How can I set up a retired professor's web presence.
April 15, 2011 8:21 AM   Subscribe

What's a tastefully-themed content management system + host that is not a blog?

My dad's an English professor who's retiring soon and is disinclined to join facebook. When he was on a Fulbright in Hungary for a year with my mom, I set up Wordpress on a host I paid for and they mostly emailed entries that I posted. That was a time-limited event with a lot going on, so a blog made sense. When it was over, I made a Lulu book and .pdf and took down the blog.

Now he needs something that's a cross of an Amazon author page and a CV. with a custom domain name is one thought (I'd never self-host again), but it would be mostly "pages" about his books & articles, with few if any blog entries. If I could get something as tasteful as a good Wordpress theme but without the reverse-chronological timeline, that might be it.

I also might hire a designer and just do a handful of static HTML pages, but I don't know what I'd tell the designer I want. What's an example of something like Professor Touretzky's page that looks nice?
posted by morganw to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could do it on Google Sites.
posted by COD at 8:37 AM on April 15, 2011

Squarespace. Cheap and easy.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:41 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just made a (smallish) website using Wordpress that only uses Pages, zero posts/blog at all. I don't see why you couldn't do a larger site like that. What makes it a nice choice (for me, anyway) is the plethora of plug-ins, add-ons, and themes ready-made for WP.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:42 AM on April 15, 2011

Best answer: I just made an author page (link in profile) for my book using this simple one-pager. It's intended for libraries, but will work fine for a lot of different htings. You can style it to look decent. Really using WordPress with a bunch of pages is fine and would let your dad (or someone else) make simple edits if he wanted to. A few good old AskMes to look for explamples: 1, 2, 3.
posted by jessamyn at 8:44 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've got a site done in Wordpress that's almost all pages. I do use the blog feature for "site news" but it's almost invisible to the public. I used an existing theme and hacked on it a little to get it to do what I wanted, but it works fine.
posted by adamrice at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2011

Best answer: I really like Virb for this sort of thing.
posted by ukdanae at 8:52 AM on April 15, 2011

There's no need to use the blog portion of WP, just stick to the pages and don't link to the blog portion. Since you're already familiar with it, I would guess it's the best way to go.
posted by dripdripdrop at 8:58 AM on April 15, 2011

He's already used WordPress, and "few if any" still means a blog might happen, so the functionality will be there waiting. Stick with WordPress.

I see no compelling for you to go through introducing new software unless you both just like that sort of thing or he has complaints about WP you're not mentioning here. Possibly go through if he/you really don't feel like deal with managing the software.
posted by Su at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2011

I've done loads of sites with Wordpress that don't have a blog. Since he/you're already familiar with it, I'd stick with Wordpress.

So ya, nthing a few answers above.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2011

Wordpress sounds like a good fit for you, but if you're looking for more options, I really like pelican. The advantages:
* it's all static (nothing to hack)
* authoring pages in markdown is far more pleasant than HTML
* the default theme is an excellent starting point
* jinja2 templates are less annoying than PHP
* static means you can generate the site locally and host virtually anywhere
* all text based means there's no web GUI.
* not as popular as jekyll
* not as easy as possible to install
posted by pwnguin at 10:01 AM on April 15, 2011

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