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).
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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”