Monday, August 26, 2013

The Custom Domain Switch: From Blogspot to Dot Com

After around 3 years of blogging, I am so happy to see My Yatra Diary... finally taking the plunge and going for its own domain this year and what made me happier was the fact that this change came just one night before India’s Independence day! So today, the diary sits comfortably wrapped in its new cover and now shows a swanky new address upfront, what we call the URL – www.myyatradiary.com instead of the earlier http://myyatradiary.blogspot.com.

Now that I have shifted my blog to a new domain, how am I feeling? Well, it feels a lot lighter; it feels like I have freed the diary from some amount of extra baggage that was unnecessarily being carried all along... it simply feels good. Guess, the analogy stems from the fact that a good traveler is most often seen traveling light. May be. Other than this feeling of freedom, everything else seems to be as it was before: the contents, the people, the essence... the love, everything... just that we now take a fresh guard and march ahead towards what they say, should be a brighter and a more promising tomorrow.

Compiled below are important points from the entire experience of custom switch ordeal that I went through, something that I hope can help fellow bloggers who are looking to go through the same process.

The complete set up migration guide to move from Blogger to Custom Domain: (The steps that I followed and quoted below are answers by Ranjith from A Light Hearted Talk)

1. From where and how to go about buying own domain name? You can but it from many sites - hostgator, bigrock, godaddy, or right from your blogger dashboard.

2. Once that is done, what are the steps (in non techie languange) to set the custom domain blog up and running? See this page (https://support.google.com/blogger/topic/12451?hl=en&ref_topic=1697868). It contains information about the three things that you should do: buy domain, make some changes in your GoDaddy / HostGator / BigRock account and make some changes in your Blogger account.

3. Any other setting to be altered like feed subscribers, etc? You can leave the feed as it is. It still works. (If you want, you can update the details in feedburner).

4. You may see some drop in traffic for a few days / weeks after moving to a custom domain. But, it will return to normal very soon.

5. It doesn't really matter where you are buying
the domain name and the instructions for step 2 depend on your domain registrar.

Note: Following the above points should make it but if you have any queries regarding the switch, please leave a word in the comment section. I will be glad to help you with whatever I know.

After Migration Notes, My Thoughts:

Setting your blog up from blogger to google hosted is easy: It really is, contrary to all my fears. Blogger lets you map your old blog to the new one pretty easily in simple easy to follow steps. Plus, it lets you retain your 'Google Friend Connect' followers and all your other settings like template, layout, etc. too. Thus, in this new custom domain set up, there are absolutely no changes in the interface, only a visible change in the blog home page address in the address bar. That is all.

No changes in traffic: Personally, I have seen no major changes in my blog traffic (touchwood!), even though a dip in traffic was something that I was mentally prepared for once I decided to move the blog. As a travel blogger, the sheer positivity of this point leaves me a lot satisfied
and means a lot to me, on this front.

Wait for the link juice and other stats, begins: Backlinks, of course, are all gone as all of them point to the earlier blogspot blog. But they say, most of the back link juice will be redirected to my new blog address in a bit of time
and I am taking their word for it.
However, I must add that despite all such assurances, it is a little painful to see all those numbers that you built till now drop down in a hole. Right now, my alexa ranking is dangling, Google Page Rank which was 3 earlier now shows 'NA' and something similar is the case with other such statistics. But it’s just a phase, I guess. Or so I believe. And, I am asking myself to patiently wait it out.

Things to do after moving your blog: What I found to be a really daunting (and boring) work to do was the list of to-do-things after the move. Re-submissions to the various directories (Google and Bing Webmasters, Alexa, Google Analytics, social media sites, etc.) and re-adding of all those verification codes to get your blog indexed again took up a bit of my time, and I found this work on some sites like Alexa and Google Analytics to be somewhat confusing as well.

When say no to wordpress? Wordpress has a whole range of amazing plug-ins to choose from that can help you out with a lot of things and also give your blog a nice look and feel, however, if you love your
'Google Friend Connect' friends, you will have to cross wordpress, one of the main reasons why I said no to wordpress.

