You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

Feature Image PNG   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 MythsHave you ever considered having a personal website? You know – a place where people can go to read about who you are, what you do, your goals and aspirations, and of course to contact you. Perhaps you don’t feel you need one and find yourself asking the question, “Why would anyone want to contact me?”; or “How would it really benefit me?”. Maybe, you realize it would be a good thing to have, but just feel it’s too much work or that you don’t have the skills to create one. These are all things I told myself for years, but last year I finally was convinced to build my own personal website.

This is the first article of a two-part series where we will explore the benefits of creating a personal website. Today, we’ll cover the common misconceptions that are keeping you from creating an awesome personal website.

Myth 1: What I Do Isn’t Interesting Enough To Have On a Website

Bored   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

You might be thinking, “How is what I do interesting at all to people?” And you’re right – the things that the majority of us do don’t really seem that “interesting”. So why bother then? Well, for a couple reasons.

First: it’s not about being interesting — having a personal website is much more than that.

Second: how you view yourself is different from how others view you — having a personal website is your public persona.

Myth 2: I’m A Private Person and I Don’t Like Being Known About

Private   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

If this is how you feel, I definitely respect that. Everyone is different. Some people are very outgoing and like to put everything out there, while others are more reserved and like to keep most things to themselves. However, this isn’t about putting out your phone number, family photos, etc. on your website – it’s about providing professional information to people who are looking to find the best candidate for the job.

I, personally, am more outgoing. My Twitter account isn’t private, I have several blogs, and I’m all over the Internet. But I still feel that much of what I have on my website isn’t anything that would sacrifice my privacy. I share my goals and dreams, hobbies, what I’m currently doing and things I’ve done in the past that shaped who I am, and then how to contact me. I keep it professional – but open at the same time. You might feel different, but the important thing is to represent yourself professionally, no matter how you chose to do so – that’s what matters.

Myth 3: I Have No Idea Where to Even Start

Confused   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

Neither do most people! Or at least they think they don’t. But the Internet is a great help. There could be several reasons why you’re feeling like this, but probably the biggest one is that you don’t feel confident in your skills and expertise, and don’t know what your options are.

This was the case as well for my dad. Despite him knowing that having a website is crucial for his business and being fed up with the lack good results from phonebook* ads, he really didn’t push for one because he didn’t have any idea where to start. It wasn’t until I created my own and found out how easy it really is (which I’ll talk about next), that I pushed for creating one. Now we’re working together to create one and he’s feeling much better about it.

*Phonebook: an obsolete “tool” that contains numbers and addresses for people and businesses. (sarcasm)

Here are some suggestions for where to start:

  • Search for local web developers on Craigslist or Google listings
  • Search online for articles showing you the steps for creating a website
  • Contact anyone you know who’s done it before and ask for tips and guidance
  • Read the rest of this article

 

Myth 4: I Don’t Know How To Code – Like, At All

Code   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

Although coding skills are helpful in creating a website, they most certainly aren’t necessary. It really depends what route you want to go for your website. The most simplest ways to create your own website would be a self-hosted option through WordPress, or through another website that allows you to design your website using their service, such as Weebly. I’ll cover these in more depth later on in the article.

Now, should you learn how to code? I think so – it definitely helps to have a basic understanding of how to do a few things. I personally know very little, but I’ve discovered that anything I want to figure out how to do is just a Google search away.

Here are some of our recent articles articles that might help you learn how to code:

Myth 5: Building A Website Would Take Far Too Much of My Time

Busy   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

Perhaps you have a lot going on and in addition to not knowing much about creating your own website, you also are very short on time – this is probably a situation a lot of us are in. When I built my self-hosted WordPress site, it took one dedicated weekend. But it probably wouldn’t even take many of you that long. In fact,the actual “building” of the site shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

Above is a video by Thomas Frank, the one who inspired me to build my own personal website with his article The Ultimate Guide To Building A Personal Website, which lives up to its name and is a very good resource that I recommend for creating your own self-hosted WordPress site.

Myth 6: Owning A Website Is Way Out Of My Budget

Cash   You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths

For a long time, I thought making a website would cost hundreds – how could I, as a college student (at the time), afford to have a website if I’m barely able to keep my bank account from going negative?

With the domain purchase and web hosting for one year, you are looking at a cost of under $100. I personally went with Namecheap for my domain and HostGator for hosting, and have been pleased with both. When I renewed my domain just recently it was less than $20 for a year. That was it! Of course, you can save even more by paying for more than just a year. This, of course, requires more capital upfront since you pay it all in full, but in the long run you save more. There are also lots of coupon codes to help you save as well.

The Bottom line: A personal website is not expensive.

Some costs, however, that you might incur would be if you decided to have someone build a website for you. Another cost that you might have is themes. There are tons of free themes, but you can also get premium ones which can range from $50 or less to sometimes hundreds, depending on the theme. That said, sometimes the traditional WordPress theme is the best choice.

