you run the risk of losing all (or a lot) of your traffic, your search engine rankings, all of your hard earned incoming links, etc because you cannot take your URL with you.
How are you going to redirect your traffic to your new blog when you have NO ability to, say, set up a 301 Permanent Redirect? Which, for those who are wondering, would both:
- automatically redirects human visitors to your new blog site
- tells the search engines that your blog has permanently moved and gives it the new location
(BTW – has any TypePad user whose blog address was a subdomain had a high traffic blog with a lot of backlinks into it that they then moved to a WordPress blog hosted on their own server? Please tell me what your experience was, whether you lost pagerank, traffic, search engine rankings, etc!!!)
Domain names are cheap – about $9 a year for a single one, as low as $6.75 a year if you own more than 50. There is NO excuse to not have your own domain name for your blog. You will regret if at some point down the road if you don’t start out with your own domain name.
www.GoDaddy.com is the site that I use to register my domain names, although there are numerous other options such as $5.99 Domain Names at 1&1, and, if you only need a single domain name the cheapiest option is domain names from Yahoo! for only $2.99.
The irony here is that I actually own a lot of domain names and I genuinely can’t fathom why I didn’t just use a domain of my own when I started this blog. Don’t make the same mistake as me or you could end up feeling trapped like I do right now. Consider yourselves warned.
UPDATE: Just to clarify, my point is that you need to own your own domain name so the URL for your blog points to a domain you own and control. It’s okay to use a subdomain off a domain that you own, but not one that belongs to someone else such as that of a hosted service like typepad.com.
And it’s okay to use a hosted solution – just make sure you pick one (like typepad.com or blogger.com) that allows you to use your own domain name (and always reference your blog’s URL w/your own domain) so that if you ever decide you want to go elsewhere, at least you’ll be able to take your traffic with you. And it’s also a good idea to check to see if whatever blogging platform you start with has the ability to export your posts (and comments/trackbacks) for easiest porting of your site to another platform…