Just three days back my http://nmafzal.wordpress.com became http://nmafzal.com/. I want to share my experience of how it started, how it happened what problems I came across while getting a custom domain. It all started with this…
Every time I would login to my Dashboard to make a post or fine tune one I would see this message prompting me to shift to http://nmafzal.com/ for a paltry $ 18 per year.
This went on for quite sometime, until I could ignore it no more. So I clicked the un-ignorable link. This took me to a new screen which asked me to fill out some personal details like name, address, phone number, email address etc. And the option to go for an anonymous registration, meaning my personal details like address etc would not be visible to the rest of the world for an additional $ 8, the total sum being exactly $ 26. With a credit card close at hand I waited for the screen to refresh so I could fill in the card number and “get it over with.” But this didn’t work out, because I could not find Pakistan amongst the list of countries that can make a payment. Although the onscreen messages told me that word press accepts PayPal, Credit Cards and even Bit-coins. Left “high and dry” I Googled for more info and the subject and was told that payment could not be made from Pakistan!!! In fact the WordPress help told me to get the payment made from someone in any country other then Pakistan. Phew! I believe we do have a bad reputation elsewhere.
Anyways, I requested a close friend to help out. Thus the payment was done through PayPal form UK. So what actually WordPress does is, it gets you a custom domain and then maps the old address to the new one. All traffic is automatically diverted to the new address. So far I have observed slight decrease in traffic to my Blog, however, the interface and Dashboard etc. is the same old one. I really hope someone at WordPress takes notice of this and makes it easier for us Pakistanis to get a cusotm domain.