This blog shares my experience, tips, and advice about running blogs and my website Blogcrowds.com. I'll explore what I think works well, if it worked or not through trial, error and everything in between. More...
After you choose the blogging platform that’s right for you, it time to decide your web address, URL or domain name of your blog. All three means the same thing, the http triple w etc etc referred to as domain name from now on. Your domain name is what the world knows your blog/website as. How else would visitors remember or get to your blog? All sorts of important information is attached to your domain name. For instance, your PageRank, links to your blog, bookmarks and so on. All these hopefully I will eventually cover in this blog, if you are unsure of what they are right now, it is suffice to say it takes a lot of hard work to improve your Page Rank, build up links and bookmarks etc. You definitely don't want to spend hours upon hours promoting your blog only to switch to a new domain names after some success and start all over again. I see many blogger do this, which is one of the main reason I emphasis bloggers to choose a domain name and stick with it. See here for the problem with switching domain names.
Usually a blog would either have a domain name or sub-domain name.
As mentioned before a domain name is http triple w thing(http://www...). For example, the domain name of my blog forum would be http://www.blogcrowds.com/. You can register an unclaimed domain name with ICANN through many domain registrars. Some domain names with certain ending are free, but they are not very popular. For more widely used domain extensions, .com .org .net, the price to register is relatively inexpensive ranging from $2-10 USD for an unclaimed domain name. Sometimes you may find deals or host package that will include a free domain name.
Like the name suggest, a sub-domain is a web address that is a level lower than a domain name. As an example, the web address of this blog http://blogcrowds.blogspot.com/. http://blogcrowds.blogspot.com/ is a subdomain of http://www.blogspot.com/. Sub-domains are identify by a period(.) separating the web address with no www(triple w) in the beginning. Sub-domains are often given with blog hosts or just free web hosts, so it maybe something similar to http://something.awardspace.com/.
Domains vs Sub-Domain
For obvious reasons, you should try to use a domain name rather than a sub-domain. A domain name give you much more control because technically, the subdomain belongs to the domain owner. For this reason, you cannot apply for certain web services with a subdomain. For example, if you wish to run certain ads, you should not have a subdomain. Some ad publisher programs online allow domains. Finally, a concise memorable domain name is much better than a long sub-domain name.
Many bloggers, especially alternatively hosted BlogSpot or TypePad bloggers will use sub-domains. Of these bloggers, some write about their personal life and their cats for friends and family while others are more ambitious and try to turn blogging into a full time job. Most of the bloggers who seek blogging as a career path usually start out with a subdomain with intention on moving to a domain after they have a steady number of visitors and traffic. The basis for this route of blogging is mainly financial, most bloggers want to earn enough money before seriously invest in blogging. Once they change their web address though, they will have to start all over promoting their blog and build traffic; however much money these bloggers made before, be it $10 or $100 a day, may be at risk. Redirecting traffic to the 'new' blog could be easy or hard depending on the content and reader loyalty. Nevertheless, easy or hard, when you have a steady readership, what you should do is write more quality content and not worrying about promoting the content yourself.
That, is the huge long reason why, if you ever want to have your own domain, you should buy it in the very beginning. In any case, a domain is not that expensive, well at least not in my currency. I sincerely hope everyone can get a domain name if they want to. If you can't purchase one, hopefully you can obtain one through webhosting packages, domain name give aways etc.
Choosing the right domain/subdomain
I won't dwell much on this topic, bloggers always do a good job on choosing domain names. Just choose something between 4-10 letters that is related to your blog and make it unique and memorable. There will be instances when the domain name you want is already taken by someone. Instead of paying an unreasonable whopping amount someone demand for it, just be creative. For example, del.cio.us or even my forum blogcrowds.com. At the time, my first pick domain name, blogcrowd.com was taken so I tacked on an 's' while still reflecting the same idea. I wouldn't add a 'z' though as many sites do because to me, that is kind of unprofessional.
One last thing when picking domain is the domain extension, the most popular being .com, .org, .net. There are many other domain extension such as .tv, .info, .tk etc. Selecting a domain extension is entirely a personal preference. Most people view the extensions .com, .org, .net equally and a category above all other extensions. Personally, there is no other domain extension other than .com with exception of 'location' extensions such as .co.uk (United Kingdom), .us (United States) or .ca (Canada). The reason for this personal blindness is that I don't think I'll ever run an organization .org and to me .net just seems like something people use when the domain name in .com is unavailable. You see, in my mind .net create a somewhat unprofessional image. You may think I'm quibbling over tiny matter of my own vanity and eccentricity, but heck, your domain directly reflects your blog/website.
To some it all up, pick a good domain name you like that will create a desirable image for your blog/website and stick with it!
For more reading at Wikipedia: Domain name, ICANN
Mirror at: Blogcrowds - Domain Names
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