|Image credit: Pixabay|
My blog is officially a year old and finally earning a small bit of money so, I decided to buy my blog a custom domain using PayPal. Although some domain registrar sites allow their clients to renew their domains using their PayPal balance, most usually ask that new domains be registered using a credit card. Not wanting to tap into the household's finances, I searched for sites that allow you to purchase using your PayPal balance and I, fortunately, found Namecheap.
Although Namecheap wasn't offering the usually coveted dot-com domains for $0.99 like GoDaddy, I found that it was offering other TLD's for $0.88 with a free subscription of WhoisGuard for a year. Unfortunately, GoDaddy asks more for privacy protection so I opted for Namecheap with a dot site TLD and with the additional ICANN fees, I paid $1.17 for a one-year subscription. I clicked on PayPal as my payment option (you have to scroll down to find it), and voila! I finally purchased my first custom domain and was immediately redirected to my domain's dashboard which asked for email verification.
It takes about 10-15 minutes for your custom domain to become active. So, while I was waiting for the yellow alert status of my domain to turn to the green active status, I did my research on how to switch from subdomain to custom domain. I started with Namecheap's instructions which in my opinion wasn't very clear. I then headed to Blogger and Google's Support Forum which again wasn't too clear for a tech idiot like myself. To be honest, Blogger confused me even more. I tried to Google how and went through almost all blogs that discussed how to make the switch. So, putting 2 and 2 together and collectively interlocking all the information from all the sites, I finally was able to actively register my site and create a CNAME record. It took me 3 whole hours. I'm such a dork.
How to Change Blogspot Subdomain to Custom Domain from Namecheap
1. After purchasing a custom domain from Namecheap and being redirected to dashboard, verify your new custom domain via email address and wait for 10-15 minutes for active status.
2. Open a new window and head to your Blogger Blogspot Dashboard, look for "Settings", click on " Basic".
3. Look for Blog Address which will show your Blogspot URL. Underneath it, click on "+ Setup a third party URL".
A box will open with an http://. Add your custom domain with www.
In my case, www.thetiredmamaph.site. At the bottom, click on " save".
4. An error will show with corresponding codes (see image above). These codes are to be placed as CNAME records for your custom domain. So, open the window of your Namecheap custom domain dashboard. After clicking on domain list, click on Advance DNS which will show your list of Host records. Delete everything there. That was where I was stumped. There were 2 entries under host records after I clicked on "Advanced DNS". One was a CNAME pointing to Namecheap and another with the name of my custom domain that had the word "unmask". I didn't know if I should delete it or not. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure that one out. It would have been nice if the instructions provided by Namecheap just said delete everything there and proceed with the CNAME records given by Blogger. Just so people like me wouldn't be confused. I mean it's my first time.
Now, with nothing under Host Records, click on " add record". Click CNAME and on the blank beside it under "Host", type in www and on the blank beside that under "Value", type in ghs.google.com. For TTL, place 30 minutes. 30 minutes is the standard time for domain propagation.
Click on "add record" again and click CNAME again. This time for the blank beside this one for "Host", copy and paste the shorter line of jumbled letters and numbers of the second line of CNAME codes provided by Blogger. On the space for "Value", copy and paste the longer code that has the word googlehosted in it. Again for TTL, place 30 minutes. Please note: this second line of codes is unique for everyone.
These numbers are to be placed on the blanks under "Value". For the spaces under "Host", place @ for each.
8. All in all, you should have added 6 host records, 2 CNAMEs and 4 A records. Click save. It takes 30 minutes for Namecheap to activate and another 30 minutes for Blogger to verify. Yes, you'll have to wait for an hour. In my case, an hour and thirty minutes. I thought I had problems so I also added a TXT record for Google to verify ownership. Basically, you just have to be patient and wait.
No, the technical stuff doesn't end there...
Now, you have to secure your website with an HTTPS connection. For other sites, you will have to purchase an SSL certificate. For Blogger, it is free. Underneath the "Blog Address" you were tinkering with to change to a custom domain, you will find HTTPS. From no, click on yes. You will receive a message " your request is being processed". It only takes a few minutes.
For HTTPS Redirect, also click "Yes". Save your settings. Now, It's time to tell Google about the switch.
Changing Address on Google Search Console
Every blogger's concern is the loss of traffic (most especially organic traffic) and a decrease in domain authority or ranking and with major changes like this, it is doomed to happen. To minimize a drop, head over to Google Search Console for "change of address". First of all, make sure your new site is verified. If your custom domain is already verified, on the " Home" page of the Google Search Console dashboard, click on "add property" and add your new custom domain. Then, switch back to your Blogspot property that you want to change.. On the right side corner, click on the gear icon (looks like a screw), then click on "change of address".
This will direct to a Change of Address window for your Blogspot subdomain. First, pick your new site from the list by scrolling down the list of properties, and click on the new custom domain. Now, you can check if 301 redirects are in place. A green check should appear if everything is in order. Check that verifications are all present for both old and new sites, a green check will appear if everything is in order. Click on " submit". After submitting, you will see this message:
Your request for a site move has succeeded.
If you believe this is an error, you can withdraw the request.
Return to site dashboard"
I wish I can say that everything is done but, you still have to update any resources on your site such as tags or headers that refer to the old domain. Anyway, we can take it one step at a time.
So, I would like to welcome you to a new chapter into my blogging journey. I was able to get my feet wet with my tiredmama-ph.blogspot subdomain and learned a lot. Now, I think I can say I've grown.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives!
Here's to a new beginning!
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