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Student Homepages


abacus123
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Hi guys,

In my program, it's recommended that we create our own homepages to be linked to the department website. Thing is, the options are wide open. I have marginal experience with HTML coding, enough to write up a page...that would've looked up-to-date back in 2002. I only know how to do simple pages. In trying to figure out what to do for a professional-looking homepage, I asked around my department. One of the other students in my department designed his page with a trial version of Adobe Dreamweaver, which works fine for him (when he needs to update, he just directly edits the script). Others downloaded templates online, but I'm having trouble finding professional looking templates. I was wondering if anyone else has had to create their own webpage, and how you went about it? If it becomes too complicated, I'll bite the bullet and write an old-fashioned looking page, but ideally I'd like to something a little more modern-looking.

Edited by abacus123
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Hi guys,

In my program, it's recommended that we create our own homepages to be linked to the department website. Thing is, the options are wide open. I have marginal experience with HTML coding, enough to write up a page...that would've looked up-to-date back in 2002. I only know how to do simple pages. In trying to figure out what to do for a professional-looking homepage, I asked around my department. One of the other students in my department designed his page with a trial version of Adobe Dreamweaver, which works fine for him (when he needs to update, he just directly edits the script). Others downloaded templates online, but I'm having trouble finding professional looking templates. I was wondering if anyone else has had to create their own webpage, and how you went about it? If it becomes too complicated, I'll bite the bullet and write an old-fashioned looking page, but ideally I'd like to something a little more modern-looking.

I have a website, well it is set up as a blog now (I'm not in grad school, yet!?). But I use Bluehost and haven't had a problem with their service though I'm sure any well regarded web host would do just as good. Basically I use cPanel which comes with the option of pre-loading stuff. I didn't want to take the time to learn coding to build a site from the ground up when there were professionally done free templates and tools which still allow for a lot of customization while looking nice. I had to mess with some code here and there but everything I needed to learn was online on some web page FAQ or another. I'm looking at cPanel now under the website tools, well, I was going to summarize but I will just copy and paste an example of one of the website building tools for you:

concrete5 is a free building material for the web. Working with a web designer or pre-existing theme, you can create and easily change the content and structure of your website with concrete5.

Want to change something on your website?

Go to the page, click the edit button, make your changes, and preview or post.

Done - it's just that easy.

Safe Add-ons

Engage with your audience by adding forms, surveys, guestbooks - you name it! concrete5 comes with blocks for most of the stuff you'll need, but if you want something more our marketplace is full of well tested and fully supported add-ons that you can easily install without being a rocket scientist.

ETC. That was copy and pasted from my cPanel.

Keep in mind apart from my own site, I have very limited knowledge about the best way of going about a site, I think there are free hosts as well, though I am uncertain of their reliability. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Edited by A. sesquipedale
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If you're sneaky about it, you can use basic HTML skills to make a page look very clean and interesting (albeit not flashy). Use invisible tables (<table border="0">) to position things, draw strategic bitmap images, etc. Learning a bit of basic CSS can help with layout-related tasks, too (backgrounds, what links in text look like, style-templates, etc.). I'd start by drawing out (on an old-fashioned piece of paper if you want) an ideal look for the page; then think about how you might be able to reproduce it on the screen with your skills. It might be easier than it looks! (Also, a lot of academic libraries and IT departments offer workshops in HTML and general web-design; I'd look into whether such a thing is available where you are.) Good luck!

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It sounds like you have at least all the skills for a basic HTML. If there are web pages whose layouts you like, you can browse it using FireFox with FireBug AddOn. It provides a good way to see how their styles are structured and all juicy details. That will help you to learn maybe 80% of the CSS tricks quite easily. That should be enough to give you rather stylish web pages.

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I downloaded a template off the internet and had a friend help me get things set up initially. It's just one page, nothing fancy, and I know just enough HTML to be able to make minor changes and keep things up to date. For my purposes, I think it's great.

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Honestly, the simple pages are fine. Maybe my field is somewhat different from others, but there are plenty of bland-looking pages in CS. There is nothing wrong with a simple page that mentions who you are, has some recent news, and links to Publications, CV/Resume, and in some cases people put either personal stuff or project implementation information, etc. Start with something, even if it's simple. It's much easier to iterate than create the "perfect" page from the get-go and I bet no one in the field will really judge you.

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You can easily use something like WordPress or Blogger to create a portfolio-style website. I teach Intro to Computers for Teachers (undergrad class) and we'll be using Google Sites. They have some stock templates (not the themes, those can look horrid) that aren't half bad.

You might also check with your school's career center or student services to see if they use one of the portfolio services like Interfolio (ex: http://www.career.uga.edu/students/interfolio.html)

Other options include sites like http://www.wix.com or download themes and use a WYSIWIG editor (like Dreamweaver) to customize (ex: http://teedee.myweb.uga.edu)

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If you're sneaky about it, you can use basic HTML skills to make a page look very clean and interesting (albeit not flashy). Use invisible tables (<table border="0">) to position things, draw strategic bitmap images, etc. Learning a bit of basic CSS can help with layout-related tasks, too (backgrounds, what links in text look like, style-templates, etc.). I'd start by drawing out (on an old-fashioned piece of paper if you want) an ideal look for the page; then think about how you might be able to reproduce it on the screen with your skills. It might be easier than it looks! (Also, a lot of academic libraries and IT departments offer workshops in HTML and general web-design; I'd look into whether such a thing is available where you are.) Good luck!

Agreed, especially the bit about tables.

I taught myself more advanced HTML using Annabella's site...wow, can't believe it's been 12 years!

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You can easily use something like WordPress or Blogger to create a portfolio-style website. I teach Intro to Computers for Teachers (undergrad class) and we'll be using Google Sites. They have some stock templates (not the themes, those can look horrid) that aren't half bad.

You might also check with your school's career center or student services to see if they use one of the portfolio services like Interfolio (ex: http://www.career.ug...interfolio.html)

Other options include sites like http://www.wix.com or download themes and use a WYSIWIG editor (like Dreamweaver) to customize (ex: http://teedee.myweb.uga.edu)

It seems like a lot of people are going to this format. No html required, and it's easy to post text, images, embed videos, pdfs, etc. I like both tumblr.com or soup.io.

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