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How to Buy a Custom URL For Your Blog

Don’t you think a website with a custom URL looks more legitimate than one with a URL like http://mywebsite.blogger.com?

I think everyone does!

Using a custom URL for your blog not only makes you look more professional, it’s also easier for people to remember.

Buying a custom URL can be an intimidating task for many, but it’s really not that difficult! In this article I’ll help you find the the best deal on a custom URL for your blog.

How to Choose a Blog URL

Still need to come up with a URL for your blog? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Check out our article “How Do I Choose a URL For My Blog?” by clicking the link below.

Article: How Do I Choose a Blog URL?

Where to Buy a Custom URL For Your Blog

There are a couple of ways to get a URL for your blog on the cheap. One way is to buy web hosting with a coupon that includes a free domain name. The other is to buy only the domain name with a coupon. Let’s look at each way.

Where to get a domain name free with web hosting

There a bunch of places to get a domain name free with web hosting. If you need to buy web hosting, check out the article I wrote detailing what makes a good web host. For now, I can only recommend one to my clients, friends, and family.

Dreamhost

I recommend Dreamhost to everyone. I’ve been using them since 2006 and they’ve gone from great to even greater. If you use my affiliate link you’ll save $50/year and be eligible to get a free domain name when you sign up for web hosting. Your blog will cost about 10 Starbucks lattes per year, and I’ll earn some money to keep this blog running. If you don’t want to save money, I’ve also included a non-affiliate link below.

Affiliate Link (Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?252388/promo/dreamsavings50

Non-Affiliate Link (No Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com

The Best Place to Buy a Domain Name

There are so many places online to buy a URL from your blog but there’s only one that I can recommend if you’re on a budget.

GoDaddy is a domain registrar that almost always has promo codes that make buying a URL dirt cheap. Godaddy also offer web hosting and custom email, but I prefer using Dreamhost for that.

How to Make Sure a URL is Available

Only one person at a time can own a custom URL, so we need to make sure the URL you chose is available. We’ll check the availability of the URL at GoDaddy.com because it’s really simple.

1. Navigate to https://www.godaddy.com
When you get to Godaddy.com you’ll see a screen that looks something like this:

Godaddy Homepage

2. Search for the URL you want to buy
In the big search box type in the URL ending with .com that you want to buy. and click the “search domain” button or press the enter key. In this example I used the comically bad URL www.StevesAwesomeBlog.com:

Searching For a Custom URL on Godaddy

3. See the result
On the next screen you’ll get a message telling you if you URL you chose is available or not. As you can see www.StevesAwesomeBlog.com is available, but www.MyBlogTutor.com is not since I already bought it:

Custom URL Available on Godaddy
Custom URL Unavailable on Godaddy

Buying a Custom URL

You might need to search for a domain name a couple of times since many are already taken. Don’t give up, and if you run out of ideas, remember my advice for choosing a blog URL.

Get a Discount

After you find a domain name that’s available, you should buy it…with a discount!

Use my Dreamhost affiliate link if you still need web hosting and you’ll get a $50 discount and free domain name.

If you already have web hosting and need to buy a domain from GoDaddy, you could use Google to find a coupon code, or you could save a bunch of time and install the Honey browser extension and let them do it for you.

Long story short, Honey tries a bunch of different coupon codes on any checkout page (GoDaddy, Amazon, you name it) and they apply the one that saves the most money. It’s totally free and it’s saved me hundreds of dollars this year, so you should definitely check it out.

Closing Thoughts

Hopefully now that you’ve got a custom URL, your blog will seem more legitimate in your eyes; it definitely will in everyone else’s. I remember when I started my first GeoCities website (I’m dating myself now…) it never felt official until I had my own custom URL. Back then I thought it was difficult, and based on questions I get I know people still think it’s difficult, but as you saw it’s not.

If you have a blog, make sure it has a custom URL. Follow the steps I outlined in this blog post and when you buy one let me know what your new URL is!

What’s the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Isn’t it confusing when someone tells you to build a blog using WordPress and there are two different websites for the same thing (WordPress.com and WordPress.org)?

Well don’t worry – you’re not alone!

WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different websites with different purposes:

WordPress.com is a place where you can host a WordPress blog either for free or for a fee.

WordPress.org is the place you go to download the WordPress software if you want to host your blog on your own.

I’ll save you the suspense:

Hosting a WordPress blog yourself is better than using WordPress.com in almost every single way:

  • It’s cheaper
  • You can monetize your blog from Day 1
  • You can use any theme you want
  • You can install any plugin you want
  • You can customize your blog however you want
  • You get unlimited storage space for $10/month
  • You get unlimited email address for the same $10/month
  • Great customer support is free 24/7/365
  • and the list goes on and on…

Since 2006 I’ve been using Dreamhost.com to host blogs and websites and they’ve been terrific. If you’re looking for more info, check out my article that details what makes a good web host.

