Hello everyone! Here is an email (edited for confidentiality) I received from a reader last semester that I’d like to share with you all. At the time he had just been accepted to AUC and was interested in starting a blog too. This semester, I finally got to meet him… he’s a nice, jolly fellow!
I was visiting your blog and I must say you rock. How did you start this blog, and is it easy to set up? I would love to compare my experiences to yours. That way people can have various perspectives on what’s going on. Love to be your cohort in crime!
Thanks for visiting my site! That’s awesome you want to start a blog too.. we need more of us “cohorts in crime” out there! And congratulations on your acceptance to AUC as well!
It’s pretty easy to set up a blog. WordPress and Blogger both offer free personal blogs, and they’re easy to use. If you are new to blogging and just want an informal place to express your thoughts, these two sites are great places to start, and lots of people use them.
Like many people, I originally started with a free Blogger site, but after making the first entry, I realized how limiting it is. Because I wanted a web address that was truly my own, like “www.caribbeanmedstudent.com” rather than “caribbeanmedstudent.blogspot.com” or “caribbeanmedstudent.wordpress.com,” I decided to purchase a domain name. And also because I wanted to put a lot of stuff on my site, which would take a lot of memory, I also decided to rent out space in cyberspace to upload and store my site content. This means purchasing a hosting plan from a hosting company. There are several companies out there to choose from, and many of them offer free domain names with a hosting plan. Some plans give you a certain amount of space, like 1GB, while others give you unlimited storage space, for a higher price. You can expect to pay around $10/year for a domain name and about $10/month for hosting with unlimited space. I also highly recommend purchasing SSL from the hosting company to protect your site from hackers and viruses. Some companies you could look into are GoDaddy and Laughing Squid.
Next I downloaded WordPress for free (the downloadable version of wordpress, rather than the online version they have), and uploaded all the files onto the server using FileZilla (also free). I followed the directions at http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress and used WordPress as the template for my site. I added a whole bunch of free widgets from various sites, and now I have a blog!
If you don’t intend to pay this much, like I mentioned above, WordPress and Blogger also provide free blogs, but like I said before, it all depends on what you intend to do with your new site.
Hope this helps and I’ll look forward to seeing your new blog!
Your cohort in crime,