Using your own domain on WordPress.com

I just finished guest-teaching a New Media class at Middle Tennessee State University.  I had a great group of students that asked some really great questions.  I thought I would answer them in more detail here.

How do I use my own domain name on my WordPress.COM site?

1. Register a domain.  Use a site like Godaddy.com, Namecheap.com or Register.com to buy a domain name (i.e. Google.com; except not that one since it’s already taken.).  A domain/URL shouldn’t cost more than about $15/year for a .com or .net.

2. Log in to your admin account on that site and change the nameservers to settings below. The link below will walk you through exactly how to do that.
NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

Quick how-to video for GoDaddy.com: http://www.screenr.com/cQ7N
Click for more info from GoDaddy.
Click for more info from NameCheap.com.

What’s a nameserver?  It’s like a traffic cop that tells internet traffic to go to a specific place to find a certain website.

3. Add Domain Mapping to your WordPress.com website.  The video below will explain the exact steps to make this happen.  You’ll need to pay approx. $13/year for this service.  That is a deal when you compare it to the cost of setting up your own web server hosting.

4. Wait for the changes to take effect.  Technically, it’s supposed to take 48 hours for any changes to take affect.  You might be able to type in your domain and be re-directed to your WordPress.com site immediately.  Most of the time it takes anywhere from 15 min-24 hours for the changes to take effect.  In the meantime you can still visit your site at the old MYSITE.wordpress.com address.

5. Start promoting and giving out your new web address!  You can now tell everyone to hit you up on ilovebananas.com or checkoutmyphotos.com or whatever you chose in step 1.

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