How to Redirect your Blog to a different URL Part 2: WordPress.com


I outgrew my free wordpress.com blog so I decided to go with a custom self-hosted wordpress.org blog. I wrote a blog post at the time about making this decision. It reads a little strangely since it was originally written on my free wordpress blog allthingsweb20.wordpress.com.  I wanted to have more control over my blog and blog plug-ins, etc.

This post deals primarily with pointing your blog to either a domain name you purchased or a domain (or sub-domain) on your self-hosted site. You would still be using your original blog and it would still be on wordpress.com, but you could get it using your own domain name, like clear.bluedei.com instead of allthingsweb20.wordpress.com.

But WordPress.com doesn’t make it easy to understand all the nuances of redirecting. Here is a description from their blog. Ok, now do you understand? I don’t and I had no trouble whatsoever redirecting my google blogger blog. Also, there is conflicting information on different support pages.

In addition, they charge you to be able to redirect your blog. You can see the charges for this (and other upgrades) in the screen print below.

Wordpress pricing

Per wordpress.com:

“You can map a subdomain to your WordPress.com blog for 9.97 credits ($9.97) per year. This is ideal for web administrators who already have a functioning website at a primary domain, example.com, and wish to use blog.example.com as the official domain/URL for their WordPress.com-powered blog. Note that you cannot map the “www” subdomain because WordPress.com removes the “www” from all URLs.

Here is their support page for domain mapping, either through them or using your own domain name.  It seems pretty straightforward to follow their instructions for buying a domain name through them. If you buy the domain name from them and have them map your wordpress.com blog to that domain name,you should be able to follow these instructions and as long as you pay them $14.97 a year ($5.00 for registering a domain name and $9.97 to point your blog to the new name) , you should be good to go. You don’t have to worry about doing anything else in this post. But read the next couple of paragraphs before you decide on this.

For managing your domain that you created through them they offer this support page.  It’s confusing but if you bought through them, you may want to read it. One caveat with going this route is the statement I found in their documentation (although for the life of me I cannot find it now, I did not save the site I pasted it from and finding anything in wordpress.com support/forums/etc. is practically impossible). This is what it said about registering through them:

“You will be able to use any domain that you already control; you don’t have to register with us. Many people will be happier with other registrars because they offer fine DNS control. If you register a new domain with us, your domain will be usable for your blog only. You will be able to transfer your domain to another registrar, though not in the initial release. ”

I don’t like the sound of “your domain will be usable for your blog only”.  Maybe I’m misunderstanding it but if I paid for and registered a domain through them, I’d want to use it for whatever I wanted (like point it to another website or use it for my blogger blog instead or whatever). You also get limited functionality and I would hate to have to go through wordpress.com’s support to get answersto anything or any kind of support for my new domain.

So unless you really want a plug and play way to purchase a domain name and point your blog to it, I would not recommend buying a domain through them. You will get much better support and functionality by using a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy and for the same price or cheaper. But if you do decide to buy your domain name and have your blog redirected by them, following the relatively simple directions they provide, you don’t have to worry about doing anything else in this post.

But assuming you prefer to buy your own domain name through a different domain name registrar, you have a bit more set up to do.

After you have purchased your domain name (godaddy.com is as good as anywhere to do this)  you need to point the new domain name nameservers to wordpress.com.

There are different ways to add the nameservers depending on what registrar you are using.  Regardless, they will all use the nameservers below (step 6). You can also contact your domain name registrar or hosting service and have them set them for you.  The domain hosting service we use, inmotionhosting.com, does not allow us to change nameservers, CNAME records, etc on our own so we have to contact them and ask them to do it. Not ideal, but at least they are very responsive about making changes that you ask of them.

Here is how you would set the nameservers correctly for your GoDaddy.com domain name to point your wordpress.com blog to the new name:

NOTE: You can set nameservers for your Domain on the Product Dashboard, or the Domain Manager. To set nameservers on the Dashboard log in to your Account Manager, and select the Domains tab. Click the Domain you want to set nameservers for, and then click Nameservers.

To Set the Nameservers for Your Domain

  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. In the My Products section, select Domain Manager.
  3. Use the checkbox(es) to select the domain name(s) you want to modify.
  4. Click Nameservers.
  5. Select the following:
    I want to park my domains
    Specifies you want to park your domain on our parked servers. We automatically park your new domain registrations. The parked page displays when someone opens your domain from a Web browser.
    I want to forward my domains
    Specifies you want to forward this domain to another URL. For more information about forwarding domains, see Forwarding or Masking Your Domain .
    I have a hosting account with these domains
    Specifies your domain is hosted with us and you want to use our nameservers.
    I host my domains with another provider
    Specifies your domain is hosted with another company, and allows you to enter the company’s nameservers.
  6. If you selected I host my domains with another provider, enter your nameservers. You must enter at least two nameservers for your domain.

NOTE: remove any existing name servers and add these:

NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

Click OK.

If you are pointing your blog to a subdomain (like clear.bluedei.com) instead of the domain (bluedei.com), you’ll need to add a CNAME record through your domain management on your host (if available). We are not allowed to add / change CNAME records ourselves through our host provider, inmotionhosting.com, so I contacted their support and asked them to do it for me.

The first wordpress.com support page that I went to said “Add a CNAME record through the registrar where you purchased your domain or through your DNS provider. You should NOT change your Name Server information if you wish to only map a subdomain. The CNAME should look something like the following (please note the fullstop character at the end of each domain name): subdomain.yourdomain.com. IN CNAME yourblog.wordpress.com”

So my CNAME record according to this would be “clear.bluedei.com. IN CNAME allthingsweb20.wordpress.com”.  But when I tried that and then tried to add that domain name in wordpress.com, I got the following error:

wordpress_prob_reroute_domain.png

It was telling me that the correct syntax for the CNAME record was “clear 14400 IN CNAME allthingsweb20.wordpress.com”

So I had InmotionHosting set up this CNAME record “clear 14400 IN CNAME allthingsweb20.wordpress.com”

Now you need to point your wordpress.com blog to your new domain name.

  1. After the name server change takes effect, go to Settings -> Domains in your blog’s dashboard, enter the domain into the form at the top of the page, and click the Add domain to blog button. If the name servers are verified, you will be prompted to purchase the required credits via PayPal and complete the upgrade/mapping process.
    domain-mapping-add

NOTE: you will know if it is not set up right because you’ll get an error when trying to add the domain name to your blog.

  1. After you have made your purchase, go back to the Settings -> Domains page, select the radio button next to the domain you just mapped to your blog, and click the Update Primary Domain button.
  2. dm-set-primary

Now when you type in your new domain (or subdomain) URL, you will see your original wordpress.com blog.

12/17/2009 And if you want to read an interesting take on this blog post, called “How to Airt your Blog to a different URL Portion 2: WordPress.” and clearly translated by Bigfoot (Bigfoot say “I not dead!”), follow the link. Sometimes I wonder…

Round and round. Take care,

~Susan Mellott

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