There’s a website for everything. From artisanal sock retailers to job boards where people can find their next career to even silly things like a website solely devoted to cats bouncing around a screen, a website can truly be for anything for anyone.
Your website can help you put your best foot forward, showcasing and promoting your best work to potential colleagues and employers. It can also help you connect with others who may have the same interests as you. Whether you’re an artist on a mission or an aspiring writer with a penchant for poetry, a website is a great way to gain a following or attract new clientele.
You might be wondering: That’s a swell idea, but what do I put on a personal website? That’s a fabulous question. Keep reading to discover the dos and don’ts of having a personal website.
What should you put on your personal website? Try these 7 ideas
Are you new to telling your story? The following ideas can help you decide what to share on your personal website.
- Contact information. If a hiring manager or potential client found you through your impressive website, they also need to know how to get in touch with you. With most sites, you can create a contact page or an about page with an automated form for people to send messages. If you’d like, you can also share a business email or phone number. Think of this portion of your website as a virtual business card — which, by the way, you can make with Namecheap’s Business Card Maker.
- Applicable social media. You might not want to share your personal Instagram, but maybe you have an Instagram dedicated to your photography business, for example, to share with interested clients. Include links to that along with your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter profiles when applicable. Avoid sharing links to socials that aren’t pertinent to the info on your site.
- Testimonials. Including testimonials from former coworkers or other professionals in your field highlights your skills while showing that respected people in your area of expertise endorse you. While this is a space to show off, steer clear of empty quotes that just say you’re great. Stick with powerful statements that speak to your talents and accomplishments.
- High-quality graphics and images. Photos make a big difference when it comes to looking professional online, so it’s important to invest in high-quality images for your site. Poor-quality or inaccurate graphics are surefire ways to lose credibility.
- Relevant info and details. Let’s say you’re starting a website dedicated to your love of baking. If you start a personal website about your recipe research, you may want to include content about your journey. Make sure to keep the purpose of the site in mind when adding new content — don’t just upload content for the sake of adding something new.
- Examples of work that you’re proud to share. Your website can act as an online portfolio. This might be a client’s first impression of your work, so only include your best work. When building your site, showcase projects that immediately come to mind when you think of the work that best reflects your abilities. Otherwise, too many examples may overwhelm a visitor who won’t know where to look first.
- “You” through visuals. Though it’s important to write effectively about yourself on your site, it’s just as necessary to capture your essence visually to give clients or hiring managers a full picture of who you are. So go ahead and include that professional headshot or your personal branding.
Why should you have a personal website?
There are a number of reasons to bolster your online presence with a personal website. Having a personal website gives you an instant portfolio that you can readily share with a prospective client or employer. It can also help you stand out from the crowd in a bustling field. Here are some additional benefits of personal websites to further persuade you:
- Don’t be limited to the confines of a resume. These documents often force you to cram an entire career on one page, and for some, there’s simply not enough space to tell a full story or showcase your talents. With a personal website, you have the freedom (and space) to show all the good stuff you have to offer a potential employer.
- Learn a new skill. You know what they say about life being about the journey, not the destination — well, this also rings true when it comes to creating a personal website. As you build your first website, you’ll learn how to use different digital tools, develop your own personal brand, and create an impactful design. You can put all those skills to work in the future.
- Beat a recruiter to the punch with an impressive online reputation. It’s no secret that most of us have a traceable digital footprint. Take this opportunity to control the narrative by having your personal website pop up first when employers search for your name — instead of your private Instagram account.
- Stand out from the crowd. You’re your own unique person with a lot to offer the job market — and the world! Having a personal website will strengthen your profile among the thousands of applicants or service providers all vying for the same job opportunity.
- Help the searcher find the right “you.” Now, we know that most employers are going to search your name, and a lot of people have the same name. When you have your own website with your information, bio, and photo, a potential employer will know for certain they’ve found the right person.
