Everyone is on the web so why not you? Sites are easy to create if you have a little talent. You can establish your web presence with a cool website and share your thoughts and talents with the world.
All you need is a few tools and some spare time. Let’s take a look at some of the tools and resources that you can use to put yourself online.
Why create a website?
If you have a business of any kind, then having a website is a requirement. End of story. Tim W. Knox explained the reasons why in his October 27, 2004, article for Entrepreneur.com, “Why You Need a Website.”
You need a website no matter your size or product for reasons that include:
- The Internet levels the playing field allowing you to have an impressive presence even though you are small
- You gain valuable exposure
- A web address may be easier to remember than a phone number
- Just about anything can be sold online
But having a website isn’t enough. Your site has to look good.
According to Knox, “It’s actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business.”
Your website will be there representing your business and hopefully generating sales 24 hours a day every day of the year. That is important in our global society where potential customers live on the other side of the world.
Besides, your competition has a website. So if you don’t you’re losing business.
Personal sites on the web
Even if you don’t operate a business you’ll find value in creating a personal site on the web. Jacquelyn Smith explained, “Why Every Job Seeker Should Have a Personal Website, And What It Should Include,” in her April 26, 2013, article for Forbes.com.
According to Smith, a personal website is especially important for job seekers who are in fields such as computers, technology, social media or communications. You can use the site to showcase your skills and projects that you’ve worked on.
Again, you have to keep in mind that the site represents you and so it should look good and be free from errors.
What should you include on your website? Smith suggested that your site include:
- Your contact information
- A professional headline that describes who you are and what you do
- A brief biography: an About Me page is perfect for this
- A professional photo: no cell phone photos
- Your resume
- Your professional objective
- Samples of your work
- A blog
- Videos or podcasts: show how you can explain information and ideas related to your field
- Testimonials: what do others have to say about you?
“Be sure to put a link to your website in your e-mail signature, on your resume and cover letter, and on social networking profiles such as LinkedIn. If you have created personal business cards, include your web address with your other contact information there as well,” Smith advised.
Cool tools to create cool websites
No matter the tools that you use, getting started involves a few basic steps.
- Choose a domain name: sites such as WhoIs.net allow you to type in a domain name such as janesmith.com and see if it is available.
- Set up a web host account: your site has to be housed on a web server computer that is directly connected to the Internet. There are lots of host service companies that can do this for you such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator etc. When choosing your host company be sure to read the fine print on all the fees that they charge and the tools and services that they provide. You’ll want a company that provides lots of tech support too.
- Create your site: most web host companies allow you to use WordPress or similar tools such as Weebly to create your website. These tools have tons of built-in themes and features that you can use without having to program any fancy code.
A list of website formats and the tools to create them was outlined in Eric Griffith’s September 4, 2013, post for PCMag.com, “How to Build a Website.”
Griffith explained that there are different kinds of websites depending on your focus:
- Personal webpage
- Portfolio site
- Content management
Each type of site has a number of tools that can be used to create and maintain them.
Have you created your personal website? What tools do you recommend for website creation? Tell us in the comments.