6 Essential Personal Website Design Tips from Standout Professionals

A professional website is one of the best ways to demonstrate your skills and experience online. Job-seekers, entrepreneurs, and established industry professionals can all benefit from having a personal website that stands out to potential clients, employers, or collaborators. When you start designing your personal website, you’ll need to give it some planning and thought to make it as impressive as possible. Use these six tips when building your online resumé or portfolio to create your ultimate personal website.

1. Market yourself and your achievements.

No one knows you better than you, which means no one is better equipped to market yourself to potential collaborators or employers than you. Marketing yourself is like selling a product or service, it starts with an elevator pitch. You may focus on pitching your impressive portfolio of past work, or highlight prestigious jobs and internships you have had. Whatever you think your strongest asset is, your elevator pitch should focus on that element so it shines through on your website.

Advait.xyz is a good example of this tip, as Advait Ubhayakar built his website around his impressive qualifications. Advait has both an MBA in Communication Management and an MFA in Creative Writing. He shares this impressive educational background front and center on the homepage, putting it as the main focus of his portfolio for potential employers. As a business consultant, he has worked with a number of global corporations and growing start-ups. This experience is another powerful selling tool for potential new employers, which is why Advait features each company’s logo to highlight how impressive his resume is through brand association.

Advait.xyz functions as a sales pitch for Advait’s services and has a proven track record.

“Within a month of going live, it got me an interview for my first full-time copy-writing job for an ad agency in the U.S.,” says Advait, “And in the three years since then, it continues to bring me exciting new opportunities to work on creative writing projects from around the world.”

You can follow this same principle with your professional website. Create a 30-second pitch about yourself and pay attention to what you mention at the start. No matter what level of experience you have, you can still make your best qualities and skills the focus of your portfolio. Those traits should be the core of your professional website’s overall pitch to visitors, as it highlights what you can offer to a potential employer or partner.

2. Structure your site around your work.

Once you have hooked your audience with your homepage, you will want to explain your abilities in further detail. A great way to do this is by creating additional pages for the projects and achievements that you have worked on. This may include professional experience, education and academic achievements, awards and accomplishments, training and certifications, or other projects relevant to your desired job. Structure the layout of your website so that it’s easy to navigate through your work.

Award-winning writer and journalist Melissa Hung shares her portfolio on her personal website, MelissaHung.xyz. Melissa’s outstanding work and admirable experience are organized neatly on three main pages. You can view the stories she’s written for publications like Vogue and Catapult under Essays. Head to Journalism to read her San Francisco Chronicle and NBC News features. Under Editing you will find information about the many books she helped develop and line edit, as well as the magazine where she held the highest-ranking editorial title of Editor-in-Chief. On her About page, she lists notable press she’s received as well as prestigious accomplishments like being awarded a White House National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

All of the pages Melissa has on her website are purposefully laid out to be simple and contain little extra content that would take the focus from her writing. This puts the focus on the pages that do feature her work and avoids creating distractions for visitors to get lost in.

Whatever aspect of your work you choose as the centerpiece of your website, remember to create a site navigation that guides visitors toward it. This makes your chosen skill the main focus of your site, and uses that skill to illustrate your full abilities and the true quality of your portfolio.

3. Communicate your message clearly and concisely.

Time is precious for your potential clients and employers, so it’s important to communicate your core beliefs and mission as effectively as possible. If you can, make use of recognizable companies and people you may have worked with. You may also want to consider sharing some data and metrics that prove the success of your past projects. This type of language will get their attention and increase your chances of sticking in their minds.

Esteemed business professional and author Juan José Delgado shares his personal website on JJDelgado.xyz. On the homepage, JJ welcomes website visitors with an eye-catching description of himself: The leader behind the biggest sales day in Amazon history. With a PhD in Digital Economy and Online Human Behavior, and over 12 years of business experience at well-known brands across Europe and Latin America, JJ could have described himself in many impressive ways. To make the most immediate impact on visitors, he chose to lead with a powerful statement that references ecommerce behemoth Amazon. 

