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Making WordPress.com appear as your own domain.com May 7, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts, wordpress.

In the interest of sharing what I learned from a number of awesome bloggers who have encouraged me to move forward with my blog towards self-hosting (baby steps, though), here is the procedure I followed so that WordPress.com users can make their websites look as though they are self-hosted.

For example, if you look at Duane Storey’s blog, he is self-hosted with a WordPress.org install. However, if you look at GusF’s blog, he is doing the same thing that I am. What is that, you ask? Well, here is what I did (thanks Rebecca for walking me through the steps, John Chow and John Biehler for scaring me into buying the domain and reminding me of domain squatters and Gus for providing suggestions).

1. I bought the domain http://hummingbird604.com

  • Remember to buy your PRIVATE domain registration UNLESS you want everyone to know where you live through a WhoIs search.

2. I mapped the WordPress servers using the method shown on the WordPress.com. Note that there are 3 servers you need to map.

3. I mapped my domain on WordPress using this method and waited for the DNS propagation. However, much as I love Matt Mullenweg, this is a VERY confusing webpage for a non-geek.

4. This is the part that I wasn’t getting right and that was creating non-clean URLs (hat tips to Rebecca for the term ‘clean URLs’ and generally, for help on this matter!). From the WordPress Domain Mapping site:

Q: I own domain.com, can I map that to my wordpress.com blog?
A: Yes! Here is what you need to do:Go to your domain registrar and change the nameservers to the following, being sure to remove any existing nameservers that may be there:


If your registrar needs the IP addresses:

Then you need to wait. DNS propagation could take up to 72 hours – though it is frequently less.Go to http://dnsstuff.com In the top right is the DNS Lookup box – enter your domain name. If it says our nameservers, you can proceed here. If it does not you need to wait some more until it does.In your blog click Settings > Domains. Put your domain name in the box, click ‘Add domain to blog’.

Your domain should then appear as a choice below that button. Next to the domain name it will say “Put blog here“. Click that.

The bolded part I show above is the part that, unless you read VERY carefully, you can get wrong. So what I had done before is – I had redirected my domain to https://hummingbird604.wordpress.com. But last night, while I was playing with WordPress.com, I found that I should have put my domain there (see graph below). VOILA! I now have clean URLs and the domain mapping works, so even if you use my WordPress.com URL, it still shows as hummingbird604.com.

I’m very proud that, while I received external assistance, I did all of this all by myself 🙂 (look Ma, no hands!). As I said, I prefer to do my own stunts 😀

clean urls



1. Matt Collinge - May 7, 2008

Looking good Raul. Nice work. You are getting geekier by the day. 🙂

2. Gus - May 7, 2008

Hmmm I haven’t bought the “Private” option on my domain name. Hmmm I better figure out how to do that. 🙂

3. GoingLikeSixty - May 7, 2008

Much easier just to set up a redirect from whomever you purchased the domain name.
redirect from: yourdomainname.com to yourwordpressname.wordpress.com

4. Raul - May 7, 2008

@ Matt – Thanks 🙂 Yes, I am!

@ Gus – I’d suggest you do it 🙂

@ GoingLikeSixty – I did that before but that doesn’t provide me with clean URLs. I prefer the clean URLs 🙂

5. nomademoderne - May 7, 2008

Congrats on the domain name. It reminds me that have had my domain purchased for about a year now and have not gotten around to doing this!

6. miss604 - May 7, 2008

you’re such a pro now 😉

7. Raul - May 8, 2008

@ Nomade Moderne and Miss604 – thanks! 🙂

8. Joaninha - May 8, 2008

Hi Raul,

I read your blog occasionally, and just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post!! I’ve also had my domain name purchased for a couple months now, but was trying to figure out a way to redirect it without having to host it, since I wanted the name but am not ready to run a self-hosted blog yet. This was the perfect solution, and it was so simple and easy to do. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!


9. Say hello to www.mandingueira.com! « Mandingueira - May 8, 2008

[…] to a particularly informative post by Raul at hummingbird604.com, I’ve managed to give Mandingueira its very own domain name! No more “.wordpress” […]

10. Lloyd Budd - May 17, 2008

Good article.

No registrar should need the IP addresses — using IPs is not a good idea, because although very, very unlikely to change, in theory they could.

11. Want A Blog Without Hosting? Try WordPress.com « Hosting Heartbeat - May 29, 2008

[…] Alot of people immediately go out and get shared hosting whenever they want to set up a blog. While that’s a great solution, alot of people can probably make due with the free WordPress.com service. At WordPress.com you can sign up for a free WordPress blog in the form of myblog.wordpress.com. For a small fee, you can even map your own domain to it, as pointed out by Raul in Vancouver. […]

12. Peter - August 26, 2008

Thanks for the information. I’ll give it a try and let you know how I did.

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