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Medium Custom Domain Feature Returns

Medium Custom Domain Feature Returns

Build your own Domain Authority!

TL;DR [2022/07/11] This feature has been closed again

Thanks to the user MING for reporting that this feature has been officially closed again. Accounts that have already set it up can temporarily continue to use redirection.

Breaking News!

[Custom domains are back!](https://blog.medium.com/custom-domains-are-back-2dee29560d59){:target="_blank"}

Custom domains are back!

The official Medium blog announced on 2021/02/17 that Medium now allows creators to bind their own domains again! Both creator Profile pages and Publications support this setting.

What is a “Custom Domain”

To ensure readers who may not be from the tech field understand, here’s a simple explanation of what a custom domain is.

A domain is like an address in the online world. If I enter the address Medium.com, I will go to Medium. Now, with the custom domain feature, creators can set their own addresses. You can register the address you want and bind it to your Medium account, replacing the original address. For example, if I use blog.zhgchg.li, it will also lead to my Medium.


Research shows that this feature was available around 2012, with a one-time setup fee of $75. However, by the time I started writing on Medium (2018), this feature had already been discontinued. Accounts that had already applied were not affected, so sometimes you might see domains that are custom but the site is still Medium, which is cool. It was said to have been removed shortly after its launch, likely due to business considerations, as custom domains could reduce Medium’s brand recognition.


  • Recognition: Custom domains can bring many benefits to creators, the most straightforward being recognition. Instead of medium.com/@xxxx, it directly displays your name, e.g., zhgchg.li/
  • Flexibility: If you later want to move away from Medium and set up your own site, you can redirect the original links to the new site.
  • Domain Authority: Related to SEO search ranking, you can build your domain’s authority through Medium, and not worry about starting from scratch with SEO when moving to another platform.


  • You will no longer enjoy the high Domain Authority SEO ranking advantage of medium.com, which may severely impact search traffic initially.


I found that article links and share links, if the article is part of a Publication but the Publication does not have a Custom domain, will revert to the default medium.com link instead of using the Profile’s Domain.

My Setup

Here is a reference to my settings for everyone.

  • Profile page: blog.zhgchg.li (I only use the subdomain blog.zhgchg.li because the main domain has other uses)

I originally set up a Publication page but later removed it ; because I don’t have many followers and my self-generated traffic is limited, I need to rely heavily on traffic from search engines like Google. If the Publication page also uses a Custom Domain, it will cause the article links to become my domain, but my domain is still too new, ranking very low in search results, and unable to attract traffic.

Setting only the Profile and not the Publication has one advantage: the original Medium links can still be indexed by Google; additionally, you can also have a separate link for your own domain, achieving the best of both worlds. On one hand, you won’t lose the original traffic, and on the other, you can gradually build your domain’s Domain Authority.

Suitable Audience

Cultivating a Domain’s authority value from scratch requires a long period of accumulation. I think this feature is most suitable for those who already have website services (e.g., musicplayer.com). If you want to build a community, you can directly use Medium, and at this time, the domain can be used (blog.musicplayer.com).

  1. Directly use the Medium platform to write articles (and currently, more and more customization features are being opened), 2. The domain itself also has DA, so it won’t affect SEO too much.


Domain Part:

Obtain according to your preference from Namecheap (this article uses this as an example) or Godaddy. The common .com price is about $200~$500 TWD per year; the price varies depending on the domain suffix and length, with rare ones costing millions or even billions.

Domain registration adopts a first-come, first-served strategy. Unless the domain name in that region has trademark protection, it can only be retrieved through legal means; otherwise, whoever registers first wins, and you can only negotiate to buy it from them. This has led to an investment (domain squatting) where people register a large number of domains and hold them without using them, waiting for someone to buy them.

Domains need to be paid annually or bought for x years at a time, with no lifetime purchase option. If you don’t continue to renew, it will be released after the protection period, allowing everyone to re-register.

However, I think friends who are running Medium are unlikely to encounter the problem of domain squatting because most are individuals. I used my internet account zhgchg.li to register, and no one had registered it before. If you happen to encounter a duplicate, you can change the suffix, such as .div/.net, etc.

For suffixes, you can refer to the List of Internet Top-Level Domains, but it doesn’t mean that you can apply for all of them. It depends on the regulations of the domain’s country, and the agency platform ( Namecheap, Godaddy, etc.) may not necessarily sell domains with that suffix.

