Looking to learn how to create a blog on Blogger with your own custom domain name? Blogger allows you to start your own blog without having to spend a penny on web hosting. You just need to register a domain name and link it to your Bloger blog.
Why custom domain?
A blog set up on a custom domain such as www.myblog.com sets you apart from the crowd of bloggers using free services, and portrays you as a more serious blogger. Using your own domain gives you the freedom to move the blog to your own web space once it grows big, without any significant impact on your Web traffic or visitors noticing the change. A custom domain brings the freedom and ownership of your website as you can create a backup of your blog and use it to host one any other platform such as your own self-hosted WordPress website.
Creating Blog with Blogger & Custom Domain
Step 1: First, sign up with Blogger and create a blog. You can use your existing Google account or create a new one. If you already have a Blogger blog, head over to the next step.
Step 2: Now, get a domain name of your choice. You can purchase a domain name from a service provider of your choice or get it though Blogger/Google Domains.
Though getting it though Google Domains will spare you one step on linking your domain name with your blog, I prefer buying domain from a service provider of my choice. Godaddy is my domain registrar of choice.
After the domain name is registered and becomes active, we need to link the domain to our Blogger blog.
Step 3: Set up a custom domain with Blogger.com blog
Once you have your Blogger blog and the domain name is registered, it’s time to link the domain with the blog so that when a person types the domain name such as www.myawesomeblog.com, she is redirected to our blog.
Here’s how to set up a custom domain for your Blogger.com blog. This step is not required for those who have registered their domain with Google (available in select countries). You can create a Blogger blog directly on your Google-registered domain.
- Click on your blog to reach the administration dashboard.
- Go to Settings > Basic > Publishing menu in the blog’s Blogger dashboard to link the custom domain.
- Click on the “+ Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog – Point your own registered URL to your blog” link.
- Enter the custom domain name with www, eg: www.myawesomeblog.com and hit Save. (Blogger’s custom domain name option works only with a subdomain such as www. It does not work for naked domains such as http://myawesomeblog.com)
- You will get an error message with required settings and instructions. Visit your domain registrar’s website to manage the domain settings, and find the DNS (Domain Name System) or the Name Server settings in the control panel. Delete any existing CNAME entries.
- If you have registered myownblog.com, enter www.myownblog.com as your domain. (Before doing that just check if your registrar has also activated www.myblogname.com for you. Normally, it should be.)
- Remember to redirect your naked domain myownblog.com (without www) to www.myownblog.com with your domain registrar. If you don’t do this, the domain without www will not show the blog. Your domain registrar’s help/FAQ should be able to provide you the exact instructions on how to redirect naked domain to www subdomain.
- If your domain is registered through Godaddy, read the instructions on adding a CNAME record in DNS here. For other registrars, explore their support for the instructions.
- Once the CNAMEs provided by Blogger have been added to your domain, wait for the new CNAMEs to become effective, which may take a few minutes to hours.
- Go back to Blogger and repeat the same process. If you still see the previous error, try after a while.
- If the CNAMEs have been set up properly, your custom domain will be turned on. Check by trying to visit your blog by typing your domain name in browser: www.yourawesomeblog.com in your web browser.
What is a domain name?
If you purchased myownblog.com, then http://myownblog.com is the domain. Your registrar should also provide you http://www.myownblog.com without you having to ask for it. Here www.myownblog.com is an alias or sub domain of myownblog.com domain. These two are different addresses and can point to different places (Web space). For optimization and better search engine ranks, one should redirect one domain to the other so that both the domain and www sub domain ultimately take to one address. For example, you can choose to point myownblog.com to www.myownblog.com. This will take anyone typing http://myownblog.com in browser to http://www.myownblog.com. Normally, you may also opt to point your www alias to main domain, but not if you want to use Blogger’s custom domain facility.
After setting your domain name with Blogger, you will have to make some changes with your domain so that it points to Blogger servers, which will then take the visitor to your Blogger-hosted blog. You will have need to create a CNAME record for your domain, associating your domain with ghs.google.com.
What is CNAME?
CNAME or canonical name is a record which points one sub domain (only) to another. In our case, our www sub domain will point to ghs.google.com, a Blogger sub domain.
Different domain registrars have different ways of getting it done. Log in to your domain provider’s site with your username and password to access your admin panel. Follow the instructions of your registrar to create a CNAME record. With some registrars, you might have to place a request for creating a CNAME entry.
Send this request to your registrar through email or their messaging service, as required. “Please create a CNAME entry for my domain www.myownblog.com pointing to (destination as) ghs.google.com”
Don’t forget to forward your main domain (myownblog.com) to its www sub domain (alias) (www.myownblog.com). For this, you will have to use URL forwarding feature provided in your domain provider’s admin panel.
Google’s starter guide on search engine optimization says:
“To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version (this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages.”
Now your Blogger blog should be available on your custom domain name. However, it might take some time for the changes to reflect globally. Customize your Blogger blog with free templates available (or create one yourself using Blogger’s template designer feature) and start impressing the world with your great ideas.