Today I changed my blogs url from mammasaurus.wordpress.com to mammasaurus.co.uk and for any newer bloggers out there who have been wondering how to do it - here's my little guide! So... you have a regular free wordpress account that you set up back when you started blogging and thought that a free blog was the way forward but now you are thinking ' maybe now I'd like to move away from the .wordpress 'label'
There are two ways to achieve the move from yourblog.wordpress.com to yourblog.com without taking the bigger step of opting to self host.
Option One: If you do not have not purchased a registered domain (Registering a domain through WordPress.com and mapping that domain to your blog)
Go to your Wordpress dashboard and head to Store and click Domains. It gives you a little box in which you can add the name of the domain that you would like in an ideal world. Then click Add domain to blog - don't fret you aren't committing to buy anything at this point. You then get taken to a page where it tells you if the url you like is available - it gives you the option to buy .com, .net, .org, and .me. Sadly you cannot buy the domain yourblog.co.uk through Wordpress - if a .co.uk url is what you are looking for then you'll need 'Option Two' below.
To register a domain this way through Wordpress costs $17 per year, per blog (about £10.90).
Once you have purchased the domain you then can add the new domain as your 'Primary Domain'. If anyone visits your 'old' url Wordpress directs them automatically to your new one.
Option Two: Purchasing your domain elsewhere and hosting it via Wordpress (Mapping a domain you already own)
This is what I had to do as I wanted mammasaurus.co.uk. You can register and purchase domains from many places, I happened to choose GoDaddy as Wordpress recommended it. I registered and bought my domain and then followed the Wordpress instructions on Domain Mapping. In the 'Get Started' section there's an option Map an existing domain'(one you already own) to your WordPress.com blog.' If you go to that link it talks you through what to do. This option costs you $12 per year (about £7.70), per blog through Wordpress. This is an additional expense to your registered domain costs - my co.uk cost £6.95 for 1 year and will auto-renew in a years time with the money being taken from Papasaurus bank account (believe it or not I don't have one!) Great for me as I a a forgetful monkey at the best of times.
Once your domain is purchased and you have followed the instructions given by that Wordpress Map an existing domain link(one you already own) to your WordPress.com blog page you can then buy the domain mapping via Wordpress- Dashboard-Store-Domains. It takes a little while to update - mine took 45 minutes - and then you can set your 'Primary Domain' as your new fancy url. If anyone visits your 'old' url Wordpress directs them automatically to your new one.
And there you have it! I will go self hosted at some point but for now I feel like I have taken a step in the right direction!
ps. I am not an evil agent of Wordpress or GoDaddy - just trying to help anyone else who is trying to work out how it's done !
pps. I have just spotted a Google video that shows you how to do the same thing in Blogger too for those who are interested -
http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1233381 (click on buy a custom domain through Blogger)