Branding, Your WordPress Blog’s Name and Address

domain word cloudYour blog/website URL (web address), the site title, and a brief effective tagline operate as branding tools. Unique names and URLs for blogs and websites are highly valued for establishing individual brand identity and are specifically aimed at standing out from the crowd.

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What’s in a Name?

Domain Names

If you’re focused on the user experience and relevancy, however, the value remains intact to a greater degree. Good domain names are easy to remember, easy to spell, easy to pronounce and often short. If you look around, you’ll see no shortage of made up words as domains, too.

You CAN create a new word that passes many tests and you CAN build awareness of it and over time you’ll see it become an actually searched-on phrase in its own right. – Domain Name Importance in Ranking

Good domain names are:

  • descriptive
  • relevant
  • short
  • easy to spell
  • easy to pronounce
  • easy to remember.

Keyword Consistency

Keywords are used to retrieve documents in an information system such as a catalog or a search engine like Google or Bing. It’s best if your blog’s URL, site title and brief effective tagline contain keywords for the primary subject matter, products and/or services that define your intended brand.

Tools:

Note that the site title (blog name) and blog address URL do not have to be the same, but it’s easier for visitors to remember and better for SEO if they are.

Read How To Do Keyword Research – The Beginners Guide to SEO and look for more site title tips in these three related posts:

Changing a Site Title and/or Optional Tagline

If you have a WordPress.com blog the Site title (blog name) and/or the optional Tagline can be changed at the top of the General Settings page at any time > Settings > General  (Don’t forget to “save changes”). The site title field is exactly where search engine spiders look for the site title and removing it from there can cause issues with getting your content indexed.

For tips on choosing the best name for your site read  Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: Two WordPressers Share Their Secrets.

Changing a Blog Address

If you decide an address change is what’s needed, you cannot edit any URL, but you can change it to another .wordpress.com blog address, or you can purchase your own and map to it, in which case the underlying .wordpress.com address doesn’t matter.

Changing a WordPress.com Blog URL

If you want to change the .wordpress.com blog address  then you must be logged in as Admin under the exact same username account that registered the blog, and the URL you desire must be available. If so, then you can change the URL by using this guide.

Purchasing a Domain and/or a Domain Mapping Upgrade

Registering a domain provides an opportunity to convey your brand through keywords to your target audience and to build credibility within your niche. If you are committed to blogging over the long term I recommend getting your own domain. You don’t need to leave WordPress.com to do so.

  1. In order to map from .wordpress.com URL to a domain you must have an underlying .wordpress.com sub-domain blog to map from, and the domain name you desire must be available for purchase, or you must already own the domain URL. (Note: It does not matter what the underlying .wordpress.com address is when you are domain mapping.)
  2. You must be logged in as Admin under the exact same username account that registered the blog to access the blog’s dashboard at > Store > My Upgrades to purchase a domain name by purchasing an annually renewable domain mapping upgrade for the blog.
  3. If you do not own a domain name yet see the option for purchasing a domain and mapping to it.  If you already own a domain name use this guide to map to an existing domain.  And, if you already have a website up and you want your blog in a subdomain of that site, you can also map your blog to a subdomain,

In all three cases, after you do the primary blog set up it can take between 24 – 72 hours for domain name propagation to take place throughout the internet. You can view the DNS changes as they progress. What’s important during that stage is to be patient.

Branding Clarity and Domain Names

Visitors find your blog in one of two ways. If you have a domain name that is easy to remember and is also closely related to your brand, they may recall and  use the URL. Or they may recall some keywords and use a search engine like Google or Bing to search for subject matter, products or services you provide. Choosing a distinctive name that’s relevant and establishing site title and tagline keyword consistency are critical to branding and to increasing your social networking reach.

Discussion

From time to time bloggers choose to better convey their brand through improving their keywords use in the site title, optional tagline and/or the blog address.

They may want to rename the blog by changing the site title, while retaining the web address. (They may want to change the optional Tagline while doing so or not.)

They may want to rename the blog by changing the site title, and changing the web address. (They may want to change the optional Tagline while doing so or not.)

They may want to delete all content, retain the address, and start fresh.

Have you ever made branding changes that involved changing a blog address?

24 thoughts on “Branding, Your WordPress Blog’s Name and Address

  1. Funny how so often it’s the most basic things that get overlooked in our hurry to set something up. You’ve covered some of the most important basics here, and done it with your usual clarity– great post! : )

  2. Thanks for this little reminder. I hadn’t given my branding a huge amount of thought and was putting it all off.. But I have finally managed to change my domain name to match my site title. When I started my blog I hadn’t a clue about any of this or what blogging was all about either! Thanks to you I’m getting there. :)

  3. I spent a great deal of time researching and choosing my site title and domain name (they are both the same). Some of the choices I wanted were unavailable, which was disappointing, but in the end, I’m happy with where I landed. I spent alot of time reading other blogs, including yours, as I went about setting out to become a blogger, and then, as now, you always provide wonderful tips and advice.

  4. As always great advice. I bought already domain names for both my main blogs not my third! Hopefully the tags are ok under the names etc but always good to be reminded.

  5. Hi TT. Great post and right on time. I own a domain registered as mydomain.co.za and have been considering mapping my owned domain to my wordpress.com domain. As usual I have procrastinated and pondered and fretted about Google losing sight of the website. I have set up a dummy website with a 301 redirect to mydomain.wordpress.com. It works well when I type in the local URL. When I Google with the country specific name I get nothing but when I use the ‘all countries’ option Google shows the website links to mydomain.wordpress.com. Your post has finally pushed me over the edge and I will now be mapping my own domain. If it causes delays in Google indexing my specific country domain, well so be it. It should not be long to get back to multiple finds using the country specific search. Am I being naive or should I have faith in Google ? Even if they don’t understand the concept of copyright ownership :-)

    1. Hi Peter,
      You will not regret doing this. It will take time for your content to be re-indexed by Google and Bing but once it is your pagerank and positioning in the SERPs will be as it was before.

  6. Hey TimeThief :]
    Thanks for this information!
    Ive thought about changing the blog address of my blog before, but was not sure how to do it. I want to change it to the URL of a private WP blog I already have. And then eventually, possibly get my own domain. I think I’d need a redirect too? I need to read this again and the links, when not so tired.

      1. Thank you, TT :]
        I might ask you a few questions when the time comes. I [hope] to start seriously working on my blog (and art) soon.

    1. I keep receiving email requests from bloggers who do not know they can change their blog names, taglines and addresses at any time, and/ or how to go about doing it, that’s what gave rise to this post.

      P.S. I had a very busy working week and hope to I catch up on my blog reading during this one.

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