Personal Web Site - Where do I start?

I’m an ID student interested in doing some freelance work during school, and would like to get a personal portfolio web site going to offer a more personalized experience than my coroflot portfolio.

My question is: Where do I start?

What are the costs involved?
How do you buy a domain name?
(I assume this is better than a free place like blogspot?)
How do I know which hosting services are the best?

To start I’m just going to use iWeb and try to squeeze something original out of that. No crazy flash stuff. Later on it might get a little more refined if I learn Dreamweaver, but not super flashy.

Advice? Experiences? Recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

Godaddy is an easy place to start for hosting. The costs are fairly low and they’re large enough to be pretty reliable. I’ve had my own hosting for years @ $60/yr for 500 megs of space, and thats actually small by todays standards (but still MORE than you’d ever need for a personal site).

Thanks for the advice. I did some searching in the meantime and found they were the biggest player. I’ll probably end up going that route…

Any other advice?

Don’t waste your time trying to create a spectacular Flash Intro, or a Flash Menu for that matter. Unless you’re a web developer in your spare time it will show just how inexperienced you are with web development. I suggest a simple page with quick links to portfolio, resume, etc. Something like Simpleviewer is pretty great for slide show type work.

Thanks NURB, I appreciate the warning on flash stuff, I’ve noticed many similar warnings elsewhere on the boards. Is Simpleviewer free/not hundreds of dollards? If so, I’ll look into it…

EDIT: Looks like I found what I need…

Do you know what specific options you chose? It’s hard to make sense of all the options…

I actually use another hosting company but I’ve used Godaddy for other people. Their cheapest hosting economy option should be more than enough and is under $4/month if you order for a few years (recommendable if you plan on keeping it up for a while.)

Thanks again, I’ll look into it some more now…

If you are on a mac you can look into rapidweaver to build your web site. Additionally, you can do research online and purchase or modify existing iweb themes to suite your needs. here are a few too look into. Just remember to keep it simple and clean. its all about your work.

Google “CSS template” and you’ll find plenty of websites offering template websites–many of them are free. You will need basic HTML skills to customize to your needs and to upload to your domain, or you could just find a fellow student that knows how to hack a little.

iWeb and a .mac account is the easiest way to get started. iWeb is so easy to use, a 2nd grader could put together a site.

also, the current trend seems to be just starting your own free blog. A lot of people are doing this now, though Richard was the first I really saw of it.

While I’ll be moving away from this in the near future with a relaunch, my entire site is currently run by Blogger blogs…they all get called up by a single “non blog” HTML page by the navigation links.


Blogger is supremely easy to use, and and a quick way to get lots of easy to edit content online.

Maybe I’ll go the .mac route actually… godaddy has such a complicated web site, the .mac might be worth a little extra money each year…

Thanks everyone for the advice. Hopefully this can help others in the same situation…

Just remember .mac is now Mobile Me, and while they provide full hosting it’s $100/year AND requires a seperate domain name registrar.

Unless you want to deal with 2 services, pay more money, and not use the rest of .mac (photo hosting, email, calendaring) then it really isn’t worth it.

Godaddy may have a clunky site, but all you have to do is pick the economy hosting plan, sign up, read the forms, and then just understand how HTML web pages work so you can upload some files and get going.

Lol, thanks Cyber demon, I keep flip-flopping before I have enough info. I didn’t know the domain name was not included. I guess I’ll wade through GoDaddy after all. Thanks!

Do I need a separate file uploading program or can I do it with existing software and a little research?

I’m with godaddy as well. The site is uber over complicated, and I hate how I always feel they are trying to get me to buy more stuff, but it is cheap, and reliable. A real commodity service.

Actually, I may have mis spoke, maybe THENATE was first?

Do I need a separate file uploading program or can I do it with existing software and a little research?

It all depends on what software you plan to use :slight_smile: Iweb will allow you to export your web site to a local folder, you would then need to upload those files via FTP to your server. A good free FTP client for the mac is Cyberduck FTP allows you to browse (delete/move/etc.) the files of your web site similarly to how you do on your desktop.

Rapid Weaver and Dream Weaver have built in FTP capabilities.

This link seems to have good overview of the web. Might be worth reading. Specifically the section titled “Setting the Stage”

Hope this helps.

Windows XP can connect directly to FTP sites and map them as a shortcut for easy access - uploading is as simple as dragging and dropping.

OS X can too. In finder, click the “go” menu, and choose “connect to server…” :wink: