This article was by AMBER LEIGH TURNER of The next Web
From authors and designers, to coders and writers – and everyone in between – personal websites are a new concept that is likely here to stay.
For those of us who are self-employed, well known on the internet, or trying to build an online persona, personal websites help us further our career goals and act as a universal “about me” go-to on the web.
This is your personal internet billboard, so it should reflect your personality and highlight your work.
Share content you’ve written (original or previously published), showcase the creations you’ve been working on, post event videos in which you’re speaking, or just have an elegant way to talk about you, your story, and your background.
Personal websites are what you make of them, and there’s really no right or wrong way to go about creating one, but there are some general things you should consider before getting started.
All personal sites should have:
- A clear and easy to spell domain name
- An about me page that really is all about you
- Easy to find contact information… why have a site for people to find you if they can’t contact you
Additionally, websites aren’t static, they’re dynamic. For that reason, you must always be sure to update your site whenever you accomplish something.
If you’ve been thinking of getting your personal website together, here are some great examples of personal websites that hit all of the right points in making them effective and outstanding in their own right.
Share your potential
Kelsey Klemme is a UX designer from Los Angeles that uses her personal website to showcase her work and to have an easy way for prospective clients to contact her. Her site has a very clean layout, organized home page, and exactly the pieces of information someone would want to know about Kelsey
One aspect of her personal site that stands out the most is her portfolio and the fact that she outlines her creative process. The “process” section of her site helps visitors easily and quickly understand what she does and the process by which she does it.
Endorsements paint a prettier picture
The man behind the viral video “Single Ladies Devastation,” Carlos Whittaker has a great personal website that focuses on the articles and content he produces. His site is organized well, where you can learn more about his book, speaking opportunities and can contact him without hunting for information.
One area of Carlos’ website that works particularly well for a personal website is the testimonials section he has scrolling at the bottom. It’s one thing to talk about yourself, it’s quite another to showcase words written from other people about you. Testimonials carry significant weight, so showcasing them on your personal website is definitely a plus.
If you find a very unique way to showcase exactly what you do in a split second for those who visit your site, then do it. That is what Paul Fletcher did with his personal website. A user experience designer, he found a very unique way to show that he’s from the Bay Area by incorporating a zoomable map as the main hero area of the site, complete with clickable UI buttons as well. This little element will likely leave a lasting impression on visitors to his site.
Another spectacular element on his site is the custom videos he has that demo his work. Not only are the videos a nice touch, the placement of those videos to make them look like a tablet or laptop is a very unique touch. Both the map and the videos are both very well done and give the user a lasting impression — exactly what he aims for not only on his site but for projects he works on as well.
Authenticity is captivating
Most personal websites tend to have a picture of the person who the site is about. Some of those pictures can be cheesy, or low quality, or even feel staged. Not with Ellen’s. Ellen Skye Riley has a picture of herself front and center on her site, but the photo feels very natural, welcoming, and warm. Having a great personal picture on your site is important, and Ellen does it every well on her site.
Not only is the self portrait well done, her site is organized in a very clean and straightforward manner. It’s not hard at all to find the work that she’s done or how to contact her. To showcase her work, she designed it so that it feels immersive and is very well put together.
Let your design do the work
If you’re an author looking to create a personal website of your own, Jon Acuff’s website is a great example of how to do it well. Most authors blog along with writing and publishing their own books, so their personal website often has a blog front and center.
Jon’s website in particular is a great example of how to make the design flow with what you’re known for. Jon’s published a best-selling book that has a very distinctive yellow, blue, and black color scheme. His site works well with this book in that he carries that color theme in other parts of his site as well, even in the main hero image of his site where it is the first thing visitors see when they come to the site.
Less is more
If you’re a long-time fan of The Next Web, then this name should be very familiar to you. The former CEO of TNW has a stunning personal website that checks off all of the major things you would want to know about Zee.
Some of the highlights of his site includes a very clean and crisp design, a concise but complete about section, and his social media networks. With these tidbits of info, you can follow more of what he’s currently working on, reach out to him to chat, or just keep up with his updates.
Personal websites are a great way to showcase you and your career, and are becoming increasingly popular ways to do so. If you’re thinking of launching your own personal website, or revamping your current one, the ones above are great inspiration examples to help you get started.