The digital age has given millennials more tools to manage personal branding, the largest of which is the Internet itself. Many professionals – from financial analysts to developers and graphic designers – maintain personal websites to establish a compelling, online presence. These websites aren’t just there for show – they tell the stories of the individuals behind them, and often act as an online portfolio.
We’ve picked out 12 personal websites we feel can offer inspiration and motivation for you to get started on your own.
#1: Pieter Levels, Entrepreneur, Serial Maker, and Developer
Known for creating 12 startups in 12 months, Pieter Levels’ personal website is a place where people can get to know him beyond the world of startups and entrepreneurship. He regularly blogs and maintains a balance of content surrounding his businesses and his personal life. The website is easy to navigate, employing an endless scroll feature that takes you to older blog posts the more you explore.
#2: Kathryn Minshew, Founder of The Muse
Kathryn Minshew, founder of The Muse, owns a sleek and straightforward personal website that wastes no time in telling you who she is, what she’s done, and what she’s about to do in the future. She also features a live feed of her Twitter and ensures that users who come across her website have reasons to remain engaged.
#3: Devon Stank, Squarespace Designer
Devon uses SquareSpace to create something eye-catching. It’s your typical scroll-down-for-more website, and starts off with showcasing an introductory video featuring Devon himself. As you scroll, Devon reveals more about his profession and the services he offers, along with a section to showcase his projects and a regularly updated blog.
#4: Frank Chimero, Designer and Illustrator
An award-winning designer and illustrator, Frank shows the world his skills through a beautifully designed personal website. It showcases his most recent essays, his published books, and his most recent design projects.
#5: John Maeda, Designer and Technologist
An American designer and technologist, John Maeda’s personal website is filled with the simplicity he believes in. A simple sidebar guides you to various contributions he’s made over the years, whether it’s the TED talks he’s given or unique design projects that have become notable in his career.
#6: Tomas Laurinavicius, Lifestyle Designer and Blogger
A lifestyle blogger from Lithuania, Tomas’ strength lies in a minimalistic website design as well as strong writing skills. A quick scroll through his landing page will show you his contributions and client testimonials, in addition to quick links at the top of the page to his well-kept blog.
#7: Ximena N. Larkin, Communication Specialist and Writer
Ximena’s website is another well-crafted piece of the Internet, serving up a quick summary of what she does, who she’s worked with, and what she does outside of work. Delving deeper, you’ll find links to her writing samples, a chance to sign up for her newsletter, and her Instagram feed! It’s a personal website that’s professional and engaging all at once.
#8: Anthony Wiktor, Creative Designer
Anthony starts off with a bold front page showcasing clients he’s worked with so far. Hovering your pointer over any of these names will bring up a different background image unique to each client, which is done in great taste. The entire website screams creative design, and Anthony doesn’t disappoint! His “About page” showcases a well-written summary, his areas of expertise, awards received, and a whole list of featured clients. The black and white theme is consistent and keeps things professional and pleasing to look at.
#9: Tobias van Schneider, Designer
German design meets class and taste. Tobias’ personal website is bold and striking, and his introductory bio is concise and impressive to begin with. Scroll further down and find Tobias’ ‘work files’, a neat gallery of his past projects and achievements as a leading designer in his field.
#10: Michael Flarup, Entrepreneur and Designer
Another well-known designer, Michael’s personal website follows the typical scroll-down-for-more build. Each section is distinct and full of engaging content, and we can’t help but feel impressed!
#11: David Heinemeier Hansson, Entrepreneur and Developer
David is the creator of Ruby on Rails and a well-known developer, and he makes this known right away on his personal website. While the design is simple and not quite as flashy as the other sites we’ve picked out so far, David’s site is a great example of where to start in terms of format and content. He’s also got a lot to talk and share with you about, from his work to his hobbies and to his personal life.
#12: Quinnton Harris, Photographer
Quinnton’s personal website is full of stunning visuals – as it should be for a professional photographer living in New York City. His copy is strong as well, and he doesn’t waste a single word as he tells you his story and his ambitions. Quinnton uses this to his advantage and postures himself as a thoughtful photographer who uses his past to forge ahead into the future.
Effective personal websites don’t waste time or words. They tell you exactly who you’re looking up, the services that are being offered, and how you can contact these people. Bonus points if these personal websites share a little bit about their personal lives, too, because you want to be professional as well as relatable to a modern audience.
If you’re looking to up your game at personal branding, then creating personal websites is the way to go. Remember that personal websites embody who you are as well as what you do, and sometimes the way to be truly engaging is to be transparent and personal to your audience.
Good luck, and let that website take off!