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Author Topic: Jumping into the 21st Century! Website Hints?  (Read 3272 times)
tinyzombie
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« on: November 24, 2012, 11:34:27 PM »

I am probably setting myself up for spam just by starting this thread, but I care not. I am finally putting on my grownup pants and acquiring/designing my own website. Welcome to the 2000s, me!

I'd love to hear people's hints, tips, etc. I don't need to create anything too fancy - I think I will mostly just be posting publications and maybe linking to a moribund blog (which I also plan to reanimate, but, y'know, I know how that part is done).

I'm looking at designs on Wix.com (one of those "build your own site" shops). I do know how to code a wee bit, but I think it will only help me in editing. I've heard that 1&1 Domains and NameCheap are better than GoDaddy, so I'm looking into both of those.

All advice is warmly welcomed, o Fora Tech Denizens!

TZ
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pigou
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 2:52:12 AM »

I use a Wordpress site myself. I use only the static pages, resulting in a "regular" website, but it would be trivial for you to add a blog to your site. I think hosting the blog yourself would lead to a better looking site than linking to a third-party hosted blog.

wordpress.com are the hosted sites (usually blogs), whereas wordpress.org lets you download the content-management system. You'll want to use the latter. You can then upload the files to a host that supports wordpress and you can be up and running fairly quickly.
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egilson
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 12:16:59 PM »

I'm probably far too 1990s in my taste, but I prefer not to use template-based site creators like WordPress. Still, if you want a clean-looking site, that's probably all you need. If you instead want to learn what goes into sites rather than to have a site, I did that by using an HTML/CSS editor that displays code rather than being entirely WYSIWYG.

Though this may be far more in-depth than you want, A List Apart has been a good source for site design methods and theory for many years. You should also look at the World Wide Web Consortium just to see what the always-evolving standards are for HTML/XHTML and CSS, and also to make sure of their code validators if you do with something that isn't templated by someone else. W3C is also home to the Web Accessibility Initiative.

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tee_bee
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 3:12:33 PM »

Our university has been assimilated by Google Apps (to my delight, frankly), and we have access to Google Sites. It makes insanely basic websites, but you can add all sorts of Google Gadgets, so it works in my environment. I found Wordpress a bit hard to learn. But the payoff is impressive, with some beautiful websites.

I think web pages are still important, but less so than they were. I am entirely redesigning mine as a way to aggregate my on-line presence--twitter, LinkedIn (which is sort of lame, I think), campus Gmail, Moodle, etc.--and to provide an easy way for people to reach me, read and download my work, etc. With this in mind, I am trying to keep the design as simple, clean and elegant as possible, while keeping in mind the rather vast differences in screen resolution between my iMac (from which I am now writing), my Mac Air, my iPad, and my iPhone (if you can get a web design tool that renders a mobile version, that's kind of cool). In the end, clarity and simplicity are always better than clutter and "design" for its own sake.

Anyway, I am curious as to what others are saying. My web presence is a mess right now....
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 11:13:02 PM »

This is all so helpful! I will report back when I've had time to delve into the great info y'all have provided, but I wanted to post to say thank you.
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Quote from: usukprof
I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
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Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
Quote from: systeme_d_
You are all my people, and I love you.
usukprof
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.


« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 11:29:24 PM »

I'm really old-fashioned, and use emacs to write simple XHTML for my course pages.  But I do use a wiki for my research group including publications, which lets everyone update.

[PM me if you want links.]
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pigou
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 3:08:17 AM »

If you're looking for a host, I don't think you can beat these guys on price: http://www.lithiumhosting.com/shared.html

The basic plan gives you one domain, 2GB of storage, and 40GB of monthly bandwidth - much more than an academic website requires. At $10/year, that's less than a buck a month. (Also comes with a free trial for a month.)

Personally, I use bluehost.com as I got a 50% off coupon for 3 years. $3.50/month for unlimited domains seemed like a good deal. I also host a friend's domain on it, and it's convenient to have them on one account. However, the full price of $6.95/month seems a little excessive if you have only one website.
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tinyzombie
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elevate from this point on - chuck d


« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 6:27:37 AM »

If you're looking for a host, I don't think you can beat these guys on price: http://www.lithiumhosting.com/shared.html

The basic plan gives you one domain, 2GB of storage, and 40GB of monthly bandwidth - much more than an academic website requires. At $10/year, that's less than a buck a month. (Also comes with a free trial for a month.)