If money is tight, I recommend starting out with a free theme, building the website yourself (either through WordPress or a website that helps you easily create and design one, scouring the net for coupon codes, and if you have the capital, pay for more than just one year upfront so you can save more.

Conclusion

So what’s stopping you from creating your own personal website? We’ve looked at the six myths, but perhaps you are still not sold on why you need a personal website. If you still don’t feel like it can really benefit you, I highly recommend you follow up with the second article in this series where we look at how it can add value to your career.

There are also a ton of awesome websites that you can use as inspiration. Thomas Frank, the guy I mentioned earlier who wrote the ultimate personal website guide, put together another article where he featured several of his own readers’ websites. If you’re looking for some inspiration as to what it should look like or have on it, those will definitely be a help.

We’d love to hear from you now – do you have your own personal website? Which myth kept you from building your site and how did you prove them wrong? Share your thoughts (or even relevant questions) in the comments below!

Image Credits: Bored Businesswoman; Woman peeping through hole on paper; Businessman thinking a solution; Businesswoman pointing to programming script; businessman with post-its on his face; Money via Shutterstock

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36 Comments -

macwitty

Good points!

I think you have to think twice what you want to have and want to spend when it comes to time. I have seen too many neglected personal websites. They start with a lot of posts and then nothing. I think it is better to have a one-page site with information and not anything more. I have seen a lot of nice templates for it.

Aaron Couch

Great point! But that brings up something else, perhaps something I should have even distinguished in this post — there’s a huge difference between having a personal website and a blog. A personal website does take some work to update, but a blog takes a considerable amount of more work.

Blogs do have their place, but this article is actually not about having a blog at all. Instead it’s about representing yourself online by providing information that employers, clients or anyone professionally (or not professionally) would find helpful. These personal websites can in turn have a blog tied to them, but that’s not always their main focus, unless that’s something you feel you can keep up.

Thanks for your comment!

Rama moorthy

yes , one page websites are always great for personal websites .

Aaron Couch

True. And they’re certainly better than not, but depending on what you need and the layout you have, some one page websites aren’t enough.

But it really depends on what you’re wanting to display to everyone.

????? ????

I actually have built a complete WordPress theme and all but have not uploaded it because I don’t have much content and I feel like who would ever read my blog!

Aaron Couch

That’s pretty awesome that you created an entire theme — That’s one thing I’m not too great at. But couldn’t you still share that theme with others and allow them to use it as well?

Or are you meaning “website” instead of “theme”? Keep in mind that this is not about a blog, but a personal website — huge difference.

Kaden P

“Keep in mind that this is not about a blog, but a personal website — huge difference.”

Aaron, please. You’re making a huge fool of yourself.

First off, “blog” is a shortened form of “weblog”, which is simply a contraction of “web log”. Blogs, since day one, have always been about an individual (or group of individuals with similar interests) writing down their own personal thoughts. Yes, corporations have started using blogs for their own websites, too, but a blog by it’s very definition has always been personal in nature.

Secondly, You say that there is a huge difference between a blog and a personal website, yet in your byline you link to you “personal website” (your words) which is, guess what? A barely customized wordpress BLOG.

Which is it, Aaron? Please, help us. My head hurts from trying to make sense of your contradictory ramblings.

Aaron Couch

Kaden,

My response is going to be similar to what I told James further down in the comments.

Saying a blog is a personal website is like saying a kitchen and a house are the same thing. A blog requires a lot more time and consistency, which isn’t a bad thing, and if you’re a writer it’s great! But if you’re not much of a writer and you just want something to represent who you are, a blog doesn’t do as good of a job.

Honestly, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. And as cliche as that sounds, it’s true.

Ultimately, it’s all about what you do with it. For many a blog may be a great way to expand on showing their expertise, but I still see a personal website as a way to brand yourself personally. I recommend having both as they each have their strengths. But one doesn’t “trump” the other, nor are they the same or serve the same purpose.

michel

This article is exactly the opposite of what the title promises. The title tells me it’s a myth I’m missing out on anything by not having a website.

Aaron Couch

“The title tells me it’s a myth I’m missing out on anything by not having a website.”

That doesn’t really make sense — I’m not sure I follow your point, Michel.

michel

the title implies there is nothing to miss out on. In other words, “If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out” is one of 6 myths.

Aaron Couch

Alright. Well I’m all for opposing points, but I think you should support your theory as to how not having a website is NOT missing out.

pjc

I agree with Michel. The title implies you intend to debunk the myths about the importance of having a personal website.
I enjoyed your article, though.

Bill L

It might could be a little ambiguous. It gets clarified quickly enough, though.

michel

aargh. That’s not my theory. I’m simply pointing out your title was confusing. It implies exactly the opposite of what the article argues.

dragonmouth

Yet another example of “When you’re a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail” type of thinking. Just because YOU have a website does not mean everyone else wants or needs one.

You have fallen victim to the myth that everyone wants/needs validation by a bunch of Internet groupies. Unfortunately more and more employers are coming to believe that same myth. They reject prospective employees just because they do not have an Internet presence. Sounds like discrimination to me.

