There’s two ways to publish a blog on WordPress. You can use an existing host such as bloghere.wordpress.com, or use a custom domain like awesomename.com or cleverurl.org. You have the option to change where your blog is published whenever you want without losing any content on your site.
If you already have a domain name with GoDaddy and you want to point your free WordPress.com blog to a custom URL, you can do this by remapping your domain. The process is fairly simple and it’s similar with any host provider. The only difference will be in navigating the user portal in your hosting account. This guide will show you how to map your existing Godaddy domain name to a WordPress.com blog.
Why map your domain to WP?
There’s plenty of good reasons why you would want to map your WordPress blog to an existing domain. For starters, using an existing domain name is an inexpensive way to make it easier for people to find your blog. It’s more professional to have a .com or a .org URL than a long clunky wordpress.com name. Directory sites that rent sub domains can allow users to map their blog straight to the site. If want to learn more about different hosting solutions, check out our post on Self Hosting vs Managed Hosting.
Following are some other reasons why you may want to consider domain mapping as a solution:
Easier to Share and Remember. Having the entire blog go directly to a custom domain makes it a lot easier for people to find. In today’s automated world, you want to make things as smooth and simple as possible. People have less characters to type and there is less chance of a typo with a shorter domain. This makes domain name will be easier to remember as well.
Increased Visibility. Don’t let your blogging platform reap all the benefits from traffic that you draw. When your site starts to become more popular you will have more traffic and more links to the site. Search engine ranking is handled at the URL level, so increased search ranking will benefit your domain so you have full control of the search engine value, which is a powerful asset in itself.
Low Cost. It’s cheap, it costs $10-15 a year depending on where you live. You don’t have to buy a hosting plan to get a custom domain name.
What are DNS servers?
Before we begin the guide, read this primer on DNS servers if you don’t know what they are. You will be dealing with DNS servers a lot if you are doing any sort of work on the internet, it’s good to have at least a basic understanding of their role. If you are already familiar with DNS then you can skip this section and scroll down to the guide.
DNS stands for “domain name system.” Domain names are the human friendly versions of IP addresses that we use to find websites. In the DNS every domain on the internet is related to a corresponding IP address. If you are too young to know what a phone book is, it’s a large directory listing of phone numbers for business and personal phone numbers. While today phone books are obsolete thanks to the internet the function is essential the same as a DNS server.
The DNS maintains a domain directory and translats domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. Domain names are basically for people, and IP addresses are for machines. It gets much more complicated but that’s beyond the scope of this article, or my knowledge for that matter.
The Central Registry is a large, dynamic database full of information from all the domain name servers across the internet. ISP (Internet Service Providers) such as Verizon or Comcast interact with the Central Registry constantly to get updated DNS information.
How DNS Works
When you type in a website URL will look like this: looks-awesome.com — Your ISP will look through a DNS table to find the domain name, and translate it into a machine friendly IP address like 18.104.22.168 (the IP address for looks-awesome.com). Your browser is then directed to the corresponding website.
When you update the DNS servers on your domain, it will usually take a few up to 36 hours for all DNS servers on the internet to have your updated DNS information. This is known as propagation time. If you’ve read this far, you’ve already know everything you need to know about DNS for the scope of this guide.
What is Domain Mapping?
Domain mapping is the process of pointing a registered domain name to a blog or media gallery. Domain mapping is not the same as domain forwarding or domain masking. Everytime someone visits your site they will see your domain for all the blogs content in lieu of example.wordpress.com. As we mentioned before another good thing about domain mapping is that search engines will index your site at the mapped domain. Once you finished mapping your host to your wordpress blog, users can still access your site through the wordpress.com url, but they will see the new URL in the browser bar. All the links you have on your site will still be intact as well.
Mapping a Godaddy Domain to WordPress.com
Now that you are ready, we can start the guide. This is not too hard, but it can be complicated. There only a few steps.
Things you need:
- A Godaddy Account
- WordPress.com Account
- $13/year for DNS mapping
Login into your Godaddy account. Open the “My Account” menu and choose “Visit my Account”
From the menu, open up the “Domains” tab
Choose the URL that you want to map WordPress to You will be taken to the “Domain Details Page.” Click manage under the NameserversA modal window will pop up. Choose “Custom” and click the “enter nameservers” link
Add in the WordPress nameservers as shown in the picture and press “OK”You will be taken back to the setup window. Press “Save”
Now all you have to do is set things up in WordPress and you are good to go. Login to WordPress.com
Navigate to the “My Site” page, Select “Domains” from the bottom of the menu. Choose the “Map it” button to map your domain.You will be prompted to pay the fee, which in my case was $13 per year. After your payment goes through you will see the following page. Click “Update Settings.”Add your domain name in the list, and choose “Update Primary Domain”
Congratulations! That’s it, all there is to do now is wait for the magic to happen. In a few minutes and your new domain will be linked to your blog. It will take 12-36 hours for the DNS to fully update your information, but you should be able to view your site within a couple of minutes. Having a personalized domain is a great way to make your blog more professional, while still taking advantage of the ease of use that WordPress.com offers. And, if you have your own domain, you can easily move to your site traffic to a different hosting provider in the future if you need to. The process is slightly complicated, but for $15/year we found this one of the best upgrades you could do to your WordPress.com blog.Get Godaddy Web Hosting