Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand and learning how to make a personal website is an essential skill in the 21st century.
Recruiters and potential clients look at your online presence, and in this age of information, misinformation, and online record-keeping, it’s important to take control of how you come across. As the adage says, “It takes years to build a reputation, and seconds to destroy it.”
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- The importance of building a personal website
- How to make a personal website
- What should you include on a personal website?
- What should you include on a personal website?
- 5 personal website examples to inspire your ideas
The importance of building a personal website
Personal branding is about managing your name and the information about you that’s presented. If you don’t manage your online presence, it will manage you.
There are many online platforms where you can build your brand, but a personal website is the best because of the following reasons:
- It gives you complete control of the message you want to put out. Unlike social media platforms which require you to fill out specific content sections, learning how to make a personal website empowers you to include whatever will highlight your skills. It’s for this reason that hiring managers prefer personal websites over other branding tools.
- It’s entirely yours. With a personal website, you don’t have to worry about frequent social media algorithm changes.
- It lets you acquire new skills. Learning how to make a personal website empowers you to uncover new skills, such as marketing, branding, and web design.
- It’s dynamic. Unlike a static resume, a personal website evolves as you do. You can add media such as videos and photos to showcase your personality.
By learning how to make a personal website, you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd.
How to make a personal website
- Define your brand
- Decide the purpose of your website
- Buy a domain name
- Select a website host
- Choose a template
- Add your own content
- Customize your design
- Make sure your website is mobile- friendly
- Optimize your website
- Promote your website
Step 1: Define your brand
The first step in learning how to make a personal website is to define your brand.
There’s a saying that goes, “Decide how you want to be seen and show up as that person.”
First, have a clear focus on what your brand looks like and how you want others to perceive you. You get to decide how to present yourself to the world, which will be the basis of how others see you.
Personal branding, at its core, is about highlighting your strengths. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- What are my strengths?
- What do I love doing?
- What do I value?
- What makes me unique?
- What can I offer that others can’t?
If you can find a middle ground between your strengths, values, and what you love doing, then use that as a base for your brand.
Step 2: Decide the purpose of your website
Another aspect of learning how to make a personal website is determining whether someone needs your specific skillset.
There should be people who care about what you do, or your brand will be irrelevant. Your target audience doesn’t have to be huge. It’s better to be an expert in a small, responsive niche than be a nobody in a large market.
This is where deciding your personal website’s purpose comes in. Will you use it as an online portfolio, or will you offer your services?
This is important because it will determine:
- The type of personal website you’ll build
- Your website’s requirements
- How you’ll market your website to your target audience
Step 3: Buy a domain name
When it comes to building a personal website, you need a domain name. You can learn how to make a personal website using any platform, but you can’t have an excellent personal website without a domain.
A domain name is the website address that people type into the web browser to access your website. You can buy domain names from domain registrars or get one free when you sign up with the best website hosting.
If you don’t have a website yet, don’t fret. When you decide to build a personal brand, you can immediately register a domain name and use it for your professional email address. You may also opt to redirect it to your personal Facebook or LinkedIn accounts.
Having a domain name keeps your website professional and trustworthy, especially if it uses a .com extension.
Choosing a domain name doesn’t have to be complicated. When you’re building a personal brand, you can use the foolproof combination of your first and last name.
If you’re able to obtain the .com domain name you want, register the other domain name extensions (such as .net, .org, or .co), so they won’t be available for other users.
The best website hosting providers like Bluehost usually have a search function to search and buy available domain names.
If the domain name you’re eyeing is unavailable, opt for available domain name extensions or try to acquire the existing domain name from its owner.
Step 4: Select a website host
Building a personal website nowadays is straightforward. You can go the do-it-yourself route and learn how to make a personal website from scratch, use website builders, hire web developers, or use a mix of the best features of each solution.
The best way to build a website from scratch is to use open-sourced content management systems such as WordPress, which is excellent if flexibility and customizability are your website’s top priorities. WordPress is also advantageous if you want to rank for search engines.
However, using WordPress requires some level of technical skill and you need to choose the best website hosting.
The best website hosting plans for personal websites are usually inexpensive and come with free domain name registration. Besides free domain registration, the best website hosting ensures website security and quick website uptimes.
Bluehost offers the best WordPress hosting for entrepreneurs on a budget and is officially recommended by WordPress.
The simplest route when you have the budget to spare is to hire a professional web developer. It saves time and ensures a professional-looking website. Just be sure to look at your designer’s portfolio before hiring them.
WordPress has started offering a website development service called Built by WordPress, but price points start at $4,900, and there’s currently a waiting list because of the demand.
Should you want the best of each solution without the steep price point, Bluehost offers a professional service that offers the expertise of web development professionals while you can enjoy the features of the best website hosting.
For an even simpler solution, Bluehost offers a website builder with smart AI web creation.
Step 5: Choose a website template
After choosing a domain name and the best website hosting, the next step in learning how to make a personal website on WordPress is to install themes and plugins.
You can think of themes as website templates — they determine the look and feel of your website.
On the other hand, plugins are lines of code that add functionality to a website. You can think of them as website building blocks, and you can choose plugins based on the functions your website will need. Yoast and Jetpack are two essential plugins every website should use.
WordPress has a variety of plugin and theme options, both premium and free.
Step 6: Add your content
Once you’ve set up the basic structure of your website, it’s time to add your content. This content can include text, images, videos, and any other elements that reflect your brand or message. Here’s how to do it:
- Text content: Write compelling and concise content for your website. This might include an “About Me” section, blog posts, project descriptions, or any other information you want to share.
- Images and media: Upload images and media that enhance your content. For a personal website, this could include photos of yourself, your work, or any visual elements relevant to your brand.
