Best way to start a personal/professional website?
May 3, 2011 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Website Design Guidance for a Beginner: I'm wanting to create a personal/professional website. The core of this website will contain a personal bio, extended resume, blog on a limited number of topics that interest me, and a few pictures. What route should I take to do this? (more info inside).

The thought of web design interests me but I don't want to get in too far over my head to where I will lose interest.

I've asked several people I work with about the best route to take. One person told me to start by learning HTML & CSS, another told me to start with Dreamweaver, and a third told me to begin with Wordpress.

I would like to be able to get a decent page up within 2 weeks - 2 months. I purchased a domain at and a year long subscription. I still have a 44 day trial period where I can cancel this if needed.

Basically, I'm wanting a page where I can have a public/professional image. I want to be able to link it to my resume. If I send out a short resume I want to link this website so people can learn more about me without going to my Facebook page where they might find some "unprofessional" content.

I want a good foundation to start with where I can get things going fairly quickly without studying programming languages for months.

Help! Thank you.
posted by Paalen to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I definitely vote Wordpress. It's super easy to set up multiple pages (a page for your resume, a page for your bio) and an easy-to-maintain blog.

There is no need for you to get involved in learning programming languages at all IMO.
posted by pupstocks at 10:59 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just use wordpress.
posted by royalsong at 11:06 AM on May 3, 2011

posted by pyro979 at 11:07 AM on May 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you!! Will hostgator have everything I need for this or should I cancel my subscription and "join/pay" someone else?
posted by Paalen at 11:08 AM on May 3, 2011

Nthing Wordpress. It's fantastic: there are tons of themes available ( though you may want to read through this article before you do much searching for them), and it's very very simple to set up.

As pupstocks says, you can do all of this without knowing a thing about HTML/CSS. The WP admin center is very simple to use, and the documentation on is great if you do need help. Honestly, I would just jump in with it - get it installed on your host, which should be pretty easy to do, then play with it for a bit. You may find that after using it some that you're interested in learning some HTML/CSS so you can customize your theme a bit, but Wordpress is a great starting point that will get you up and running with something that looks decent very quickly.
posted by ashirys at 11:08 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

After failing to preview: Hostgator lists Wordpress support on all their webhosting plans, so you should be good to go.
posted by ashirys at 11:10 AM on May 3, 2011

Hostgator is a pretty good, cheap host and it has one-click Wordpress installation in its cPanel. You may want to use a different registrar. My friend recommends
posted by MrFTBN at 11:19 AM on May 3, 2011

I say WordPress as well.

Do be aware of the difference between and The former allows you to run WP on WP servers with limited flexibility. The latter is for folks running WP on their own server. If you're new to this stuff you might miss the subtle difference.

IMHO, you get much more value from running your own install, but the WP servers allow you to get up and running without having to install. I'd bet that if you contacted Hostgator they might do the install and database setup for you.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:24 AM on May 3, 2011

Or there you go, cPanel.

I like working with WP. Have fun.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:25 AM on May 3, 2011

Yes, Wordpress. You'll want to use an existing theme (which defines your site's appearance and to some extent its functionality), at least at first.

If you want to design your own theme, you'll need to learn HTML/CSS and Wordpress' own system of tags. The best way to go about designing your own theme is to set up a local install of Wordpress on your own computer using MAMP, WAMP, or LAMP (depending on whether you use Mac, Windows, or Linux), so you've got a sandbox to play in that isn't live on the Internet. Then you can play around modifying an existing theme, but the smart way to do it is to set up a starter theme and build a sub-theme off of that.
posted by adamrice at 11:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

As for your hosting, it looks like hostgator has what you need.
Install WordPress - Hostgator

As for price, hostgator looks fine. It's at least competitive with Dreamhost. I paid $10 for the first year of dreamhost and now it's $10/month.

I found it pretty easy to edit an existing theme into what I wanted, but I know basic CSS formatting.
posted by just.good.enough at 11:35 AM on May 3, 2011

The main caveat with Wordpress is that they seem to have more than their fair share of security snafus, so make sure you stay on top of the updates so your site doesn't get hacked.
posted by andrewpendleton at 1:18 PM on May 3, 2011


For hosting another cheap option is

If you have the budget, buy a premium theme for wordpress.
posted by WizKid at 1:28 PM on May 3, 2011

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