A little note of 'Thank You'

I have literally forgotten the count of the number of people who have told me to go for this change over my 3 years of blogging. But now that I have, I would like to express a warm little note of thanks to all those who kept me inspired and helped me get through it.

I would especially like to express my gratitude to Ranjith (who guided me through the entire process), Hemal Shah (it was this post of his that I stumbled upon one day that actually inspired me to get going with it, finally), Team G Square (who made sure I never forget about the domain change), Purnendu and desi traveler (for standing as firm supports while I was completing the process) ... and ... there are many more. Thank you to all of you, without your continuous encouragements and support my diary would never have had the confidence to shed this blogspot tag from its identity. I am so glad for all your kindness, for without your constant motivation over all these years, this switch would never have seen the light of the day. Thank you.

Finally... While 'My Yatra Diary...' is busy trying to settle itself down in its new house, I have a small request for you that can help it in its course. If you have mentioned “My Yatra Diary” (pointing to the old blogspot URL) in any of your blog posts, please take some time to edit that link and include the address to the new URL. It will be a gesture highly appreciated. Thank you so much, in advance.




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68 comments:

  1. Wishing you all the best at your new address. I have thought about making the move myself but alas have yet to find the courage to do so.

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    1. I can understand what you say, Tracy. Something similar was the case with me too. I am just hoping for the best now, now that I have gone ahead with it.

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  2. hi there Arti! wow...glad to be visiting you through your new add...congratulations for the switch...I referred a friend here who wants to switch to a custom domain too...hope she finds her way here soon, her name is Aio Kona of Born a Dragon Raised a Tiger....it's been long ago since I switched my site and the procedure has changed a bit and I seemingly could not figure out what to do to help her so I was so thrilled when I saw this post...have a nice day and I would just like to say "I love myyatradiary.com" :)

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    1. Thank you, kulasa. I will try my best to help your friend with whatever little I know. I hope it works out for her as well. And thank you so much for your love, it means SO much to me. :)

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  3. That's really helpful Arti with the good news of changing domain name, like cool breeze with little raining. :). See, your traveltech article made me poetic. Thanks for sharing all the details. I have used custom domain name in new site, before starting posting. But I was also curious to know about the changes in old blogs with blogspot. Looks simple process. :). I wonder, you have written tech article also so beautifully it looks like a tech journey for the readers. You are such a wonderful traveler, truly dedicated to Yatras.

    One more thing I noticed, though Our Yatra Diary had blogspot tag, it's never underestimated or ignored for this reason anywhere . Though all these technical changes surely make the site professional, I think Yatra Diary has reached a height beyond all this already. :)

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    1. "Cool breeze with little raining" is perfect Mohini! :) It was actually like that... however, now that you are here, it is no more. Your soothing words are the sunshine I just needed :) thank you so much for all the kind words and the unrelenting support and motivation you have always graced me and our diary with. Probably I will never be able to express how much your presence means and has always meant to me.

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  4. A post with all the required details to help a blogger change to his/ her custom domain. Am sure this will help me as I too intend to change from blogspot very soon.

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    1. All the best, RND. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

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  5. congrats to your new domain. :) It's your own site

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  6. congrat arti, finaly you have your own home :), im thinking about move to wordpress too before because the interesting outlook.

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    1. Thanks, Mareta :) I agree, wordpress looks are so much more better and professional. I am not sure, whether one requires a little technical knowhow for wordpress. Otherwise, it's simply wonderful. The range of helpful tools that it has on offer is amazing.

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  7. Congrats on your crossover! I have been thinking of doing the same thing and you have answered many questions for me! Best of luck to you in your continued success!

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  8. Congrats you deserve the best for great work Arti .. I have sent your link to my webmaster as too have taken a domain name but dont know how to go about it or connect i with my blog..

    http://firozeshakir.blogspot.in/

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    1. Thank you so much for your blessings, Sir. When senior bloggers appreciate, it is always a great source of motivation. Thank you.

      Regd. the query, can you please tell me where have you taken your domain name from?

