How to Create a Personal Website (Because It’s the 21st Century)
If you’re looking for a job – especially one that involves technology – then it’s really important nowadays to have a personal website. Think about it: if you were sending your demo to a record label, would you send it on a 4-Track? Well, I mean you COULD…but it would be really weird. So why in the age of social media and personal blogging are we still sending boring PDF resumés to prospective employers?
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create a personal website to showcase all of your skills & experience. Whether you’re a full-time developer or think that an HTML tag is something attached to your clothing, it’s really simple to get something up and running that will wow the people you’re looking to impress.
Tools To Create Your Personal Website With
There are a lot of services out there to create your personal site with. Here are a few of the best to help start the process:
About.me – Easily create a very sleek-looking and responsive site. It also has a social component to save other About.me profiles. Free or $4/month to use your own custom domain.
Squarespace – A simple and feature-packed website builder with really great templates to help you get up and running. Plans start at $8/month and they have really great support as well.
Wix – Another drag-and-drop editor that’ll let you get as detailed as you like. Free or paid plans starting at $4.08/month.
Represent – A more traditional-looking resume accessible online, with the added bonus of analytics and being able to save it as a PDF. $9.99/year
ALLYOU – A highly customizable portfolio builder, ideal for showcasing visual work. Free or paid plans starting at $8/month to use a custom domain.
Pixpa – An all-in-one website builder to create beautiful, professional websites with integrated client galleries, blogs, and ecommerce store. Use your own domain. 24×7 live chat support. Prices start at $5/mo
Important Elements of a Personal Site
Of course, it’s completely up to you what to include on your site. Here are some of the most commonly-found elements that will make sure you’re hitting all the right notes:
We’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover. We’ve also all ignored this and do it all the time. This is especially true for employers who are sifting through hundreds of applicants looking for any reason to eliminate a person from the running. Make sure that whatever first loads on your website looks awesome and does a good job of explaining what you’re all about. Maybe this is a big image (make sure it’s high resolution!), an inspiring quote or an impressive project you were a part of. Whatever it is, make sure it’s intriguing and makes people want to know more.
People have come to your site to learn more about you, so be sure to allow them to do so! Give them a taste of what you’re like and make them want to get to know you better. Include your professional background but also try to convey your great personality. Play a musical instrument? Run marathons? Are a huge comedy nerd? Employers aren’t just looking for skills but people who they’ll like working with as well, so use this opportunity to convince them that they’ll want to have you around every day.
People want to see what you’ve done, so be sure to make it easy for them to find. This is particularly relevant to those in the creative field. Showcase all of your best work and if possible link to your work so visitors can explore it for themselves.
Now that you’ve sufficiently wowed your visitor, it’s time to give them goods – your resumé! Pro tip: include a link to save the resumé as a PDF in case an employer prefers to do things the boring old-fashioned way.
If someone’s ready to offer you a job then they’ll need a way to contact you! There are many ways to get in touch so it’s good to provide whatever way they prefer. Link to your Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever other social networks you’re using. Include an email address to reach you at or embed a contact form (or both). You can even include a share button to let someone easily forward your site to the right person.
Branding Your Site
It’s your website, after all, so make sure it’s as custom-tailored to you as possible. Here’s a couple of things you can do to make sure your site is all about you even before people get there. Best of all, we can even help you with these at Hover (what a coincidence)!
Many of the personal website makers will give you a URL consisting of something like websitemaker.com/yourname. Instead of drawing attention to the service you used to build the website, use your own custom domain to make sure all eyes are on you. Grab yourname.com or even another Top Level Domain like .ME, .PRO or .ROCKS to make your domain end with something even more personal. Click here to see the hundreds of TLDs we’ve got to choose from.
Once an employer has contacted you, there’s nothing worse than responding back with an email that comes from firstname.lastname@example.org. Since you’ve already grabbed a custom domain for your site, go one step further and use it for a custom email address like email@example.com.
Ready to get working on your next idea? Get started with a great domain from Hover: