Mise en place: Picking a Name

This entry is from my series: Starting A Blog Using WordPress and Dreamhost.

Mise en place is a cooking term from the French “Everything in place”. What it means in cooking is you gather all of the ingredients for a recipe and measure them out into little containers before you start cooking at all. This insures you have everything you need before you start cooking and don’t suddenly find you need a cork screw when the wine needs to be added now.

So before we open up Dreamhost and start building our WordPress blog, we want to make sure we have all the ingredients we are going to need.

You need to ask your self a few questions before you start installing WordPress.

What is this blog about?

Are you going to have a very specific blog topic, or is this just a general personal blog. Reactuate is a general personal blog, but for the purposes of this article I’m going to create a new blog to go with a web app I’m building. It will be a development blog and a behind the scenes blog once PhotographerAndModel.com goes live.

Once you know your topic, you need a name.

What are you going to call the blog?

You can call it anything, and I personally like to either make the name about what the blog is about, something cute, or something totally made up.

Be aware as you start to come up with names, you are going to one day want a domain name, and most of the short domains that mean anything are already taken. So you might want to go to GoDaddy.com and try some names out.

What the Blog Is About It would be great if you were starting a digital photography blog and you could get the domain digitalphotography.com. But you can’t. You might be able to get something really long joeblowsdigitalphotography.com, but users might have trouble typing that whole thing in.

The biggest reason to use something about the topic is SEO, which we’ll talk about in the future, and ease of remembering.

Cute These work especially well if your blog is about you. Molly’s Head or Cranial Infusion are eye catchers. But probably not where someone will look for a new digital camera. Maybe a new rock band to listen to though.

Something Made Up Or you could just make up a name. Like Reactuate. These are easy to get domains. They are short so users don’t have to type much. But they may be hard to remember, and you will end up spelling them every time you tell someone about them.

I ended up with Reactuate because I wanted something that said “put in to action”. Which actuate did, but it was already taken. Then since I have a tendency to have to start over, I added re to it and got a domain that wasn’t taken.

And realize what ever you pick may grow on you. I liked Reactuate so much that when I started doing photography I used that name to. Now I have Reactuate Photography.

Picking a name is a topic that could go on forever, well just leave it here.

You Need One Word

When we get to the installing part we are going to have use one word to tag various things so pick something that can be used for those purposes.

You’ll need a Dreamhost account

If you are actually going to follow along and create a new blog, you’ll need a Dreamhost account. The $7.95 a month Crazy Domain account will work fine, and you’ll get a domain registration with it.

Go Ahead And Get A Domain

If you are going to get your own domain go ahead and register it. If you are signing up via Dreamhost, I’m sure there is a part where they will guide you through registering. If not I’d recommend using GoDaddy, because it is where I have all my domains and it is cheaper than Dreamhost.

Go Daddy will need to know what computers are going to be responsible for your name. These are called name servers. These are Dreamhost’s nameservers.

It can take a couple of days for a domain to “propagate” by we’ll be able to start installing before that.

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One Comment

  1. Louise says:

    Hi Ron,
    I just had to take a moment to thank you for all your wonderful information (I especially got a kick out of the recipe analogy:) I am in the process of researching the steps to registering my own domain name in particular with Dreamhost. Further investigation needed. Thanks again, Louise

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