Having a unique Bluesky handle is a great way to stand out on the platform. But do you know how to set custom domain as your Bluesky handle? If no, then you're in the right place. Changing your Bluesky handle to custom domain is an excellent way to create a more professional profile, and make it easier for people to find you on this new social media platform. In this blog post, I will share the steps you should follow to change your Bluesky handle to a customized domain name of your choice. By following these simple steps, you will be able to set up your Bluesky custom domain and create a professional online presence that will help you stand out in this new decentralized social media platform.
About Bluesky Custom Domain
What is a Bluesky custom domain and why do people change their default handles to custom domains? In a very simple term, a Bluesky custom domain is a unique, specific and customized handle name that you use on Bluesky instead of using the default Bluesky handle name. Our previous article on Default vs Custom Domain Bluesky handle highlights the limitations, benefits, pros and cons of using these two.
Here's what I mean:
Take for instance the username you want to use on Bluesky is "Emmanuel",
When you sign up and login to your Bluesky account as a new user, your default Bluesky handle will be @Emmmanuel.bsky.social
You can change your default Bluesky handle to a custom domain by replacing the .bsky.social with a .com or .org extension.
Before doing that, you need to first of all buy a custom domain from any reputable domain registrars of your choice.
Your custom Bluesky handle will now be @Emmanuel.com or @Emmanuel.org, depending on the domain extension you choose. For guidance on choosing an extension, read our tips on how to choose a perfect domain extension for your Bluesky handle.
So how do you go about changing your default handle to a custom domain? Read on to discover, but before I proceed, there are a couple of things I'll like to draw your attention to. These are things you should keep in mind before planning to change from your default Bluesky handle to a custom domain.
Things To Consider Before Changing From Default Bluesky Handle To Custom Domain
Like I've already mentioned, changing from default handle to a custom domain Bluesky can be a great way to establish your brand and make it easier for your audience to find and remember your account. However, here are some important factors to consider before making the switch:
1. Firstly, you need to ensure that the custom domain you want to use, (for example; Emmanuel.com) is available and has not already been taken by someone else and that you can legally use it. How can you check this? It's very simple, you can check this by doing a simple Google search (type the domain on Google and see if it's already used) or using a domain name registrar.
2. You also need to make sure that the domain you choose is relevant to your brand and what you do. It's important to think about the potential impact on your personal brand or business if you use a custom domain.
Consider whether the domain accurately reflects your brand and whether it will improve or detract from your overall online presence. It must aligns with your brand and image. Read our Complete Guide and Tips on How To Choose A Perfect Custom Domain For Your Bluesky Account.
3. Next, you need to consider the potential impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) and website traffic. Make sure to update any links to your old handle and redirect them to your new custom domain to avoid losing your existing followers and website visitors. If you're changing your handle, you'll need to ensure that your website or social media profiles are set up correctly, so you don't lose any search engine rankings.
4. Consider the cost of purchasing and maintaining the domain. You'll need to pay for the domain registration and possibly web hosting services. Make sure it's within your budget before committing to it. You need to make sure that you are prepared to maintain and renew the custom domain registration every year to ensure that you can continue to use it as your Bluesky handle. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider using a default Bluesky handle or a low-cost alternative.
5. Additionally, you should consider the length and complexity of the domain. A shorter, simpler domain is easier to remember and type, while a longer, more complex domain may be harder to remember and may contain spelling errors. It should be easy to remember and spell, so choose a name that is catchy and unique.
6. Make sure that you have a good understanding of how custom domains work and how to set up your domain with Bluesky, as well as any potential costs associated with using a custom domain.
7. Think about how long you'll be using the custom domain as your Bluesky handle. If you anticipate changing it in the future, it may be better to stick with a Bluesky handle that isn't tied to a domain
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision on whether using a custom domain as a Bluesky handle is the right choice for you and your brand.
Pros of Changing Bluesky Handle To Custom Domain
Changing a Bluesky handle from default to a custom domain has a number of benefits, here are some of the pros:
1. Firstly, it adds a level of professionalism to your online presence. Having a custom domain shows that you are serious about your brand and that you have taken the time to invest in your online image.
2. Secondly, it makes it easier for people to remember and find you online. A custom domain is usually shorter and more memorable than a generic Bluesky handle, which can be a series of random numbers and letters. This means that people are more likely to remember your name and find you again in the future. It can help you stand out from the crowd.
