Domain Mapping Tips

Purchasing a domain mapping upgrade for a free hosted WordPress.com blog for a single year does not make sense. I recommend that you do not purchase a domain mapping upgrade, unless you intend to blog over the long term and are committed to renewing your domain annually.

My recommendation is based on some facts I would like to share.

Failing to renew a domain mapping upgrade means every link to the domain URLs will be broken everywhere they appear throughout the internet.

Despite the fact the content will still be there under the .wordpress.com URLs it may take as long as 3-4 months for search engines to reindex them again under the .wordpress.com URLs.

Throughout those months anyone clicking the domain URLs to the posts, pages and media in the blog will experience a 404 (page not found).

What bloggers fail to understand when they do this nonsensical flash in the pan testing is that they are leaving a digital breadcrumb trail on the internet that can be followed for years to come. Leaving a trail of broken domain URLs behind when one is a student, who is playing around will not serve you well in the future so don’t do it!

Bottom line: Don’t purchase a domain mapping upgrade, unless you intend to blog over the long term and are committed to renewing your upgrade annually, prior to its expiration date.

Related posts found in this blog:
Do I Need a Domain?
Avoid Creating 404 Pages
OMG! My Domain name expired

28 thoughts on “Domain Mapping Tips

  1. Now, this is sound and simple advice one should definitely know about prior to domain upgrade. Thank you. I plan (and hope) never to face this “fork in the road” of having to decide whether to renew or not…actually, you sealed my blogging future: Here for life… :)
    Great information. ♥

  2. Hmmm. As I make my browser window (Safari on a Mac) wider and thinner the text below the video becomes partially obscured under the video space. I must go and check this on my own site with various pictures and videos.

    I do get the whole leaving bread crumbs thing where things related to you should be there long term. I actually go about spreading bread crumbs. If I am in a store that sells computers I go to a couple machines and open my site in the hopes that more places viewing my site will result in better search results. I don’t know if this helps, but that’s what I do and why I do it.

    On that topic, I won’t use Google because it gives me the results it thinks I want instead of what everyone else sees. If I Google my name, my WordPress blog is prominent in MY results but it is not when doing the same anonymously on a “foreign” computer. If I want honest search results similar to what others might see and not based on my past behavior I have to use something like Yahoo which does not remember where I’ve been. I don’t want to see where I’ve been, I want to see where I’m going.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I don’t know why you are changing your browser window size at all. Twenty Eleven is a responsive with theme and so is Able the theme you are using. Responsive width means the layout adapts depending on the size of the device being used to view your site. When responsive width themes are viewed on mobiles sidebars appear below the posts in order to provide as much space as possible for reading.
      Disable mobile viewing here > Appearance > Mobile

      For more information see Mobile Friendly Theme or Responsive Width Theme?
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/11/16/mobile-friendly-theme-or-responsive-width-theme/

      1. I understand responsive width. With video, something wonky is happening on my site as well as yours, particularly with HD video. The reason I resized my window was because one or two lines of text below the video you presented was eclipsed by the bottom of the video. I thought resizing the window might change that unfortunate rendering. As I shrink the width the eclipsing comes and goes. I thought you would want to know. Depending on the width of an individual’s window both your and my articles including videos might obscure text in an unfortunate way. This could be a larger WordPress issue.

        1. Gosh I don’t have a mobile and I’m not experiencing that issue. I’m crossing my finger against a large number of my users having a negative experience.

    1. The promise of total control over your site and theme may be seductive but it comes with accepting total responsibility if and when things go wrong. As I said above I’ve been there and done that and now I’ll add that I’m not considering doing it again.

  3. Good info here, as always. Of course I’m determined to keep my domain-mapped URL as a branding device, but I’d never considered what would happen if I let the mapping lapse. And what would happen if a lot of people did that. What a mess.

    1. Despite the fact there are multiple warnings of impending renewal dates some bloggers do allow their domains to expire. Adding insult to injury after ignoring the warnings and allowing their domains to expire and enter redemption they claim WordPress.com is charging to much to redeem them. In fact WordPress.com has no redemption charges at all; it’s the domain registrars who can choose to charge whatever the market will bear. The mess ie. the record of allowing the domain to expire which is a record of incompetence is there for all to read for years to come.

  4. Hi TiTi,
    I have been upgrading my domain mapping and url for 3 years now. I remember when I was on the wordpress.com url and asked you for your opinion you helped me make up my mind.

    I have been happily blogging ever since and renewing my hosting and domain mapping. I have even taken the css upgrade to make sure my blog looks and feel ME :) Am so happy with wp.com I would never want to move to .org….there is too much technical crap to worry about there. It takes the fun out of blogging. Here on wp.com I blog and fiddle around a bit with the theme and BAM! I have what I want.

