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Preparing for Countdown

Published: March 22, 2017 (almost 3 years ago)

Today, I focused on setting up email and twitter accounts so I could begin to get the word out for Matchpoint.

When you’re getting started it’s tough to know what to do if you’ve never done this sort of thing before, so here’s a quick walkthrough on some of the steps I’ve taken so far.

Domain name registration

The very first thing most online businesses are faced with is registering a domain name. A lot of experts say your domain has to be .com or don’t bother. These days, it’s mattering less and less if you’re .com, .io, .us, or dot anything else. Dot com is cybersquated to the point you have to string three full words together to have find a name that’s not taken. When was the last time you strictly judged a website you landed on by it’s TLD (top-level domain)? They were a novelty 5 years ago (circa 2012). Today, they barely stiffle a yawn, so my suggestion: Hunt for a great name amongst the new TLD’s. I found mine, “matchpoint.io” in 15 minutes. A quick Google of “matchpoint” in general turned up very little other than the movie and a NYC fitness center. Perfect for me and mentioning the choice of name to several of my friends nearly always gets the response, “Isn’t that already taken for a tennis website?” If it was, it’s no longer operational as far as I can tell. The great Wayback Machine finds “matchpoint.com” last operational in 2008 and generally tool for pairing businesses with potential leads.

These days, I register all my domains at namecheap.com. They have a great set of tools and interface for managing your domains and SSL certificates without all the garbage upsell and super slow websites many are accustomed to from GoDaddy and others. Their customer service totally rocks.

So, new domain: matchpoint.io

Set up the website

The next step was a two part step because I wanted to set up both a WordPress blog and a community server known as (Discourse)[https://www.discourse.org/]. Since discourse is distributed as a Docker container, I had to do the set up in reverse to how I’d normally do things, which is to say, I hopped over to Digital Ocean, created a droplet and then deployed Discourse through it’s standard Docker-based installation instructions.

Once Discourse was up and running, I then modified the docker container to also run WordPress under Nginx. This was the first time I ran both Discourse and WordPress on same server together and it proved to be a lot less painful than expected.

Write some Initial Content

I did not spend a whole lot of time on content, but I did try to focus on getting enough material in place that it wasn’t barren place to land for new users. I wanted to be clear about my purpose for Matchpoint and paint a picture for my vision of what’s to come.

A period of Dormancy

I wasn’t sure how I was going to write a mobile app, but I knew that was the missing link to bringing forth my vision for an easy way to schedule matches. Everyone’s communicating with a smartphone these days and very few dropping down to emails, a completely different scene compared to just 5 years ago!

While I tried out various mobile platforms, none really got me excited for a while and all meant quite a steep learning curve, so I didn’t have a whole lot to write about or promote. Today, I have my tooling and I’m actively developing. It’s time to start talking more about what I’m doing and here we are.

Set up Email for the domain.

Ever question the validity of a domain, website, or source of content because that email address you see is a @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, etc.? That’s why it’s critical to have an address to go with your domain and I use a great free hosting provider alternative to Google’s gmail. http://zoho.com will give you a few email inboxes and a hefty amount of storage for free, so you can get started with an email address that matches your domain at no cost.

With email, comes Twitter

Twitter is the social medium I use the most and so it’s important I get this account set up and associated with my matchpoint.io domain and email addresses. Along with setting up the new account, I’ve begun following tennis related news and accounts that share tennis news so I can start to know my audiences.

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