7 Steps for Creating a Personal Website in 2023
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Whether you’re applying for a new job, or you want to share your experience and expertise with a wider audience, creating a personal website is important. Many job roles often now ask for an online portfolio – plus, these sites are an engaging way to show who you are, as well as what you can do.
With so many personal websites online today, you might be wondering how to stand out from the crowd – but we’re here to help! From starting with some clear goals to getting your personal website seen, we’ve outlined 7 steps to get you started.
1 Set a Clear Goal For Your Personal Website
Before starting to think about content and what to write, it’s worth outlining some goals for your personal website. Why are you creating one, and what do you want to achieve?
Many people often focus on trying to build a social media presence, but it’s just as important to decide on the purpose of your personal website first – this will then inform the content you share on other channels.
Here are some factors to think about first:
- Who is your target audience going to be? How will you appeal to them?
- Consider your tone of voice – how do you want to be perceived by others and what is your brand identity?
- What skills do you have that will set you apart? Do some research and think about what you can offer that’s distinctive.
2 Buy a Domain Name
What’s next? Well, once you’ve decided on the purpose of your personal website, it’s time to select your domain name, which is an address for your website to help your visitors find you.
If you get this spot on, people will be more likely to remember your website – which is key when it comes to job applications! It’s a good idea to include your own name if it’s a personal website, but – if you don’t feel comfortable doing so – at least make sure it’s something relevant to your content.
We’d advise buying from domain registrars such as Domain.com and NameCheap, where you’ll pay an annual fee of around $10 to $15 per year.
3 Choose a Website Builder
Now it’s time to sign up for a website builder, where you’ll manage your content and choose from a range of templates with which to customize your website. There are many user-friendly, creative options available nowadays, so you’re sure to find something that works for you.
Here are the three website builders that we’d recommend for starting a personal website:
Squarespace starts with prices at around $12 per month and is a website builder designed to help people build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability. It comes with impressive templates that are great for visual content, as well as effective SEO tools to help bring your website to the attention of relevant readers or recruiters. It’s often a favorite amongst artists, photographers, and those who love design.
Wix is extremely beginner-friendly. It isn’t the cheapest website builder with a starting price of $14 per month however, it does offer great value for money thanks to the number of features it includes. Wix also has over 800 templates to choose from, and they’ve all been professionally designed.
Weebly is an easy-to-use website builder, and comes with hundreds of templates that work for different types of content – not to mention a cornucopia of apps and features to help your website grow. Prices for this builder are around $6 per month (that’s cheap!), while it also comes with various built-in features and an extensive app store. This makes it a favorite amongst small businesses, as well as those looking to create a site to showcase their personal portfolio.
Now you’ve selected your website builder, you’ll be asked to choose your monthly pricing plan, and enter your personal details and domain name.
4 Find a Template You Love
Next, you’ll need to find a template that you love – this is your chance to add some personal flair. If you’re creating a website for professional or portfolio reasons, select something unique, but that’s also going to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Not sure how you want your website to look? Browse others with similar content for inspiration, but – ideally – pick a template that speaks to you, and suits your unique content needs. Think about whether you’ll be creating a one-page website or a multi-page one, too, and then go from there.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can start to bulk out your website with images, content, and more. This may vary depending on which builder you’re working with, but three of favorites all offer drag-and-drop customization, allowing you to move content around with ease.
Discover how customization works on our favorite website builders below:
- Squarespace comes with modern themes that are easy to edit and adapt to mobile devices. It is a drag-and-drop website builder, but unlike other builders, you can’t just drag anything anywhere. It’s more section-based, which takes a little longer to get to familiar with.
- Wix comes with easy to use drag-and-drop building tools and a number of themes you can customize to look exactly how you want. This gives you more freedom, which is ideal when it comes to creating a personal website, so you can really make it your own.
- Weebly If you want your work to speak for itself within a fuss-free template, this will be the website builder for you. You can build a simple, stylish site with Weebly’s drag-and-drop editor, however some people find the functionality here a little more limited.
Examples of templates
5 Add Your Website’s Content
Now you can start creating your pages, writing content and making your website your own.
Here are some tips for when you start adding content:
- Add static content first: We’d recommend adding a homepage, an ‘about us’ page, and a ‘contact me’ page with details about yourself early on – get these pages up and running before anything else.
- Showcase the best of your work: Websites can serve as an online portfolio or display samples of work and link elsewhere. Add a selection of the projects that you’re most proud of!
- Include testimonials: Boost your credibility by including quotes from people you’ve worked with. This works in a similar way to how we endorse one another on Linkedin, and it’s a great way to serve up social proof that your services are to be trusted.
- Focus on visuals: Even if you don’t work in a creative industry, including visuals will make your website more engaging from the get-go.
6 Install Apps
Moving on, it’s time to explore how you can add more functionality to your personal website. We’d recommend starting to add apps now, which will make your personal website even more appealing.
Here are some of the apps accessible via each builder that you might find useful:
- Squarespace offers creative design apps and as a number of sharing apps – all of which will make the site more visually appealing and user-friendly. For visual personal websites you might want to experiment with apps like Outfy, which allows you to create stunning social media graphics and automate social media posts.
- The Wix App Market also has hundreds of apps to choose from, such as the Pinterest Pin It button app, which is great for personal websites and social sharing.
- Weebly also offers a variety of effective apps from its in-house selection, including easy contact forms, easy pop-ups, and quick Facebook chat.
7 Get Your Website Seen
Now, how do you get your website seen by the right people? Marketing is vital for success, so putting effort into the key strategies will help you stand out from the crowd.
We’ve summarised our top digital marketing tips to help you get your website seen:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): There are a number of SEO tips that can help improve your ranking on search engines. For example, you should find the right keywords for your website and use them throughout your written content, and pick a domain name that shows Google what your personal website is all about. Check out our top 7 blog SEO tips for more detailed info.
- Social media marketing: It’s important to start building your presence across multiple social channels, so add your website in your social profiles, tweet and post about it, and share it with your job search materials. Keep it updated with new information (or, if you’re blogging, post regular content).
- Add relevant links: Seeking out links back to your personal website from trustworthy and noteworthy publications isn’t just good for publicity – it’s great for helping your website rank for relevant terms in search engine results, too!
- Email marketing: Use an email opt-in tool to obtain email addresses and start to make contact. This could help connect you with potential future employers, and build those all-important connections.
How to Start a Personal Website: Summary
So, whether you’re applying for jobs, hoping to progress professionally, or simply sharing something important to you, creating a personal website will only benefit you in the long run. And remember – your online presence can have a huge impact on your prospects and exposure to the people you want to be connected with, so getting it right is important.
With a little help from us and some hard work, you’ll be well on your way to creating a unique personal website!
Here’s a reminder of those 7 steps on how to start a personal website:
- Set a Clear Goal For Your Personal Website
- Buy a Domain Name
- Choose a Website Builder
- Find a Template You Love
- Add Your Website’s Content
- Install Apps
- Get Your Website Seen