Kaden P

You’ll have to give Aaron a little credit here, Michel. He’s a 24 year old graduate of the American education system. It’s rather easy to understand why he doesn’t see the error when you take this into consideration.

Keith S

Alright, guys. Enough!

Now stop & think about it: muo.com has an editorial staff as well as other people who read, comment to Aaron about what they have read & redact [edit] what is put on the M.U.O. Website.

Personally, I thought the article was awesome! Great content, great subject, construction of the article was done nicely and it all came together at the end.

Why don’t youice guys try reading it again without the ‘notions’ youice guys was espousing on the sight. I’d hate too see youice guys ‘swimming’ with the fishes,… you know what I’m talking about?! (Lol)

Just kidding! Have a great day and don’t pick-up any naked powerline wires. Bye-bye!

Julie Butler

Elitist remark and totally uncalled for.

Linda Secretan

Just so surprised that an indiscriminately used colon should have caused so much discussion (see below) — and that I’m now inserting myself into it.

What I’ve actually noticed is that the emails from MUO I’m most likely to open and read are by Aaron. So — thank you, Aaron. I appreciate the way you smooth out difficulties for non-techies like me.

BiG eViL…….

interesting article i’ll definitely search around from the links which you have provided. however could you please elaborate on what are landing pages and since other people are discussing about one page websites, could that be the landing page? furthermore any ways to make money from personal websites?

Aaron Couch

Glad the article has inspired you to look into having a personal website.

Landing pages are more geared towards online marketing, and less for personal branding, which is what having a personal website is all about. However, the name could be used loosely to define a one-page personal website.

Does that help? If not, just let me know and perhaps try to clarify your question a bit more.

As far as making money, I personally don’t recommend you try to monetize your personal website. For a blog, that’s one thing, but a personal website should focus on you and you don’t want to take away from that. However, the whole idea in having one is to represent yourself professionally, meaning, impress your clients or potential employers that you put in the effort and that you care about your own self image.

So in an indirect way, they can help you make money, but not directly through the website. I feel a personal website with ads or even affiliate marketing links would come across as sketch/scammy and you don’t want to misrepresent yourself.

Thanks for the comment and let me know if I can help in any other way!

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I’ve read that article and tried to convince myself to create one the last six months. Reason number #1 and #2 keep plaguing me.
What do you think about WordPress+Free Pagodabox account?

Aaron Couch

Lisa,

I have no experience with Pagodabox, and I’m not really sure what more you’d need than WordPress.

I’m happy to help you in any way — just let me know :)

null

I did enjoy the tutorial. Cool but if one wants to monetize his website I believe one needs more things. But for a personal website this is enough.

Aaron Couch

And that’s what this article is focused on — not necessarily making money, but focusing on personal branding.

Thanks for your comment.

jonen

my main worry about having a personal website is security. if your site gets hacked, there`s no telling what might happen

Aaron Couch

Jonen,

You’re right. There is a risk. But there’s almost a risk in every aspect of life. I guess you just have to weigh it all out. Should we not get in a car because of potential dangers? Or should we do what we can to prevent them to the best of our ability? I think we all try do the latter, in regards to driving. In the case of a website, you can take steps to secure and prevent hacking to. There are a lot of articles and helpful tips on the internet to do this. A good one is Christian’s article: 6 Things You Can Do To Secure Your WordPress From Hackers

Thanks for your comment and let me know if I can help in any other way.

James

I think there isn’t difference between a personal website and blog, blog has all functions of a website. Publishing own interesting, ideas, and goal. and communication with other people.
so I think open a webblog is more easy and useful than building a personal website

Aaron Couch

James,

I see what you’re saying. But at the same time, that’s like saying a kitchen and a house are the same thing. A blog requires a lot more time and consistency, which isn’t a bad thing and if you’re a writer it’s great! But if you’re not much of a writer and you just want something to REPRESENT who you are, a blog doesn’t do as good of a job.

Honestly, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. And as cliche as that sounds, it’s true.

Ultimately, it’s all about what you do with it. For many a blog may be a great way to expand your expertise, but I still see a personal website as a way to brand yourself personally. I recommend having both as they each have their strengths. But one doesn’t “trump” the other.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts James!

James

author is right, but my meaning isn’t like this. I think Blog is a platform, it can be a personal website and also can be a professional Blog. author could write a article about how to represent myself.
my English is bad, I’m a Chinese, So it’s better if author can be read Chinese

Johnny Malloy

“most simplest ways”? Really?

Linda Secretan

“Take what you need, and leave the rest…”

Aaron Couch

Woops! Thanks for pointing that out.

Ryan Northrup

I personally tend to use a domain name from LQConsulting and host the site myself (either on my own hardware or on a VPS from Linode). Harder, but cheaper.

000webhost.com is also worth looking into as well if you have zero cash at all.

Kevin Lee

Thank you! Your article was very informative as well as practical.