I am planning to redirect my blog at blogger to my own domain. But I am confused by various options available outside. I see options like domain registration, bundled site hosting, design templates and more in Yahoo. GoDaddy offers just domain name at a price. There is one local provider who provides 10 free email accounts along with domain registration. Now I am just wondering which option to choose? Can I buy one domain and use it as custom domain in Blogger?
The short answer is YES, you can buy one domain, and use it as a "custom domain" in Blogger. (I'm assuming by "custom domain" that you mean the Blogger feature that lets point a domain to your blog, hosted at Blogger.)
Blogger's "custom domain" feature has one important requirement: the service that you buy your domain from must allow you to create a CNAME to your blog (hosted at Blogger). Also, the other big thing to watch out for is that Blogger doesn't allow you to redirect from a naked URL (in other words domain.com cannot be made to point to a Blogger-hosted blog). You must something like www.domain.com or blog.domain.com. See these URLs for more information:
As itai points out, there's a big difference between domains (the address), hosting (the actual physical "server" where your content lives), and the blogging software (the program that lets you type in content).
You can buy a domain from any place that sells them. Everyone will recommended some place to buy from because they have either used them or are affiliated with that company. I'm affiliated with a company but I won't push them or mention them unless you are curious.
The biggest domain seller is Go Daddy, I'm not a fan but they are pretty easy to buy from. Name Cheap is another one that is big. Then there is NetworkSolutions and Register.com, they are both big and old companies but they charge pretty high prices for domains.
You can also buy domains through Blogger. Here are the instructions on buying a domain from Blogger and just pointing a domain bought from someplace else: http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1233381
There are 3 separate things:
- Buying a domain name
- Buying a hosting service
- Installing and configuring your blogging software
Many places will do more than one of these or even all of these for you to make more money. The advantage to you is that they take care of some details like pointing the domain name (DNS) to the hosting service.
My favorite place for hosting is Total Choice Hosting. They have reasonable price and the very best service I have experienced. I am not affiliated with them but I send many of my clients there. They also sell domain names and if you buy from them you do not have to configure the DNS.
Many hosting providers give you software pre-installed, but it is not you can do it yourself. Wordpress which is an excellent blogging platform has an ultra-easy install and even automated updates now.
For domain names, GoDaddy is cheap and many will tell you the service sucks. I do not have a bad experience with them and save money with their bulk domain name pricing since I buy lots of domains for clients. I do prefer Dotster for simplicity, so if you are a beginner I would go with them.