I registered technomom.com in 1996. I wish I'd thought to get the .net and .org then, but someone else has them now!
Our family owns a bunch of other domains that we've registered over the years. There are a couple that I'd sell (or even give away!) to the right people, but I don't want to just let them expire because they're established as "good" sites, and spammers/squatters just love to buy those.
My site was established long before I started blogging, and initially I blogged on LiveJournal, with the content echoed to a page on my domain. I switched to WordPress around 2004 or so, and absolutely LOVE it! We use it on almost all of our sites now.
It isn't expensive at all to register a domain, or to get decent hosting. We're quite happy with 1&1 for both. We've used them for 4-5 years now with no real complaints. I had hosting from MindSpring (now part of Earthlink) a long time ago (I used to work for them), and I've been hosted by a dear friend, but 1&1 really makes it easier all around.
The main benefit of having your own domain is credibility. I won't even visit many sites that are hosted on someone else's server, and I certainly don't take them as seriously. Simple URLs are another benefit, and being able to control things so that they're the way you want them is marvelous.
Do you own your domain?
Yes, I own my domain name. I actually own several. I think it's an addiction.
If so, did you start your blog with your own domain, or did you transition?
I transitioned from a Blogger name to my own domain name after about two months.
If you transitioned, was it a Major Pain???
It was actually quite easy. It took 24 hours for everything to be set up correctly and running.
What do you think are the benefits of owning your domain?
I think the biggest benefit is that companies take you more seriously. If you are trying to monetize your blog, or get into doing reviews and giveaways, companies are more likely to work with you if you have your own domain name. It kind of shows that you have pride in your site and that you will go the extra mile to make it as professional as possible.
Is it expensive?
I pay $9.99 a year for my domain names. Right now, GoDaddy has a coupon code where you can get a domain name for $.99. That's less then a dollar! Not too shabby.
I have 2 blogs, one is trough blogger that's the new one, and other I have my own domain and hosting, the domain was around 10$ and hosting is more since my Hubby has the whole network of sites for work (don't ask I don't know) it's the whole server, so our hosting is a lot really, almost 100 each month, but we can have unlimited number of sites on it and the service is really excellent all the time :)
I'm happy with owning my domain because it looks better, and originally when I got it, it was intended for my shop and not for the blog, but now it's all mixed together, kind of :)
I actually just switched to my own domain for my review blog after reading an article here about how PR companies sometimes frown on your blog if you don't have one. I am on Blogger so I went through their system (through my dashboard) and it was SUPER easy..and cheap...$10 for the year. And because it's through Google/Blogger they handled the entire transition. It was up and running within an hour or two.
I'm probably going to do the same with my regular blog soon.
Do you own your domain? I own domains for all my blogs including the .com, .net and .biz extensions. I also own my name (amnichols not annemarienichols which is way too long). I tell my professional writing clients to buy their names and any book names their thinking about for their website or blog. Even if you have a zillion domains purchased, you can point them to a main site.
If so, did you start your blog with your own domain, or did you transition? I transitioned and yes, it was a pain because I couldn't figure the domain mapping. Luckily TypePad came out with a video showing how to do it with GoDaddy.
What do you think are the benefits of owning your domain? It's more professional and you look like a serious blogger.
Is it expensive? Na, especially if you use those GoDaddy coupon code. (BTW, I hate the GoDaddy commercials with a passion, but the service is great and easy to use.)
I own my domain, and to be honest, I'm a little snobbish about it. I just prefer a clean url over yourtitlehere.blogspot.com or titlehere.typepad.com. It's relatively inexpensive. I use wordpress too. :)