There are a plethora of platforms where you can start your blog as a developer. These blogging platforms can significantly differ in terms of features, the freedom they give you, and the benefits you get.
Therefore, in this article, I want to talk about the essential feature you should consider when choosing a platform. That is - the domain name.
Most likely, you know that when you start blogging on a platform, you get a URL looking like:
yourname.blogging-platform.com- for example,
blogging-platform.com/yourname- for instance,
Probably, there are other variations, but these are the most common ones. Now, you might ask "what's wrong with having such a blog URL?". Without further ado, let's see the downsides of having such a URL and the benefits of having a personal domain.
Note: Whether you read the whole article or not, make sure to read the second and third points. The second point about SEO is the most crucial part of this article. The second most important point of the article is about not promoting your brand.
1. Looks more professional
First of all, it looks less professional than a personal domain (
catalins.tech, and think about it. Which one looks more professional?
Of course, the look of the URL is not the most important thing. Maybe you can overlook the look and feel of the URL. But in the next section, you will see the most important thing about having a personal domain.
2. Keep the SEO juice
This is super important - you give up all the SEO juice. The platform reaps all the benefits. If you decide to move one day away from the platform, you lose all the SEO you built. Even if you move all your articles to your new blog.
Let's take a fictive scenario. You blog for five years on a blogging platform, and you manage to write 300 articles. Many of them are ranked on the first page of search engines, and you get good traffic. Now you decide to move to your platform -
johndoe.com. You republish all the articles on your blog and expect the same results.
But guess what? Your articles are not even indexed, and the articles from the previous platform perform better. That's because you gave up all the SEO to
blogging-platform.com. Do you know what that means? You start again from ZERO, after five years of blogging.
That's why I use and recommend Hashnode. With Hashnode you can add your custom domain and reap all the SEO benefits. If you decide to move away one day, no strings attached. As long as you republish the articles and keep the same URL structure, the SEO will not be affected.
Keep this in mind when choosing a blogging platform!
3. Own your content and promote your brand
This section is similar to the "Keep the SEO juice" section. That means, by not having your domain you do not own your content. You promote that blogging platform's brand instead of yours.
Every time someone lands on your blog, they will remember that blogging-platform brand. They will not see the content and blog like yours. Thus, you help others build their brand with your content. You do yourself a big disservice.
When it comes to owning your content, as soon as you move to a new platform, you lost it all. Of course, you can repost your articles on the new platform, but you lost all the SEO which takes us to the "Keep the SEO juice" section above.
Therefore, with a personal domain, you promote your brand, and you are in charge of your content.
4. Simple and easy to remember
It's not easy to remember the URL. Compare
catalins.tech and see which one is easier to remember.
Maybe after a while, it's easier to remember whatever name you have for your blog. That is, you access it every day, and it gets stuck in your head. But think about the people finding your blog for the first time. Or if you have to share the blog URL with someone else. There are good chances that they will forget your blog URL until they get to access it.
A personal domain is simpler to remember, and it looks more professional.
5. Inspire credibility
Perhaps the credibility goes hand in hand with professionalism. Prospective readers and customers are more inclined to access and read your blog when you have a domain.
Thus, having a personal domain makes your blog more credible and professional. Compare the URL
techarena.com. These are two made-up names to illustrate the difference between a generic URL and a credible, professional domain name.
These are the top five reasons why I choose the combination of Hashnode + domain name. Of course, there are more downsides of not having a personal domain. There might be others which I am keen to hear. If you know others, drop them in the comments.
To recap, you should use a personal domain to:
- become more professional
- benefit the most from SEO and not lose it
- promote your brand and own your content
- make your blog URL easy to remember
- improve your credibility