So you need a portfolio?

Don't worry, it's not that hard.

First, what is a website?

  • A domain. Just a name.
  • A bunch of files on a server. Also known as hosting.
  • When someone types in your domain, the internet fairies look up what server (or host) that domain is pointed at. Then your browser asks that server to send you the website's files.

Some companies provide both, some provide one and you have to get the other.

Hosting with site building tools

These services will host your website, and they have a nice interface for building the site.

This is the easiest option, but with the least control.


  • Easy
  • Very nice templates
  • Free domain with 1 year hosting
  • Some find interface frustrating
  • A little pricey at $10/month


  • Easy
  • Kinda Cheap ($9/mo)
  • Free version available
  • Looking a little dated
  • Invite Only

Format (aka 4ormat)

  • Easy
  • Nice templates
  • Cheap ($5.75/mo)
  • All themes have a similar "format" look to them.


  • Easy
  • Diverse range of templates
  • A little pricey at $9.25/month

And a bunch more

Applications that can run on cheap hosting

These are open source web applications that can be installed for free on a cheap hosting plan.

This option is a little harder, but you get more creative control.


  • Free
  • A zillion templates. Well, thousands.
  • Lots of support, because it's been around
  • Takes slightly more work and can get complicated.
  • The best templates have one-time costs.

The real thing

Get your website made, custom.

Hardest, but with lots of control.

Make friends with a Developer

  • Developers are actually nice
  • Get them to build your site, and pay them in beer, or quid pro quo.
  • Way more creative control
  • Takes more time.

Ok, so for Wordpress or a custom site
I'll need hosting?



  • $4/month
  • Free domain


  • $3.33/month

And a domain?

In any of the above cases, if they didn't throw in a free domain, you'll need to get one yourself.


  • Simple interface
  • Whois privacy included
  • Great customer support
  • $13/year


  • Whois privacy included
  • Great customer support
  • Cheaper: $10/year
  • Clunky Interface

What about Domain Squatters?

That sounds like someone working out to establish dominance.

No, they're evil.

A domain squatter is someone who uses an automated program to buy up any domains that expire, usually the very day they expire.

They then hold it ransom, and try to get large amounts of money from you to get it back.

And it's totally legal. Don't let your domains expire.

How to connect a domain to a host

This sounds super technical.

It is and it isn't.

Start by googling it.

Just google "connect [domain company] to [hosting company]"

That's what I'm gonna do when you come ask me for help anyway.

I've got weird stuff.

Video, audio, embedded stuff?

Use a popular provider for that thing.

  • Video: Youtube or Vimeo
  • Audio: Soundcloud
  • Magazine: Your own photos/boards or Issuu

Why? Because it's complicated to encode video/audio, but they've got it all figured out so you don't have to.


I'm a precious snowflake and I need my own font.

Fonts on the web are a pain in the ass.

You probably don't have the right to distribute most of the fonts on your computer.

  • Make images, but google can't crawl them.
  • Get a free font (limited selections) from Google fonts or similar
  • Buy the fonts' web licences
  • Get a font subscription from Typekit,, etc.


Get all the data

Google Analytics

Lets you see...

  • Where visitors are
  • What device they're on
  • What pages they visit
  • How long they spend


Lets you see...

  • Actual recordings of visitor interactions
  • The distance down the page visitors scroll
  • Where they put their mouse (heatmaps)

Stuff to remember


What are they here to find?

  • Your contact details
  • Your work
  • A little more information about you
  • Your life story
  • Some gimmick that gets in the way of the above*

* Some gimmick that doesn't get in the way is ok,
      and might even help get your name remembered.


  • They might spend 20 seconds,
    they might spend 20 minutes.
  • For those who spend 20 seconds,
    put the good stuff up front


  • Sometimes your site will be seen on a 4" screen
    in the back of a cab, between meetings.
  • Make sure that's a good experience too.
    Test all devices.


  • ...

Inspiration 2


Chris Silich

Here to help.

  • The office between Melaney's and James's