So much for regularly blogging for the ‘Savvy Blogging’ series, right? Yeah, sorry ’bout that! To be honest I’ve been sort of stuck with it anyways, didn’t really know what to write next if that makes sense?
But over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to help so many bloggers with their domains that they bought through Blogger from Google. And because the issues were devastating – as in their domains wouldn’t work anymore despite payment, etc – I wanted to address this, because unfortunately there’s not much anyone can do in these situations.
Why would you buy a domain through Blogger from Google?
Convenience. It’s there, you click a couple of buttons, fill out some form and it automatically works after a couple of hours. Bye bye blogspot.com address, hello sexy .com or .co.uk. I get it – it’s convenience that drives us all, including me. I still have my domain with Google!
So what’s the problem then?
Well, Google doesn’t give a sh*t about you. As harsh as that sounds, but your $15 per year to have that domain is not even a drop in the ocean of money the Google people are swimming in. So there’s no hotline, no support to call upon when issues occur.
Also, the domain isn’t actually from Google. Google is just a reseller, they buy it from companies like Enom or GoDaddy. Although both of those companies have tech support people, they in turn don’t feel responsible, because the responsibility lies with Google.
So basically no one cares if something goes wrong and of course due to the convenience of buying through Blogger, you don’t have a clue either (and I appreciate that, that’s what I’m here for).
But really, what’s the actual problem?
Over the last weeks, whether it was Holly or Stina or Sarah from Fashion Dotty, they all had trouble with their domain stopping working. The domains didn’t renew, despite being set to renew.
There are two main reasons for this, which unfortunately lies with the blogger:
- Payment problems: If you get a new debit/credit card or your billing address changes, this has to be updated with Google in the payment section. This of course goes for all recurring payments, but this specifically, because Google isn’t psychic (and again, doesn’t care about losing the money – they don’t need it)
- Outdated Backup/Recovery emails: For your Domain, any communication from Google (reminders that your domain is due being renewed and that your payment details need to be up to date) will go to @yourdomain.com and a backup email address if you’ve set one. If you don’t set one, then you have to regularly check your @yourdomain.com email address
I don’t have a @domain.com email address!
Yes you do. Trust me.
When you buy your domain through Blogger from Google, you automatically get an account for Google Apps, where you actually MANAGE your domain. The address of this would be http://www.google.com/a/yourdomain.com and then your username for the @yourdomain.com email address and your password.
Here you can check that all the settings are correct – for example your auto-renewal settings and your backup email address. Here you also change the settings for your domain to show your WordPress blog if you ever chose to move there.
But true to Google’s style, they don’t communicate very well and I have to admit, when I started blogging, it was all quite confusing too – I was lucky that I had been doing all of this jazz for like 7 years already.
So what’s the solution?
There’s basically two solutions. Either you buy your domain from Google, but you make sure how to use Google Apps and that you regularly update your billing address and payment details and backup-address. Or, which is the solution I recommend, is not to buy your domain from Google.
You can buy your domain from 123-reg or GoDaddty or any other place that sells domains.The benefit is that this way, you’re their direct customer and they will deal with you happily and not point you back to evil, useless Google.
Of course this involves a bit more trickery, to make your domain work with your blog, but people like myself and Faye for example would take about 5 minutes to help you sort that out. Plus, often, the domain sellers have tutorials to help you set things up and there’s loads of tutorials online to map your domain to Blogger and Blogger has instructions too (this one is for my own domain for example).
I hope you found this post helpful. Do let me know what you think, and also maybe what you next want me to blog about as part of this Savvy Blogging series!