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Wordpress.com-hosted, Google-purchased domain?

  1. Hello all! I'm considering entering into the WordPress community, but have some questions first.

    background:
    I already blog at http://www.SimpleMakes.com My blog is hosted by Google's free Blogger/Blogspot service. I purchased the domain name from eNom, through Google. I access services like my email address using Google Apps. I can get to technical stuff from eNom, most of which I don't understand.

    desired change:
    If possible, I would like to move my blog to WordPress. The plugins seem so much more powerful (and less buggy) than what I'm dealing with on Blogger. I would like to:
    1) keep http://www.SimpleMakes.com as the domain that my blog publishes to, and the one that's in the address bar the whole time visitors click around my site.
    2) not have to buy a $5+ a month web hosting service (can't afford it at this time... later, perhaps)

    perks:
    It would be preferable if I could keep:
    1) my google-mail @simplemakes.com e-mail address.
    2) permalinks to my current posts, even if I have to manually change all the post web addresses (I have less than 25 posts up)
    3) comments already on these posts, or else a link to them at the top of the comments list

    my question:
    Is this possible? I've read posts and forums about switching from site.blogspot.com to wordpress.com; I've read about changing custom domains to point at wordpress.org-hosted blogs (but they were not purchased through google, or else they purchased monthly web hosting); etc. But can I register for a simplemakes.wordpress.com account, change my domain settings to point at that site instead of simplemakes.blogspot.com, and then use a wordpress.com-hosted http://www.simplemakes.com with my google-apps-purchased domain name?

    Is the "mapping an existing domain name at $10/year" advanced feature an option? If so, after my year of domain-registration through Google Apps runs out, could I switch to the "Registering a domain name with WordPress at only $15/year" option?

    If I use wordpress.com instead of wordpress.org (which requires paid hosting elsewhere, right?), what limitations would I encounter?

    Thank you for any and all help. I'm not a technical professional, but learn fast and am willing to work to understand.

  2. First of all, I think you need to look at the differences between wordpress.COM and wordpress.ORG in this post. If you decide to host yourself (using .ORG), then your questions should be directed to the .ORG forums located at http://wordpress.ORG/support/ as we use a totally different setup and different software here at .COM.

    There is a wealth of information in the FAQ about using domain mapping and Google apps should you decide to be hosted here at wordpress.COM. That's the best place to start.

  3. If you're interested in using plugins, then you should be aware that almost all of them are for WP.org only, and won't work on WP.com blogs.

  4. Thanks to you both. I have read the wordpress.com v. .org post (actually several times to make sure I'm not missing anything!) and originally posted this at the .org support, where they said it would better fit here.

    Maybe what I'm asking would better be worded: If 1) use a wordpress.COM site, 2) purchase the "mapping an existing domain name at $10/year" advanced feature, and 3) proceed to use http://www.SimpleMakes.com (my domain) via wordpress.com, it sounds like I'm now:
    * hosting my blog for free on wordpress.com (like I'm currently doing on blogger)
    * maintaining the domain name from enom
    * mapping that domain name through wordpress (here, I don't know if this is .com or .org, since I'm paying)

    SO if I pay to map my domain name, am I now using wordpress.org and able to use those templates, plugins, etc., or am I still limited to wordpress.com features?

  5. If you're mapping the domain name to a wordpress.com blog, that's still a wordpress.com blog even though you're paying for the service. So yes, you will still be limited to the wordpress.com themes and widgets.

    My advice would be, since you already have a domain name you want to use and you're keen to take advantage of the plugins etc, you should probably look into setting up a self-hosted WP.org blog. But of course you're free to use the WP.com service if that's what you decide.

  6. Sounds like you're right. I'll just have to stick with blogger for now, and once it starts making enough cash each month to pay for a webhost, I'll switch over to wordpress.org :-)

    Quick unrelated - I checked out your blog and love your definition of "conversational theology" :-)

    Thanks for the help!

  7. Thanks!

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