Education Website Workshop
- An email address
Ideally one that's not connected to the University (so it doesn't expire) and isn't leftover from your goofy childhood (email@example.com). Need a new, professional one? Create a new one from Gmail if you'd like (or use a different service of your choice).
Be sure to write down the address and the password. See my recommendations on passwords below. You'll need to have access to this email address while working on your website (to sign up for things/confirmation).
- Your Resume
Have a digital copy of your resume ready to copy-and-paste from.
I encourage you to have as many different versions as you need (one for cinematography, acting, sound design, etc). You might also want to keep a simple spreadsheet with all of the key information for every project you work on. Although the amount of projects you've worked on may be limited; your resume should be organized based on the job, opportunity or scholarship you're applying for.
I recommend you have a good headshot of yourself; even if you're not an actor! A nice, relatively recent photo of yourself is a way to add warmth to your website, and everyone wants to know what the person they're thinking of working with actually looks like.
- Photo(s) and other Resources
Web server space is relatively inexpensive. Consider featuring photos from a production you worked on. As an actor: roles you've been a part of (just a few from each show). Designers: typically a few images from each production; often a variety of your work throughout the process; example: maybe a drafting, sketch, model, finished production photos. Film students: consider finding some good behind-the-scenes images you can feature... and of course: a reel. Actors: do you have a relevant clip of a production you're proud of? Have you been in any commercials or short films you might share?
- Social Media accounts
Do you really want to link your social media accounts to your website? That very much depends on what you put out there. Consider starting seperate accounts for your "professonal" self which are different from your "personal" self. Many entertainers do this. Not everything you share with your third cousin would be of interest to potential employers; just as your 2-year old nephew may not care about your latest gig/project.
A brief, graphical overview of how "end-users" get their info from a website request.
2.DNS: Domain Name Server: registry directs the request to where the site is located. This is called routing. A registry keeps track of all the top-level addresses.
- You can use a free address (every server is assigned a number). For this exercise, we'll be using a free option. I'm explaining this a little so you'll know how you can change/upgrade it later.
- Free address provided by someone else Examples: https://www.facebook.com/UAFTheatreFilmDept/ or https://budgetdesigntheatre.wordpress.com/
- Or you can pay a host (I don’t recommend; it makes it hard to move your site if you decide to later)
- You can pay a registry like https://www.123cheapdomains.com/ which you can then ‘redirect’ to wherever your site winds up. IF you're going to pay for a website (eventually); this is the method I would suggest.
3. Routed to a server
- You can host your own server (a computer that maintains your website) - which needs to be connected 24/7
- You can rent server space on a shared server (just as a computer can hold many files; servers can hold many websites)
- You can rent your own server (someone else has to maintain the computer)
- You can use free server space (usually in exchange for ads or the company’s own ads) Examples: hostdime.com godaddy.com domain.com
4. Some servers (godaddy.com, wix.com, wordpress.com) offer you their CMS (Content Management System) which helps you publish your site easily - though their designs are generally more limited. But; you usually need to know very little programming.
Many servers (ex: hostdime.com) let you use either html so you can write/create your own website or let you install a free CMS (Content Management System) on their server. A popular package, called Softaculous, helps you install a wide array of software on your rented server space - including multiple packages! Like: TikiWiki, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHP-Nuke, image galleries such as Coppermind, 4images, Gallery, phpAlbum
5. It requires special hardware to host (serve) video files. Special, of course, means expensive. But: you can also use free (or tiered pay) services like YouTube or Vimeo to host your videos, then “embed” them into your website. It does slow the page render a little.
6. Be sure to test your site on different machines (tablet, phone, computer) and different browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Firefox) to see how it renders. Mobile usage is growing - and trying to make your site look good on a phone is challenging!
Ready to proceed? Let's go!