A personal website provides a powerful way of showcasing what you can offer. The website acts as the center of professional and personal information about you, boosting your chances of getting hired.
By now, you may be saying, “But I have a LinkedIn page.” Yes, you may have a LinkedIn page, but the content on LinkedIn belongs to the company. A personal website makes you stand out from the competition and gives you the power to control your story.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to create an ideal personal website that can give your personal brand a huge boost.
Ways to Create a Personal Website
There are two methods you can use to create a personal website, and the choice ultimately depends on your needs and preferences.
1. Use a website builder
One of the easiest ways you can build a personal website is through a website builder. Website builders are tools that allow users to easily and quickly create a website without the need to edit code manually.
They accomplish this by providing templates that can be manipulated through drag and drop to add or remove elements. In most cases, users can see what the final product will look like while doing the edits.
Website builders are perfect when you want to create a simple website or when you don’t have technical skills.
2. Use a content management system (CMS)
A content management system is a software used to facilitate the creation of websites and digital content management. CMSs allow users to create websites by providing themes that they can customize to create their brand. These tools are however more flexible in that users can create their own templates, order one from a design agency, or buy from a third-party.
When using a CMS, users can access more customization features and edit the underlying code. They can also install from a huge pool of plugins, choose their preferred hosting provider, and even change the template at will.
Both website builders and CMSs allow users to create simple and complex designs, and you can find out more about personal website creation in the following post: How to Make a Personal Website for Free.
How to create a website using a website builder/ CMS
1. Choose a suitable website builder/ hosting provider
There are many website builders out there, but choosing one that fits you is important. You can choose between them by comparing what you need. One way to do this is to write down features you need, such as blog section, online store (eCommerce), photo gallery, contact form, SEO features, social media features, etc.
If you’ve decided to go with a CMS, you first need to choose a hosting platform. You can compare them using the features offered, perks, pricing, location of servers, etc. Some of the best hosting providers are DreamHost, Bluehost, and A2 Hosting.
2. Sign up for a plan that suits your needs and budget
After selecting a website builder/ hosting provider, you now need to sign up for a plan. These are usually listed depending on the features they offer, and you can always upgrade as your website grows.
Website builders generally cost between $5 and $40 per month. Hosting providers are more expensive as they cost $2.5 – $15/ month for shared hosting (the cheapest kind), and $80 – $730/month for dedicated hosting (the most expensive kind).
3. Choose a unique and relevant domain name
Most website builders and hosting providers allow you to register a free domain once you sign up with them. While creating one, make sure it’s relevant, memorable, and follows best domain practices.
4. Pick & customize your template design
Now that everything is set, you can start creating your site. A website builder will let you filter from a number of templates, and you can then customize it from there.
For CMS building, you will first need to install your CMS of choice – often through a few clicks. You can then install and edit your theme as well as add functionalities by downloading apps/ plugins.
5. Upload and format your own content
Once you have designed your site, you can now start adding your content. Make sure you portray your brand in the right way and keep your content engaging.
6. Test & publish your website
Once everything is set, preview your website to make sure everything works as it should. You can then go online!
How to optimize your personal website
Creating your website is just the first step, and there are several things you need to do to ensure it is efficient.
1. Use a personal domain
Website builders and various hosting platforms allow users to create a site and launch it for free using a subdomain. However, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to register a domain and buy hosting space. This will help you look more professional and legitimate.
As for the domain, it’s advisable to try you’re your first name and last name. If the domain is not available, you can throw in your middle name initial.
2. Choose a suitable theme
Design is always a crucial part of any website. For a personal website, it’s advisable to go for a theme that is able to showcase everything in a simple way. Ensure that the design looks professional and remember to customize it as much as you can.
3. Include a blog
Besides showcasing your skills and experience, you can also have a blog section on the website. A blog is a great way to share your ideas about the industry you work in, and it will also show potential employers or clients your authority in the field. If you decide to include a blog, ensure you regularly update it with interesting posts.
4. Optimize with SEO
Even though it is a personal website, optimizing it for search engines will make it easy for people looking for you or information about you to find your website. Incorporate SEO strategies such as using keywords, having the right content, getting backlinks, and making your website mobile-friendly.
A personal website is a great and convenient way to let employers and clients know more about you. It is not a replacement for your resume or social media platform, but it boosts them to make you stand out from the competition. The above guide should help you create an ideal personal website and enhance your professional image.