      - Do you see your particular domain registrar in this link? - https://support.google.com/blogger/topic/12451?hl=en&ref_topic=1697868?

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  9. Congratulations Arti! So you set yourself free on I day:)

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  10. Hearty congratulations, Arti! Very exciting news indeed!!! Good luck with the move to self hosted site. See you on the other side. :))

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  11. Congratulations, Arti! It's great that you've made the move... Was the next logical step for your blog which gets a lot of traffic.

    Have fun! Cheers :)

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  12. Congratulations ! Enjoy the new & exciting experience. Best Wishes Ram

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  13. congrats!! it is always best to have own domain...I did it after 6 years of blogging though... :)
    but feel it was high time!!

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    1. Wow, to move after 6 years is truly commendable. I wish the GPR moves up for you soon. I kept delaying it because I thought 3 years was dicey enough.

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  14. yep, my google rank was good too and went back to NA and then its stuck at 2 :(

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  15. Congrats on going dotcom
    Regards
    My new blog on WordPress about History behind the Karla Caves

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  16. Hey congrats Arti. Much deserved. Now that your thru with most of the setting, let your blog reach newer levels. All the best for the future.

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  17. Once again congrats for smooth switch to your own domain. Mark your calendar when the domain renewal is due and renew it a week to month before the same. I remember recently one famous travel portal missed on the same and site was down. Something similar happened to Hotmail when it was taken over by Microsoft. Some times in big things we forget the small :) Thanks for the mention. Though I have changed the link that appears in my blog, if I were you I would not worry too much about the same and let time take care of it.( not to say that it is not important) Here is good post to read: http://moz.com/blog/domain-migration-lessons

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  18. Congratulations, Arti! Great move! :-)

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  19. With all that tough roads finally when we see our site name with .com in the end...i think satisfaction comes to place with a smile.

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  20. Hi Arti,

    Congrats on the new .com domain name ... it definitely feels good
    BTW I never let you know that I have a domain name too www.superyummyrecipes.com !! : ) Courtesy my husband who enthusiastically registered for me 2 yrs back but i forgot until I saw your post !!

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  21. Congratulations on the switch Arti :)Best wishes! enjoy the new address and the experience!

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  22. Hey Arti, nice to know that you have been moved to new custom domain. Don't worry about your old domain, any link to your old domain (myyatradiary.blogspot.com) will be automatically redirected to your new custom domain (myyatradiary.com, no need of any editing of links anywhere!!!

    Regarding traffic and google page rank, traffic will not dip as all visitors of old URL will be automatically redirected to your custom domain but indexing the content of your webpage with new URL will take few days so your page may not be visible in search rankings or ranked low. Google Page Rank will take time till Google updates its next page rank schedule, last one was done in february 2013. After google page rank update only, your new custom domain will have new page rank.

    Congrats and would like to see new posts on Yatra diary...

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  23. oh wow, congratulations Arti, and yes, I will find time to edit the link of my previous link directed to your site.

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  24. Finally I was able to comment... Somehow, my office network does not let me open your inner pages.

    The site on mobile looks good. And missed you at the HP Indiblogger meet last Saturday. I have said it earlier too, but once again hearty congratulations to you for your new blog domain.

    And thank you for the mention too.. It feels real good to be an inspiration (for the domain) for my yatra diary!! :)

    I will change your URL on my page too.. Way to go girl!

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  25. Congratulations, Arti. Yatra Diary deserves its own domain. :)All the very best!!! :)

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  26. Congratulations, Arti! I respect your constant efforts to improve yourself or upgrade things of yours. Your blog really worth “.com”, as it is full of detailed information covering various different things while expressing your honest feeling derived from your own experience. Keep sending useful and helpful information and heartfelt messages. I’m surprised that the bookmark I made in the past brought me directly to the new “.com” address.
    I’m slowly returning to the blogsphere from the extended Obon holiday.

