Creating a Personal Website

A good website can help a lot in your job search. Here are some tips on how to get set up:

LPL's Web Hosting

LPL provides you the space to put a website.

  • It will be housed at[your_username] (no brackets)
  • You can access this space by ssh-ing into lplshell (in a command line type ssh [user name]
  • Create a directory called public_html (command line: mkdir public_html)
  • Go into that directory: (command line: cd public_html)
  • This will be where you should put the files associated with your website, with the main website being file index.shtml
  • You can create this document with a text editor (lplshell has gedit which should pop up a GUI- command line: gedit)
  • Then type in the html code and save the file as index.shtml.
  • You can also make all your websites on your personal computer and then use a file transfer software like FileZilla to transfer everything into this folder (/home/public_html on lplshell) or use secure copy in the command line to transfer files (command line: scp filepath/filename [username][usename]/public_html)

If you don't know HTML, there are many resources online to help you make websites. You could always make one using another tool and then save it to that lplshell public_html directory.

  • Google Sites (Free, very easy to use, looks good, though isn't perfect: Jamie Molaro's website)

  • LOTS of free CSS templates available online

  • Download the source code for another grad's website and model yours after theirs (ask first, or use these: Melissa Dykhuis, Jess Vriesema [with attribution], any others here?)

  • Kompozer: Free open source website management software

  • Buy your own domain name, some people think it looks more professional and you can keep it when you leave LPL (see below) (LPL pages won't be taken down when you leave, just like your LPL email address won't be deleted, so they can also be used for your future career, and/or redirected to future institutional websites.)

Buying a Domain Name

Jamie: There are many companies you can purchase a domain name from. I'd encourage you choose a company that isn't evil (stay away from GoDaddy) such as Nearly Free Speech, Gandi, or Namecheap. With Nearly Free Speech (nsfn) I pay ~$20 a year for the domain registration. You can also host the site with them if you want, and you pay per bandwidth used not a block monthly fee, so it's a really reasonable price (like, cents a day). If you host with them, you can manage your site there, upload your html stuff, etc. If you host your site somewhere else (like I do with my google site) you'll need to map the domain to your site by adding a CNAME record and/or adding some other DNS records. For Google sites, the directions are on the Change a site URL (classic Google Sites) page. This is really easy to do in nfsn, but I haven't used other services.

Also note that it will take some time for your site to start coming up in web searches, because Google (or another search engine) won't know it is there right away. It might take a few days for it to be crawled. If you want your site to come up easily in search results, make sure you set some keywords. Google sites does this for you automatically. Also, it matters how many places are linked to your site (such as your profiles on fb, twitter, linkedin) and the "authority" of the linking site (such as the LPL website).

If you choose to build/host your site somewhere other than your LPL space, you can load a couple of lines of html code to forward/redirect you to your new domain.

Website Content

  • Put your CV up! It is the first thing someone will want to look at about you if they are considering you for a job, for example. Put up your full CV on the page in HTML, but have a version that can be downloaded as a pdf. Consider making a short 1- or 2-page version as well.
  • Directly downloadable PDFs of your papers are useful. Make sure you check the journal's copyright rules, though - it might have to be a PDF you make yourself, for example, rather than the journal's PDF.
  • Contact info.
    • Emails can be masked to prevent spam - use a clickable image or simple text masking e.g. <username> "at"
  • Put up a picture! You want people to be able to recognize you. smiley