Further description of JJ on JJDelgado.xyz mentions his status as one of LinkedIn’s Top 15 Influencers of 2018 and Top 50 Worldwide Human Behavior Experts to Follow in 2017. This reference to yet another recognized brand and inclusion in these rankings further prove his notoriety in his field. 

Employers and potential collaborators are coming to your website to learn more about you and what you offer. When you convey that information clearly and concisely on your website, you increase the chances those visitors will identify with your personal message and want to work with you. 

4. Make a visual impact.

Countless social media and other online platforms prioritize video and pictures over all other content. This is an indicator that images and video are more engaging. Using eye-catching imagery on your website is a quick and effective way to draw visitors into your page and get them interested in you. This could mean using a rotating slideshow of past projects, sharing business logos when listing the companies you’ve worked for, and sharing a professional photo of yourself with your description.

Video game character designer Soa Lee has crafted many beautiful characters for the  popular game company Naughty Dog Games, including characters in the newly released and highly anticipated The Last of Us Part II. Her personal website, SoaLee.xyz, prominently features these amazing designs. Soa uses both video and images to showcase her work as if it were a digital photobook.

Soa’s strategy of including vivid imagery of her work is effective. She explains “My career and fame as a 3D artist have been growing with my personal website. Now, my website has become the most important way I spread awareness about myself.”

When you can, try to show your skills and past work through well-placed pictures and video. This will grab visitors’ attention and keep them on your page. It’s also a clever way to draw visitors’ eyes to specific blocks of text on your site you want them to read.

5. Keep your target niche or market in mind.

Creating your website with your target audience in mind helps you focus your design choices to better appeal to that specific group. It helps you attract collaborators or employers who best match your interests and skills. Whether you’re a musician looking to find collaborators in a certain genre, a writer pursuing stories in a specific field, or a trained professional looking for a job in a certain industry, your website should appeal directly to others in that same niche.

One great example of this in action is JovelRoystan.xyz, personal website of an ASOS fashion executive. Jovel created his personal site to share his thoughts on fashion, music, and lifestyle to “all the ambitious twenty-somethings who desire more than 9-to-5s and Netflix.”

He makes frequent use of aesthetic photos showing his personal style and the places he’s visited to appeal to young professionals who dream of a similar lifestyle. He utilizes his blog to offer his thoughts on music, fashion, his industry, and current events that are relevant to his audience. All of this creates a unique style on the website and puts forth an image that will appeal to others who think and hustle like him.

Work backwards from who you want to visit your site, then build it to appeal directly to that group. This helps you maximize your reach to your specific audience and increase your influence in your target market, like Jovel did.

6. Paint a full picture of yourself.

Think for a moment of the many different skills you have. When your website reflects your full range of abilities, you give a more complete picture of what you can do to potential collaborators, employers, and clients. You might have lived in a unique place, possess a special skill, or come from a specific background that adds depth to your experience. Displaying that part of yourself on your professional website lets employers and collaborators understand you better and helps them visualize how you can fit into the culture of their company.

Multitalented professional Karen Wang has many capabilities, from writing to UX design to teaching yoga and mindfulness. On her portfolio website, KarenJWang.xyz, she showcases each of her skills to paint a full picture of herself to visitors. Karen does this through her website design by using three tabs at the top of the site corresponding to the three main skill areas of her life: Work, Art, and Wellness.

With KarenJWang.xyz, Karen hopes to inspire others to pursue their hobbies and interests outside of their career. She explains “Creating a website that showcases my eclectic interests has always been a priority of mine. Besides being an aspiring UX designer, my free time consists of cooking vegan meals, teaching vinyasa yoga, dancing, blogging for music festivals, and lots of time for being silly.”

Your personal website can be about more than just your professional accomplishments. Include the skills and passions you have outside your professional life to make your personal website have a more human feel. This can show potential employers you can be both a work and culture fit for their business.


