Need Free Blog Hosting? Try Blogger With a Custom Domain
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There are few popular blogging platforms including Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress. So why should you use Google’s Blogger? Because it’s free and has a strong backend infrastructure support from Google. Although free hosting is a bad idea, Blogger doesn’t compromise on features, and it’s easy to get started.

Once you get a custom domain of your choice, you can start blogging with a small investment. This step-by-step tutorial will help you register a domain name and connect it with your blog. I assume that you already have a Blogspot blog.

What Is a Custom Domain?

When you sign up for Blogger, you get a domain like “yourblog.blogspot.com.” Your blog is under the sub-domain of blogspot.com. In contrast, the custom domain is a top-level root domain in the form of “yourblog.com.” They appear in the address bar of web browsers.

You do not have to be a technically savvy person to set up a custom domain, but it may help to understand a few key blogging terms.

  • Domain name: They’re a vital part of internet infrastructure 5 Nifty Ways to Use DNS to Your Advantage 5 Nifty Ways to Use DNS to Your Advantage One of the most underappreciated parts of the internet is the Domain Name System. DNS is often referred to as the phonebook of the internet, but it is far more than just a lookup service. Read More . Without them, you would need to remember the exact IP address for each web site you visit.
  • Domain extension: Also known as Top Level Domains or TLDs, it refers to the last section of your domain name. For example, “.com” is the commonly used domain suffix.
  • Domain registrar: These are companies like Namecheap, GoDaddy, Google Domain, and many others that host or manage domain names for an annual fee.

Many newbie bloggers who begin with a free blogging platform or hosting don’t invest in a custom domain. They keep on blogging for several years with the blogspot domain.

And when their blog starts getting traffic, they switch to a custom domain. That’s not the right strategy. You should invest in a custom domain if you are interested in doing this long term. It has many advantages. And you can search for domain names 10 Effective Domain Name Search Tools and Domain Finders 10 Effective Domain Name Search Tools and Domain Finders Want to find an available domain name for your website? These domain search tools will help you find the right one quickly. Read More easily with online tools.

Advantages of Blogger on a Custom Domain

Buying a Domain Name Is Cheap

Registering the domain typically costs between 10-$15 per year. Google doesn’t charge anything for hosting the content on Blogger. There are many domain registrars available, choose anyone and stick to it. Unlike WordPress.com, you don’t have to pay any money to set up a custom domain on Blogger.

Personal Branding

A custom domain helps you to establish your blog as a professional brand. They also look better in advertisements, business cards, and in other marketing material. It also removes the impression that you’re using a free blog for promoting spam.

Better Exposure in Search Engines

A blog with a custom domain generally gets higher search engine ranking than blogspot.com domain. You’ll also get new readers, search traffic, and social media credibility. Having a custom domain also ensures trust among other website owners and increases the chance of backlinks.

Portability

If you decide to get a full featured website in the future, it is possible to switch to a different host yet keep the same domain name and search engine rankings. But if you use a blogspot address and later on change to a custom domain, you lose all the domain authority, backlinks, traffic, and analytics you had built up.

Custom Email Address

A custom email address is always in the form of the name attached to your domain name. You can get this type of email address only when you buy a custom domain. It’s easy to set up an email address with your domain on Google Apps.

Google Adsense for Blogger

With Blogger, you can make money by running ads on your blog. You’ll see a Sign up for AdSense button right in your Blogger account backend. If you don’t see the button, it means your blog might not qualify for AdSense. Check out the AdSense eligibility checklist to find out why. With a custom domain, the chance of getting AdSense approval increases.

Register Your Domain With Google Domains

Google Domains is a domain name registrar. You can use Google Domains to search, buy and manage domains, transfer a domain you already own from another registrar, and more. Google Domains is only available for users in selected countries including US, UK, India, and more. Check your location in the country availability checklist.

To search for a domain, navigate to Google Domains and click Get a new domain. Enter a few keywords in the search box, then review the results to find out if the domain is available.

search for a domain in Google Domains

Note: Make sure that you log into Blogger with the same email ID you use to log in to Google Domains. Also, confirm that you add the domain owner as an administrator of the blog.

Filter Your Search

When you search for a domain, Google Domains automatically searches for that domain with several domain suffixes (for example, .com, .net, .org). Click the Filter Domains button to further refine your search.

  • You can search for a specific ending suffix. Under the Endings section, choose a relevant domain suffix from the dropdown menu.
  • Type in your preferred domain name and let Google Domains show you some available variations. Toggle All Endings at the top of your search results page to view all the possible domains. There is also a price filter to list domains within your budget.

filter your domain search in Google Domains

Buy the Domain

Once you identify the domain you’d like to buy, click Add to cart. Review the following settings:

  • Enable Privacy protection is on to keep the contact information private. If someone tries to look up your data in WHOIS, then they’ll see alternate contact information given by a third-party provider.
  • Enable Auto-renew is on, so you don’t have to worry about domain expiration.

