When I first started blogging, my first blog, Scots Law Blog, was created using WordPress.com. The resulting domain name was not a standalone one, but instead was in the form of x.wordpress.com (known technically as a ‘subdomain’ of wordpress.com). This was okay for me starting off and it did have its advantages, as noted below. But it wasn’t quite what I wanted. Below are some of my recommendations for choosing a good domain name for your law blog, together with a note of reasons for and providers of hosting for WordPress blogs.
Benefits of a self-hosted law blog
The benefits of having a self-hosted, standalone blog with your own domain name outwith wordpress.com (using the software provided by wordpress.org) are as follows:
- You are able to upload many more themes and plugins to your own self-hosted blog than would otherwise be available through wordpress.com.
- You can edit the CSS to customise your blog even more (if you or your blog designer is skilled in doing so)
- You have much greater flexibility over positioning and choice of advertisements which can help fund your blog.
- You won’t have to display wordpress.com ads
Benefits of a wordpress.com blog
There are, it should be noted, some advantages in having your blog as a subdomain under wordpress.com as opposed to a self-hosted one:
- You can create the blog for free
- You will have most things you need to get started with your blogging quickly.
- Spam filters will be in place automatically (although with self-hosted installs, Akismet is usually made available for free, as are other plugins that can be downloaded such as anti-spam captcha plugins.)
- Your blog automatically becomes part of the wordpress.com blogosphere. So, for instance, WordPress.com hadstated that, on 12 April 2012, there were 398,738 bloggers posting 948,602 new posts, with 1,502,650 comments, with a total of 197,919,694 words posted all in the one day on WordPress.com. Further, the best posts get featured, so you don’t necessarily have to have a big network to get found if you’ve written some great content worth sharing. [2020 update: WordPress now powers over 35% of the web and there are over 70 million WordPress posts each month]
It should be noted that you can opt to have a wordpress.com blog under your own domain name (although the fee for this is around £10 per month).
How to choose a good domain name for your law blog
There are many companies through which you can register a domain name for your law blog.
To choose the best domain name for your law blog, you should then experiment in the domain search section, searching for potential names. It’s a matter of choice between a keyword-rich domain name eg familyandpersonalinjurylawblog.com, or a domain with your firm’s name or your own name, or alternatively a domain name that has some other meaning but which doesn’t necessarily have any keywords or relate to your name or your business’ name.
I would highly recommend choosing a keyword-rich domain name (although you’d expect an SEO professional to suggest that – 2020 Update – with the Exact Match Domain update in around 2012/2013, Google places less weight on domains that have keywords in them). BUT with so many legal blogs now on the web don’t be surprised if your preferred url is already taken. You’ll probably have to do some degree of searching before you find your perfect one, or alternatively you may have to start looking to buy domain names already registered by others for a steeper price.
In terms of domain name pricing, you should be able to register a .com domain name not already taken for $10 per year. I once got ripped off for a .co.uk domain for around £80 per year. Make sure you do not get ripped off. Aside from that, I’ve been hearing horror stories of law firms buying domain names for hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you’re about to splash out on a domain name or even website that has been optimized for search, or thinking of utilizing a web hosting company like Collectiveray Elementor vs Divi, take expert advice first of all.
Get in touch
If you’d like me to talk you through the steps required in setting up your own law blog, please do not hesitate to contact me here or leave any comments or questions you may have in the comments section below.
PS I thought it may be good, for newer readers of this blawg, to show what my first website ScotsLawBlog (which was a wordpress.com subdomain) looked like. Below is a small screenshot:-
PPS check out this beginner’s guide to successful blogging from First Site Guide who also kindly listed us as one of the best law blogs to follow in 2015. You may also want to check out this guide to WordPress blogging from WPExplorer and this guide on QuickSprout.