Back in the days of the blogging networks, blogs with domain names ending in Blogger or Wordpress domains were frowned on regardless of how good they were. Certain monetizing sites would not even accept a blog unless it had a custom domain. Like many, I saw no real need for a custom domain. My blogs have flourished and even made money since their conception without a custom domain. So the question remains as to whether a custom domain is really necessary.
Three years ago, I bought custom domains for two of my blogs but have never used them. With the return from my blogging hiatus of 2015, I'm planning on using those two domains. Well, actually I bought another one to simplify one I already own so now have three domains. Essentially all this will be doing is simplifying the URL for my readers.
Custom domains require registering the domain you want based on availability. A custom domain should be a short title of the blog. I chose a .ca domain so also had to validate my registrant information with CIRA and accept their agreement. Canadian citizens and businesses, organizations, and community groups located in Canada are eligible to register .ca domain names. Other countries will have their own criteria or you can use .com (commercial), .net (commercial/universities), or .org (organizations) if your blog falls into those categories. In addition to a custom domain, email addresses can be set up using the custom domain (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Benefits of a custom domain:
- shortened url
- better SEO
- domain specific email address