You’ve been reading them for a while and now you’re thinking of setting up your own. “I can write better than all these idiots!,” you shout. And then you silently ask yourself “where do I start?” Well, you’ve come to the right place. My first series will be about setting up your blog. My very first post will be about claiming your name on the web and registering a domain.
STEP 1: Choose a name
The first step in setting up your blog is choosing your name. Pretty simple, right? You’d think so but I have always spent the most time here. Your name must be simple enough to be remembered yet not too simple to be unmemorable.
For example, Smart launched a new website service: uzzap.com. It’s a way for people to IM via their cellphones. I’ve been hearing about this since last week but I only got it a while ago – it sounds like the tagalog word for talk – usap. It’s hard because you have to use 2 Z’s. When DJ’s read it on air, they read is as “you zap” so you don’t know if it has 1 z or 2. And frankly, there are so many other services available that it doesn’t make sense to make things any harder for your audience.
Also, remember that because you’ll be removing the spaces when you write your domain, you may be forming new (sometimes unfortunate) words.
Case in point:
Who Represents is a site that lets you find the name of the agent representing a celebrity.
Experts Exchange is a website/forum where programmers can help each other.
Pen Island is an online website where you can order custom made pens.
STEP 2: Check Your Wallet
Now that you have the domain name you want, you have to decide whether you want to spend anything on it or not. The advantage of using free services like blogger, tumblr, multiply, or wordpress.com is that, aside from them being free, you don’t have to set anything up – at least nothing technical. Everything can be handled through user friendly interfaces.
*note: I’ll review the free services in a later entry.
In terms of content, unless you’re planning to start a porn blog/website, everything’s pretty much allowed in these free services.
The main disadvantage is that your site screams “amateur.” And if you want to eventually earn money from your blog, this would be a major disadvantage.
STEP 3a: Registering for a free blog
This is a no brainer. Just go to the service of your choice and register there. Some options are Blogger, Tumblr, Multiply, Live Journal, or WordPress.com. I’m sure there are others out there but these are the most popular.
STEP 3b: Buying your domain
Go to any domain registrar and check if the domain already exists. Everyone has a page in front that lets you check whether a domain name is still available.
When you see that your domain is still available, buy it through a domain registrar. There are many registrars on the web with the biggest being GoDaddy.com.
Aside from GoDaddy.com, some other registrars are Namecheap.com, Moniker.com, Dynadot.com, Dotster.com.
There are TONS of reviews on the web already comparing all of these so instead of doing a review of my own, I’ll tell you how to look for a review.
Choose a review that is:
- As current as possible – i.e. at least written in the same year. That’s self explanatory.
- Look for personal experience in customer service. Remember that you’re transacting with a company whose office you probably will never see. Make sure that even with the distance, they make every effort to keep you happy.
Once you’ve chosen, just follow the instructions on your registrar of choice.
Personally, I use GoDaddy.com. They’re customer service has a very quick response time and I always have a lot of questions. Aside from being quick, they’re also very very nice. I applied for a domain transfer with them but later on found out that my domain has expired in my old registrar. Since I had to renew my subscription with my old domain, I couldn’t transfer the domain to them immediately. I asked for a refund from them and they gave it to me without a fuss. For me, if they value their customers more than the money they get, then that’s GREAT SERVICE. Because of that, I've registered a ton of domain names all with GoDaddy.com (and 1 still with my old registrar).
Feeling excited yet? Keep posted for the next articles in this series where I’ll talk about getting a host, the best way to make payments online, choosing a blog platform, and much more.
See you around!
(photo from William Warby)