Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

Feature Image 2 PNG   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You LaterPreviously, we beat to death every single excuse/myth/misconception that there is about creating a personal website. You no have no reason not to have one. However, you may still be wondering how making your own website could really benefit you.

In January, I wrote an article about why it’s crucial to have a professional online presence and how to do it, where I mentioned the importance of having a personal website. A personal website is probably one of the biggest aspects of your online presence. Sure other areas such as social networks and blogs are important, but your website is like a home base – a hub that everything branches off from.Let’s now explore some reasons how just such a website will benefit you tremendously.

Your Website Is Like a Living Resume, But More Dynamic

Comparing your website to your resume, is almost insulting to your website. Although you can create an awesome resume, a website is so much more than that. First, it can be whatever you want it to be. Where a resume is typically supposed to be in a certain format, except for creative types, a website can be in any format, have any theme, and contain any content.

Personal Website   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

You can use it to display your hobbies and interests; your professional success and goals; a portfolio of your photography, projects or other work; and many other interesting things such as The Impossible List, a complete life bio, or simply share your outlook on life.

Your Website Is Your Ultimate “Online Profile”

In line with the previous point, your website is the ultimate way to represent yourself online. Sure there are your social networks, or even your blog, but your own website, especially a self-hosted site, is far more effective in communicating to potential employers, customers, and business partners about who you are.

About.Me Page   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

However, self-hosted websites certainly aren’t the only way to go. Previously we mentioned some online tools that you can use to easily create a website without the need for tinkering with WordPress. Websites like About.me  allow you to design your own landing page with ease. Other websites like Weebly allow you to create a whole website. In addition, you could still purchase a domain name so you can have a nice clean URL like example.com instead of example.weebly.com or about.me/example.

Again, I encourage you to look into using WordPress – it’s not difficult (which I used to think so), but if you are set on other options, here’s a list of websites that you might want to consider:

Your Website Helps You Become More Discoverable

More and more people are using the Internet to find people, and more about them than what they may have already known. The number of people who have personal websites in lieu of other social profiles is quite low. What’s my point? My point is that if someone searches your name in Google, you have a much higher chance of being discovered. Plus, it also decreases the chances that someone else with your same name could misrepresent you in some way and potentially hurt your integrity.

Google Search Results   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

In the image above, you can see that my website is number two in the search results – in between a Twitter account and a website of two different people, my online namesakes. In fact, all three of us are on Twitter and do some sort of writing or blogging. So there’s a possibility that someone could mix us up. This is why it’s important to ensure you “claim your name” online and represent yourself professionally.

Your Website Improves Your Credibility and Helps You Stand Out

Stand out   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

To expand on what I was saying in the previous section, a website also makes you more credible and allows you to stand out amongst the crowd and competition. Have you ever asked your friends, classmates, or colleagues about how many of them have their own personal website? It’s likely that your having a website will make you a rarity among them. This is likely to change in the coming years, but for now, you should take advantage of the fact that not everyone represents themselves online as well as they could.

Now, does this mean that by having a website you’re guaranteed to beat out those who don’t? Of course not, it also depends on your skill set,  experiences, education and so on. But it will certainly give you an edge by showing your dedication and career focus, which is my next point.

Your Website Shows Your Dedication and Career Focus

Career focus   Making Your Own Website: Your Career Will Thank You Later

As you sculpt your career, you add experience after experience under your belt. A website is the perfect place to share those experiences through both text and pictures. You can use this as a tool to show people in the same line of work what you do. It’s one thing to have it on a resume, or even talk about it in person, but for them to read about it and see photos or videos of your accomplishments, that’s where you can really benefit from the power of a resume. It enables people whom you may have never even met to connect with you in a way that they’ve never been able to before.

Conclusion

We have not only disproved the myths of not having a website, but also provided you five solid reasons for having one. You can see now how not having a website can really set you back professionally. In the midst of all the competitiveness these days, no matter which career path you choose, it’s crucial that you set yourself apart from the rest. Now, a website certainly isn’t the only thing you need — you need good references, some solid experience, potentially an education, and proficient skills in your area of expertise. But how do you communicate that? Through a website of course!

Now that you have the motivation and reason to start working on making your own website, all you need to do is to make a get rolling. When you’re finished, feel free to share your website development journey with us. We also welcome any of your thoughts on how to create a personal website effectively.