Conclusion

In summary, if you want a great portfolio website that will stick in the minds of your website visitors, then make your design choices carefully so you highlight your work in the most efficient way. Show the full scope of what you can do and inspire your website visitors with your exceptional words and creations. Use your website design to accentuate the best parts of your portfolio and present what you do clearly and concisely. Remember to paint a complete picture of yourself so that site visitors see the “professional” you and feel like they’ve met the “personal” you as well.

These tips will help you make a website that is memorable and presents you in the best light to the potential employers or collaborators you want to reach. Your personal website is a way for you to express yourself in all your creativity, complexity, and fullness to potential collaborators and employers. Put your best foot forward using an inspired design like these .xyz adopters.

XYZ Registry Team

Find Your .ORG

From social enterprises to professional associations – the .org domain is the TLD that helps purpose-driven people and organizations connect with communities around the world .

At Porkbun, we pride ourselves on being different, providing worry-free support and comprehensive resources to those looking to register a domain name. Similarly dependable, the .org domain is home to anyone working toward a greater good and eager to share their story online.

Many of these forward-thinking global businesses, individuals, and organizations (not just charities) turn to Porkbun for their .org domains. Below are a few examples of likeminded organizations we support – from community groups to cultural institutions – exemplifying that anyone with a mission to bring their vision to the world has an online home with .org. 

1. Hands on Crafts

Hand on Crafts (handsoncrafts.org) works to make the world a little greener by repurposing typically-overlooked household items into something crafty and useful. Every year, the world tosses out 2.6 trillion tons of garbage and only 1% of that waste is recycled. Hands on Crafts provides creative project ideas and easy-to-follow tutorials that help households make the most of recyclable items that would otherwise be discarded – turning trash into treasure in pursuit of a greener, happier place for us all.

2. Explore Romania

Many small businesses use the .org domain to increase their local and global footprint. Explore Romania (exploreromania.org) is a tour and travel agency that offers Romania visitors the ability to explore the country with minimal impact on the environment. With help from local guides, the organization curates experiences that preserve Romanian communities, support local farmers, and offer tastings of the country’s famous cuisine. With each tour, Explore Romania connects communities across historical, global, and cultural differences through a common pursuit of adventure and authenticity.

3. Freeport Community Band

Also popular among musical groups, the .org domain allows the Freeport Community Band, (freeportband.org) based in Freeport, New York, a platform to broaden their reach. The organization is a volunteer-based concert band made up of musicians from all walks of life, all of whom share a simple love of music. They offer free public concerts and learning opportunities for seasoned musicians and novices alike, and are always eager to welcome new members. First formed in 1921, the Freeport Community Band has since continued to read multiple compositions together, building repertoire, community, and camaraderie with every note.

Engage, Educate, Connect

A powerful stage for any individual or group, .org inspires connection and offers opportunities to share in collective passions and interests online. Whether you’re seeking to engage, educate, build trust, or simply connect with your desired audience, .org helps you highlight your work and share it with the world.

If you are one of these forward-looking folks – nonprofit or otherwise – our team at Porkbun would be happy to help you find your name within the .org collective. Connect with us today! 

Announcing: Porkbun’s HTTPS URL Forwarder

Nearly 90% of browser traffic worldwide is securely transmitted over HTTPS. So why are most URL forwarders stuck in the insecure ‘90s? 

A URL forwarder allows you to redirect browser requests for your domain to another website. Unfortunately, nearly every URL forwarder on the market won’t accept incoming connections over the modern, secure HTTPS protocol, forcing your customers to type HTTP:// (without the “s”) or risk the site not loading at all. At Porkbun, we decided that’s unacceptable. So we built something better. The result? Porkbun’s dead-simple URL forwarder allows you to securely forward browser traffic to any other website, wholly over HTTPS.

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Year of the Earth Pig

Ok, so we’re pretty excited about the 2019 year in the Gregorian Calendar. I mean, we’re already off to a good start as the U.N. General Assembly has officially recognized 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.  And I’d say we love the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements as much as the next online domain name registrar, if not more. Probably more. I mean, heck, do not even get us started on the noble gases. We love the noble gases.

