I want to make my own website both as part of my disclosure and as a way of communicating my research so that people can see what I am capable of despite my difficulties in communicating this in more traditional ways - presentations, seminars etc.
The trouble is - I have absolutely no idea how I would go about making a website/webpage (is there a difference?).
- Do I have to contact someone who does it for me or can I do it myself?
- Does it cost anything? If so how much?
- How do I actually start (really basic here please)?
- Can I control appearance etc. or do they come with set formats?
- Can I have two linked websites?
- What equipment other than my laptop do I need? Where do I get this from?
OK, this might be a slightly more complex answer!
You can do it yourself, or pay someone! How much you pay will depend on how good they are! As in everything (usually) if you pay more, you'll get a better result.
You'll need to pay for "hosting" (that is, somewhere for your website to live - on a server somewhere that the world can connect to). That shouldn't be too expensive unless your site receives many thousands of visits per month will people downloading lots of data. You'll probably want to buy a domain name too (such as www.mumblesplace.co.uk or something). If you choose a .co.uk name they are very cheap (abour ?2 per year); .com names are more expensive (about ?30 per year). There are lots of services selling domain names - PM me if you want some.
To start, you'll need a website design program. You can use Notepad but you're probabaly not ready for that yet. You can even use Microsoft Word but the results aren't that good.
Better is Microsoft Frontpage (web gurus will not like that - it's more "trendy" to use something like DreamWeaver but that's more complex and powerful). Frontpafe is pretty easy to use and would be a good place to start. There are some free versions but the name escapes me right now.
Some web hosts even have built-in editting packages with templates - these tend to be quite basic but might be all you need to begin with (again, I can give you examples).
You can control appearance as much as you like -it's your site, you do what you want! But best to follow some simple rules like making sure it's easy to read (avoid bright, busy backgrounds), use a simple, clear font (not Comic Sans - it's awful!), remember not everyone has a powerful computer so make sure people with small screens can read it clearly (800x600 resolution)
You can have as many sites/domains as you like, and you can link them by simply adding a line saying "Visit my other site here" and creating a hyperlink (when you get started that'll make more sense).
Other than the editting package (Frontpage or whatever) you don't need any equipement as such.
So, in summary. You'll need to spend money on:
Frontpage (or similar)
...and that' it.
Hope that helps.