Personally, I use bluehost.com as I got a 50% off coupon for 3 years. $3.50/month for unlimited domains seemed like a good deal. I also host a friend's domain on it, and it's convenient to have them on one account. However, the full price of $6.95/month seems a little excessive if you have only one website.

And I call myself a researcher? I totally missed thus - thanks, pigou!

Tee_bee, I use google sites at work - they are day, and look nice. I might stick with it. Web design with a mobile interface is a great suggestion.
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Quote from: usukprof
I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
Quote from: dolljepopp
Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
Quote from: systeme_d_
You are all my people, and I love you.
mystictechgal
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One step at a time


« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 12:18:04 AM »

Dellaroux suggested webs.com to me a couple of years ago--she uses it for a couple of websites that she's built. I built a very nice website for my church over the course of a few hours--and I had not built one before, although I at least understood what was needed and the "lingo", as it were. They've been using it since, and although I am still nominally the site manager I long ago turned it over to someone on their staff who had very limited (aka, no) web experience. She's made changes in layout and content since then without ever having to call me for help after I gave her a quick one-on-one tutorial that took, at most, an hour or two. In some respects it's even nicer now than when I turned it over. (Having just looked at it for the first time in ages I do have one suggestion I'll be making. She's managed to hide the "join" feature.) Heck, even my Pastor uses it, and I think he only sat in on about half the tutorial.

It was, and is, free if your storage needs aren't great. The cost to increase storage is very reasonable (the church ponied up the money--and we're inner-city), and they often do promotions that make it even cheaper--and even when it was free it gave me great stats and tracking information.

You have reminded me. I did complain at the long-range planning meeting that it wasn't being promoted well, even to members, or used to its full potential, although it is now the first hit on Google for us instead of the abominable thing they have as a default hosted by the synod. I suppose I'm going to have to start taking an interest in it again.

It's web.com They're worth a look.
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shane_tactical1
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 12:10:40 AM »

I wouldnt recommend using 1&1 Domains or godaddy. Speaking from past experiences.
They are both ok until you come to needing support. 
Hostgator are excellent. Excellent support.
Netfirms are another company i have used.  The support is fair but their prices are good.

Wordpress is great as well. If you download a program like winscp or notepad ++ which are free you can code your own theme depending on how extensive your coding knowledge is. Lots of tutorials online as well.

Im a wordpress developer and build school systems on this platform.  Most of the staff using the system remark how incredibly easy it is to use and you also have the benefit of the wordpress app that you can use on apple and android devices.  Makes updating your site on the go very easy.
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larryc
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WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 12:28:06 AM »

Whatever you do make it mobile-friendly. Blogger sites do this automagically. Not sure about Google sites.
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bwwm1
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 11:07:17 AM »

I use Google App engine with Rapidweaver and a very little bit of python. It's totally free, other than whatever you pay for the domain name if you want one. If you can do without one then you won't pay unless you start getting heavy traffic on your site.
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tinyzombie
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elevate from this point on - chuck d


« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 11:44:23 AM »

This is all so great!

I am putting the Big Website Plan on hold to deal with life, but I might tool around over break. Please keep the great advice coming!
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Quote from: usukprof
I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
Quote from: dolljepopp
Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
Quote from: systeme_d_
You are all my people, and I love you.
egilson
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Posts: 3,662


« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 2:59:34 PM »

Out of reach unless you have or know someone with great graphics skills but inspiring none the less: css Zen Garden.
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llanfair
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 6:59:55 PM »

I'm glad you started this thread, TZ.  I've been thinking about doing this for a while now, but the SO (who's more web-savvy than I am) has graciously agreed to set me up, so it's time.  My guess is that USians won't have the same domain services I have access to here in Canada, but hopefully I can get some tips, anyway.  I'm looking at a static website with links to my published papers, resources, &c.
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