Picking a Domain Name

So we knew we wanted to start a website for our journey and one of the first big to do items was picking a domain name.  Based on work I’ve done in the past, I’ve found that picking a domain name is becoming very difficult.  Most of the easy ones are gone due to the billions of people on the internet, unless you get incredibly lucky.  Creativity is the key.  You don’t want it too long or be tough to decipher.  I highly recommend you do it with someone else who you can bounce ideas off.  When you think of one, first find out if someone already has it.  Unless you are rich, you probably don’t want to pay someone for a domain they are cybersquatting on.  I use godaddy.com to do a search which will tell you whether you’ve found an unused one.

The .com “top-level domain” (TLD) is the one you ideally want but if you must have a specific name and don’t care about the TLD you could go for another that is available.  Here’s a good article on the ins and outs of TLDs and another about picking a domain name.

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Best Blogging Platform?

So you’re doing something big in your life and you want to document your experiences online for posterity.  What is the best blogging platform to use is an important decision to make.  For those of us who consider time a valuable resource, choosing a free, fully functional and well featured solution is definitely the way to go.  I suppose if your super geeky and have a LOT of time on your hands you could open up your favourite text editor (vim, emacs, notepad++, textedit) and start hacking away at php, html, css, js etc.  I wouldn’t mention it to anyone if you did. 😉

After a few minutes of research it quickly became clear that WordPress is by far the people’s best blogging platform of choice.  As a result, we’ve joined the masses and setup WordPress to use as our travel journal/blog.  We’ll be documenting the process of preparing for an awesome trip round the world and then actually doing it.  Installation was easy and it seems straight forward to use and very well supported with a huge community.  Currently it’s on our home Linux server (Ubuntu) in the basement that runs ronin-tech.com.  At some point the server and basement will be gone along with most everything else we own. 😯

So we’ll need to migrate it to a website hosting service ASAP.  Add that to the list of things to investigate and do.  It looks like you can do amazing things with just WordPress and it’s free plugins and themes.  However if your blog takes off, there’s a plethora of paid plugins and themes available.  This is probably why WordPress appears to be the most popular blogging platform out there.

Update Sept. 10th, 2015:  I’ve moved our blog to siteground.com using their GoGeek server package and our shiny new carryonrtw.com domain name.  😎