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As a general rule, free hosting is a bad idea. This isn’t to say that there aren’t a few free hosting providers that attempt a decent job, but in most cases you won’t have as much control over your site as you would like. Some compromises you may have to make include: ads you have no control over, restrictions from running ads, a long forgettable sub-domain address… just to mention a few.

If you truly cannot afford to pay for hosting or don’t want to pay, one of the best routes to go for is Blogger with a custom domain. As far as free hosting goes, this beats other providers by a mile. Here’s why.

What is a Custom Domain?

custom-domain-name

This is your personal real estate on the Internet. It is a top level domain in the form of yourblog.com as opposed to yourblog.blogspot.com which is a sub-domain. A custom domain is not free. Depending on the domain extension, that is, the last part of the domain after the dot, you may spend anything from $1 to $20 a year. For more on domain names, read our free eBook, How the Internet Works.

Advantages of Blogger on a Custom Domain

Most people starting their blogging journey want to keep their costs at a minimum. It is therefore logical to want to go with a sub-domain on Blogger or WordPress which are free. However, it is always better to make a small initial investment in a custom domain and then host your site on Blogger. There are several advantages to having your own domain name, these include:

  • Preventing someone else from owning your dream domain name
  • A professional looking web and email address
  • Personal branding

In the end it doesn’t cost you much, so there’s not much against the idea. There are, however, many reasons you should have a personal domain 5 Reasons You Should Have Registered A Personal Domain By Now 5 Reasons You Should Have Registered A Personal Domain By Now These days I think it’s important for everyone to at least register (if not use) a domain that is personal to them. Not only are domain names under current top-level domains running out , but... Read More .

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Further, there are several advantages to having your own domain on Blogger as opposed to WordPress.com and other free hosting services Top 7 Easy and Free Web Hosting Services Top 7 Easy and Free Web Hosting Services Read More .

Get Free Hosting With Your Domain On Blogger

The hosting is free on Blogger. You also don’t have to upgrade to a premium package to use your custom domain, as is the case with other free hosting providers. Once you have paid for your domain with your preferred registrar, you can host your site free on Blogger. Conversely, buying a domain on WordPress.com starts at starts at $18.00 per domain, per year while moving a domain name you already own costs $13.00 per domain, per year.

Make Money With Earnings Through Blogger

On Blogger, you can run ads, write sponsored posts, write reviews and carry on any legal commercial activity. In comparison, WordPress.com has a strict advertising policy as noted on their domain support page. Even if you are accepted into the WordAds program WordPress Announces WordAds To Compete With Google AdSense [News] WordPress Announces WordAds To Compete With Google AdSense [News] WordPress has announced that they are integrating their own way for bloggers to make money. They have announced a new program called WordAds that allows website owners to show ads on their blog, and not... Read More , you still share your revenue with WordPress.

Choose From A Wide Selection of Themes

You can change your blogger theme to anything you like including using themes you have purchased or downloaded elsewhere. In WordPress.com, you can only use the themes available to WordPress.com users.

Blogger Widgets

With Blogger widgets, you can easily extend the functionality of your site. It may not be as great as a self-hosted WordPress site but it beats WordPress.com which doesn’t allow you to upload plugins. Many people migrate to self-hosted WordPress for this reason alone.

Your Blog is Safe from Arbitrary Deletion

Blogger’s content policy is quite liberal, and your site is unlikely to be deactivated unless Google is served with a copyright infringement notice or you are posting things like: hate speech; content that exploits children; or crude, violent, or harassing content. The same cannot be said of WordPress.com, as posting ads or other content they don’t like will get you banned without so much as a warning.

Start Your Blog With Blogger Now

Register a Domain Name

The first step is to register a domain name. A search on Google for “domain registrar” comes up with hundreds of results. Check out this list of ICANN accredited registrars. The process should only you take you a few minutes.

Create a Blog on Blogger

Once your domain is registered, go to Blogger and create a new blog using a sub-domain of your choice, for example,. yourblog.blogspot.com. Next go to Settings > Basic.

setting-up-blogger-for-custom-domain

Click the option “+ Set up a third-party URL for your blog”. Enter the domain name you registered in Step 1 above in the space provided, Be sure to include the “www” part of the domain. The full domain name should be in the format http://www.yourblog.com.

setting-up-blogger-for-custom-domain2

After you click Save, you should get an error similar to the screen shot below.

setting-up-blogger-for-custom-domain3

Take note of the two CNAMEs listed. Each CNAME is made up of two parts: Name, Label or Host; and Destination, Target or Points to. The first CNAME is the same for all bloggers/site owners. Name represents “www” and Destination “ghs.google.com.” The second CNAME is specific to your site and your Google Account, and thus differs for each site owner.

Update CNAMES with Your Domain Registrar

I am using GoDaddy for this example. Log into your domain registrar’s control panel and locate the DNS settings. Where it says, Name, Label or Host type in “www” and enter ghs.google.com as the Destination, Target or Points to. Repeat the process for the second CNAME.

godaddy-cname

Next, locate your A Records. You need to create four different A records that point to four different Google IP addresses:

  1. 216.239.32.21
  2. 216.239.34.21
  3. 216.239.36.21
  4. 216.239.38.21

This will ensure that visitors typing in your domain with or without the “WWW’ still land on your site. You will need to wait for 1-4 hours for these changes to take effect before proceeding.

