My own little space on the world wide web

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been planning to get one done, but I’ve finally got a personal website/ academic profile up. It was almost half a year or a year back that my supervisor told me to create a website for myself and it’s somewhat essential for PhD students and stuff. But NTU wasn’t giving me any domain space and though I could get some server space on the PDCC servers for creating a team website and page for myself, that never materialized either because everyone was too busy. So I created some random thing on sites.google.com. Which looked pathetic and I couldn’t really figure out how to customize it much and most importantly I wanted my own domain.

This is not the first time I’ve made a website. But the last time I created a personal web page I was in 11th Standard (Junior College) and it was created using Front page and I think about 5 people in total saw it. I created it using geocities, I wonder if it’s still up. Anyway, after that I’ve started a few blogs now and then and I went through the initial process of trying WordPress and then Joomla for creating the team website. But for my own website I wanted to create it form scratch using just html and css nad not using pre specified templates.

So the first step was learning how to use CSS and brushing up on the basic HTML I knew and checking out html 5 (not that I needed it, but might as well see what the big deal was I thought). Anyway, with the help of some tutorials and templates from Lynda.com, I was able to create the website quite easily.

Next I had to get it up on the interweb. I’d heard from some friends that Amazon Web Services has some free tier of storage if I use less than a certain amount of space. And being amazon, I’m guessing the service is reliable. Anyway, I set up an account. Even though I had to submit my credit card details for it, I won’t be charged for the first year unless I add more than 5 GB of data to the storage provided. Also, they’ve allowed me to set an alarm if the charge ever goes above 0$.  Anyway, they have excellent instructions on how to use it. However, I don’t really think it is even necessary. It’s that easy. Just remember, DO NOT delete buckets randomly. It takes a while to have that name available again.

Now that I had my data stored there, the website was accessible but the link was a very long and weird one and it basically made the geocities/ google sites domain name look better. So I started searching for a name registrar. The first link and recommended article I got to was LifeHacker’s recommendation. Since I wanted the cheapest one out there, I went for namecheap.com. But a quick search online, showed that internet.bs provided domain registration for about a dollar less and people seemed to be reasonably satisfied by it.  So I went ahead and bought vaisaghvt.com for about 8.99USD a year.

The process was easy enough. But being  newbie I had no clue how to link that url to my aws bucket. I initially tried simple url forwarding. While this worked (and incredibly quickly at that ) it ended up showing that long useless URL as the URL in the address bar which I found quite irritating and inconvenient. Luckily I found this very helpful blogpost, which told me exactly how to solve this problem. Just remember, to name your bucket properly. In my case since I wanted it to be linked to www.vaisaghvt.com, this is the name that I gave to my bucket. While they kept telling me that this might take hours or a day to happen. In my case, I could see my website at that name in less than an hour.

I know it’s not that big a deal to create a website. But can’t help the childish glee in having my own little place in this interweb thingie.

Please do give it a look : vaisaghvt.com

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