Domains

What is a domain? How does a domain of the type of yourdomain.com work? How do I register them? Do I get personal e-mails me@mydomain.com too?

Chapter 1: About personal Domains
1.1 What is a personal domain?
1.2 What does it do?
1.3 Where can I get one and much does it cost?

Chapter 2: How do I set up my domain to use it on WordPress.com?

Chapter 3: Personal domains yourname.com and personal e-mails whatever@yourdomain.com

Chapter 1: About personal Domains

1.1 What is a personal domain?

A personal domain name is a url or web address of the type of yourdomain.com which can be used to access your website. There are three ways to use a personal domain, so let me introduce you to the difference between WebForward, WebForward with cloaking and CNAME:

1.2 What does it do?

- WebForward (or Redirect): after you typed yourdomain.com in the browser you get forwarded to username.wordpress.com and username.wordpress.com will display in the browser.
Result: yourdomain.com => username.wordpress.com (or the URL provided by your hosting)
Pros: People don't have to learn a long and complicated address to get on your pages
Cons: As soon as people get to your page the "easier to remember url" disappears and the less good looking complicated url displays

- WebForward with Cloaking (or masking): after you typed yourdomain.com in the browser yourdomain.com will display in the browser and will not change while people browse through your website
Result: yourdomain.com => yourdomain.com
Pros: Easier to remember, looks better (clean) and your complicated url doesn't show up at any point
Cons: When people want to provide a link to a particular page of your website to friends or bookmark a particular page of your site they can't. When they provide or bookmark it they will be directed to your first page and not to the particular page they wanted to go to. Thus the friend will have to navigate and search the page or ask himself "now, what?"
Search engines will not be able to index the content as it presents an iFrame in which different pages are loaded (it's like one page and a lot of pages in it but search engines can't see those pages, they only see the one 'empty' page). Not search engines friendly at all!

- CNAME (most used): yourdomain.com will display instead of web.me.com/username/ and while browsing through your website it will look like yourdomain.com/sitename/pagename.html
To use CNAME you need to have DNS control or read Chapter 3 of this page if you don’t.
Result: yourdomain.com => yourdomain.com/sitename/pagename.html
Pros: Easier to remember, looks better (more professional), people can bookmark particular pages, provide particular pages to friends, search engines might index your site using the better looking url
Cons: ? I can’t find any cons... Some people think it looks better if yourdomain.com displays always without any additions (thus not yourdomain.com/sitename/pagename.html) but I think the cons of WebForward with cloaking are much heavier than this purely aesthetic thing.

Bottom line of the pros and cons: To me CNAME is the only way to go...

If you have a personal domain like yourdomain.com it will enable you to access your site also by typing yourdomain.com in the browser and not only by typing username.wordpress.com (or the URL provided by your hosting). However the WordPress address will still exist and they can be used both. That’s because on personal domains there's no content, it's only an alias hiding/substituting the username.wordpress.com (or the URL provided by your hosting) name with yourdomain.com. But the username.wordpress.com (or the URL provided by your hosting) address is still there behind the personal domain and as previously told can be used to visit your site too.

Everything else is business as usual. You publish your website just as you did until now. All your pages are stored where they were stored before and so on. The only thing changing is how you can access your website from browser.

1.3 Where can I get one and how much does it cost?

To have a personal domain you need to buy it from a Domain Registrar. If you’re using WordPress.com you need to buy it from another service as WordPress doesn’t provide personal domain registration (it only allows you to use them).
There are different DomainRegistrar with different prices. I think the most used are GoDaddy (recommended) and 1&1.

