Mapping a blog from scratch: Part one – purchasing a domain name

Who is this tutorial for?

This tutorial is helpful to someone who has decided to have a blog but wants to look cooler or more professional by using a custom domain like instead of the standard domain like Notice that both of those links go to the same place? Once you map your domain, you’ll be able to tell everyone your more impressive URL without the part.

This is relatively easy to accomplish (just follow the instructions in this post) and then you will look oh so impressive and no one needs to know that it cost oh so little.

So, how much will it cost?

According to the current prices, around $10US per year will go to for the mapping and another amount will go to your domain provider of choice (the price depends on a few factors but the price of a “regular” domain is around $10US/year). You will need an American/Canadian or international credit card in order to fill these transactions.

Step I: Purchase a domain name

I am assuming you already signed up to and own a domain name there. It will look something like:

Now you need to purchase a custom domain. We currently recommend using for this. Generally the way it works is that you own the domain name for a year and then have an option to pay for another year. When signing up to, make sure to use an email address that you check regularly so you will get the notification when it’s time to renew the domain. Either that or you can set it up for automatic renewal.

So now, search for the domain name of your dreams. Enter any name in the space. Remember that:

  1. It’s nice though unnecessary that both your domain and your .com domain have the same name.
  2. Don’t write any ending. So, for example, just write “iwishiweredeena” without .com.

Click enter and you’ll get results telling you which domains are available for that name. Here is an example:

Of course most people will agree that a .com domain is preferable over any of the other endings but on the other hand, sometimes it’s just too difficult to find an appropriate domain name with .com. You need to decide which one best fits your goals. (I personally think .co is also a cool option that recently came out but all endings are second to .com.)

Now check off the domain you want and click the checkout button.

Now you get to this page:

It’s a good idea to purchase the Whois Privacy so that not just anyone can have access to the information regarding who owns this domain. I recommend unclicking Google Apps for now. Google Apps is the way to host your email address on Google but that’s a whole other story.

Now create an account with

Pay for the domain.

Continue to the second and final part of this tutorial.