I'm a graduated student and about to make a poster for my institution's conference. I would like to have a website so that I can have more space to present in the poster while still have a data to show if necessary. If I choose to have a free domain, I will have an URL contain the host name, e.g. myname.wordpress.com. If I buy a domain and use free host like Wordpress, I can quickly build my website up but the price is not cheap. If I buy a domain and a host, the price may cheaper but I have to build it by myself. I want my website to look professional (and impressive) on the poster so that using a free domain may not a good choice, but I also consider in the economic prospect. In my country, $10 is not a big deal, but also not a thing that people is willing to spent easily.

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    I have also read this question – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 6:05
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    $10!? Out of the 50+ domains I have bought, I have never paid that much! – Austin Henley Oct 28 '14 at 6:33
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    @AustinHenley the value of a domain varies wildly on its simplicity, the popularity of the words in it, and the TLD. ilovecoding.com would be a lot more valuable than elephantpapercliptable.ie (also, $10 per what - day/week/month/year - makes a difference!) – Moriarty Oct 28 '14 at 13:10
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    @Moriarty I believe he was referring to the standard $10 price of a domain. Any available .com, .net, or .org can be registered for less than $1, regardless of length. – Austin Henley Oct 28 '14 at 15:06

If your department/school won't give you support...

The domain should cost you between $0.50 to $0.99 USD for the first year. Hosting costs range a lot, but many offer deals for the first year that cost about $12 USD.

After you have your own server and domain, it is trivial to setup WordPress on your own server.

Thus you get the best of both worlds, extremely affordable and easy! Besides, I recommend most people have their own personal website for their portfolio and such anyway.

  • is it easy to setup Wordpress on my own server? It seems that to have my own domain, buying a host and building the website myself will be the cheapest solution – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 14:28
  • @Ooker Very easy. Just look at the install guide. Also, many hosts offer one click solutions to install WordPress. – Austin Henley Oct 28 '14 at 15:07
  • @MHH Nope. Google "0.99 domain". Click the first GoDaddy result. I have never paid more than $1 for the first year of a domain, even 5 letter words. – Austin Henley Oct 28 '14 at 16:31
  • @AustinHenley that's just an introductory gimmick though right, shifting the real cost of domain registration onto your renewal (and then some)... – blmoore Oct 28 '14 at 20:49
  • @blmoore Not really. These companies spam you with so many coupons, that I still pay less than $9 for each year after that. I'm sure they still make a nice profit though ;) – Austin Henley Oct 28 '14 at 20:57

I'd recommend Github pages as a quick and easy way to set up an accompanying static site without paying for hosting. For free you get a slightly nicer sub-domain than wordpress etc. (username.github.io), or if you've bought a custom domain you can use that. There's some nice, modern default themes and Jekyll integration if it's to be used as a blogging platform.

  • Is hosting on GitHub better than WordPress? – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 19:34
  • It's a different animal... WordPress is a locked-down CMS whereas with gh-pages you have full control over HTML, CSS, javscript libraries etc. – blmoore Oct 28 '14 at 19:50
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    @Ooker WordPress was originally designed as blog. GitHub was originally designed as code repository. If you aren't comfortable with building websites, WordPress will be relatively easier than building on GitHub. – Compass Oct 28 '14 at 19:57

I would simply walk off a poster without asking for a copy of the paper if the poster had a WordPress reference for the contact information. To me, this makes a statement to the effect of "I am an amateur and don't really know if I want to be a part of academia".

There is no shortage of professional social networks, including LinkedIn (academia + real world), ResearchGate (academia as a whole), WebMD (medical sciences), and whatever it might be in your discipline. You can start off with these. Also, I am surprised that you can't set up a personal page at your institution, even as a graduate; this would be the primary route in the U.S., as far as I can tell.

  • -1: This is highly field specific; you should post your field of study. Wordpress is commonly used by some of the top academics in the world in certain fields. – WetlabStudent Oct 28 '14 at 16:33
  • @StasK: That's why I consider to buy a domain – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 19:33
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    @MHH, that's highly field specific. What fields are you talking about? I don't think I have ever seen that across the fields that I have operated in (statistics, economics, some quantitative psychology and sociology, survey methodology). Some people may have blogs on WordPress, but that's a different story entirely. – StasK Oct 29 '14 at 3:27
  • @StasK perhaps instead of field I should have said field/country. Australian academics in ecology and environmental science often have their websites hosted on wordpress (not just their blogs). – WetlabStudent Oct 30 '14 at 0:43
  • Interesting. So it is culture-specific, in ways. – StasK Oct 30 '14 at 1:41

The best thing to do in terms of web presents at this point in your career is probably to host it through your institution. Pretty much any academic institution has some way for its members to host a website, and will sometimes provide templates as well. Talk to your IT staff and find out what they recommend.

If hosting through your institution is not possible, you can also consider using ResearchGate as your official web presence. It is designed as a social network for academics, and gives a nice stable URL as https://www.researchgate.net/profile/[yournamehere]

  • I have asked them, the answer is no. They don't provide me a host. – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 6:04
  • @Ooker Not your own host, but no plain ordinary publicly accessible web space? That is very unusual for an academic institution. Your professor's research group should have web space, at least, and that should be able to have a corner opened up in it. – jakebeal Oct 28 '14 at 6:18
  • My "group" has two person: me and my advisor. So there is no group website, and my work is mainly worked by me (he also states that) so I would like to publish it in my space. – Ooker Oct 28 '14 at 6:25
  • @Ooker Putting it under your own domain isn't publishing, because it's not a persistent link. I'm getting confused about what you actually want, though. – jakebeal Oct 28 '14 at 12:05
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    @Ooker If you just want to make it temporarily available online, it doesn't really matter where you put it; a subpage off of your advisor's site is fine, as long as your name is clear. If you want it persistently available, then the right location depends on the type of work, e.g., programming-based projects can go in sourceforge or bitbucket, arXiv and bioRxiv support certain subfields, etc. Many institutions also have persistent technical memo / technical report publication methods too, though if yours doesn't even provide students web space that's unlikely for you. – jakebeal Oct 28 '14 at 13:25

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