If you’re ready to buy web hosting you can click the link below to sign up through my affiliate link. You’ll save $50 your first year (around $7/month) and I’ll earn around $20-$30 to keep this site running. I’ve also included a non-affiliate link below too if you don’t want me to earn money, but you won’t get the discount.

Affiliate Link (Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?252388/promo/dreamsavings50

Non-Affiliate Link (No Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com/

Read on if you’re still interested in the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org!

Fees

WordPress.com has a variety of plans that let you host a blog for the world to see. At the time of writing (2017) WordPress.com has four different plans:

  • Free ($0.00/month)
  • Personal ($2.99/month)
  • Premium ($8.25/month)
  • Business ($24.92/month)

If you want a custom blog that you can monetize then it will always cost you money to host it. However, the fees WordPress.com charges you are bogus because depending on how much you spend they:

  • limit the themes you can choose from
  • limit the customization you can do
  • prevent you from monetizing your blog
  • run their ads on your blog
  • charge you too much
  • and so on…

If you download WordPress from WordPress.org and host it yourself you can do anything you want from Day 1. It’s just as easy to get set up and even better, hosting a blog on Dreamhost only costs you around $10/month.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Storage Space

Each tier of WordPress.com hosting limits the amount of stuff you upload to your blog. Only when you buy the “business” plan will you have unlimited storage space.

Hosting your own blog on Dreamhost will get you unlimited storage space for around $10/month.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Theme Limitations

When you buy hosting from WordPress.com they limit you to only use free themes until you buy the “business” plan. Also, until you spend $8.95/month on WordPress.com you can only do basic theme customizations.

If you host your own blog you can install any theme (free or paid) and you can customize it however you want from Day 1. If you’re feeling brave you can even change your theme’s code when you host your own blog.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Custom URL

To get a custom URL on WordPress.com you need to buy a paid plan. If you don’t your URL will be http://.wordpress.com.

If you host your blog yourself you will still need to buy a custom URL, but with a coupon it will cost you less than $7/year. However, if you create a new account on Dreamhost you can get a custom URL for free!

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Ads

When you sign up for a free account on WordPress.com they will run ads on your website that they profit from. If you upgrade to a paid plan, they won’t do this.

Until you pay at least $8.25/month, WordPress.com won’t let you run ads your own ads so you can make money off of your own blog. This is pretty slimy since you’re the one doing all the work.

If you host a blog yourself, nobody will run ads on your site unless it’s you. You can monetize your blog any way you want from Day 1 when you host it because you’re in charge. You can run ads, sell a product, start a membership program, or whatever you want.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Videos

When you sign up for a WordPress.com account you need to pay at least $8.25/month before you can upload videos to your blog.

If you host your blog yourself you can upload videos and whatever else you want from Day 1.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Analytics

Analytics tell you who visits your website and what they look at. Google Analytics is the gold standard when it comes to website analytics.

When you sign up for WordPress.com you have to pay $24.92/month before you can use Google Analytics. Until then you have to use Jetpack, which isn’t as good.

When you host your blog yourself you can use Google Analytics for free from Day 1.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Plugins

When you sign up for WordPress.com you can only choose from the plugins they provide. This includes the expensive paid plans!

When you host your blog yourself you can install any plugin you want from Day 1.

Winner: Hosting your own blog.

Email Addresses

When you sign up for WordPress.com you need to jump through hoops to get a custom email address (you@yoursite.com), or pay up to $50/year for Google to do it for you.

If you host your own blog, your web host will probably offer you free custom email addresses that you can set up with one click. Dreamhost offers unlimited email accounts and it’s real easy to set up.

Winner: Host your own blog.

Upgrades

When you sign up for WordPress.com they will upgrade your blog for you automatically.

When you host your own blog you will need to upgrade your own blog, but to do that you need to click one button.

Winner: Tie between WordPress.com and hosting your own blog.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, hosting a WordPress blog yourself is way better than using WordPress.com.

Once again, if you’re ready to buy web hosting you can click the link below to sign up for Dreamhost with my affiliate link.

My link will save $50 your first year and you’ll be supporting this website. I’ve also included a non-affiliate link below too if you don’t want me to earn a referral bonus to keep this site running, but you won’t get a discount.

Affiliate Link (Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?252388/promo/dreamsavings50

Non-Affiliate Link (No Discount):
https://www.dreamhost.com/