WordPress.com Domain Registration – From the User’s Point of View
Regular readers may already have realized that I’m a WordPress.com fan boy. Anyone who has come from Blogspot will tell you how good things are over here (not that there isn’t the occasional problem — I’m the reason the Delete Post button turns red when you hover over it). I don’t post about every new feature that hits wordpress.com, but I thought people might be interested in finding out more about the latest paid upgrade from the point of view of someone who’s using it.
WordPress.com introduced Domain Registration and Mapping this week (Raincoaster got the first one). The price is reasonable at $10 USD/year for domain mapping or $15 USD/year for domain mapping and registration — and it fits in with their business model of world-class hosting for free with premium upgrades for power users. Some friends and I had been talking about getting beatsentropy.com for several months and our laziness paid off with a much simpler solution.
Why pay extra to have your own domain?
It’s an image thing.
Having a weblog address ending in blogspot.com, typepad.com, etc. will soon be the equivalent of having an @aol.com email address or a Geocities website: the mark of a na�ve beginner who shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
— Jakob Nielsen
You can buy the upgrade with your PayPal account and it is as simple as entering the domain name you want and pressing Ok (followed by a form to collect your personal information for the registration). We had the domain within the hour, but that was unusually fast (or, I have no sense of time). The good news is that the domain belongs to us and if we decide to go to self-hosted we can take the domain with us.
Of course, like most things involving computers, it isn’t entirely seamless. There is a Q&A post in the support forum that covers some of the problems people have encountered. This is my list:
#1: RSS feed redirection. The RSS feeds to the old URL worked just fine with Bloglines and Google Reader. The WordPress Sidebar Feed widget broke though, as will any other feed reader that doesn’t support redirects. Another reason to use Feedburner. It would be nice if we had the option to set the “auto-detect” feed in wordpress.com blogs, so that it didn’t default to blog.wordpress.com/feed.
#2: Slow image loading. Pages that used a lot of image URLs linking to the old blog were slower to load (9+ images on one page). It is worth going through posts that use a lot of images and changing them to use the new URL.
#3: Technorati Rank. This is a killer for some people. Technorati doesn’t support having multiple domains for one blog (I’ve put in a support ticket and will update this post with the results). So beatsentropy.com and frambojan.wordpress.com have different rankings. The previous rank before the domain name changed doesn’t transfer over to the new domain. This looks like a Technorati problem more than an Automattic problem.
UPDATE 2006/11/02: Janice got back to me.
Please accept my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve taken a look at your request regarding consolidation for “frambojan.wordpress.com” and “beatsentropy.com“. I’m afraid that we are unable combine links from different URLs at this time. Links are URL based and are unique citations to that blog at that time.
However, I can mark “frambojan.wordpress.com” as a duplicate so that indexing and link count will point to
“beatsentropy.com” from here on. Would you like me to mark “frambojan.wordpress.com” as a duplicate?
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are looking into providing consolidation as a feature in the future. Thank you for using Technorati!
UPDATE: This is also an issue because marketers will use this information to spam you. domainwarning.com has much more information on this subject. There is a free website called myprivacy.ca which is specifically for domain name registration emails. They maintain a whitelist of valid people who will try to contact you through your domain name registration email — everything else is blocked.
It makes me glad I did this with beatsentropy.com instead of my main blog at engtech.wordpress.com that has over 250 back-links and a sub-10,000 Technorati rank. I know Raincoaster is a bit miffed at this turn of events.
One think to keep in mind is that Technorati rank is calculated based on a sliding 180 day window. So within six months the old blog address will become a non-issue. Still, it is a painful hit if you’ve already spent six months or longer building up your Technorati rank.