Creating a personal website from scratch may seem like a piece of cake before you realize how much work you actually have cut out for you. If you want to have an attractive, cohesive, and well-functioning website, you’re going to need to spare more than just one day for this endeavor.
Apart from actually building the website, there should also be some planning and preparation.
Here is a step-by-step guide for building a personal website to help you create one you’ll be proud of.
1. Figure out the essence of your website
Before you start building your website, it’s crucial that you have an idea of what the focal point of your website is. In other words, you should know what the main purpose of your website is and what type of content you would like to focus on.
For example, if your idea is to post regular blog posts, you should figure out which niche you would like to write in. If you choose to write about a wide range of topics, you are less likely to have regular readers, as your readership wouldn’t know what to expect.
Thus, in this stage, you should brainstorm ideas and determine the essence of your website.
2. Choose a name for your website
Once you have a basic idea of what your website would be about, it’s time to consider the name. The name you choose should reflect the afore-mentioned essence of your website. You may use:
- your name,
- generic words,
- made-up words,
- word combinations.
For instance, if you wish to be a lifestyle blogger who writes about food, you may name your blog after some foods. In order to stand out, it’s best not to choose one generic word, such as “carrot”, but rather combine two words or a food name with your name.
One blogger that writes about fitness and healthy eating named her blog Carrots ‘N’ Cake. This name reflects her content which pertains to establishing a healthy relationship with food and eating balanced meals instead of going on strict diets which are not attainable.
Instead of completely swearing off tasty treats such as cake, she is of the opinion that eating it in moderation is acceptable.
3. Choose the appropriate domain name extension
After settling on a domain name, you’ll need to determine which domain name extension you’re going to use. The extension you choose should reflect the nature of your website.
The .com extension is most commonly used for any type of website. Other extensions are more specific, such as .org for organizations and .biz for businesses.
For personal websites, the most common extension is the .me domain name extension. It is the perfect choice for personal websites, as it gives off a more personal vibe due to the meaning of the word “me” itself.
4. Prepare the content to be posted on the website
In order to create a structure of your website, you need to decide what content you’ll feature on it. Certainly, if you’re going to be posting articles, it’s impossible to write all of them beforehand.
However, it’s wise to have at least ten working titles. That will help you in determining the name as well as the look of the website.
On the other hand, if you aim to have a portfolio website where you wish to display your work for potential employers, then you should pick out a variety of examples that best showcase your abilities.
For example, David Milan is an art director, designer, and lettering artist whose artistry and designer skills are evident from the first click on his portfolio website.
The website is simple, featuring almost no text, and yet very eye-catching due to alluring imagery which is the focal point of this portfolio.
5. Determine the structure of your website
When building a website, you need to think about user experience. Thus, determining an adequate structure of the website is highly important.
You want your website to be structured in a way that the visitors can seamlessly navigate through. You can draw a sketch of a potential structure and figure out all the details before you start building your website.
Make sure that every page is easily discoverable with the help of well-placed signposting pages. Your signposting pages should contain specific information without being overcrowded, as their purpose is to guide the visitor to the content they are looking for.
6. Make your website visually appealing
Determining the structure of the website is not the only aspect where you need to take user experience into consideration.
An easy-to-navigate website will make the visitors want to stick around for longer, while the aesthetics of the website is the first thing they will notice.
For that reason, it’s essential to pay attention to the colors and font and to include enticing graphics.
Doing some research on color theory could come in handy, as you’d be more knowledgeable about how to combine colors that are visually appealing to website visitors.
Surely, a personal website may not need as much promotion as a commercial one. However, in case you’re posting blog posts or other content that you would like to have a following for, some digital marketing could be of assistance. You can check out some digital marketing tips here.
7. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Nowadays, the majority of people own a smartphone. The chances that many of the potential visitors of your website would try to access it through a smartphone are high.
Thus, having a website that is difficult to load and navigate on a cellphone is going to deter a large number of visitors.
In order to prevent this, it’s wise to optimize your website so that it functions well on both desktop and mobile.
Ultimately, there are a multitude of elements that go into creating a website. Although it takes a lot of effort, don’t forget to have fun with it.
The guidelines from this article are there to help keep you on the right track, but it’s up to you to unleash your imagination and creativity, and bring your ideas to life.