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Having an online presence is becoming more and more important in our ever more connected world and though most of us have accounts on different social networks and sites and maybe even a blog on the cloud hosted service somewhere, having an online portfolio that is completely in your control can be a huge benefit. In the past these portfolios were more for companies than individuals, but for many professionals and individuals who want to showcase their talents, this kind of website can be a huge benefit. That said, there is no one size fits all or default when it comes to online portfolios, at least not where I am concerned.
What you see here is one of these typical online mashup sites, where you can attach all the content from all your different streams. This is mine, and this one is for my friend Phil Wu. What this site does is it grabs content from all these different places. you will have this Twitter account, his Flickr account, and all of this. But this site doesn't contain anything. It's all pointing elsewhere. So we can go and see Phil's photo sets on Flickr, we can see them on 500px and he has a blog on Posterous.
The problem with all this is, when a person is looking for Phil's content, they will find it in many different places and many of them will only find one of these different places and will never link to the next one Another example is my friend Dan. He's a commercial photographer and he has a really advanced site that features his photographic work. But if you want to see his blog, you have to go somewhere else, to Tumblr. Here he has his blog on Tumblr. Now of course, this could be a deliberate choice. You don't want to drive your commercial clients to your blog or vice versa.
But if you want to have a cohesive presence online, you should really have all of these things in one place. What a lot of people do to solve this is to use a service like Carbonmade, and they upload all their content in one location and then they make some extra pages, like an About page here. The problem with all of this is now that it lives on a service like Carbonmade or WordPress.com or somewhere else, you are not really in control of it and if the service goes down, so does your website. So how do we solve this, how do we consolidate everything into one package so you have complete control over everything and everything is found in the same place? One solution is to use WordPress combined with custom post types to create a web site that has multiple different types of content, depending on what you want to showcase.
In this course we are going to create just such a web site, an online portfolio for a chef that wants to showcase not only his blog posts about food, but also recipes, photos, and videos in a cohesive and structured system, so that people understand it and it's easy to access.
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