I use domain forwarding from godaddy to my blog (surviveanukeattack.com). I don’t think I’m bothered by “wordpress” in my URL. What are the strategic pros and cons of domain mapping? Is there a negative to having wordpress in my URL that I’m missing? Does any of this effect search engine optimization?
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Why should I use domain mapping?
There's a negative in that, should you ever move, you won't be able to take the URL with you. If you use Domain Mapping, you will be able to. And if you can't take the URL with you, you can't take your search engine rankings either. And you'll lose a part of your audience, who simply won't be bothered to change their bookmarks.
Thanks for the great reply. I have a few follow-up questions. I get between 5 and 20 hits a day and I have some subscribers.
1) If I switch to domain mapping now will I screw-up subscribers and people who have bookmarked me? What’s the best way to handle that—is there a technical way to assist them or should I do a post before I domain map to let them know my URL is going to change?
2) I seem to do pretty good with search engine results. If I domain map now are you saying I’ll screw that up? If I screw it up, about how long will it take to recover?
3) If I domain map do all the permalinks to my archival posts change?
I’m trying very hard to understand this. Thanks for the help.
1) no, those links will still work, but for Googlejuice reasons you may want to encourage them to switch to the new URL.
2) Yes, you'll screw that up, but at between 5-20 hits a day you should recover within a month at the outside. Better now than later.
3) No, they should remain the same, but will ALSO be accessible through the new URL.
It sounds to me like this is a good time for you to make the switch. I made it when I was averaging 600 people a day and instantly lost my pagerank (6) and Technorati standing of 14,400. Make the switch earlier than I did and you will gain back MUCH more quickly and grow your readership with an awareness of YOU as the URL, rather than WP.com. It's a smart move and I'd recommend it to anyone starting out with $15 to spare.
raincoaster, thanks, that was an even greater reply than your first. I have 1.7 million more questions but I’ll confine it to one: If I choose NOT to domain map now and I decide to self-host with WP.org in the future, won’t that switch put me in the same leaky boat (sub-par search engine results) of switching to ANY new blog platform?
Any switch, whether it's from one domain to another - wordpress.com to domain-mapped or self-hosted using the software from wordpress.org, or using another blogging platform altogether - will have the same rebuilding issues. As Raincoaster says though, if you are going to do it, now is the most advantageous time.
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