It’s fair to say that the online world has changed a lot since I built my first website. The demise of GeoCities is only one such change (and oh my, what a sorry change that was).
My first website was on the unmissable touristic delights of Ireland’s Shannon Region. As my geographical horizons expanded, so too did my website, and this was gradually replaced with hard-won advice from the study-abroad trenches in France, Germany and Spain: this bar in Jena hires casual student workers, that dorm building is to be avoided at the Université de Franche-Comté, and here’s another way around this pesky bureaucratic requirement at the Universidad de Granada.
Somewhere along the line these pearls of wisdom acquired a name, Sarah’s Settee, and an invitation for readers to come in and make themselves comfortable while they read. But as time moved on Sarah’s Settee faded into oblivion, and I moved on to what I like to think were bigger and better web projects. (Not that this was any great loss – Sarah’s Settee, comfortable as it was, wasn’t even deemed worthy of a mention in the internet’s great archival project, the Wayback Machine.)
Fast forward to more recent times, and things have changed even since I chose WordPress as my website platform of choice in 2005. A wealth of sophisticated website-builders have sprung up, applying all the best features of Web 2.0: they are easy to use, easy to share, extremely good-looking and often free too. These days you can have a respectable business website up and running with a few clicks of a mouse. If I were making my choice again, I’m not so sure that WordPress would be the clear-cut winner.
It’s not easy to keep up to date with the changes and evolutions of the internet, but I make it my business to do so. And over the past few months, I’ve been focussed on revisiting all my old online haunts, exploring new territories and updating everything I know about building websites. I’ll be using all of this as a basis for an online talk on website building, taking place on on 24 March 2011 and open to everyone, aimed at complete beginners to website creation.
Over the course of about an hour, I’ll walk through all the steps involved in creating and promoting a website, starting with the very basics. I won’t assume that you know what web hosting is, or how to FTP, or how to request a listing on Google. I’ll give advice on how to decide when to bring in a professional, and which elements you might want to have a bash at yourself. I’ll provide a detailed hand-out for you to refer to in your own time, and be available to answer questions in the live Q&A session afterwards.
If you’re new to freelancing, thinking of launching your own website, or want to re-launch an outdated website that someone else designed for you, this could be just what you need to help you on your way.
To register and for more information on the content, time and costs, see here. Hope to see you there.
Photo credit: e-commerce sketching from emmealcubo’s photostream on Flickr.