- Highlight your past work. A personal website is a fantastic place to boast about your achievements. Having an accessible space to showcase your projects and accolades is another way to stand out from the competition.
- Increase your chances of finding employment. Sure, a solid resume will get you far when applying for jobs, but a killer website is a great way to get noticed without trying. A recruiter just might stumble upon your website when searching for a candidate with your exact skill set.
- Let your creative side shine. Let’s face it: A job application isn’t necessarily the perfect vehicle to highlight your sparkly personality. That’s where a website comes in. Implementing certain design elements and shapes on your website can indicate authority, trust, ambition, or other aspects of your personal or professional life you want people to learn about you.
- Earn some extra moola. If you put some time and effort into your personal site, it could become a source of passive income for you, especially if you like to blog about a niche subject. Through affiliate links, sponsored posts, pay-per-click advertising, banner advertising, and other methods, there’s a chance for you to earn some extra cash.
Great examples of personal websites
Check out these six awesome personal websites to see the different components of a compelling site in action.
- Fifty Coffees: At first glance, this site doesn’t scream “personal website,” but that’s part of its charm. The homepage leaves the viewer with little information and an intriguing title. It compels a casual viewer to continue navigating the site to find out more about this mysterious blogger on a mission to find meaning. It’s a great example of how impactful blog content draws people in. The content itself is well-written and engaging, too.
- Allen Tan: The simplicity of product designer Allen Tan’s website and layout is effective on its own. Tan is very clear about the work he wants to display to the viewer, and his site is easy to navigate. All of this covers the basics of an effective personal website, but Tan takes it up a notch with some pointillism-inspired animation of himself; this creates an interesting visual element that goes beyond a basic headshot.
- April Dunford: April’s site has captivating design elements, including bright colors and high-quality images. Dunford, a B2B consultant, has warm and well-written copy throughout her site, which creates an immediate sense of connection with her. Yet, she doesn’t just rely on her words and visuals to communicate what makes her successful; she incorporates testimonials from respected professionals to further validate the skill set that she offers.
- Steven Mollett (AKA Stounson): Through striking design elements and a visually compelling site, the viewer gets a clear picture of this artist’s style and creativity. Mollett’s artistic approach is evident throughout the site that acts as both a digital storefront for Steven’s work as well as a chance to get to know the artist and where to find him on social media. Linked social media accounts, including Instagram, depict the artist and his work.
- Mack and Pouy: This site is a fantastic example of only using relevant info for supporting the purpose of a personal website. Mack and Pouya are wedding photographers, so their site highlights just that; it showcases their work and answers questions a potential client might have about pricing. They keep it to the point, all wrapped up in one visually stunning package. Mack and Pouya are passionate about capturing love, and that comes across instantly.
- Ojieame: Oijeame uses his site as a portfolio to display his many talents. What makes his site stand out is the highly organized content that flows beautifully on a single page. The layout design alone effectively communicates his expertise in design and user experience. Oijeame reminds us of the importance of letting the work do the talking.
How to start making a personal website
Now that you’re an expert on the ins and outs of personal website etiquette, you’re ready to make your vision a reality. First, decide what to call yourself and buy the domain name. Namecheap makes it easy to buy a domain, and you can use their advanced domain name generator to get the perfect name. Once your domain is purchased, you’ll need hosting, which is where your site content “lives.” When you use Namecheap’s Site Maker, hosting is available for as little as under $4 per month, or $38.88 a year. Finally, find the right website builder to help you get online quickly and easily. Thanks to easy website builders like Namecheap’s Site Maker, you can create your dream website in minutes. All you have to do is answer a few questions to determine what sections your site needs, and Namecheap’s step-by-step process makes sure you have all the essential elements, including fast hosting, website security, and easy assembly. With easy integration and publishing, you can add apps or insert code in a hassle-free way and get free access to Visual Suite’s blogging system to publish professional-looking blog posts. There really is a website for everything and everyone these days, so why not create your own?