You Need a Website | Nathan's Site

Nathan's Site

You Need a Website


This post is over a year old. The information here may be out of date, and may not reflect my current thoughts or opinions.

Jump to: What You Need | Domain | Host | Site | What I Use | Links

You need a website, plane and simple. But why, you might ask?
A website, is a place to call your own. A place to make your own. And a place to show off, you.

Having a site, not only looks more professional, but also helps you show off your skills, and hobbies. You don’t need to have a blog to do this. Even a simple landing page (like my home page), can say a lot about you. Starting a site also isn’t hard. You’ll just need a few things.

What You Need 🔗

You’ll need three basic things for your site. A domain (ie a name for your site), A site, and a host for that site.

A Domain 🔗

A domain, is how people will get to your site. Take mine for example. nthp.me. A domain is made of two main parts. a second level domain (SLD), and a top level domain (TLD). SLD.TLD. The SLD is the main part you look for when buying a domain.

Let’s look at a few domain as an example. My domain nthp.me, the SLD is nthp. and the TLD is .me. And with github.com. SLD github, TLD, .com. When buying a domain, most people will pick out an SLD. Then, see what TLDs have that SLD available.

Buying a domain is pretty easy. You just go to a registrar. Pick an available domain you like. Fill out the paperwork. Pay, and you’re done. That domain is now your’s, for one year. Don’t worry, your registrar will auto renew the domain for you.

Most domains cost around $10 - $30 per year.

A Host 🔗

A host is just the service that makes your site available on the web. Most web hosts combine the site and host sections into one. Some however, do not.

Hosting comes in a wide rage of prices, and capabilities. You can pay anywhere from $18/month for a beginner friendly host. All the way down to $0/month (yes, really), if you’re down to do a lot of it yourself. If you are fine with paying a little per month. There are two good options for around $5/month.

Wordpress

Wordpress comes in two main flavors. The software as a service version. And the Self host-able version. With the SaaS version, Wordpress will do the hosting for you. This starts at $6/month. Though, if you want more features, you’ll have to pay more per month.

The Self host-able version, is free. You just need to host it yourself. A good and cheep way to do this, is by using Linode’s nanode server plan. The nanode only costs $5/month. Linode also has a Wordpress install script. Just fill out the form, and boom, Wordpress!

Blot.im

Blot is a simple web host. You write some files using Markdown. Sync those to Blot, and you have a site. Unlike Wordpress SaaS, blot doesn’t have any feature tiers. $4/month will get you everything it has to offer.

The Free Way

Web hosts that don’t charge, usually do only that. Host. You’ll need ⬇️⬇️⬇️

A Site 🔗

If you choose a host that makes you bring your own site. You’ll have to make one on your own. You have two main options for that.

  1. Do it all by hand

  2. Use a static site generator

I generally don’t recommend number one, if you want something more than a single page site.

If you want something bigger than a single page site. I highly recommend you use a static site generator (SSG). A static site generator, takes easy to write files (usually Markdown), and turn them into a ready to go site. There are three main ones to choose from. Hugo, Jekyll, and 11ty. Of these, I would recommend starting out with either Jekyll, or Hugo.

What I use 🔗

This site is generated using Hugo locally on my Mac. For hosting I use Github Pages. This combo allows me a lot of flexibility on how I want my site to look. The main downside, is I have to do almost all the work my self. The upside to that. This site costs me $0/month to host.