Or at least, something that you can call your website.
Of course, you need to know why you want a website that is really a blog with a custom URL. The answer is simple: for fun! That’s precisely the reason why I converted my blog into my site. If you tell your nOOb friend you have a blog at yoursite.wordpress.com, he’ll probably yawn and say, “Hmm, I’ll read it, sometime, someday”. However, if you tell him you have your blog on your own yoursite.com, you’ll probably smell his guts burning with envy. And when you tell him he can mail you at email@example.com, you might as well see him vaporize in front of your eyes.
On the same lines, turning your WordPress blog into a professional site is not advised. You could do that with a custom CSS upgrade, but you’ll need to be a CSS pro for that. Help is at hand in the forums, as always. In any case, this post is intended only for those who’re serious about blogging, and want their blog to look more like it belongs to them.
So you want your blog to tell others it belongs to you? Very well, but before you take the plunge, you need to make sure you are going to stick to this blog, and post regularly. Earlier, I never stuck to one blog: I used to create blogs, post on them, lose steam, keep them dormant, and then create a new blog. This won’t work anyway, because converting a blog into your own website takes money, so that should take care of the desire to create new blogs. As for not posting, it’ll simply make the visitors disappear from your blogsite (this is what we’ll call a blog-cum-website). Thus follow the steps:
- Purchase a domain from WordPress and map it to your blog. You can purchase a domain from anywhere, but if your blog is going to be your centerpiece, I suggest sticking to your blog providers for the domain. You can read the excellent support article (WP support articles are excellent by default, so the next time I won’t mention that adjective) here.
- After spending $15 (which translates into Rs.730 if you’re in India), you’ll be ready to make the jump. Of course, you’ll be needing this amount every year for renewal, but for the time being, you’re good to go.
- After you have registered your domain and mapped it to your blog, you’ll see absolutely no changes in your home page. Excepting the address bar, which will read http://yoursite.com/ instead of http://yourblog.wordpress.com/. The next thing would be to have your blogsite display a static home page, rather than your posts first up. You can do this from the Tools>Reading tab. Read more on that here.
- The next thing anybody owning a domain for kicks (I being one of them) would want is an email id on the lines of firstname.lastname@example.org. You can have not one, but fifty ids. That too for free. Enter Google Apps, the grandmaster of free web services. Read the support article and go get your own, personalized, email id: here.
- Finally, and most importantly, keep writing. Remember, your blog is the one great thing about your site, and it still will be hosted at WordPress, which is absolutely the best blogging tool out there. So, get at it. The keypad is mightier than the nuke.