Luckily for me however, there are now a whole bunch of free website builders out there in intra-web land. They mostly follow the chunky button, Fisher-Price, My First Website, approach which is absolutely perfect for me, making it no longer necessary to pay someone a small fortune to build and maintain one for you. And of course with all of the cost and technical mumbo jumbo taken care of, the whole process becomes really rather fun. Once the realm of the privileged few, now every Tom, Dick or Gavin can have a professional looking website for little more than an hour or two’s investment at lunchtime.
Obviously one of the first things you need for any website is a theme. The list of sites currently available on the net is mind-boggling large and growing daily. Perhaps the only thing more amazing than the number of sites available being the diversity, with just about every service, need, requirement, hobby and fetish is catered for. If you want to standout in any way from this rather eclectic crowd, it’s going to be a pretty tall order. For some of course, standing out, is not such an issue. For them it’s enough to merely have a presence out there in cyberspace. They feel it’s sufficient to register a domain name and then sit on it until either the subscription runs out or some mega-corporation buys it off them. For some it’s all about expression of a lifelong passion or the inner workings of their troubled and, in some cases, twisted mind, while for others it’s purely a business decision and an aide to making a few more quid. One thing is for sure, having a website is now about as common as having a cell phone or a business card and, in many situations, just as necessary.
Despite all this however, I wasn’t quite prepared for the thrill and excitement of setting up my own site. As websites go it’s nothing really startling; it’s purely about me. It’s built around the premise that I am an ‘Artiste’ (in more than one sense of the word) with stuff to offer, and by visiting my site, Joe Public may just decide that I’m exactly what they need for some highly visible and extremely lucrative, upcoming project. I’ve resisted the urge to swamp the pages with information about my hobbies and interests – my Ford Capri doesn’t even get a mention – and mercifully there are no pictures of pets or children’s birthday parties. There are no holiday snaps or out of focus pictures of my last night out. There’s none of those hideous little rotating gif images, beloved of certain sites or nauseating background music that has you pouncing for the mute button in the office. I’ve even opted for a straightforward, black and white colour scheme so hopefully shouldn’t offend the purists too much.
Now I know what you’re thinking; “That all sounds pretty bloody boring”. But before you dismiss the site completely, I can tell you that I’ve done some research and come up with what I think is a sure fire way to help my website stand out from the crowd. There’s absolutely no porn.