Have you created one prior to this series of articles? If so, what moved you to do so? If you’re still on the fence or have any questions concerning a website, I’m more than happy to help — shoot us your comments below!

Image Credits: red businessman character in a magnifying glass; Determined businessman aiming at target with bow and arrow via Shutterstock

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38 Comments -

0 votes

Harish

This is a really informative post, on my way to wix

0 votes

Joshua Lockhart

Good stuff, friend. There’s another Josh Lockhart out there. It’s why I go by Joshua now. : /

0 votes

Sonesh Lakhani

Shortly i am also goign to purcahse new domain with my name

1 votes

Aaron Couch

Very cool! Be sure to share your website with us once you complete it!

0 votes

BiG eViL…….

this a great piece of info, i will surely look into it and have a website of my own, it would look cool on the business card that i have a personal website. great stuff Aaron keep it up!

1 votes

Aaron Couch

Absolutely! I love having it on my resume, and I am working (slowly :S) on my business cards, which I plan on putting my website on as well.

Glad to help! Let me know if I can assist in any other way :)

0 votes

macwitty

Still on the public fence – dealing with it off line but hope to get public before the summer.

0 votes

null

I am working one now (WIX) and hope to be up soon! Nice post!

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Thanks! Feel free to share your website with us whenever you complete it!

0 votes

Dan Hardi

Recently i found very unique website builder – http://www.webzai.com.
You should try it , this is an amazing website creation tool.

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Oh very cool Dan! Thanks for sharing :)

0 votes

Mike

I have the domain name, but no idea how to make it into a web site.
I could build a web site using wordpress but then it would be example.wordpress.com so it wouldnt use my domain.

The article is great, just need some gaps filling in. Thanks,

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Mike — I’ve been in your EXACT same shoes. The solution isn’t WordPress.COM, but WordPress.ORG. Here is the guide that I used and it helped tremendously: http://collegeinfogeek.com/personal-website/

I think it’ll help you too! I’m happy to help you in any way I can.

0 votes

Mike

Thanks for the info & link. Looks like I have made it a lot harder by buying the domain name without the hosting.

The article linked recommends HostGator, but as I am in the UK I guess I need to do my own research here. There are a lot to choose from & it is hard to know what might work ok & be good value. The site I need will be only a few pages & not expect much traffic so I am hoping the costs will be minimal.

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Mike,

Sorry for the late response. You might start by looking at our Best Of Web Hosting page. Keep me posted on the progress of your website and if you need any further help! And as always, MakeUseOf Answers is a great place to get questions answered as well.

0 votes

F.

I like Ucoz as well. It has some annoying features but that’s just me being picky: for example, a free website can have its own list of users (profiles and everything) but their accounts can’t be local (they have to register with Ucoz, though it’s free and doesn’t sign them up for webspace) but on the other hand, hey–free website can actually have its own user community! Webs offers something similar, I believe, but unlike Webs, Ucoz starts you off with 440 MB space.

0 votes

Graeme M

Great article which may well get me motivated to do this

5 votes

Thomas Frank

Glad to see that you’ve pointed out the obvious SEO benefits :)

I’ve got the same problem you’ve got – there’s another Thomas Frank out there! However, he’s a famous author who’s been on the Colbert Report and stuff, so it’s going to take me quite a few years to step out of his shadow…

0 votes

Clyde Ray List

I’ve owned my own website for almost ten years. The ad free environment is the best part. I only wish I knew how to Link my FB page to http://clydelist.com

0 votes

Maxi3w

Hey. Well…. I have always dreamed of having my own website, wordpress.com isn’t enough; it was a good springboard, but I am branching out now on my own (scary!).

I have my domain and website builder and blogging function but… I haven’t got it up and running yet :( It’s an info site and that’s where the nerves come from as I have got to get what I am talking about RIGHT!!

(I just read your article link on creating a personal website and this comment appiles to both)

I know that I want to help people and the past 3-4 years of my working life was doing just that. So the websites an extension of that – reaching out and sharing extensive knowledge. It’s just so nerve wracking.

With the setup, there’s a LOT of components I have to get my head around. I have many of the ideas for content and angle written down but, I gotta do the building (stress!).

Do you have any motivational words pertaining to a kick up the rear??

Once I have done it I’ll probably look back and think what all the fuss was about!

