Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Custom Domain Setup, Your Blog, and Your Readers

Periodically, someone interested but uncertain asks about the practical effects of publishing their blog to a custom domain.
Will all the posts (the comments, the customised template, ...) be the same?
or
Will my readers be able to find my blog?
or even
Will I lose Page Rank, and if so, how long?
These are all valid concerns.

Publishing your blog to a custom domain is pretty much like publishing it to another BlogSpot URL, except you end up with two (maybe 3) URLs, each of which will work equally well.
  • The BlogSpot URL.
  • The primary URL for the domain.
  • A possible secondary URL for the domain.


There's no visible change to the content - it simply republishes to the new (non-BlogSpot) URL. If you want to go back to normal publishing, you republish to BlogSpot. Simple?

Since the BlogSpot URL continues to work, everybody who has the BlogSpot URL bookmarked can continue to access the blog, transparently. You'll experience a brief loss of page rank, but you'll still get some traffic from your established readers, and from the search engines, and other robotic services.

You will have to update your membership in external services, such as search engines and similar robotic processes.

If you are vigorously attentive to the needs of your readers, and external services, your search engine reputation / Page Rank will pick up, somewhat faster than you acquired it originally. And if you publish content and update the blog at the same rate as before you got the custom domain, your search engine reputation / Page Rank will keep on going up, after it has regained its former level. And that's what a custom domain will do for you.

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6 comments:

Bob Hoffman said...

Thanks so much for providing valuable information in plain English.

Three questions:

1. If my blog has a custom domain as well as a Blogspot URL will my StatCounter stats be a total of visitors from both URLs?

2. Is there anyway to know who is subscribing to my feed?

3. Is there a way to switch from Haloscan to Blogger comments without losing all the past Haloscan comments?

Thanks

Chuck said...

Bob,

1. Your StatCounter stats shows visits to the blog. The individual entries ("Pageload Activity", "Visitor Activity" etc) will show how each visitor got to the blog, and that should include links to the BlogSpot URL, the primary domain URL, and the secondary domain URL (if exists).

2. Who is subscribing to each feed isn't something that can be tracked. If you run the feed through FeedBurner, you'll get statistics, and that's about it. Details like actual visit tracking, no.

3. There's no ability to move comments from one system to another. You could maybe keep Haloscan for past records, and that's about it.

Thanks for the feedback, Bob!

HazelnutPhotography said...

So simply put... beautiful! Thank you for using English. Quick Question... so confused!

I just moved my blogspot blog to a custom domain. It was on a custom domain before, now it's just on a different one. But I can't get the feed on my new custom domain to be picked up by my google reader. Go Daddy, the domain host, says it will never work. But it worked just fine before!

HELP!

Chuck said...

Hazelnut,

Have you reported this in the GBH: Broken forum? I'll look for your thread there, where I can help you better.

Stacey@A Sort Of Fairytale said...

Hi,
I have checked the blogger something is broken forums for this and I am not getting the answers I need. Can you help? I recently purchased a .com from Go Daddy and made the switch in publishing in my blogger settings. I also added the ghs.google.com to the DNS on Go Daddy for my domain. My blog redirected just fine from blogspot address to the new .com. The trouble was that my posts were not being updated OB other blog roll lists and dashboards. After 2 days of this I switched back to publishing on blogspot. I will still like to use the custom domain I bought, but am not sure how to fix this problem. Please Help! Thank you!!

Chuck said...

Stacey,

Custom Domain publishing problems almost always have to be diagnosed, individually. Please post in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, so we can diagnose your problem.