Create your own website for free - part 1
A website is an important way for a photographer to become known and to display his or her portfolio, but paying for website design and maintenance a website can be expensive.
And although there are several free hosting options available, most of them put very ANNOYING advertising on your website or just don't look professional. (I'm thinking of Bravenet, FreeWebs, Yahoo GeoCities, or WebSpawner).
My two favorite free hosting options are:
1. Google Page Creator (but they are no longer accepting new signups, and now are transitioning to Google Sites.)
Link for Google Page Creator: http://pages.google.com
Link for Google Sites: http://sites.google.com
Google Page Creator allowed users to create their own website on a subdomain, however, Google Sites does not unless you have a Google Apps account (then you can create subdomains off of your own domain). (A Google Apps account is a service for small businesses, in which you must purchase a domain name.) Google Page Creator has about 40 different template to choose from, and they are all sleek and professional.
(I manage a domain that uses Google Apps for small businesses. It uses the starter edition, which is free except for the domain name, which is $10.00 per year - still very cost effective. The domain I manage is here: )
(Links for two sites that I have created using Google Page Creator:
SynthaSite allows users to create their own website on a subdomain, and has a wide range of templates to choose from - even more choices than Google Page Creator. The only downside is because it's not through Google, it doesn't go along with your other Google account services if you are signed up with Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services.
I haven't used SynthaSite as much as I have used Google Page Creator, so I am not as familiar with it, but after experimenting with it a little, it looks like it works just as well.
(Please don't think I am an expert or pretending to be an expert on website design - I'm just sharing what I have learned and hope it will be useful for someone.)