That is right, it is best translated into English as "My name is John." You could also say that as "Mon nom est John."
But the verb s'appeler literally means "to call onself" so the literal translation of Je m'appelle is "I call myself (John)". It is the same construction in Spanish :)
But in general, it is always best to "memorize" or understand the phrases you learn in a way you would actually say it in English. I would never say "I call myself Jill." for example. But I still understand that Je m'appelle Jill communicates to my interlocutor that my name is Jill.
Hope that helps :)