Namaste. You are reading my first blog post and this is my new website. From the past few days, I have been working hard on my website. It all started like this.

I felt like its time to change my website which I made it four years back during my early days of interaction with a foreign object called computer. Now that I am quite familiar with it, I planned to have a new personal web presence. Web has evolved so rapidly these past four years where I think almost have no place in it. Anyhow, I don't want to lose more and here is my effort.

I didn't want to waste time learning new web languages/technologies and decided to build a simple website using some content management system which readily make websites for you. Inspired from the website of my GSoC organization, I have chosen to build my website using Mediawiki. I loved its syntax and Mediawiki with Cavendish theme looks great. But it doesn't provide a blog which I thought would be a best way to share my thoughts with this world. So I decided to have a Wiki + blog.

Wikyblog was the answer. But there is always a "but". I did not like its interface. Searching for latest CMS systems I found Wordpress.

Even Wordpress has a "but". Wordpress themes are the best "but" it is more a blog than a personal web page. What I needed was a Personal Web page + blog + may be a forum too and some other features which may ponder into my mind in future.

Drupal came into my consideration and it answered many of my questions. Read a lot about it and liked it. Still there is a "but". The drawback was that Drupal themes were not as good as Wordpress. Compromised a bit and started building the website. The evil inside me did not compromise. The themes are not convincing to me. I wanted a very professional, simple looking, stylish web page but could not find a theme of my taste. Ought not to waste more time on googling for themes, decided to write a own theme for Drupal. (A big commitment and I would have saved a lot of time). Finally I found the problem. Problem is not with the CMS systems. Its with me.

I learned CSS, PHP, Drupal's architecture and html to meet the requirements of making a theme. Lot of hours went into building the theme and this is what you see finally. Finally, I think I am web professional now. I know some of you might have liked the interface and some don't. Its ok. I know the secret ;-)

These are some points I want to share with you if you are making a personal web page.

Some facts

  • You cannot convince everyone with the looks of your web site.
  • What's important is what you feel about your web site.
  • Some Do's and Don'ts

    Before building the site, be clear about your requirements.

  • What you want. What are the goals of your website ?.
  • How you want your website look like ? Have a rough sketch. But remember, it is the content that is important and not the looks. Easy to say, but hard to compromise.
  • How much time are you planning to spend on it ?. If you have enough time, go for making a site using your code. Learn the required technologies. Else, be happy with what you get and don't expect more. You may end up wasting more time than required to build a site with your code.
  • Who are the audience ?
  • Work more on the content.
  • I think it is important to launch the website as soon as possible. Even if it is a rough one, it will motivate you a bit. Also search engines crawl your site. Good thing about it is that they start displaying your web page by the time you finish your website which happened in my case. Search results for siva reddy iiit has a cached version of my old webpage.
  • Some useful tools

  • Firebug, an extension of Firefox is very useful when working on websites. It saves a ton of your time. Using it will give an idea of the skeleton of any site. Thanks to Bhargava Chowdary for pointing me to this wondeful tool.
  • CMS systems: Drupal, Wordpress, Wikimedia, Wikiblog
  • CSS : Very useful to have an idea of CSS
  • Some scripting languages: PHP, Mod python, CGI-perl, CGI-python
  • I hope my experience helps some of you. If you have any comments, do post them. Little feedback (either good or bad) means a lot to me. After all, this is my first blog.

    Thanks to Abhilash, Spandana, Bhargav, Gopal who encouraged/criticised/suggested me during the engineering phase of this website.


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