“Shutteria.com” is mine!

I bought the shutteria.com domain through Blogger yesterday. While Blogger does not directly sell domains, they do resell them on behalf of GoDaddy.com. It costs a mere USD 10 per year for the domain and some extras, which I think is money well-spent.

This blog (shutteria.com and the previous shutteria.blogspot.com) is hosted by Blogger, which offers free blog hosting. Blogger is owned by Google. So, if you already have a Google account, you can log into Blogger with your Google username and password, and create your own blog almost immediately. This is the route I took. It was simple, fast and risk-free.

However, the blog does not come with a custom domain. By default, it uses the blogspot.com domain. I believe that owning a custom domain is essential. It adds credibility to a blog and is absolutely essential for branding. Previously, the only way I thought that this could be done was to buy a domain, subscribe to a web hosting package and install the blogging engine and related software on my own. I wasn’t comfortable with this. Sure, many people claim that this isn’t as difficult as it sounds and I do believe that things will get easier once the ball starts rolling. Nonetheless, I still found the task to be too daunting and kept procrastinating.

I stumbled upon a solution as I was surfing through my dashboard on Blogger and came to the Settings Publishing section. There was the option of switching to a custom domain. When I selected that, I was led through the purchase of my own domain – shutteria.com. The domain costs USD 10 per year and was immediately linked to various Google Apps (e.g. email, calendar, docs and sites) for free. That was simple.

Another drawback about using free blog hosting services is the limited selection of blog templates that they have. I do think that some templates look pretty good, but they just don’t look very professional. Additionally, the size and dimensions are often not optimized for the blog content or its readers. I found an excellent solution for this – free blog templates. I googled around and found btemplates.com to have the most comprehensive collection blog templates. I downloaded two of them – one for this blog and another one for my Living in Munich blog. The templates came with a brief readme file that described the installation procedure. Once again, it was simple.

Simplicity works.