If it fits your profession, a personal website is one way to show the world what a stellar professional you are. It can do a couple of things for you:
- It makes you stand out from all those people who don’t have personal websites.
- It says way more about you than a resume ever could.
- It makes others perceive you as a more credible expert in your field.
But how can you have a rocking website if you aren’t a web designer?
Well, the truth is it isn’t that difficult these days. These site creation companies get our vote as the best options for technical novices. Each has its own advantages for different career fields, so that’s how we’ve organized things.
Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner or work in a field where your site won’t change very frequently, Wix.com is the way to go. With their simple drag-and-drop editor, stunning templates, and stellar features (such as SEO optimization), you can have a website up and running within an hour. In addition to an easy-to-use, visual site builder, Wix will soon offer an option that designs your entire site based on your responses to a few questions.
There are several other website builders similar to Wix, but we prefer this company because they have more pricing options (you can have a custom web address for as low as $4/month!), and they have been around for a while, so you can count on them.
Professionals with Knowledge to Share
In many fields, your professional presence could benefit from a blog that covers topics in your industry. Regular articles (whether they’re about marketing or graphic design), shared to a social media outlet like LinkedIn, lead others to view you as an expert in your field. Your resume may say that you know how to manage marketing for a company, but a blog offering marketing tips to small businesses shows that your expertise is real.
For anyone who thinks they can commit to regular article updates on their website, WordPress is the way to go. And it can be surprisingly simple. There are a number of free “themes” (which are essentially frameworks for your website, its layout, and its appearance) through WordPress.com. (Note: Be sure not to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com; they are both great, but the .com version will save you the headache of finding your own hosting, etc.) However, you can get even more customization by purchasing a theme from a company like MyThemeShop. Since WordPress is open for any developer to build on, there are lots of reputable pre-built template options that you can simply customize in your WordPress dashboard. If you decide to go beyond the realm of WordPress (.com) themes, you should be aware that you’ll have to have your own hosting service (which sounds scary, but many hosts, like GoDaddy, make it easy to manage), which will cost more.
A major downside for WordPress is that it will come with a bit of a learning curve. The good thing is that WordPress has a loyal community, so there are tutorials for nearly everything you need to figure out. Trust us, the ease of publishing your posts each day, week, or month will be worth it!
Carbonmade for Creatives
If you want your creative visual work to shine and integrate with your social media presence, Carbonmade is for you. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a way to use this site for free, but the pricing is pretty reasonable. If you are a creative who doesn’t want to shell out any cash for a website, you may also consider using a service like Wix, which has a much wider array of packages.
Now you’re just a few steps away from rocking your professional persona, wowing your peers and potential employers, and landing your next amazing job!