I’ve been trying to encourage colleagues to join Twitter (details here). Along with Twitter, several people have asked me how to make a website/blog with your name dot org as the URL. This is important in our “new digital age” where you need to brand yourself and share your work. You want your blog to come up at the top of Google when people search for you. These type of websites have traditionally been created by book publishers for their authors, but now it’s common practice and cheap/easy to do. Think about your audience. Your blog will be read by your patients, your colleagues, and random strangers from around the world. Always keep your audience in mind when you are writing.
I’ve created a number of websites over the years and currently have a couple of active ones: www.philiplederer.org and my wife’s, www.kristenlee.org. It costs about $25 / year and I think it’s absolutely worth it to have a custom domain name. It looks much more professional than a blog that is http://www.yourname.wordpress.com.
Here’s what to do. The first part is at Namecheap (where you register your domain) and the second part is at WordPress (where you design and update your website).
- Sign up at www.namecheap.com
- Click on domains
- Click on register
- Under “Register a domain,” put in the name of the domain you want to purchase (i.e. your name, http://www.philiplederer.org)
- Click search
- Add the name of the domain to your cart. It’s usually $12.48/year
- Click view cart
- Click confirm order
- Purchase the domain.
- Go back to your dashboard
- Click on “Manage”
- Click on Domain List
- Click on Domain
- Under nameservers, put in ns1.wordpress.com, ns2.wordpress.com, ns3.wordpress.com, exactly how it appears below in the image, and save your changes.
- You will have to log into Namecheap once a year and pay them $12.48, or you can turn on auto-renew. But Namecheap is not going to be a website you will be visiting frequently.
- Now the fun begins– you will build and design your own website. Go to http://www.wordpress.com — this is a place will be visiting frequently. They also have an iPhone app for blog updates on-the-go.
- Click create website
- Choose one of their templates (Canard, for example)
- Where it says, “Already own a domain,” click on “Map it for $13”
5. Click “select free plan”
6. Give your email address, username, and password, and pay $13.
7. You will get an address like kristenleedotorg.wordpress.com
8. Go to the main menu. It will have a drop-down menu on the left. This is where you play around with the website. You can choose to create different pages, upload photos, etc. Appearance -> menus is where you set up where the pages will go on the menu. I suggest you have an “About” page that describes your work. A “Contact” page should have your clinical contact information. Check out http://www.philiplederer.org and http://www.kristenlee.org to see how we set up our sites.
9. Most important is the blog itself. I suggest you have a blog that you update regularly. Your blog entries don’t have to be long. Short updates are valuable to your readers if you are sharing important information. You can also set your blog to automatically post on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.
10. Save your website and make it “live.” It may take a few hours for the namecheap servers to put your website online.
11. I suggest you try to write at least 1 blog post per week. Again, they don’t have to be long, but they will help you share your expertise with others. When you take the time to write a blog post I suggest you make sure to “tag” your colleagues who may be interested, especially on Twitter, and ask them to please retweet you.
Thanks so much for visiting my website! Writing and reading blog posts does take time and we all know that time is in short supply. You and I will both get much more out of this blog if it leads to dialogue. If you found my post useful and wouldn’t mind leaving a brief comment or sharing on social media, I would be grateful. Or if you’re shy about Tweeting but are willing to email me a comment that I can post anonymously, that would be great. My posts are generally written quickly, so if you find any factual or grammatical errors, please do let me know. Best regards, Philip Lederer