I recently moved my courses to a new course hosting platform. Run by the same people but the new platform is hosted on a new domain name.
The good people there worked hard and the new platform is so much better for course creators like me. Lot’s of features that helps to sell more.
One of my more tech savvy trainees asked, “Why not the old domain name?”
I’d imagined it is just too difficult to migrate multiple course creators plus their trainees. Some course creators or trainees may have different needs or may not be ready to migrate at a certain time.
Any how the circumstances and decisions made is not in my circle of control. Neither is it that important to me.
What is important is for me to be able to update all my links to point to the new location.
What does this have to do with having my own domain?
I have many links on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and post scattered all over the internet that point to my courses. It not only would it be too time consuming to change them and it is likely impossible to find edit the links one by one.
Fortunately what I’ve done is to use a redirection plugin for all those links and the plugin is self hosted.
So instead of the actual links to the course, I have links that looks like //jameswoo.net/course-1/ instead of the actual link to the course, and I can edit the destination of my links on my own website.
Initially the reason is just to have a shorter branded link. No doubt it is a bit longer than say a bit.ly link or a Goo.gl link.
With the free bit.ly or Goo.gl link shortening or redirects, I wouldn’t be able to edit the destination of the link to point to the new location.
Hosting my own redirects allowed me to do that.
Since the plugin in inside WordPress, I just took less than 5 minutes to update them all. It would have been a nightmare to locate and change the links if I have to do it on my YouTube description.
Based on what I found it cost quite a lot of money per month on a paid bit.ly plan in order to have the feature that allows you to edit the destination.
Hosting my own website just cost a few dollars each month.
One more reason why having your own domain and website is so useful.
And also if you link to any page that is important, remember to use a redirect or link shortener.