    It took me a while to get back on track (google juice wise) after I did the domain mapping….but I am relentless that way ;) And now I am more than back on track!

    Patience, persistence and hardwork are the best combo to truly ‘make’ anything right ?
    Thank you for your valuable posts TiTi, I learn so much from you.

    God bless.
    Much Love,
    Z~

    1. Hi Zeenat,
      Some love technical challenges and some don’t. You and I are on the same page. I’m not technically inclined and I don’t want the burden of all the technical management that comes with self hosting. I like hassle-free blogging and I’m happy to be here at WordPress.com where Staff takes care of all that for us.

      Thanks for being such a faithful and communicative follower.

      Love always,
      TiTi

  5. I have been blogging on WordPress for almost 3 years and have only had my own domain for a little under a year, need to renew in October, but I will definitely be doing it again, it just helps my blog and brand so much! I have been considering switching to .org though!
    Thoughts?
    Zhenya
    http://beingzhenya.com

    1. The key question to answer re: moving to WordPress.org is:
      What exactly do you expect to gain?

      I moved my personal blog which was self hosted back to WordPress.com for several reasons.

      1. upgrades, installations, backups, troubleshooting and down time
      If you move to self hosting then you will be responsible for all upgrades, installations, backups and troubleshooting. If you install a theme or a plugin that negatively affects your blog, then you have to figure out what went wrong and fix it yourself. If your blog goes down you have to cope with that on your own. If your web host goes down then once again you are coping with that on your own. On the other hand WordPress.com has only been down less than 2 hours over the course of over 7 years now. I no longer have to worry about technical fixes or about downtime.

      2. technical support
      One can get high quality technical support in a short turnaround time on the WordPress.com support forums. In contrast there is no hand holding, patient, long suffering style of support on the WordPress.org peer support forums. One is expected to read the flipping manual ie. the codex and if they are newbies who don’t know what they are about then they will twist in the wind waiting for answers. Also note that WordPress.com technical support forums are backed up by Support Staff so when Volunteers can’t assist we tag threads for Staff attention. On the other hand, WordPress.org is a keeper of the software and provider of peer support forums only site. There is no Staff backup.

      3. monetized blogs
      One of the two main reasons people move to self hosting is to monetize their blogs. In truth few make very little above their web hosting and associated self hosting costs. I don’t monetize my blogs and have an extremely dim view of any blogs that have any advertising at all on them. Many WordPress.com bloggers share my point of view and also pay for annual No-Ads upgrades. That means we don’t have competitor’s ads on related subjects aimed at wooing our readers away to their sites appearing on our blogs. Despite the fact WordAds has been introduced at WordPress.com browsing through WordPress.com blogs is still a better experience than browsing WordPress.org blogs is.

      4. costs: self hosting vs free hosting & upgrades
      For self-hosting figure an average monthly total cost (including cost of a domain name) of about $10 to $25 generally, but that all depends on storage and bandwidth requirements. I am currently paying WordPress.com for domain mapping upgrades and No-Ads upgrades for my two blogs. That brings each one in at under $50.00 per year. I was paying $60.00 per year per blog previously.

      5. themes and plugins
      The other of the two main reasons people move to self hosting is to edit templates and themes and use plugins. I don’t consider the ability to hack templates and themes free of charge and use plugins to be perks that I want or need – been there and done that. I’m satisfied with what I have here.

      6. community and a sense of belonging
      Wordpress.org does not have a community. As I said above the site is merely a keep of software and provider of peer support forums and all WordPress.org installs are stand alone islands. In contrast there are many free features enjoyed by the WordPress.com community such as the WordPress.com Reader and in-house widgets that do not exist at WordPress.org, and the WordPress.com community is a supportive one overall.

      This post may be worth while reading http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/01/13/self-hosting-whats-your-hurry/

      1. Thanks for sharing your opinion! It looks like you’ve put a lot of time and thought into it! I like WordPress.com, so yes, maybe I’ll just stay with them!
        Thanks again for your opinion!

        1. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to do a better job of my list above. I am simultaneously answering support forums questions while I multitask from work where I am supervising. This is my life and it’s a busy one indeed. lol :D

  6. Simple, practical advice that can save some a LOT of heartache! It sounds glamorous to have your own domain, and for some it’s a great step and a positive aspect of their branding. But for the casual blogger hoping to ‘try it out’ and see if a custom domain is a good fit, knowing the end result of not renewing that domain may have a big influence on their decision!

    1. Hi Kerwyn,
      Well said!

      I spend hours almost every day answering support forum questions and fretting that I’m not creating content for this blog or for my personal blog while I am doing that.

      As of today I’m taking a new approach. Every time I note a pattern another of misbegotten notions being repeatedly posted to the support forums I will publish a brief post on the topic.

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