Domain of One’s Own: Setting Up

If you have already signed up and secured your domain, check out our Domain of One’s own’s account management documentation for next steps!

Signing Up

Click the “Get Started” Button

Screenshot of the Get Started button

You will be redirected to log in for verification. You will use your Bryn Mawr username and password to log in.

Screenshot of Digital Bryn Mawr login page


Choosing Your Domain Name

Screenshot of the Choose Your Domain page. It says: It looks like this is your first time here. To sign up for a domain, you can choose your domain name below and follow the steps to complete the signup process.

Choosing your domain name is the first step in getting started with staking your claim on the web. Your domain name is a unique web address (e.g. that can be used to build out your own digital presence. As you make your choice, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Your Domain Name Must Be Available: Domain names must be unique, which means in order for you to claim your own, you need to be sure that it is currently available (and not being used by anyone else at Bryn Mawr). There are lots of tools to check on domain availability, and when you sign up on, we’ll check the availability of your choice for you. All domains contain “,” but when you leave Bryn Mawr, you can migrate your website to another hosting account or company.

Choose a Domain You Can Live With: You should choose a domain name that you feel you can live with for quite some time. You should pick something that you won’t find embarrassing in the future. A good rule of thumb is to pick a domain that you would be comfortable putting on a future job application.

You May Wish to Include Your Name in Your Domain: There is no requirement that your domain reflects your specific identity in the form of your first and last name. However, choosing a domain name that includes your name may make it easier for you to achieve higher rankings in search engines when someone queries your real name.

Pick a Domain you Like: At the end of the day, your domain should reflect you. Pick a domain you like and are proud of. It can reflect your interests, sports you play, or your hobby. Or it could just be your name. The “right” domain for you is the one you’re comfortable with.


What you put up in Digital Bryn Mawr space rests entirely with you. You can choose not to pick a domain that reveals your name. You can use a pseudonym on your actual site.

However, if you choose to later purchase your own domain (e.g., your name does get published as part of the public record about your domain name. Anyone can find it by looking up details about the ownership of that domain name through a public “Whois” request. This is NOT an issue if you’re already planning on using your name openly on your site (in your domain name or elsewhere). This option is aimed, specifically, at those who, for whatever reason, feel they want to take every precaution to hide their identity on their site.

What Can You Do with Your Account?

Your ability to do things on is dictated to a large degree by the limits of your imagination. Here are some ideas that might help you get started:

Install a Web Application in Your Space makes it very simple to install certain web applications.  Web applications are special software that run on a web server and help you to build and manage a website. The type of site you build depends on the type of application you install. Here are some examples of applications that you can install within the Digital Bryn Mawr web hosting interface:

WordPress: WordPress is a blogging application. Installing WordPress allows you to quickly and easily set up a blog, but you can also use WordPress to set up any kind of basic website. We have resources available that are focused on installing and using WordPress.

 Mediawiki: If you’ve ever browsed or edited Wikipedia, you’ve already used Mediawiki. It is the open-source wiki software that runs the online encyclopedia, and you can install it in your web space. It’s a good choice if you’re interested in publishing documents and then collaborating with others on them. We have instructions for installing Mediawiki.

omeka badgeOmeka: This application is a good choice if you’re looking for a way to create and display online digital collections. It was designed to be user-friendly, both during installation and setup and during daily usage. We have instructions for installing Omeka.

Scalar: Scalar is a content management system with the idea of creating non-linear books on the web. If you are looking for a way to create and share media-rich texts, Scalar might be the perfect tool for you. We have instructions for installing Scalar.

These are just a FEW of the open-source applications that are available to you in your Digital Bryn Mawr web space.  We encourage you to read more about what web applications are and which ones are available to you through this project.


What Exactly is a Web Application?

In the most general terms, a web application is software that runs on a web server. A web server is a designated computer set up to host webpages.  When installed, web applications create an environment that allow users to build websites.

The applications you install will determine what kind of website you will ultimately build. We have separate documentation for different applications, including WordPressScalar, Omeka and MediaWiki.

Most web applications are comprised of two components: files and a database. When you install a web application, you will need to make sure all of the files are copied over into the appropriate location AND that a database (and database user) has been set up to connect to those files. Often, you will have to do some configuration to make sure the application knows how to access the database.

The system we use for uses a special script installer called Installatron (in cPanel) that allows you to automatically install dozens of open source applications. When you use Installatron, you don’t need to worry about moving files, creating databases, or doing the initial configuration. It’s all taken care of for you.