But, if we’re being honest, we’re way more excited for the Chinese New Year. It’s nothing against the common era, but the Chinese New Year is coming up and not only is it a weeklong festival of fireworks, dumplings, sticky rice balls, noodles, hot-pot, and more, this year it is extra special to us…

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Do New TLDs Impact Your Website’s Ranking?

Domain Names and SEO Ranking

If you’ve spent the time building a website, you know how important it is to rank high in the search results. We all want to be “seen” by Google and rise to the top position.

There are a ton of great resources out there to help you learn about improving your website’s SEO and visibility on the web. But one question you may have is what role your domain name plays in that ranking. Does Google count your domain name as a keyword? What about new TLDs (Top Level Domains), such as .design, .tech, .store? Do these new TLDs impact your website’s ranking? Continue reading

10 Brands Using New Domain Extensions for Their Business

When it comes to a business’s first impression, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it all begins with the domain name. The moment a customer sees the website, they attach meaning to it which creates an imprint in their mind. What do you want your customers to think of your business when they see your domain name?

 

Here’s an interesting take on this: the more emotional their response, the better it is for your brand. An emotional response could be intrigue, surprise, trust, comfort, reassurance, and if you are as creative as Porkbun, may be even excitement, hunger pangs or salivation! The idea is to build a strong association between your website name and a positive emotion that they feel to establish a solid positioning.

 

The new domain extensions come to aid in creating an instant positioning for your business website. Since the new domain extensions are meaningful words, they make your domain name contextual and memorable from the word go, as well as create a lasting legacy for your business.

 

It is for these reasons (and more), some of the top brands and new businesses are all getting on the b(r)andwagon and picking new domain extensions for their businesses. Check out some of them below:

1. Viacom.tech

 

This is Viacom’s tech focused portal for the developer community. It is meant to propel Viacom’s belief in open source and invites the global tech community to join Viacom Open Source Software repository on Github.

 

2. Magazine.store

It is what the name suggests. An online store with all the top magazine in one place. Through its domain name, it clearly establishes what it is and what it does. The website, which is owned by American media conglomerate Meredith Corporation, offers 300+ magazines on its store.

 

3. Freedom.press

Freedom Of The Press Foundation is dedicated to helping support and defend aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, Edward Snowden is the president of this organization.

 

4. King.host

King Host is a web hosting agency that amplifies human connections on the Internet, simplifying access to the best technology choices to developers and creators, generating value through excellent infrastructure and expert support. They recently moved to king.host from kinghost.com.

 

5. Louder.online

Louder Online is one of the world’s leading digital agencies that specialize in intelligent & effective search, content & social marketing. It helps brands amplify their presence and reach in the online world. Its co-founder, Aaron Agius, is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola and Target.

 

6. Emirates.store

This is the website for Emirates Airline’s official merchandise store. They offer travel accessories, aircraft models,  as well as lifestyle and fashion products for men, women and kids!

 

7. Asgardia.space

Asgardia, also known as the Space Kingdom of Asgardia, is a group of people who have launched a satellite into Earth orbit.  It has gained visibility as the world’s first ever space nation – a global, unifying and humanitarian project.

 

8. Stronger.tech

Stronger specializes in high-quality, customized, internet-technology training and services worldwide. Partnering with their clients, they empower organizations to create stronger, more efficient and more secure cultures.

 

9. [Businessname].Business.Site

As part of Google My Business, small business owners are able to take their business online with a with free one page website on BUSINESSNAME.business.site subdomain domain. The service is available globally to all merchants enrolled in Google My Business.

 

10. Lorde.Store

 

This is the official online merchandise and music store of Lorde, the world renowned singer, songwriter, and record producer. When she was 17, she became the youngest solo artist to achieve a number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 since 1987.

 

So, you are ready to make your next website.

