website platform options / by tyler galloway

code is written by you or use code-based software like dreamweaver or muse.

buy a domain and website hosting from a host such as bluehost, inmotion, host gator. beware, the pricing is often quite misleading, as they show you a monthly price but that’s what you get if you agree to pay up front for a year or two or three. if you buy a domain from them [recommended, and sometimes free with a hosting purchase], you will get multiple emails with that host as the suffix. example:;

once your site is coded, you log on to your webhost using your username and password and upload your html, css, and image files and you have a live website!

the big downside here is making a mobile-first site, and/or one that is responsive, which is considerably harder than just designing a site for the desktop. it’s certainly not impossible, but worth mentioning.

this is a kind of middle-of-the-road option between doing it yourself [above] and turnkey services [below]. wordpress is a web publishing platform that is free to the general public and has a huge community of users offering technical support, designing visual templates, etc. – free! and with many free and paid templates. you will have to download the wordpress files and then install them on a host server, like above, so the files can be seen out on the web.

[all-inclusive] web services
these are very handy b/c you just pay your annual [or monthly] fee and everything is included. more expensive and more restrictive. templates mean you’re sharing the same site structure with many other designers out there. templates are often modifiable to greater or lesser extents, including changing typefaces, using google fonts, etc.

cargo – $99 per year or $13/month. looks like domains are extra. no obvious blog capabilities. looks like most people here are linking to tumblr for blogging. 

squarespace – $144 per year or $16/month. combined portfolio and blog options. custom domains. 

virb – $10/month. combined portfolio and blog options. custom domains.  

wix – $132 per year. free domain for one year. a few combined portfolio and blog options. may be possible to add blog pages but not sure. 

webflow - $12–16/month, paid annually for the basic setup. domain name purchase is extra.

online portfolio service
these are self-contained communities for creatives that utilized a common format for all users. simply become a member by signing up and then upload your work. it’s nice to be a part of a specific creative community, but the sheer volume of people there makes it hard to stand out.