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The tests have come back positive – you’re going to have a baby! No rush to find a name: you have months to agonize over the perfect cadence, the syllables and letters that will lovingly match the rest of the family’s designations. So when you are spared just ten minutes to pull a worthy name out of the hat for your blog, well, chances are you haven’t really thought it through.

bunny out of hatIn a WordPress class the other night, it became apparent that we hadn’t spent enough time on individual naming briefs. And even if we had, things change. Perhaps your initial intention to write your memoirs was superseded by a desire to visually share your DIY projects. From a long-copy blog format to a highly visual photograph theme in a few easy steps: the beauty of WordPress is that you can try out different looks for free and switch over without having to start over.

Even if the name you chose no longer has any relevance to the content.

When you sign up for a WordPress.com account, you are asked to provide – among other things – a username and a blog address, plus you can pick up a custom domain name while you’re at it. Once inside, you’ll be asked to add a blog title. Let’s take a look at how these names relate to each other and what to do if you change your mind.

  1. Blog address: this is how people find your website. The name you choose must be unique (that is, be available to register) and will be part of a longer address: example.wordpress.com
  2. Username: this is the name you will use to log in to your account at http://www.wordpress.com. It can be the same as the first part of your blog address. However, if you intend to set up more than one blog within your account, you may prefer to use a non-related name.
  3. A custom domain: if you have already registered a domain name example.com (or .dk or other extension) from a domain name registrar, you can point that name to your WordPress blog address. However, to properly replace the “.wordpress.com” portion from your address you will have to purchase a mapping upgrade through WordPress (who also offer custom domain registration).
  4. Your blog title: is different from your blog address because you can use more than one word and add spaces! Think of it as the tile of a book or a movie – appropriate to your content, of course. It is displayed in the header of many WordPress themes and also in the title area of your web browser.

clapboard girl - another take

So you want another take on the name?

Take up another blog instead!

Maybe you don’t want to discard the original name, just park it for later? You can create as many blogs/sites as you have time and content for.

create another blogOr hang up a new sign

Perhaps it’s not the address that’s troubling you, maybe you’re just hankering after a different blog site title? Under Settings => General you can change that (and the tagline) as often as you wish:change site title in general settingsIn some cases you may choose not to include a blog or site title if your header also includes the same information for your visitors.

Want a catchier address?

If the address you hand out to people to find your website is simply not what you want it to be, there is a way to change the blog address, as one of the students discovered! You only have access to the My Blogs overview from this link in your Dashboard and from there you can hover over the address where the links to make changes will appear:change blog addressThere are several options on the next screen that you need to carefully consider for your situation. For example, if you follow the prompt to also change your username it will have consequences for your account access, etc.

  • take action to change blog address

No move is complete without telling folks where you’ve gone

A word of caution: if you’ve had your site for a while – especially if you have created and shared quite a bit of content – you will want to redirect traffic looking for your old blog address to the new one for each page, post, etc. WordPress.com offers a Site Redirect service so that search engines will be able to make the connections.

Naming is a delicate process. At least with WordPress you haven’t etched the one that wasn’t meant to be in stone.

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