(I’ve gone with GoDaddy – the cost is quite reasonable)

0 votes

Donnie Johnstone

Arron, You have hit the hot button with me! Thanks for reminding me of all the groovy reason to have my own site/blog etc. I have hosting have my domain name and do not laugh but I have redone the setup (themes, css, make it all fit) so many times an tore it down only speaking of the tech stuff I have all my brand and content but I struggle with the set-up of the site. I admit it I have tried for the last year to set up my own set my domain name is a year old next month I have hosting for three years at HG but I still do not have my site?? I have aff. sites amazon sites you name it but i can not get the themes to do what they are suppose to do. I have paid themes, free WP themes they are all setting online under my domain with nothing on them. I am lost or better yet overwhelmed with this ME site. Been online 3 years an I am at a stand still cannot sale anymore to offline or online with out finishing this ME site. Please my friend guide me, offer me help, or at least look at what I am talking about? Please I am no dummy but what I want and what the theme wants to do is two different things. I belong to yall have for years but you have hit the one spot that I can not Techy figure this out. please respond and tell this Woman in Texas how to fix this so I can go on….??? Have biz cards, letterhead can not pass out cause it has my domain name for my site which is still not done.
Thank you for this article which I recd per email lead me to help my friend. I could even pay something for help…?
Truly
Donnielyn J

0 votes

Arshad Hasan

Can someone suggest me good domain names?

arshadhasan.com is taken and I am not sure which other to choose

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Arshad,

I ran into a similar problem. Ideally, .com is the best, but for a personal site, you might also consider a .me — for mine I did aaroncouch.me. Another thought is using a middle initial if you have one. Does that help?

0 votes

Arshad Hasan

Will myname.me work with Google Apps?

0 votes

Aaron Couch

I would think that would work, yes.

0 votes

Ben Cobb

I tried Wix and this is what I came up with. Please let me know what you think! http://cobbbt.wix.com/ben-a-cobb-wedding
Thanks!

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Ben,

Your link isn’t going through for some reason. Is your website still up?

0 votes

Ben Cobb

Aaron,
yes I just took the site down. Wix was just too slow for my liking.
I now have a SmugMug site. Http//:benacobbphoto.smugmug.com/

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Ah I see. Very nice!

0 votes

Ali Khan

Thanks for the great article, i need to learn more about web hosting though.

0 votes
0 votes

Ali Khan

Thanks for replying, I will check those link. :)

0 votes

Georgie

Can you tell me what it is about word press that not only you have recommended, I don’t understand why WordPress is better than the others you listed like WIX ?
Thanks for your time

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Georgie,

To get an answer from several different people, you should ask this question on on MakeUseOf Answers. Please refer to this article.

0 votes

Michael

One caveat I would say goes along with having a personal website, especially if you blog, is to keep it updated. If your last post was over a year ago or links that go no where, it negates any benefits of having a website in the first place.

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Michael,

Although I understand what you mean, this isn’t necessarily always the case. A personal website can be stagnant as long as the information is mostly current and up to date. Sometimes life gets busy you don’t have a chance to update it — I was recently in this position — I moved across the country, stopped doing some things, and started doing others. In all of that, I didn’t update my personal website for weeks (just recently changed it all).

A blog is much different — it is something that you should post to regularly. I personally don’t post to my multiple blogs as often as I would like/should. But I don’t feel that reflects negatively on me as a person — I’m busy and have a lot going on and although I try to do many things that I enjoy (one being blogging), I also have to put the majority of my efforts towards making money (writing for MUO and doing other freelance gigs).

Again, I see where you are coming from and I 100% agree that it’s crucial to the life of your blog to post quality and consistent articles. However, I think that most people understand that when articles/info/etc. aren’t as current, it usually means more there are more important things going on that you haven’t had time to update the Internet on yet.

Thanks for reading the article and for commenting. And feel free to share any additional thoughts. I don’t want it to seem like I’m just shutting you down. If I missed a point somewhere, you’re more than welcome to point it out.

0 votes

willson

Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. I use wix (http://mbuynow.wix.com/home) and weebly (http://mbuynow.weebly.com/). They are very useful tools for building your brand. Also, thanks for sharing the list of websites.

0 votes

Angely

This is great! I’ve been thinking about getting my own website and this post has definitely inspire me to do so. Thanks!