    Yoko

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  27. Thank you very much @EVERYONE for all your kind blessings and good wishes, I really appreciate all your comments and all your suggestions and advice is very helpful for me. Sorry for I am unable to reply to all comments individually, but thank you so much for taking the time, all of what you say means a lot to me. Thank you! :)

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  28. Congratulations again Arti :) MyYatraDiary now has its own personal space in the world wide web! :)

    I am also thinking of changing. I will disturb you endlessly now :P

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  29. Arti, thank you for thanking me. :D I wish that you cross many more milestones in the near future. :)

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  30. Congrats on the change! I too wish to have my own dot com for very long time… but I am not that courageous to go ahead and don’t want to lose anything in case of any mistake. Will follow this post if I suppose to change in future :)

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  31. You are forever taking steps forward and pushing yourself to new heights. As well as a wonderfu travel blogger you are a inspiration to many in your creative ways of sharing. May you continue to grow and take on new steps and challenges in your life and blogging. Hugs Carrie

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  32. Congratulations :) Keep posting
    Have a nice weekend :)

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  33. I'm sure having your own domain feels great Arti :-)

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  34. please how did you switch, and when was that? I want to switch mine too but dont know how to start.

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    1. Hi Favor,

      Please follow the steps given in my post and then you can let me know where and if you face any problems, I will try to help with whatever knowledge I possess.

      I switched it about 2 months back and now have the blog still hosted on google (not wordpress) but with my own domain that is .com

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  35. Nice layout and a wonderful experience while visiting your other post too! Wish you many success with your new blog address !

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  36. Same problem man...No Mozrank after domain switch!

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  37. Arti, you have achieved a lot on just 3 years, superb dedication :)
    Congrats for the new URL

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  38. Congrats on getting the Custom Domain... :)

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  39. I have a doubt.. Should we buy hosting space for custom domain or just domain name is enough...

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    1. If you are planning to still stick with blogger, you will only have to buy the custom domain from a domain registrar and then alter some settings in your blogger dashboard. Check this link for more - https://support.google.com/blogger/troubleshooter/1233381?hl=en. Hope this helps, all the best. :-)

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  40. Congrats Arti. That's a huge step forward. Back links will come soon, so no need to worry about that. One thing that I noticed is your name +Arti is hanging on the top of Menu bar with link to your Google+ Profile for Authorship. It would be better if you put it under Connect With Me!

    Take Care. Keep writing!

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    1. Thank you so much for your wishes and for the heads-up about the G+ link, SIS. I will correct that!

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  41. Congrats Arti! And thanks for the details...:)

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  42. Congo on your new domain...way to go! :)
    https://www.facebook.com/heywaitlistenblog

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  43. Thank you - this is very helpful. I've been worried about making the switch (I own a domain, for almost an year now). Feeling bolder after reading this.

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  44. Thank you very much for all your support and good wishes, everyone. Means a lot to me :-)

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  45. Hi Arti,all the best for your new venture.I see you are among the top 50 travel blogs-that's a well deserved honor-many more to come.

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  46. Congrats Arti...
    But you must be feeling nostalgic about the old blogspot :D

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  47. Blogger no longer provides custom domain. Read on how to set up a custom domain in 30 minutes http://www.morldtechgossips.com/2013/11/how-to-get-and-install-custom-domain_7.html

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  48. I also want to move my blog to a custom domain. This article will surely help me how to do it. Thanks for publish your exprerience.

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  49. im thinking about move to wordpress too before because the interesting outlook...!!

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  50. Your own home, and well deserved Arti! Keep it going!
    And thanks for these tips. I am thinking of moving to wordpress and some of thes tips might apply.

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  51. Congrats Arti!
    I was thinking on moving to custom domain too! I have one more thing to say, you can change the favicon of your blog. It would make your blog little more cooler. You moved to custom domain, so why Blogger favicon? :)

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  52. Great! my questions really been answered by this article.. I prolonged to worry if i bought a TLD to my blogspotdotcom domain will i ever able to recover it.. and yes you said (Link Juice) i will be patient for this thank you!
    _______________
    Coorms

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  53. great work .... everyone should do it someday , and i will even extend it by saying that people should use wordpress

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  54. Hello, this is a very good blog posts, I am really happy to have own domain name thanks for your view on this.

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