- Portfolio items: If you’re showcasing your work, create portfolio items with descriptions and images. This can include projects, artwork, writing samples, or any other work you want to display.
- Blog posts: If you plan to maintain a blog, write and publish your first blog posts. Make sure they are well-structured and engaging.
Step 7: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
With an increasing number of users accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets, a mobile-friendly design is crucial. To achieve this, start by choosing a responsive theme or template that automatically adapts to various screen sizes.
Next, thoroughly test your website on different devices to ensure it displays correctly and is easy to navigate, paying attention to the usability of interactive elements like buttons and forms.
Additionally, optimize your images and media files to reduce load times on mobile devices, enhancing the overall user experience and making your website more inclusive for a broader audience.
Mobile-friendliness not only improves user satisfaction but also positively impacts your website’s search engine rankings.
Step 8: Optimize your website
An important aspect of learning how to make a personal website is search engine optimization (SEO), especially if you’re planning on monetizing your website in the future.
SEO contributes to increased organic traffic, which lets users find your website through search engines without requiring you to pay for ads.
A study found that the top three search engine results get half of the total clicks for a search term, with the top result getting 28.5% of the total clicks, while the rest of the results fight for the remaining 50%.
Search engines rank websites according to both on-page and off-page factors, which can get confusing when you’re a beginner.
There are simple ways to boost SEO, but new websites won’t see results until months of consistent monitoring. It’s best to consult with professionals for a custom SEO strategy for your website.
Step 9: Promote your website
The last step in learning how to make a personal website is promoting your website. You don’t want your hard work to go to waste.
Here are some easy ways to promote your website:
- Share the link to your new website on your social media channels.
- Use your professional email address to send emails to your contacts. You can fill them in about new blog posts, updates, and inspirational articles.
- Include the link to your website in your email signature.
- Update content on your website to improve your search engine rankings.
What should you include on a personal website?
On your website, ensure it includes the following key elements:
- About page with your bio: The “About” page introduces you to visitors. It should contain a brief bio, your mission and values, notable achievements, and a personal touch, allowing visitors to connect with you on a personal level.
- Contact page : Make it easy for people to reach out to you. Include a contact form, an email address, links to your social media profiles, and, if relevant, your physical address or location information.
- Blog: A blog section lets you share your thoughts and expertise. Regularly update it with well-written and engaging content. Organize posts with categories and tags and offer an RSS feed for subscribers.
- Portfolio: If you have work or projects to showcase, create a portfolio. Display your best work with descriptions and context and consider adding testimonials or endorsements for added credibility. These elements will help you effectively communicate your brand, expertise, and personality while providing valuable information to your audience.
5 personal website examples to inspire your ideas
1. Martha Stewart (marthastewart.com)
Martha Stewart’s website is a prime example of a well-established online presence. Her website is characterized by elegant and timeless design, reflecting her brand. It includes features like a blog, recipes, home and garden tips, and a shop for her products. It’s a comprehensive platform for her to share her expertise and engage with her audience.
2. In Photos dot Org (inphotos.org)
In Photos is a personal photography blog by Donncha O Caoimh. This website focuses on stunning imagery and storytelling. It demonstrates the power of a simple, image-centric design, featuring photo galleries, blog posts, and photography tips. It’s an excellent example for photographers or visual artists looking to showcase their work effectively.
3. Aidan Moher (aidanmoher.com)
Aidan Moher’s website is an example of a personal blog and portfolio combination. He uses a clean and organized layout to share his writing, reviews, and other content. The design highlights his writing expertise, making it a great reference for writers and bloggers aiming to display their work professionally.
4. Nick Schäferhoff (nickschaeferhoff.de)
Nick Schäferhoff’s website is a personal site that combines his blog, portfolio, and information about his services. With a modern and professional design, it’s an excellent example for freelancers or professionals in the web design and development field. It showcases his skills and services clearly and concisely.
5. Aleyda Solis (aleydasolis.com)
Aleyda Solis, an international SEO consultant, uses her website as a hub for her professional services, blog, and speaking engagements. Her site features a sleek, modern design with a strong focus on her services. It’s a great example for consultants and digital marketing professionals aiming to establish a strong online presence.
Final thoughts: How to make a personal website
Building a personal brand is essential for career success, and learning how to make a personal website can enhance your skills and career.
Building a personal website doesn’t have to be complicated. Create and promote your website with Bluehost’s Professional Services.
FAQ’s about making a personal website
Absolutely, there are costs involved in creating a personal website, but they can vary significantly. Typically, you’ll need to pay for a domain name and hosting services. However, there are free platforms available if you’re willing to compromise on customization and domain naming. Remember, investing a bit in your website can offer a more professional look and greater control.
Yes! Having a personal website is a powerful tool for branding and self-expression. It’s a space entirely under your control, where you can showcase your skills, portfolio, resume, or even blog posts. In today’s digital age, a personal website can significantly boost your online presence, making it easier for potential employers, clients, or followers to find and engage with you.
Your website should reflect you and your goals. For professionals, it’s wise to include a portfolio, resume, and contact information. If you’re a creator or artist, showcase your work prominently. Blogs are fantastic for writers or those looking to share insights and stories. Remember, quality content is key, so make sure whatever you include is polished and represents you well.
The quickest way is to use a WordPress website builder from Bluehost. This platform offers user-friendly interfaces, customizable templates, and hosting solutions all in one. You can practically have a website up and running in a matter of hours without needing extensive technical knowledge.
The most affordable method is to use free website builders like WordPress.com, Blogger, or even platforms like Google Sites. These options offer basic functionalities at no cost. However, for a small investment with Bluehost, you can get a domain name and access more features, which often makes a significant difference in how professional your site looks and functions.