Culture Lab - Personal Websites
Why a build a personal website?
- stake out your personal space/name on the web
- a stable location you control to point your social media accounts to
What to use to build a site?
- What is WordPress? How is blogs.evergreen.edu different from wordpress.com different from wordpress.org?
- Alternatives include Squarespace, Tumblr, dropr and Wix
Multimedia and Fine Art portfolio examples:
- http://rameyfilms.com/index.html (evergreen alumna)
- http://cathydelacruz.com/ ((evergreen alumna)
Audio portfolio examples:
Create a WordPress Site at Evergreen
As an Evergreen student, you have access to create a site at http://blogs.evergreen.edu and get support. This is a great opportunity to explore the waters of creating your own website in preparation for managing your own after graduation.
To get started check out the WordPress Tutorial
Suggested themes for portfolio sites:
Always make sure themes are responsive and will look good across all device sizes.
Tips for building your web site
- Design it with your intended audience always in mind.
- What are your goals for your site?
- Look at how other's in your field are organizing their sites. Are there elements you like/dislike? Are there patterns you see being used across multiple sites in your field?
- Is it easy to view your work? Find your relevant experience.
How will people contact/connect with you?
- Consider connecting with social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
- Make sure you present a professional image; create social media accounts or pages for your professional persona separate from your personal accounts.
- Have you included a resume? make sure it be viewed in full on the site and then optionally downloaded as a PDF.
- Protect your privacy. Use contact forms whenever possible so you don't have to reveal your email address or phone number.
What about after graduation?
Getting your own website
Securing your own custom domain name
Every website has a unique web address. Best practices for choosing a custom domain name:
- short, descriptive, easily communicated, not easily confused with other websites
- first and last name .com
- domain registration happens via a domain registrar. Often times web hosts will also offer domain registration. Coupling domain registration and web hosting is the easiest way to manage as each will have to be renewed annually.
- What about some of the new TLDs like .name, .design
Web Hosting and Editing Platforms
Web hosts are the folks who host your website on their internet connected web servers. They can host simple html files but now, more often they additionally host web editing platforms such as WordPress, Wix or Squarespace. Before you commit to a web host:
- Create a trial account and make sure it feels easy to use and meets all of your site's requirements.
- Add up all of the recurring costs (domain + web hosting)
- some platforms are Open Source such as WordPress which means if you don't like your web host you can always move your code to another server
- some platforms are proprietary such as Squarespace - web sites built here will have limited export functionality
Register your site with the major search engines
Getting your site found by the major search engines can take time. By manually registering it can speed up the process.
Is my site successful?
A great way to measure how many people visit your site is to set up a Google Analytics account. You'll then need to use a plugin or manually add the Google Analytics code into your site.