Academic personal website CMS solution advice
August 17, 2009 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Academic personal website CMS solution advice.

I'm going on the academic job market this fall and I need to update my website from boring to awesome. I need to have a PDF version of my CV hosted, but more important will be a web-based CV.

I want something that looks great and professional, but not out of the box. I will need to add things to my CV fairly often, so something that I can edit with ease would be nice.

BUT, my coding skills are stuck in the HTML days, although I am pretty good with using content management systems - I know Wordpress, MoveableType and Drupal okay.

Any recommendations? I'd be hosting on GoDaddy and a university webserver (although I could do a redirect from one to the other). I'd *like* to keep my personal stuff on my GoDaddy domain and keep this professional page on the university webserver, but if it isn't flexible enough, GoDaddy is fine.
posted by k8t to Technology (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a good theme suggestion, but I've gotta believe that at least one of the ~1000 WP themes will meet your criteria.

Really, I just wanted to suggest that you host your CV on a site that won't be changing anytime soon. Presumably when you leave your university, they'll be shutting down your site. You don't want to lose some great job opportunity a year or two from now, because some employer had your old, now defunct web page address.

For that reason alone, it'd be preferable to host it on your personal web space. If your current domain name is less than professional, keep your web space and just add a domain name for 7 bucks a year, or whatever they're going for these days.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:02 PM on August 17, 2009

Response by poster: My domain name is my, but it seems in academic settings, having a .edu lends credibility.
posted by k8t at 11:12 PM on August 17, 2009

Yeah, I'd probably choose a theme first, then use whatever CMS goes with that theme, bonus points if it's one of these three you're familiar with.
posted by XMLicious at 11:23 PM on August 17, 2009

It's not really clear based on how you've phrased your question whether you're unhappy because your website looks bland, or because it's hard to edit your website. It sounds like the former is the case, since you already have a website, and it doesn't sound like you're trying to create a big website or anything, just host a CV.

To be honest, I've always wanted a quick and easy way to have a professional looking (academic) website, but I don't think it exists. In my mind at least, when I think of a professional website, I think of something that has been custom made by a graphic designer, or at least someone talented (e.g., not me). In other words, the fact that someone paid (or could/should have paid) to have someone make the website professional is what makes a website look professional to me. Unfortunately, shortcuts like templates and things never quite look right to me, either because they seem "mass produced" or they're just not done by very talented people, or they look bland in the ways you describe. All of the academic websites that I really like are custom made (CS examples: 1, 2).

(That said, in the vaguely bland category, I do think jemdoc looks OK, though the website seems to be down at the moment for it.)
posted by pbh at 11:29 PM on August 17, 2009

If it's just a CV, you could create the page yourself then make it editable with CushyCMS.

(Whether to host on the .edu largely depends on if and when you'll lose access to that. I do think it's important nowadays to think about your online identity in the longer term and try to set things up so you have a main URL that won't change and that everything points back to)
posted by malevolent at 1:38 AM on August 18, 2009

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but I'm seeing more and more people use their LinkedIn profile as their resume/CV. There's lots of functionality there to make your public profile really rich and deep. Could you totally trick that out, then have your domain point there? That gives you some bonus searchability points, as LinkedIn results seem to come up VERY high on Google search results.
posted by jbickers at 3:43 AM on August 18, 2009

I won't speak to the CMS issue, but as to the URL ... have you considered talking to the people who run the student webserver and see if they have anything planned for alumni? Even a permanent URL which only hosted a redirect would be nice.

More universities are considering some kind of permanent presence for alumni. They might not do email for alumni, but they'll provide an unchanging email address for forwarding email, for example. You might find that there is something in the works for the web, as well.
posted by adipocere at 4:13 AM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: For whatever it's worth, GoDaddy provides WordPress Hosting. (Full disclosure -- I work for them, albeit in a technical role not at all related to hosting.) We've also got a product called Website tonight, which is like a template driven CMS. You can hire a designer (through us if ya want) to build you the basic site in there and then you can edit it yourself later as need.
posted by ph00dz at 4:58 AM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: A great CMS WP theme ( note: not free) is Our Magazine.

If you are more interested in a personal/portfolio type theme than take a look at Twicet Business and Portfolio or Concept

Although none of these themes are free, you might want to consider them. A little investment goes a long way.
posted by Danniman at 6:25 AM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

I was going to suggestion Wordpress, but that's because Wordpress has been extremely easy and useful for me in a number of projects. This is especially true since my hosting company, Dreamhost, has the one click-installs and updates. (I see somebody from Dreamhost already beat me to it.)

The beauty of something like Wordpress is that you don't need to know much more than html to do lots of stuff with it. If you eventually want to get into tweaking the php you can. And it's super fast to set up and easy maintain.
posted by kendrak at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2009

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