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Domain Mapping

  1. Hello, I was going to ask this question in the staff questions area, but I do not see how to do that so I shall ask it here, and maybe one of you good folks can help.

    I have been working on a new site (blog) for a nonprofit I am a member of and decided to use wordpress.com. The site is largely finished and ready to go with only one big thing left to do and this is mapping the domain.

    I am going to be mapping a domain to the current blog listed. I feel I have a fairly good grasp on how to do that so my questions are not on HOW to do that. My domain is registered with godaddy. So my basic questions are these:

    1. When I map the domain name, will that domain show up in the address bar when people type in that URL? The domain is mgnv.org. Basically, when someone types that in, It will go to the wordpress blog above. Will they see just mgnv.org in the address bar?

    2. When I do the domain mapping, will I need to go in and manually update all the internal links? IE places on the site that link to other places/ pages/ posts within the site? OR, will the internal links just remain the same, and people will just see mgnv.org/whatevertheoldlinkaddressedusedtobe/ ??? Does this make sense?

    3. Do I even need to purchase the domain mapping? If my registrar offers forwarding with masking could I not just use that to have people directed to my wordpress site when they type in my domain? If this would work as well, would it also work for all pages / internal links as well?

    Thank you in advance for any and all help. It is much appreciated!

    The blog I need help with is mgnova.wordpress.com.

  2. I forgot to put the url in my initial post. The url is http://mgnova.wordpress.com/

  3. 1) mgnv.org will show on the address bar.

    2) No - everything will change automatically to mgnv.org

    3) You can BUT the address bar will read mgnova.wordpress.com/ and you won't get the search engines to put any identity to your new domain name.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/map-existing-domain/

    Also the domain mapping takes a few hours to work - and can take up to 24 to 72 hours.

  4. I agree with auxclass - the forwarding that your registrar offers is not seamless. All it will do is forward people who go to mgnv.org to your worpress blog. From that point they will see xxxxx.wordpress.com in the address bar, and all links to other pages, articles, etc will be to xxxxx.wordpress.com/something.

    I would use forwarding if I wanted xxxxx.wordpress.com to be my "real" domain and wanted people who had previously used mgnv.org to go there. If you want your site to "be" mgnv.org then use domain mapping.

  5. This is useful thread as I was about to post a very similar question!

    Without (hopefully) hijacking the original enquiry does anyone know if the change to domain mapping affects search engine rankings?

    i.e when you change the links does this mean the search engine has to start from scratch again?

  6. When you map a domain the "old" addresses still work automatically, so as well as http://western-hindu.org/license/ for my license page you can use http://westernhindu.wordpress.com/license/ and get to the same page via a redirect. The same is true for all posts, links, etc.

    In theory the search engines will start having the old links, so people will still find your blog through searches. As the site gets reindexed it will find that the site has moved via redirect and keep the old ranking with the new page.

    In practice, I found that my hits through searches reduced for a couple of months, but then ended up higher than before, with my blog getting a higher ranking. I assume that this means

    • The process of detecting a moved site from redirects and maintaining ranking is not perfect on all search engines
    • Web sites with a custom domain name reflecting their content get a higher ranking than .wordpress.com sites.

    The second conclusion might be influenced by the inclusion of the hyphen in my custom domain, which could result in a higher ranking for the words "western" and "hindu". Perhaps if I had gone from westernhindu.wordpress.com to westernhindu.org without the hyphen I would not have had an over-all increase in ranking.

    DISCLAIMER: These are observations from one site, and I am not an SEO expert!

  7. One other benifit of a mapped domain is that the name is usually shorter and easier to remember and has a bit more "class" i.e. in my case "captnmike.com vs/ "captnmike.wordpress.com" (a note: I did have the domain and web site before moving onto WordPress.COM (I wanted to get out of the systems admin. stuff) ) and if I want to move somewhere else I can take the custom domain name with me - and the custom domain name looks nicer on a business card and is easier to remember. I teach boating safety so giving out "captnmike.com" for students to find more information is easier.

    Generally easy to remember domain names are better when you deal with the public - you want something that they can easily remember. Many people will also register misspellings of their domain name and have the misspellings forward to their correct domain name.

  8. Many people will also register misspellings of their domain name and have the misspellings forward to their correct domain name.

    Once you do that and then start on the .org, .com, .net, your national domains, then the .xxx domain so that someone doesn't start a porn-site with your name it becomes a lengthy and expensive undertaking.

  9. Thank you for all of the replies everyone. This totally answered all the questions I had and them some! Fantastic! So as I suspected I will definitely be going with the domain mapping upgrade here on wordpress so everything is seamless. Thank you all again! If anyone else wants to keep this thread alive for other domain mapping issues feel free to do so. Lots of great information in here!

  10. Yes - thanks for the responses - very helpful

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