 

Alisha Shibli

Alisha is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Online Portfolios

Having your portfolio online doesn’t necessarily mean not having it in print. You can have two versions of the same book; and there are several benefits to both. A print portfolio might be more memorable in an industry where print is all but dying, but it doesn’t capture a designer’s ability to work in the most common medium. However, having your work showcased online means you can share it easily, and you don’t have to figure out mailing address or spend a lot of money printing it every time you need to update your work. An online portfolio can easily flow from the recruiter’s inbox to the creative director’s desk. Here are a few things to consider when making the switch from print to web:

Keep it straightforward

Hiring managers and recruiters have a lot of candidates to sift through. They will look at several portfolios and resumes over the course of the hiring process and it is imperative to capture their attention as soon as possible. They will value you taking their time into consideration.

For the most part, your information should be compartmentalized with the recruiter’s needs: build out a page for your work, one with your history, and possibly one with your resume. You can always attach a more descriptive cover letter, and full CV in the email introducing your portfolio.

Best Practices

If you build your portfolio following best practices, it can itself be an example of the work you are able to do. Your portfolio should be polished and follow best practices so that employers can see these skills in your work.  When working with clients you won’t always have the opportunity to follow best practices. Clients and other circumstances can pull your work into more restricted directions. It is important to showcase your ability to work within those frameworks but take your own portfolio and brand as an opportunity to build out the ideal scenario. Nothing is in the way but yourself, so have fun with it.

Be Selective

One of the key benefits of having an online portfolio is being able to fit as much content as you can. Just because you’re able to, however, doesn’t mean you should. Find the pieces that best represent your skillset and creative thinking and feature those. Spec pieces, or pieces that weren’t made for an actual client, that better capture your creative thinking and skillset should take priority over work that may be more common. Clearly label the work you did for clients and as spec, and clearly mark what role you played. This will help answer a lot of questions your recruiter might have and give you more time to talk about yourself as a creative.

Make it memorable

With all the templates available for designers, it is important to find the best combination of attributes to make your website memorable.  Squarespace, Wix, even Weebly all offer templates for the designer that is more front-end, while Adobe offers several options for coding your own site. Regardless of the builder you use, make sure your designs are the best option for communicating your work. Consider the scope of work you have to showcase, the number of pieces you could ultimately add, and how you want others to navigate it. A little UI/UX never hurt anyone, even when using a predesigned template.

 

Of course, try using a new domain to make it stick. Why compete for an expensive, and generic .com when you can host your work with your name at .design? Maybe you consider yourself an artist and want to showcase at .art or an illustrator at .ink. It’s 2018 and .com isn’t the only option anymore. Explore the newest extensions and create something truly descriptive and unique. Your website will not only stand out in the sea of .coms, but it will be short and to the point. Recruiters will remember it, and you.

.app: secure by design

The last days of unencrypted HTTP

It’s accepted wisdom that every website should be served over a secure HTTPS (SSL) connection. HTTPS encrypts browser traffic, protecting your customer’s passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information from eavesdroppers and hackers. In recent years, the price of SSL certificates has plummeted, and the advent of free “Let’s Encrypt” certificates means you no longer need to spend a fortune — or anything at all — to assure your site’s visitors that their data is safe.

All of this will come as no surprise to most Porkbun customers, who by virtue of registering their domains at the Bun find themselves in the vanguard of the push towards a totally-secure web. Porkbun was the first registrar to provide free SSL certificates to every customer on every domain without any renewal fee or upcharge.

Unencrypted HTTP isn’t just unfashionable, it’s about to go the way of the Dodo. As of April 2018, over 70% of all website traffic is now served over HTTPS, up almost 10% from a year ago. Google recently announced that starting in July of 2018, any site not served over HTTPS will be marked with a large grey “not secure” icon in Chrome’s URL bar — not exactly instilling of consumer confidence.

