I finally got my own domain – http://abaditya.com. Getting the domain upgrade is a pretty simple process on wordpress.com. There are quite a few people who have shared their domain upgrade/mapping experiences, including the impact on the additional URL. I also checked out the Technorati FAQs, and found some information regarding possible steps after the blog URL change.
Coming back to the domain mapping procedure, I did have a slight confusion with the domain upgrade interface, but managed to get it done after a false start. I followed the instructions in the FAQs for the domain mapping and checked for my domain of choice. It was available, and I chose to purchase the upgrade, which took me to the PayPal page. I made the payment, and landed back on the domain upgrade page thinking that the process was complete, and waited happily for a couple of days for the domain to be operational.
However, the domain list did not have any additions, and I started to wonder what the matter was. I also noticed that I had 15 credits available. So, I tried another domain check and it said that the same domain that I had applied for earlier, was available. So, I opted for the upgrade once again, and this time got a sign up form which I filled up and had my domain up and running in a short while. I also got a customer number for the domain registrar. As the domain registration is handled automatically, but by a different site, the login information is not directly available. Instead I had to use the customer number and reset the password on the domain registration site, and set up a new password through the usual email process. The instructions are provided after registration in the domain upgrade page itself along with a link to manage domains.
I also set up a Google Apps account so that I could enable email for the new domain. This process has also been simplified by the wordpress folks with clear instructions in the FAQs, and setting it up is just a few clicks away. The other thing to do was to set up the new domain as the default, with the older (xxx.wordpress.com) set up to redirect to the new domain.
Apart from the impact of the domain change on Technorati and search engines, there were quite a lot of sites where I had to update my blog URL – social networks like Linkedin and facebook along with update to the feedburner feed I had set up. There are still some sites remaining to be updated, and I hope to get them in order as and when I recall them (one of the problems with having too many accounts).