To register a domain with GoDaddy use this (9.99$/yr):

<FORM action="http://www.kqzyfj.com/interactive" name="LookupForm" method="get"> <table width="568" style="border: 1px solid black" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" bgcolor="#BFDD2F"> <tr> <td width="411" style="padding-left:10px; padding-top:3px" valign="top"><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3158758-10390987?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Fregistrar%2Fsearch.asp%3Fisc%3D0000000000"><img src="http://imagesak.godaddy.com/promos/banners/txt_finddom_green.gif" border="0" alt="Find a domain name now!"></a></td> <td rowspan="2" width="58" height="58"><img src="http://imagesak.godaddy.com/promos/banners/img_gdlog_icann_125x58.gif" border="0" width="125" height="58"></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-left:4px" valign="top"> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td width="280"><font size="1" style="font-size:11px" face="arial,helvetica"><input type="text" name="domainToCheck" size="30" maxlength="67" tabindex="1" style="font-size:11px"></font>&nbsp;<font size="1" style="font-size:11px" face="arial,helvetica"><select name="tld" id="tld" tabindex="2" style="font-size:11px"><option value=".COM" selected>.com</option> <option value=".US">.us</option> <option value=".NET">.net</option> <option value=".ORG">.org</option> <option value=".BIZ">.biz</option> <option value=".INFO">.info</option> <option value=".WS">.ws</option></select></font></td> <td width="55"><input type="hidden" name="checkAvail" value="1"><input type="image" name="submit" value="submit" tabindex="3" src="http://imagesak.godaddy.com/promos/banners/but_domsrch_ad_org.gif" border="0" alt="Click Here to Search for Your Domain."></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Fregistrar%2Fsearch.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ecom%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.com</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fus.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Eus%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.us</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fbiz.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ebiz%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.biz</a> <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Finfo.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Einfo%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.info</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Fregistrar%2Fsearch.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Enet%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.net</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Fregistrar%2Fsearch.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Eorg%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.org</a> <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fws.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ews%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.ws</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fname.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ename%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.name</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Fregistrar%2Fsearch.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Etv%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.tv</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ecc%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.cc</a> <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ede%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.de</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ejp%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.jp</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ebe%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.be</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Eat%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.at</a> <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Euk%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.uk</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Enz%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.nz</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Ecn%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.cn</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3158758-10390987?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.godaddy.com%2Fgdshop%2Ftlds%2Fcctlds.asp%3Ftld%3D%252Etw%26isc%3D0000000000" style="font-family:arial, sans serif; color:#0033cc; font-size:11px">.tw</a></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> <input type="hidden" name="aid" value="10390987"/> <input type="hidden" name="pid" value="3158758"/> <input type="hidden" name="url" value="http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/registrar/search.asp?isc=0000000000"/> </form> <img src="http://www.tqlkg.com/image-3158758-10390987" width="1" height="1" border="0"/>

To register with 1&1
click here (Only $6.99 yr with 1&1)

Registrars you should avoid (not use): Networksolutions because it doesn’t let you use the domain without www and it’s hard to set it up; Misterdomain.eu because it doesn’t work at all.

Chapter 2: How do I set up my domain to use it on WordPress.com?

First you need to buy the domain at a domain registrar as of Chapter 1.3 of this page.

Once you registered your domain you need to change its ns servers in the DNS settings on your registrar’s website to:

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

Consult your registrar’s support or support area to know how to do that. Since every registrar works slightly differently it’s not possible to write the how-to here.

Once you changed the ns servers:

1. Go to WordPress.com
2. Go to Settings=>Domains
3. Under Add a Domain enter your domain (ex. yourdomain.com) and hit Add domain to blog

Chapter 3: Personal domains yourname.com and personal e-mails whatever@yourdomain.com

Whether you get e-mails from the type of whatever@yourdomain.com or not depends on your domain registrar.

I think mostly at domain registrars you get MailForwards which means that I send e-mails at you@yourdomain.com which forwards e-mails to another address like whatever@yahoo.com and you can set you2@yourdomain.com to be forwarded to another e-mail (if you want). So basically MailForwards aren't real e-mails themselves. You can also set *@yourdomain.com so all e-mails sent to no matter which e-mail @yourdomain.com gets sent to you@yahoo.com (no matter what people put in front of the @yourdomain.com).

The problem is that if you set up CNAME for your domain usually E-Mail gets broken (MX). But there’s a trick to avoid that ). Mainly that’s it:

1. www.yourdomain.com is different from yourdomain.com
2. Domain registrars handle them as completely different
3. The trick is to set up CNAME for www.yourdomain.com
4. For yourdomain.com set up a WebForward instead pointing it to www.yourdomain.com
5. Now yourdomain.com is free to be used for e-mails


This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


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- Cédric -




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