After this time, you should be able to add the custom domain without getting an error message. Google takes care of redirection such that once your blog on the sub-domain is requested, it redirects to your custom domain.

blogger-custom-domain-redirect

Finally, check out your blog using your custom domain in the browser and confirm that everything works well. If you get stuck, post a question in the comments section below.

Do you have any experience navigating free blog hosts? Has this helped you? Share your advice and tips for deciding between the free blog hosts.

Image Credits: Gajus via Shutterstock

  1. Bigvro
    October 25, 2016 at 8:51 am
  2. Ragav
    October 10, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Thanks for your valuable tips. I am starting a blog using blogger and i need to get backlinks for free. is there any way to do it?

  3. sailaja
    September 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Very useful info. Thank you. But I need a help, I bought a domain from whois.com. I have given all A and CNAME records. But I got a mail from the support team of whois.com saying that I need to give name servers of blogger. So the domain will be hosted on blogger platform.
    I am unable to get it . Can you pls help on that front.
    Sailaja Angara

  4. shadaan
    June 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    How much will it cost me to have a custom domain at blogger? Perhaps I need to first buy the domain at godaddy and then only redirect it to blogger? Is that so?

    • Akhil
      July 1, 2016 at 3:42 am

      Yes. You have to buy a custom domain first and then you can use blogger to host

  5. bookmyidentity
    June 17, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Nice read! If you are looking for a free blog hosting, you can try blogger’s custom domain & go about it easily!

  6. bookmyidentity
    June 16, 2016 at 5:12 am

    This post makes for a nice read! It provides vital information on free blog hosting! Must read!

  7. Riya
    June 8, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Blogger is best place to start with our new website or blog without taking web hosting services. Blogger have good functions and its user-friendly, easy to edit and update. Thanks for sharing this information.

  8. Anuj Gupta
    February 9, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this useful information with all of us.

  9. Robin Bhan
    December 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I am new to blogger. If in case I purchase a custom domain name, then can I link that same domain name to my WordPress and blogger accounts? Or do I have to purchase two domain names?

  10. Abijith
    November 28, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Thanks It is Working....

  11. vinesh
    November 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    thanq for shareing good article .good job
    for latest techtips

  12. Web Hosting Services In India
    August 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    blogspot is a best free cms

  13. Tech Crazy
    June 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I referenced your article to get assistance to host my 2 domains via blogger.com. Thanks for the detailed information. It did help indeed !!

    Though I had success later with one of the domain, however with the first domain there was issue with setting the first cname record since domain management showed an existing value for the same. Following the same, I went on to set up the 2nd cname and then set A record values. However, I kept facing domain issues and I kept editing the cname values and for now am unable to connect the domain name (just the domain with my blogger.com blog).

    Initially I could not do the much needed connect, but later on specifying the domain, I did reach to my blogspot address, however it showed an error with 'http//' only preceeded with the blogspot address. In totality, I saw the address showed up as

    http://http// which is bound to show an error.

    As a result, I removed all the cname and a records and then later also deleted my blogspot to which my domain was connected to. However even despite more than 24 hours, I am still seeing the same error.

    Strangely on mentioning the domain name, it routes to the blogspot address with additional 'http//' while I fail to understand how did this happen.

    Please suggest if there is a timeline post which the settings will be restored and I shall be able to access my domain.

    While by this time, I became well versed with connecting my domain to my blog and successfully establish a connect for my 2nd domain.

    However the first domain still cannot be connected with my blogspot, only for the instance of the domain name, though the subsequent pages are connecting. To establish a connect, I added more pages, however until the domain name itself shows error, it is making my domain name useless and I cannot launch the site.

    Help needed !!!!!

    Please suggest much needed to help me on the same.

  14. joe
    March 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    can anyone help me with a free domain name *smiles*

  15. postcy
    February 19, 2015 at 10:19 am

    This is a great method for those who can't afford to pay for hosting can check for custom domain with free hosting this is a very useful info for those who want free hosting.

  16. Avery Grayson
    January 21, 2015 at 4:57 am

    This is very nice blog. It’s really very good information for us about Free Blog Hosting. It has some information that I really need in my project for better enhancement. Few days before I found this kind of information from Hostbuddy.com. Thanks for sharing nice information.

  17. Purushotham
    November 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    want to whether joomla or wordpress supports free hosting with custom domain name

  18. Kristen
    October 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I got stuck at first when using my custom domain (said it was only "parked" at GoDaddy) but then went back and followed your tutorial and now all is good. Thanks again!!!

  19. Oussamah100
    July 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    great

  20. Cab V.
    July 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Would be good to know how this works if you already have a domain & active website set up. In other words, can Blogger be used to host a blog at blog.mywebsite.com if you already have a full website at mywebsite.com.

  21. Peter F
    July 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I have been using Blogger for years and have two blogs on the go. One is just my work and another collaborative work with a friend. Using Google drive we can share our work before posting and share ideas on line.
    We even a nice little community of blogging friends who share each others works across social media.

    Conversely. I can not use wordpress AT ALL! No matter how many times I have tried, I find wordpress to be unusable and not user friendly at all.

    Blogger all the way!

    • Kris
      March 31, 2015 at 7:46 am

      This is so true. I am also using blogger for my personal and collaborative websites. I tried using WordPress for a couple of times but it really doesn't fit my taste. It's not user-friendly at all and the html and css editing is much easier on blogger.

      As you said, Blogger all the way!

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