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Three easy ways to make academic websites

February 13, 2011

I am often approached by academics who want to create a professional website. It might be a faculty member hoping to carve out a space to share research or a graduate student looking for a way to build an online resume. Usually these geek-seekers are low on technical expertise and disposable dollars, so they want a simple solution that doesn’t cost much.

It’s not in my department’s job description to do the actual work for these folks, but I am happy to give them my advice. Below are the three options I usually suggest. They require no HTML coding and cost little or nothing.

1. Use a focused web-based service

You basically fill in the blanks. They may not provide the depth you want, though.

  • Epsilen – create an electronic portfolio. This seems like a good option for the grad students going on the job market. Don’t be scared by the complex institutional features; you can get a free individual account. Here’s a sample.
  • – like FaceBook for sharing research interests, articles, CV, and more. Other users can choose to “follow” you and vice-versa. Adoption is not exactly widespread at this point. Here’s a sample.
  • – create a single appealing “jump page” that links to other sites where people can check you out. This one is most popular among creative types. Here’s a sample.

2. Use a generic web-based tool

These are more flexible but some time may be required to learn how they work.

3. Use website development software

If you use the templates that are provided, this option may be easier than you expect. The two programs listed are very popular and receive great reviews.

  • iWeb (Apple, for Mac) – part of the iLife suite, lets you add a blog, image gallery, and other options
  • Sitespinner Pro (Virtual Mechanics, for Windows) – even makes mobile-compatible sites

FINAL CAUTION — usually you get two out of three:

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t cost much
  • Does everything

UPDATE: Less than twelve hours after this article went out ProfHacker posted Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics. I guess great minds DO think alike!

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21 Comments leave one →
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  2. August 26, 2014 6:28 pm

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  3. August 26, 2014 5:28 pm

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
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  4. July 16, 2013 1:34 pm

    Ola! Chris Clark,
    Thanks for that, Failed:Credentials check result:SubscriptionExpired

  5. May 13, 2011 2:18 pm

    Chris, I just wrote a post about this topic and googled to see what else is out there. Loved your post. If you’re interested, you can find it at:

  6. Chris Clark permalink*
    February 18, 2011 11:40 am

    Indeed! I hope you don’t mind any new-found notoriety.

  7. February 17, 2011 6:45 pm

    That site looks familiar!

  8. February 15, 2011 12:54 pm

    Since many graduate students at Notre Dame already use Interfolio’s dossier service, I thought you might find it helpful to know that Interfolio also has an online portfolio service for academics.

    Here’s two examples:

  9. February 14, 2011 10:17 pm

    Can you help me in creating a website..that can be online examination enabled…like joomla or some other scripts..

  10. February 14, 2011 10:08 pm

    Hi, I am creating a academic website for my previous college and this post helped me out in almost all questions I had in my mind. Thank you..
    I am researching more on how to convert Google network into a very helpful resource for students and teachers


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