 

How insecure sites will appear in Chrome after July 2018. Source: Chromium Blog

 

.app and HTTPS

With the release of Google Registry’s new .app domain extension, Google has taken their commitment to a secure web a step further by enforcing mandatory HTTPS across all .app domains. That means if you register a .app domain, you can still host a site over unencrypted HTTP — but no modern browser will load it.

How did Google achieve this feat? Well, it just so happens that Google maintains a special list known as the HSTS Preload List. Anyone can submit their site to the list, which tells every modern browser: “insecure HTTP is disabled for this domain.” What makes .app unique is the entire .app zone has already been added to the HSTS Preload List, no exceptions allowed.

Thus, if you try to load a .app site over unencrypted HTTP, your browser will refuse, instead displaying an error message that can’t be bypassed. This protects all .app domains from a wide swath of so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks wherein an eavesdropper intercepts traffic for nefarious purposes. It also improves site loading time as the browser won’t even try to connect to the unencrypted channel first, skipping directly to HTTPS.

.app and Porkbun

.App’s HTTPS requirement can seem scary, but compliance is easy at Porkbun. If you’re hosting your .app site via our site builder or shared hosting package, HTTPS is automatic; you don’t have to do a thing! Want to host your site elsewhere? You can still use your free Let’s Encrypt certificate with a 3rd-party hosting company. For more info, check out our article How to use your free SSL certificate. Already purchased a traditional certificate? That works, too.

Still have questions about .app, Let’s Encrypt, or HSTS Preload? Email us at support@porkbun.com

Porkbun Launches .design Student Portfolio Competition

Announcement: the 2018-2019 .design Student Portfolio Competition Is Approaching!

IDEC .design student portfolio competition

Attention interior design students and teachers!

Porkbun has teamed up with IDEC.org to host a design challenge that will help get students set up with their very own online portfolio on .design.

For Educators…

this competition is a unique opportunity to help your interior design students prepare for today’s digital job market and incentivize them to take their online portfolio seriously.

For Students…

by entering the competition you get your first year of .design for free. This includes a website builder, email hosting, and a bunch of other features. The winner of the competition will win an Apple iPad Pro, valued at $1,400. 2nd and 3rd place will receive 10 years of free .design domain credits and email hosting, valued at $600 and $300, respectively.

Participants can submit their websites between June 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018.

For competition details, please visit idec.design

DailyMonster.ink: Your Daily Dose of Monster Creativity

Fresh off his Main Stage presentation at RGD’s Design Thinkers conference, notable designer Stefan Bucher stopped by our booth in the exhibit hall and left as the enthusiastic new owner of both 344.design and DailyMonster.ink.

344.design is now home to the company website for Stefan’s studio, 344 Design, through which he has created designs and illustrations for clients David Hockney, Judd Apatow, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, not to mention album covers for the likes of Sting and Whitney Houston.

So why on Earth would this accomplished designer want a .ink website? And what is Daily Monster?

“It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention.”

When an idea pops into Stefan Bucher’s head he can’t stop until he somehow makes it real. And so began the Daily Monster project. Each day, he films himself putting a few drops of black ink on a piece of paper, blows it out with compressed air, and creates a new monster character out of the resulting shape. “It’s an exercise in beating procrastination and fear. I’m scared of the white page, and the ink blot makes it so that I’m not starting a drawing, I’m finishing one, which is much more fun!”

Much like the monsters themselves, over its life of 10+ years, Daily Monster has expanded and evolved. The website and it’s videos have spawned a book containing stories about each monster sourced from his fans all over the world, and even an app, the DAILY MONSTER Monster Maker!

In its latest evolution, Stefan re-launched DailyMonster.com as DailyMonster.ink.
“After running DailyMonster as a .com for the first 10 years, having a .ink domain for an ongoing exercise in creating characters from blown ink was just too good of a fit to pass up!” He adds, “It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention. I love that I now get to use 344.design and dailymonster.ink to show my work!”

More about Stefan’s work here, including the six books he’s authored (so it should come as no surprise, he’s won a D&AD award for book design, too).