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Designing an impressive personal website: 5 + 1 steps to create a successful online presentation

Do you want to create a professional personal presentation, display your portfolio online and start collecting orders other than by phone? Would you like to support your personal brand in this way? You don’t need coding knowledge to create a simple personal page. If you do not forget about important steps and patterns, you will be able to create a website yourself.

Do you like the idea that you “put together” the website exactly according to you? It sounds tempting, but the whole process hides many pitfalls and can take a lot of time. You have to study, set up, test everything and fill the website with quality content that will make sense to people and search engines.

On your own or with experts?

If you are handy, your site can run in a few hours. But a well-designed website will take you tens and even hundreds of hours. It should meet all the rules of good web design, security, user friendliness and many others. Do you have that much time?

If you use the services of one of the companies offering tailor-made web presentation creation, you will be sure that a professional will take care of the technical side of the website, content or subsequent promotion. You will get to your destination much faster and you can devote the time saved to business development.

Step 1: Inspiration and style

In the beginning, think carefully about what purpose you want to use the website for. Will it be your personal business card or interest presentation? What style and colors do you choose to properly express your focus and personality? Do you just need a static page or do you plan to add new content regularly (for example, a blog related to your expertise)?

When you make up your mind, take a look at the competition at home and abroad. Make a note of which elements of theirs you like, what resonates with you the most and what you need to get on the web. Add sketches or inspirational print screens. This completes the basic preparation.

Another separate chapter of web design is the choice of one or more suitable fonts. This point is often solved for you by the template. If you like originality or the preset font does not suit you, invest in a professional font that will catch your eye at first glance and suit your presentation and content.

Step 2: Initial investment

With a simpler site of several pages, the initial investment is not dizzying. Expect payment for the domain (you can present yourself directly under your name or brand). Verify that the domain you have chosen is available and also select and order hosting that will take care of running the website and storing your data. Choose your web hosting provider well; not everyone is reliable and communicates (customer service is most appreciated when you need technical support).

Step 3: Launch the site

Do you have a domain, hosting too? It’s time to launch the website, more precisely to choose a suitable content management system that will allow you to put all the necessary information on your site. The content management system is a back-end that you fill with content; the displayable part of the website (front-end) will be taken care of by a template.

A popular content management system is, for example, WordPress. It is available for free, but you must manually update your security. There are a number of content management systems, and some of them can make your work with web content really much easier.

Nowadays, every website must be responsive. This means that it displays correctly on every device, whether it’s mobile phones, tablets or computers with different screen resolutions. Responsiveness is often not part of the template; you must set the display for each device separately.

The speed of web loading is also important, which can be verified with tools on the Internet. But even here, experts can check for you and, unlike online tools, they will give specific recommendations or help you speed up the website.

Step 4: Content, content and content again…

Website design can engage visitors, but it’s always the content of the site that convinces or discourages them. Although it doesn’t seem like it, web content also follows a lot of rules regarding style, structure, parts of text, the length of different sections, and so on. The web cannot be written as a book or as a poem (unless it is your artistic intent). If you do not make a living by creating web content, you will achieve the best result in cooperation with professionals (web designer, UX designer, copywriter). Especially if it is such an important page as your own.

Step 5: Promotion or how to get among people

Your personal website is already up and running, but how do you get potential clients or attract the attention of HR professionals? And will they even find you in that flood of information on the Internet?

The answer is partly the magic acronym SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is an industry that deals with optimizing a website so that search engines rank it in the best possible position. It consists of working with text, specific rules for page layout or, for example, regular updating of information on the web.

In this case, it is even more useful than in other points to consult with experts who are proficient in SEO skills. The specialist will help you optimize your site and advise you on which channels to best promote (whether as a self-employed person or when looking for a new job). Involvement in professional groups, which you can find on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks, also helps with a personal presentation. You can use registration on special portals, or use your new personal business card directly instead of a CV. This will attract HR professionals or clients and differentiate you from others.

Step 6: Feedback and further education

Website owners know that the completion of development and subsequent promotion doesn’t end there. Have the finished website checked by someone experienced or at least ask friends and colleagues how it affects them. Refine the page based on this feedback.

Keep an eye on the content management system, widgets and plugins, if the system doesn’t take care of it for you. Don’t forget to back up your data. Review web content regularly; your experience and your personal story evolve and change. Add newly acquired skills, certificates, news to the portfolio and anything else to the website that will further improve the overall impression.

As you can see, nowadays you can create a simple website yourself. But before you get started, think about whether you would rather spend the time and effort you need to work on contracts or other projects.

Written by Petra Kennedy

HR consultant and personal branding enthusiast with more than 8 years of experience in helping people find their superpowers. Webdesigner specialized in front end development and UX design. A perfectionistic entrepreneur who is always excited to share experience and network.

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