I'll strongly defend this choice (emphasis mine):
- Some for-pay general-purpose webpage/website hosting service
But I'll tangent a little from the question itself, because I have answered questions by OP on unix.SE . Yes, this is using information from outside of the question, apologies, but this still may be interesting for people with a similar background.
If you are capable of setting up that option it has huge advantages if your research (or simply interests) involve a lot of computing. (And OP is a computer scientist).
The Bad side
There are plethora of platforms to build a blog, and the maintenance of such things is not as bad as it was in the '90s and early '00s. Most platforms invested heavily in resilience, at the cost of some more work in the initial setup. I'll argue that most of the overhead in having your own VPS running your website is during the setup. If you do not tinker with it, it keeps working. You may just need to clean up the logs at some point.
For an example, I just checked on a toy data warehouse I've created for a presentation 9 month ago (and forgot to shutdown). It turns out I could do the same talk today because it simply works.
There is nothing wrong with joining this with:
Using one of the specialty academic-webpage platforms (which apparently exist)
You can just run it on a subspace (subdomain perhaps) of the website. That would actually be a pretty good choice.
The Good side
But wait, we are talking about a personal website, a blog like thing, so why a data warehouse? That is the first advantage. For a talk I needed an example system so I just dumped it on my VPS and made it available through a subdomain. There was no need to talk to the IT team of the building where I was doing the talk to allow access to some server, I just needed an internet connection. Several other things I dumped next to my personal website over the years, some random examples:
- Material for people that I've trained whilst overseas, much easier to share than asking everyone to bring a pendrive.
- Example programs for my presentations.
- My PGP key.
- Maps of how to reach a venue.
- A board to visualize combat in role-playing games on a tablet.
- Crawlers that needed to run whilst the machine I was using at my institution was due for maintenance.
And my favourite:
- All slides that I use for talks.
I really, really, really love that last one. LaTeX Beamer produces slides that can be viewed directly by any modern browser (i.e. PDF, and Power Point has an export option too). Therefore when I go somewhere to give a talk I do not worry that my pendrive will not be read by the computer at the venue, I do not worry that the format of the slides will not be understood by the software on that computer. I only ask the organizer if the machine will have an internet connection and a browser (and I take the pendrive with the slides just in case).
In summary, you can share content with people (or with yourself when you're using an alien machine) by typing its name (URL). This allows you to overcome several problems with technology.
The Ugly side
It costs money, yet not that much. A domain registration costs some 10-20 USD per year, and several registars (providers of DNS resolution) will have reduced prices if you buy several years. A VPS (virtual private server, which is cheap because you share hardware (but not IP)) for a personal website plus the perks I gave above, can be of the lowest tiers offered. Providers that sell a VPS at 10-20 USD per month are often decent (free VPS' will involve considerable downtime so it is normally a bad idea for a website).
It requires some work, and some learning (but doesn't everything require it? We all learn all out lives). Therefore it is not recommended for not computer science people. Note that not recommended does not forbids you from doing it, I know a very good linguist Lecturer who loves to tinker with technology and therefore his website.
You may also get absorbed into the website and tinkering with it to a point where you neglect other things. But again, that is something that may happen in any of the forms of building the website that you propose.
P.S. It was my intention to omit provider names that I use, since OP states that discussing best providers is off-topic. And, it does not matter that much since a there are several good ones out there.