Click the Checkout button at the bottom of your cart. Enter the Contact information for the domain. Select your payment method and click Buy.

add the domain to your cart

Connect Your Domain With Blogger

Step 1: Sign in to Blogger and select the blog you want to update.

Step 2: On the left sidebar, click Settings > Basic.

Step 3: On the right panel, under the Publishing section, click +Setup a Google Domain URL for your blog.

connect your domain with blogger account

Step 4: Enter the sub-domain you want to use or leave it blank to keep www.

Step 5: Select your domain in the list under Google Domains settings and click Save.

review the Google Domains setting

Redirect Non-WWW to WWW

To change your domain (example: bloginoptometry.com) to www.bloginoptometry.com, set up a redirect. Under Publishing > Blog Address, click Edit.

set up the redirection in Blogger

Check the option which says Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com. Click Save. Google will then take care of redirection part, and if anyone opens your blogspot address, they’ll get automatically redirected to your new custom domain name.

final set up of the redirection in Blogger

Turn On HTTPS for Your Blog

Users expect a secure online experience when using a website. We recommend you to adopt HTTPS to encrypt their traffic with your website, regardless of the content on your site. Blogger lets you enable HTTPS easily.

To turn on HTTPS for your custom domain blog, click Settings > Basic. On the right, under HTTPS availability and HTTPS redirect, select Yes.

enable HTTPS for your blog

Even if you don’t use a custom domain, HTTPS is automatically turned on for your blog, but the HTTPS setting remains hidden. And when you turn on HTTPS redirect, visitors always reach the encrypted version of your blog.

Final Check

Once you set up your custom domain and enable HTTPS, it’s time to check everything. Type in your blog address, and you should be able to access your website without any errors. If not, wait for a few moments and let Google take care of all the technical steps.

Blogging With WordPress

Ease of use and simplicity are the main advantages of Blogger. Once you buy a domain from Google Domains, it just takes a few minutes to start your blog. The whole process may look technical, but once you’re inside the Blogger dashboard and follow all the steps in this article, it’ll be easier for you to implement.

After getting used to the basics of blogging, your next step should be to migrate from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site.

We highly recommend managed WordPress hosting with WP Engine, which takes all the headache of running a website out of the picture. Need something a bit more affordable? MakeUseOf readers can get a special discount at InMotion Hosting by signing up using this link.

Then check out our guide on how to set up your blog with WordPress Set Up Your Blog With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide Set Up Your Blog With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide Want to start your own blog but don't know how? Look to WordPress, the most powerful blogging platform available today. Read More .

Explore more about: Blogging, Domain Name, Web Hosting.

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  3. Myilraj Gurumurthy
    February 9, 2019 at 9:38 am

    This article has very nice information about Blogger sub-domain. I was once a user of Blogger but I have now changed to own hosting and domain, yet I recently came to know, blogger is still having it's own market out there.
    I am very satisfied that I have spent my time worthy in reading your article. I really enjoyed reading this information you have shared here.

  4. Henry
    December 26, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Hi, I will purchase a domain and host it with blogger by following your instructions written above.
    As per your blog, I do not need to pay anything for hosting, just need to purchase the domain. Every year just need to pay for domain name, but not for hosting.
    Will you assist me personally if I get stuck anywhere, as I do not have any previous experience in this?
    Looking forward to seeking your assistance.
    Thanks!

  5. Gita
    August 18, 2018 at 12:43 am

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  6. James
    March 26, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I enjoyed your article. Some great points on the various options. This blog got the contents that helped me a lot into understanding the matter. Thank you for sharing this valuable article.

  7. sachin
    August 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    If I will purchase a domain from go daddy and link it with my blogspot account. Then Is it necessary to purchase a hosting or the domain name is enough ?

  8. Mary
    May 12, 2017 at 12:44 am

    How's things?, on occasion I see a 503 site message when I arrive at your website. Just a heads up, best wishes

  9. santosh
    February 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

    please let me know i have two more domains in my godaddy account i know only domain can have free hosting as your mentioned

    how i can host remain domains?
    can i use separate gmail blog and map the cnames from there to this domain of godaddy ?
    or any other tips please let me know?

  10. Web Hosting Provider Singapore
    January 12, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more. And this article posted at this site is truly good.

  11. Bigvro
    October 25, 2016 at 8:51 am
  12. 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?

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

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

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

  19. Anonymous
    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?

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

    Thanks It is Working....

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

    thanq for shareing good article .good job
    for latest techtips

  22. Anonymous
    August 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    blogspot is a best free cms

  23. Anonymous
    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.

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

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

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

  28. 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!!!

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

    great

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

    • Jasper
      December 17, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Lol I thought I was the only idiot who found wordpress to be too user unfriendly.