It seems that Namecheap, one of the better known domain registrars on the internet, are currently running a promotion for students. What they’re offering is one year’s registration to a .me domain name, which is a pretty good deal in itself. Coupled with this, you have the choice of either a ready to go Github pages website (web hosting for the associated online Git repository hosting service), or a premium subscription to about.me (a simple online profile generator).
All three services I’ve used at some point in the past. Firstly, I use Namecheap as my domain registrar for tteoh.com already, documented in my post previously. Having used their account configuration tools before, registering for another domain with them was no issue at all.
I currently host this blog on my Github account using Github pages. Being able to write posts on your computer in markdown really helps with regularly committing to writing. However, having this already set up means that the offer of a preconfigured site was somewhat less appealing.
Instead, I opted to upgrade my about.me account to the premium subscription. This service allows anyone to create a nice looking profile page for themselves for free. The premium service appears to give a few nice features; the ability to use a custom domain name, removing about.me branding on your page, along with some other minor ones (like analytics). I’ve actually had an account with them for a number of years now, but without these features the usefulness of a profile page is somewhat lacking, when you already have a web presence in the form of Twitter or Facebook, or even a domain with a website (that is for example hosted for free on Github pages).
I strongly believe that features like a custom domain name should really be put into the free plan, or combined as a promotion with a domain registrar (ie. register with us and we’ll set up your about.me page here for free). That way, if someone registers for a website but doesn’t know quite what to do with it yet, they can have a quick and easily set up profile.
Nevertheless, the entire process of claiming my domain name to having everything set up was automated to the point that all I needed to do was confirm my student account, and click on the provided link to go and claim my premium subscription for a year was extremely quick and easy.
Update: After getting featured as a staff pick, my stats page is looking quite out of character: