Yesterday I stopped redirecting JoeMescher.com to my LinkedIn profile, but instead of installing WordPress and building out multiple pages, I opted to use Flavors.me instead.
Flavors.me is best described by ReadWriteWeb as “10 code-free minutes to a sexier web presence.” In other words, you can build a simple homepage that contains an attractive background image, title, description and social media links. Think of it as a more interactive resume.
There are two options for using the Flavors site for your personal profile, either as a subdomain of the parent (Like Flavors.me/JoeMescher) or by purchasing the upgraded account for $20 per year and running the Flavors profile on the domain of your choice (That’s the option I’m going to cover).
Side Note: If you run a business group or conference, consider building a simple profile to spread the word about it and encourage sharing by attendees.
Choose Your Background Image First
Make sure your image is large enough! Don’t waste your time trying to add small pictures, because even though there is an option to tile or expand the picture, it’s not a very elegant solution. My background image is a shot of Manhattan that is 1900 x 1200 pixels.
Second, don’t settle for a bland image. Consider your audience and add an appropriate background (Check out the Flavors.me gallery if you need a little inspiration).
Adding The Freakin’ A Record For Custom Domains
Before we outline the editing tool, it’s important to discuss how difficult some registrars like GoDaddy can make it to edit what is called the A Record (This procedure makes it possible to utilize Flavors.me without f’ing with your nameservers).
First, navigate to your domain manager (assuming you use GoDaddy). Then click on the specific domain you want to work with:
This is the step that usually trips people up. Head to the section that is labeled ‘DNS Manager’ and click on the launch link:
Once you’ve launched the DNS Manager, it’s time to either edit the existing A Record or create a new one. This step is surprisingly easy. Just select the ‘quick add’ button and use the IP address 188.8.131.52, then add your domain name (For example, joemescher.com and www.joemescher.com). That’s it. Once this step is done you’re ready for editing:
Side Note: Your website may not redirect for several hours after you’ve edited the A Record with the Flavors.me IP address. Don’t panic, just check back later.
Multiple Layouts and Fonts for Premium Accounts
Basic account holders can still edit the fonts on their title, content and links, but for $20 per year premium account holders get a hosted site with more design elements available. Not a bad deal considering all you have to spend money on to this point is your $7 for a domain name registration.
Again, the best way to get started is to head to the ‘backgrounds’ option and upload your image. This way you’ll know which layout will look right (Content on the right side or left, Navigation on the top of the page or located in the sidebar).
Fonts and layouts are simple enough to understand because Flavors.me will show you what your changes look like before you have to save them. However colors aren’t always easy because most non-coders aren’t familiar with the hex color code system. If you’d like to use a specific color but don’t know the specific code to put it in place, check out this hexadecimal color code site, it’s a handy resource.
Content is where you’ll add links to your social networks. It’s easy to select small, medium or large icons to represent each network, and you have the ability to provide a custom name for each as well (For example, I wrote “140 Character Dispatches” instead of just “Twitter”, because the Twitter icon should be self-explanatory).
In addition to designing and adding content to your site, visit the settings tab to include your webpage in the Flavors directory, and add up to five tags to help identify your specialties.
Finally, consider adding tracking code from Google Analytics to your stats tab. Tracking code helps you identify who’s viewing your site, for how long, and from which referring sites they came.
…And that’s it. You’re creative, so I don’t have any doubt you’ll build a wonderfully unique and original homepage. If this post has inspired you to do so, please add a comment below or shoot me your link via Twitter.