Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Blog Published To A Custom Domain Has A New URL - And No More

We see occasional signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, about custom domain publishing.
Can I publish to a custom domain - and still use the Blogger dashboard?
Can I publish to a custom domain - and keep my comments and posts?
Can I publish to a custom domain - and avoid TOS restrictions?
Some blog owners seem to see custom domain publishing as more than it actually is.

When you publish your blog to a non BlogSpot URL (aka custom domain), using a proper setup, your blog now has a new URL.

The BlogSpot URL continues to work - and to direct search engines bots, search query results, and visitors, to the blog.

If your blog uses backlinks, and similar tools to measure exposure / popularity, which reference the blog using the URL, you'll start over with those features. With a properly setup custom domain, even though you don't see them, the links themselves will still operate - and any traffic headed to the BlogSpot URL will lead to the Blogger blog, published to the domain URL.

If your blog uses Google+ Comments, you won't see the comments published to the BlogSpot URL - although the comments will still exist, and be visible, in Google+.

Some accessory gadgets will stop working, temporarily, shortly after the new URL starts working. This is an unavoidable result of the Internet address lookup infrastructure, aka DNS.

Other than those details, you'll have the same blog as before - just with an extra URL, that may be more valuable to the search engines.
Just as any time you change the URL of your blog, you'll face changes in external relationships, such as with your readers, and with search engines and other services. Don't do this without careful planning, and methodical execution!

For the few times when your domain fails, see my troubleshooting check list - but prevent problems best, by first setting it up properly, and by observing your own limitations.

Dude, hit me with a comment!