3. A custom domain gives you more control over your online brand. With a custom domain, you can create subdomains and email addresses that match your brand, which can help to increase your credibility and authority in your niche. Instead of using a default Bluesky handle like @Emmanuel.bsky.social, you can have a handle that matches your brand name, making you more recognizable and easier to find, for instance @Emmanuel.com.
4. With a custom domain, you can also create a more professional-looking email address that is associated with your domain name. This can be particularly beneficial if you are using your email address for business purposes.
5. Additionally, having a custom domain as your Bluesky handle can help increase the visibility of your website in search engine results. It can help with search engine optimization (SEO) as it can improve your website’s search engine rankings. This is because search engines tend to favor websites with custom domain names compared to those with generic ones.
6. Another benefit is that it ensures that your handle is unique and not already taken by someone else.
In summary, using a custom domain as a Bluesky handle can help you establish a strong and professional online presence while increasing your brand’s visibility and SEO.
Cons of Changing Bluesky Handle To Custom Domain
Changing a default Bluesky handle to a custom domain may seem appealing at first, but there are a few bad sides of it. I need to draw your attention to some of the negative sides of it, to help you make an informed decision.
1. Firstly, it can be costly to purchase and maintain a custom domain. A domain name can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per year, depending on the popularity of the domain name you choose. Using a custom domain as your Bluesky handle can be more expensive than using a traditional handle. This is because you will need to purchase your domain separately, which can add up over time.
2. Secondly, having a custom domain can make it difficult for others to find and remember your Bluesky handle. This is because a custom domain is often longer and more complex than a regular Bluesky handle, and people may forget or misspell it when trying to search for you.
3. Additionally, using a custom domain as a Bluesky handle can limit your flexibility in the future. If you decide to switch to a different platform or service, you may need to purchase a new custom domain, which can be a hassle and expensive.
4. Using a custom domain as a Bluesky handle can make it difficult for you to maintain your online privacy. If someone is able to discover your custom domain name, they may be able to easily find your personal information, such as your name, address, and phone number.
5. Additionally, using a custom domain as your Bluesky handle can make it difficult for you to change hosts or domains in the future. A change in platform provider could mean changing the custom domain as well. This can lead to complications and headaches if you decide to switch to a different domain provider, which could cause confusion and lost traffic.
6. For starters, a custom domain can be more difficult to remember and type than a simple username. This may lead to fewer interactions and engagement with potential followers or customers.
7. Finally, using a custom domain may require more technical expertise to set up and maintain, which could be a barrier for those who are less tech-savvy.
In summary, while using a custom domain can have some benefits, it's important to consider the disadvantages before making the decision to use one as a Bluesky handle.
Why Bluesky Uses Domains as Handles
Technically, it’s the AT Protocol that lets you use domains as handles. According to a post by Emily Liu of the Bluesky Team, Bluesky is a client application built on top of the protocol, so it will also use domains as handles. Here are some reasons why the AT Protocol was designed to use domains:
Just like I've already written above, Bluesky is just one application built on top of the AT Protocol. Let’s say you set your Bluesky handle to ABC.com on the platform, you’ll be able to use that same particular handle across all applications built on the AT Protocol (the number is endless!). This is good because you no longer have to list four different usernames (handles) based on what was available at the time you signed up for an app - just use your domain!
Websites have a long history of verification already, so using domains borrows their authority. What does this means? Take for instance, a media platform like BBC could set their handle to be @BBC.org. Then, any journalists that BBC wants to verify could use subdomains to set their handles to be @name.BBC.org. Brand accounts could set their Bluesky handle to be their domain as well, you can see that companies like Vercel and Tailscale have already done this.
Maybe you want to switch to a different server. Then, there’s no need to switch your handle from something server-specific if you’re using your domain as your handle.
How To Get a Custom Domain
Before changing from a default Bluesky handle to a customized domain, you must first of all get a custom domain. How do you go about this? If you don’t have a custom domain already, you can buy one from any ICANN-accredited domain registrar or reseller, such as Namecheap, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Domainking, etc.
Note that this isn’t a compulsory requirement to join Bluesky and it's not mandatory to own a custom domain before joining the platform. If you don't have money to buy a custom domain from a reputable domain seller of your choice, you can still create a Bluesky account and enjoy the Bluesky's default handle. But remember that by using a Bluesky default handle, your username (handle) will look like this: @name.bsky.social. The "name" in the handle stands for your username, for example, if your username is Emmanuel, and you're using a default Bluesky handle, your Bluesky account handle will be @emmanuel.bsky.social.
