I know how it must feel like for someone who's so into the net and wants to have his/her own webpage but can't.. for so many reasons. I used to own a personal domain, til I got tired of keeping it. Probably, by now, it could've been ranked as one of the earliest blogs there is from a Filipino, but due to a very busy sked, I decided not to keep it instead.
Though owning a website is fun and is definitely more than just recreation, it also has its tolls, especially on a newbie or to someone who just can't spend much time starting everything from installation and into deployment. You could worry about a lot of things in between like setting up the restrictions, installation of add ons/gadgets/features that you may want/need in your site, coding (of course) and at lot of maintenance. Thing is, the reason why I decided to stick with service providers (like I.ph) is because they're already stable and easy to use. Starting it all up by yourself may be a good option if you're out of work..
Ah, well.. but to those who'd really want to have one the easy way, there is a couple of sites that I found that gives fairly easy interface to the common internet lurker. Personally, I've had these tried out, and hopefully you'll get my sentiments:
- Geocities - I think everyone has heard of Geocities. It supports basic and premium accounts. You can use your own domain to point to Geocities file space. It has a wizard, and an apt file manager. Only, personally I feel that the basic account doesn't provide much for an output to par with a reasonable personal website.
- Homestead - I've tried this before, and I liked it better than Geocities. Their page wizard is cooler than that of Geocities, and provides a lot of other tools, like stats etc.
- Social networking sites - Each member of a social networking site is usually given a personal page that you can customize. If you must only show contents, then I suggest you go for sites like these (Multiply could be one).
- Google Pages - Now, here comes a good suggestion. If you want to have the kind of page that can usually go overloaded with a lot of stuffs that do a lot of things, here is a good suggestion. With Google Pages, you can actually embed in a lot of gadgets that are freely available within Google
- Jimdo - I know this is not a very popular one, but I found it out while reading through my feeds, and I thought I could give it a try. It has basic and premium accounts but I think that the basic one is really a good one, and gives the user a lot of options to work on. Its an AJAX powered site. Its very simple and easy to use.
To impart my joy in using their service, here are a few of the things I love about Jimdo:
- You have an automatic Guestbook and Contact form. This is great for you don't have to setup your own forms at all.
- You can actually create newsletters to your subscribers!
- You can set password protection to some pages.
- You can customize your page with the easy layout wizard. Even the basic account can configure the layout using the default contents of the system (header, main content, navigation, etc), but the rest of the design is up to you. You also have the discretion for the colors and fonts and also the images. Nice flexibility!
- Your pages can contain scripts that you may want to put. I find it very amusing and liberating to use, knowing I just wanted to put so much content.
- It has many interconnections with some of the popular tools on the web like Delicious bookmarks and Flickr. It also supports easy flash based photo gallery.
- Its like having a virtual server with a beautiful interface and the "just-right" restriction. It even allows you to use your own Google Analytics code if you have one.