I just released a new personal website and I wanted to write up a guide to creating a personal website in 2019. Here is what we will be covering:
- Hosting your personal site
- Writing your copy (Coming Soon)
- Laying down some HTML (Coming Soon)
- Adding some style (Coming Soon)
- Interactive Personal Sites (Coming Soon)
- Getting a domain name (Coming Soon)
Let's dive in!
The hosting you choose for your site comes down to a few important factors. First, you need to decide what kind of site you are going to host. Is it a simple HTML site? React/Gatsby? Or maybe you want a full Wordpress installation? Those choices will help dictate what host you want to go with. This site is running on Gatsby, so I want a host that makes deploying and updating my site easy.
Netlify is the webhost that I use for this site - its easy to set up, works really well with Gatsby and doesn't cost me anything! In addition, they have some really interesting addons that you can use to build out login systems, AWS lambda functions, and large media hosting. I am investigating some of these things to build out some tools in conjunction with this site and some React courses I am working on.
For a good, free as in speech option, I'd highly recommend NearlyFreeSpeech. They cost very little and provide a great service with support for Ruby, Node, Python and more for like 25 cents a month. I use them to host a few personal services, like my calendar. I used to run my personal site on them, but Netlify was just too great and worked too well with Gatsby.
DigitalOcean is another great option if you want a lot of customization. It's almost more like running your site through AWS, but their backend is a lot more user friendly. This option costs a bit more, but is a great solution if you need what they provide. I use DigitalOcean to host a few side projects and the analytics engine for my personal site.
Wordpress.com is a great option if you want to run a Wordpress site - the pricing is fair and they will handle basically everything for you. If you are getting started in tech and don't want to have to worry about building your blog, this is a great choice.
Bluehost (and many other more traditional hosts out there) offer one-click installation of all sorts of tools like Wordpress, Drupal, and more! These hosts have tons of documentation around them and can be a really good, low-cost option. They will support all kinds of sites and typically have really good tech to handle a lot of website load.
All in all, I would highly recommend using Netlify - its a great way to learn a bit about backends without getting too in-depth and their support for various architectures is just great. You can find really good tutorials online for setting up a site with Netlify and the community around them is really great!