We have had the pleasure of helping many new comers to the Internet, it has been a most exciting and learning experience as we shared our knowledge with everyone we have worked with. It is important we think to provide people with options, just when you think there are but a few a myriad are but around the corner.
WORDPRESS.COM and .ORG
The Internet today, more than ever before, is loaded with options to make you look as wonderful as you are. WordPress is a great place to write about yourself and your experiences and an amazing place to start the uninitiated to the world of the Internet with the ability to get a website that you can change yourself off the ground right away as ones first step on the Web with a shareable idea and you can grow it to the point where you host it yourself if you want full control of your site. I am not a fan of that unless there is some greater purpose to it, and would love to see WordPress make it easy to do both at the same time, self hosting and hosting with content sharing, perhaps this is in the works already.
We just came across this site after looking at local illustration and artists to work with here in Toronto and quickly signed up to take a look at how easy it was to put your portfolio on line for those without a website or wanting to be part of such a community. It was easier than easy and within an hour we had a portfolio site up for our work with an about page and a place to link videos. The look and feel of this site is so simple that it does your portfolio work justice and can handle the basics of your needs simply and at no charge to you. Very nice site for the creative industry, fashion, art, illustration, modelling, actors, film and editing specialists and so on the list would continue forever.
Need a simple place to upload and share videos, Vimeo.com is a great space to do that and create a profile for yourself. With both a free entry with somewhat of a waiting period and a pay for better service option, it took 30 minutes to post and share our first video and then link it to GrandPortfolio.com.
Getting started on a web project is not the easiest thing in the world if you have decided you need one for your interests where your needs are greater than those offered by the WordPress, GrandPortfolio and other sites that allow you to make your own space. Often, the largest difficulty is grasping what your dollars will get you in the end and perhaps the look or usability of the end-result may not have been what you expected, we hope it is better than your expectations since we all do such projects to make the experience nice for our respective audiences, but sometimes the end result is missing something.
TemplateMonster.com is a great place to choose a template that matches the look and feel you are trying to achieve for your audience. It is like an art gallery for website design, you can buy a print of the design you like (download a copy) with a small license fee and get to work filling in the details of your offering much like a resume or document template, some have more involvement than that but I am sure you get the general idea. You are provided with the number of buyers of the design (download number) which is like the X of Y on a print of an original artwork piece from your favourite artist where in this case X is the number of downloads and Y is unlimited since there is no printing to speak of and finally a buy out price. If you like the design and wish no-one else to have it you can buy out the design completely a really nice option. I am unsure if the “buy out” price goes down with the number of prints (downloads) sold, it would make sense that it would do that, since 100 prints makes the original not worth as much as say, zero downloads, in this case it works opposite of art where the original is really valuable regardless of the number of prints. For a starting website endeavour it makes a great deal of sense to start with TemplateMonster.com and we recommend that you look there for a feel of what your money can get you and what your investment will look like when you are done.
Undeniably the basics of our Internet Presence are more and more becoming available and standard to all of us and the cost of these is coming down to sometime zero and then negligible after that based upon your needs and expectations. These are just a few examples of what we have come across.
Some other things you should interest yourself with that are free for the asking (maybe a little code additions to your site) are;
WebMaster Tools with all the search engines, where you can submit your site-map file of your website (WordPress creates one for you and a place to put in the ownership bits),
Google Custom Search (you can list the sites you want the search button on your website to scan through for results and it does the results part too).
Google Analytics (with some minor code on your site) you can add analytics that show you how many visitors, plus a thousand other stats, and where they are coming from.
Google Language translates your website into any language, just add the code to each page of your site with a little explaining and after they pick a language you get it auto-tranlating as they navigate.
PayPal, gets you up an running with payment online, great for deposits, balances and the like with no investment except signing-up, creating a button and copy/paste into the right spot on your site. No entrance fee, 2.9% on transactions 3K and down and it starts to go down after that. A good place to start off with online payment that most people identify as trusted by eBay.