For example, my .li is the domain of Liechtenstein, which currently has no requirements for the identity of the domain registrant. Anyone and any company can register; and only Namecheap still sells it.

Benefits of having the surname Li?

Benefits of having the surname Li?

By the way, my spelling zhgchg.li is also called a Domain Hack; a better example is google => goo.gl.

Medium Part:

Currently, the one-time $75 setup fee has been canceled, and now Medium paid members can use it ( $5 per month / $50 per year); but I actually prefer the original one-time setup fee QQ; because I am mostly a creator, I don’t need the subscription rights of a paid member, and the monthly/yearly fee system is more burdensome for me, forcing me to consider joining the paywall plan Orz.

2021/04/05 Update

What happens if you join the membership plan first, set up a custom domain, and then stop renewing the membership?

After testing, the custom domain remains effective even after the membership expires!

Start Setting Up

1. Purchase & Obtain Domain (using Namecheap as an example)

First, go to the Namecheap official homepage to search for your desired domain name:

Get the search results:

The button on the right shows “Add To Cart” indicating that the domain name is still available for registration and can be added to the cart for purchase.

If the button on the right shows “Make offer” or “Taken”, it means the domain name has already been registered. Please choose another suffix or change the domain name:

After adding to the cart, click “Checkout” at the bottom.

Enter the order confirmation page:

  • Domain Registration: Here you can choose AUTO-RENEW to automatically renew each year, or change the number of years to purchase at once.
  • WhoisGuard: Since domain information can be publicly queried by anyone (registration time, expiration date, registrant, contact information); this feature can change the registrant and contact information to show Namecheap instead of directly displaying your personal information, preventing spam messages. (This feature is chargeable for some suffixes, if it’s free, use it!)

Extract some whois information results of google.com, which can be queried here.

  • PremiumDNS: We know that a domain name is like a house number, meaning that seeing the house number will help find the location; this feature provides a more stable and secure “find the location” function. I think it’s unnecessary unless it’s a high-traffic e-commerce website where no errors can be tolerated.

After entering the credit card information, click “Confirm Order”.

Then the purchase is successful!

You will receive an order detail email.

2. Set up the domain (using Namecheap as an example)

After logging in, click Account in the upper left corner -> “Dashboard”.

After entering the “Dashboard”, switch to the “Domain List” tab, find the Domain you just bought, and click “Manage”.

After entering, switch to the last tab “Advanced DNS”.

Stay on this page and do not move, return to Medium.

Go to Medium’s settings page, find the “Custom domain” section in the “Profile” block, and click “Get started”.

For Publications, go to the “Homepage and settings” of Publications and find the “Custom domain” section at the bottom.

If it shows “Upgrade”, it means you need to upgrade to a paid user to use this feature.

Enter the settings page:

Enter your Domain name, ex: www.example.com

Remember the above information, then go back to the Namecheap settings page.

In the “ Advanced DNS “ tab, find the “ HOST RECORDS “ section

Click the “ ADD NEW RECORD “ button twice to create two new record fields.

Enter the information from Medium:

  • Select “A Record”
  • If you are using the main domain (ex: zhgchg.li), enter www. If you are using a subdomain like me, enter the subdomain name
  • Enter the IP as shown on Medium

Then click the “✔” on the right to complete the addition.

Check the “HOST RECORDS” section again to ensure the records are present.

If the records are present, the Namecheap settings are complete. Return to the Medium settings page.

Click “ Continue “ to proceed.

A processing page will appear, indicating the setup is complete!

Note that DNS settings for domain binding can take up to 48 hours to fully take effect. In my experience, it can be as quick as 15 minutes, but within 48 hours, you might be able to access it while others cannot.

If not yet effective, visiting the domain will show a 404:

Important Note

Links shared using a custom domain may become invalid if the custom domain is changed later.

Minor Issues

As of 2021/02/24, there are still some issues that need to be resolved by Medium:

[Custom domains are back!](https://blog.medium.com/custom-domains-are-back-2dee29560d59){:target="_blank"}

Custom domains are back!

But I believe it can now operate 99% normally!

If you cancel the paid membership… what will happen? Will it become invalid immediately?

Further Reading

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact me.




This article was first published in Traditional Chinese on Medium ➡️ View Here

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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