Combining free blog hosting with your own domain name.

Hosting a site on a free service like WordPress.com has some advantages. For one thing, they really keep the blogging software up to date, with constant improvements, new widgets, etc. You never have to lift a finger to upgrade. The problem is that you are limited as to disk space, bandwidth, etc. This is why this blog is not run on WordPress.com – I wanted to go beyond the services that WordPress provides for free. I have a rented server account with Dreamhost.com, on which I can host as many domain names as I need, with tons of bandwidth and storage.

I recently started a new skateboarding blog called “concretelunch.net“. I plan on using a lot of photos and videos on the site, which will require both disk space and bandwidth. I purchased the domain name, but I’d rather host the blog — which will be the “homepage” — for free on WordPress.com. At the same time, I want to use my Concretelunch.net domain name (so I can just refer to “concretelunch.net”, rather than “wordpress.concretelunch.com”) and also use that domain to host and serve large files, run other applications, etc.

Here is a nice way to make it all work. I set up the blog on WordPress.com. Then on my server, under the domain concretelunch.net, I deleted the existing index.html file, replacing it with index.php . The index.php file contains only the following code — a simple redirect to my WordPress.com blog:

<?php
header( ‘Location: http://www.yoursite.com’ ) ;
?>

The nice thing about using a redirect like this is that I can use WordPress.com’s free service for low bandwidth stuff, but if I want to point to something like a gallery URL, like “concretelunch.net/gallery” (which doesn’t exist yet), I can do that easily. Of course, this only works because the server I host my domain name on runs the PHP scripting language. However, you could easily find a PERL or JavaScript redirect script to use instead.

2 thoughts on “Combining free blog hosting with your own domain name.

  1. In this case, I thought the header redirect was better. I still wanted to be able to point to sub directories under my domain name and get them, rather than having everything pop over to wordpress.com.

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