14 Steps To Change A Default Bluesky Handle To Custom Domain
After buying your custom domain from any reputable domain registrar of your choice, the next thing is to change your default handle to the custom domain. But how do you go about this? Here's it:
Note: if you change your default Bluesky handle (with the .bsky.social ) to a custom domain, your old username will be available for someone else to use. However, any tags or mentions with your old handle will still point to your account.
The screenshots below will show you how to set your custom domain as your handle in your mobile app, but similar steps apply to the desktop version. Are you ready to set up your custom domain? Let's get started!
Step 1: Buy A Custom Domain
Step 2: Login to Your Bluesky Account
Step 3: Go to Settings
After you have successfully login to your Bluesky account, open the left side menu by clicking your profile picture thumbnail and tap on the “Settings” button, then scroll down to the “Advanced” section.
Step 4: Tap on “Change my handle" button.
Step 5: Enter Your Custom Domain
After clicking on the "I have my own domain" button, you will see the next page where you will be asked to enter the domain you want to use. Enter your custom domain that you have or the new custom domain you just bought from your domain registrar. For example, Emmanuel.com in the space provided.
Now, you’ll have a screen that looks like the screenshot below. This includes the domain value that you will need to copy and go back to your domain registrar.
Step 6: Tap on "Copy Domain Value"
Click on the "copy domain value" button to copy your TXT value. You will add the TXT value to your domain name settings (DNS) by logging in to your domain registrar or hosting provider's website. Your domain registrar is where you bought your custom domain from.
Step 7: Login To Your Domain Registrar's Website
Log in to your domain registrar or hosting provider's website. This is where you manage your domain settings. If you're unsure about the specific steps for your provider, you may need to consult their documentation or support.
Step 8: Go To DNS Section
Navigate to the domain management section. Look for options related to DNS (Domain Name System) or domain settings. The exact location may vary depending on your registrar's interface.
Step 9: Tap on "Manage DNS"
Locate the DNS management or DNS settings for your domain. This is where you can add, edit, or delete DNS records for your domain.
Step 10: Tap on "Add New Record"
Find the option to add a new DNS record, usually labeled as "Add Record," "Add DNS," "Add Zone File Entry," or something similar.
Step 11: Choose the record type as TXT
This is one of the most important steps in changing a default Bluesky handle to a custom domain. There may be a dropdown menu or a selection of record types to choose from. Select TXT from the available options. In the TXT record settings, you will typically see two fields to complete:
a. "Name" or "Host" field:
- Enter the domain or subdomain for which you want to add the TXT record. For example, if you want to add a TXT record for "Emmanuel.com," leave this field blank or enter "@".
b. "Value" or "Data" field:
- Paste the TXT value you copied from your Bluesky account in step 6 above. This value was provided to you by Bluesky so that you can verify the ownership of the domain.
Step 12: Save or apply the changes
After entering the necessary information, look for a button or link to save or apply the changes you made to the DNS settings.
Step 13: Wait for the changes to propagate
DNS changes typically take some time to propagate across the internet. It may take a few minutes to several hours for the changes to take effect. During this propagation period, the new TXT record should become visible to other services or systems querying your domain's DNS records.
Note: The steps outlined above are a general guide. The specific interface and terminology may vary depending on your domain registrar or hosting provider. If you encounter any difficulties, it's recommended to consult the support documentation or reach out to your provider's support team for assistance.
Step 14: Tap on "Verify DNS Record" Button
After you add the TXT record, wait a couple of minutes for the change to propagate across the internet.
Then, go back to your Bluesky account and click on the “Verify DNS Record" button.
Congratulations, you’re done! You have successfully change your default Bluesky handle to a custom domain. Check your Bluesky profile to see if it has updated. Remember, DNS propagation might take some time. Congratulations, you have a custom domain as your handle now!
Your domain name is more than just an address on the web. It is a representation of your brand, your identity, and your personality. If you're using Bluesky, you have the opportunity to make your domain name your Bluesky handle. This means that instead of having a generic handle, your domain can be your unique handle on the Bluesky platform. This blog post has taken you through the steps to set up your domain as your Bluesky handle, giving you more control over your online identity and a better representation of your brand. If there's anything here you don't understand, feel free to ask us a question by using the comments form below.