Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Website creation the free way

In order to separate myself from the competition in my search for new opportunities, and because I don’t feel that my “paper” resume truly shows everything I have to offer a potential employer, I recently designed my very own portfolio website. In the technical communications program at my university, this is something that would happen in one of the last semesters, but I didn’t want to wait until then.

Basically, you can do this in at least a couple of ways, but what I chose to do to get started was to build a free website on wix.com. They also offer a paid version that will remove their ads and give you a domain, but since my budget is tight, I’m keeping it free for now. Besides, their ads are hardly noticeable, and I did decide to visit bitly.com and create a shortened version of my web address—this is a pretty sweet option.

I had a very good experience with the wix website builder. The only overwhelming part for me was picking a template so that I could get started. You just have to set aside a couple of hours to view the options, click on them, and start trying them out. Wix says they are fully customizable, but I wasn’t sure what that really meant, so I wanted to be sure I picked something I liked the general look of in case I couldn’t change something.

How customizable is it? You really can change everything, but you may find you are limited in how much you can change it. For example, you can change the font, but the choices are not limitless. You can also very easily change color themes, add and delete tabs, and change the placement of everything on the pages.

Importing your own documents and photos is also easy; however, I don’t like how pdfs display. I wanted it to automatically pop open, but instead it offers a downloadable option. If you only want to quickly view something, this can be annoying. I opted to create jpgs of most of my documents so that I get the pop-up effect that I was after; however, there’s no choice to zoom in on the document and dependent on screen size some items may be less readable than others.

One time I encountered a glitch where it would not save the changes I had just made. I certainly know the old adage about saving often, but because I work so quickly, I had made quite a few changes over about a five-minute period. So at first I groaned and then I called their 800 number, went through the menu options, and was very quickly connected with a technical support person. She was very helpful and told me what had probably happened and offered a solution so that I wouldn’t lose all of my hard work.

Overall, I’m very happy with my experience with wix.com. I love the look of my website and invite you to check it out and tell me what you think: bit.ly/jgoriginals.

Question: Do you recommend something different for creating a free website?

No comments:

Post a Comment