How to Upgrade a Free Blog to a Custom URL

by | May 20, 2008 | Blog Tools

Upgrade Free Blog to Custom URL and/or Hosted Domain

If you have a free blog hosted on ‘Blogger’ with a url, you might consider migrating it to a domain name that you own.
There are different times to consider this and you will have to make the call.  If you want to earn money as a blogger the best way to achieve this goal is to create good quality content.  That said, your good quality content can earn more if it is located in a premium location (outside of blogger or which is considered to be a bad neighborhood because it is free and contains sites that many people feel are 80% spam).
To move on up and out, you need to get your content out of the blogspot domain and maybe you need to migrate out of the blogger blogging software engine.
It will cost $10 to convert your domain name.  If you separately decide to upgrade to a WordPress software powered site on your own web host, you may choose to spend another $50 – $100 per year for hosting.

HostGator Website Hosting and VPS solutions – We use Hostgator and recommend it because you can start at a $4.95 per month account and as your site grows, you can grow into incrementally larger hosting and then server packages without breaking your budget.

There are two different types of ‘server’ packages typically sold, VPS Virtual Private Server where a dedicated server is split up and shared among several customers, like partitioning a hard drive in layman’s terms, and a Dedicated Server where you lease the entire server and share it with no one!

Checklist to Determine if Moving Your Blogger Blog is worth the Money and Effort

Here are several things that might point you in the direction of just making a fresh start.  If you answer yes to all of these, you may not want to go to the trouble of migrating to your own domain.

  1. Do you only have a couple of posts or articles on your blog?
  2. Does your blog have a pagerank of 0?
  3. Does your blog have no subscribers?
  4. Does your blog have almost no visitors?

If you answered NO to any of those questions then you may want to make the minimal time and money investment into salvaging your content, your pagerank, your subscribers and your visitors.

Backup Your Content Before You Do Anything

The first step is to backup your blog content to an xml file on your hard drive.

Converting Blogspot blog to a Custom (real) Domain Name

The second step is to convert your domain to a ‘REAL’ domain name that you own and register.  Google does make this relatively easy.  They charge a premium of $10 for this, which is about $2-3 more than market rates.  But Google does map all of your old article permalinks or permanent hyperlinks to the NEW domain so that your readers will not get lost and your backlinks can be salvaged.  The video below describes the process.  If you follow this, expect delays.  It can take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks AFTER you PAY for the migration to complete.  It can be worth the wait, but don’t lose any sleep waiting for it to happen.  Google doesn’t provide customer support for this service, so just hang in there.

Upgrading to WordPress Powered Blogging Software

Third once your permalinks are successfully migrated to your new domain, you may then want to go through the advanced step of migrating out of the blogger engine and into a WordPress (software not website) powered blog that runs on your own host (a web server or space on a web server that you lease for a rate of $50 – $100 per year or $80 – $250 for a dedicated server all your own).
WordPress is a superior blogging platform in many ways.  The most important reason why WordPress is better is due to the fact that it can move your articles and your blog homepage into the number one position in search results.  That means more visitors, more traffic and more opportunities for earnings.

Blogger Templates & Custom Blogger Icons

Fourth, if you decide to stay on the blogger platform with your new domain, you should at least

  • Upgrade to a custom Blogger template (so that you do not have a site that looks like it is powered by Blogger) &
  • You should upgrade your site to show a custom icon in your browser address bar.
      1. find a place to host your favicon icon image
      2. They recommend Google Pages but just about anywhere that you can store an image will work.
      3. Then link to that file with the following meta tag info:
            <link href=’’ rel=’shortcut icon’/>
          <link href=’’ rel=’icon’/>
      4. Put that code just before the CLOSING  </head> tag (this is critical there should be nothing before your code above and the </head> tag in your blogger template (make sure you expand to show all code) and back up your template (although I’ll admit that I rarely backup my blogger templates. Shame on me!)
      5. Save your changed template, view your blog and

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