Personal Branding – Online Branding – How to Setup a Personal Site with A Custom Domain

Monday, June 27th, 2016
personal website

Personal Site Part 1 – Setup a Personal Site with A Custom Domain

A personal site can be a great tool for job seekers and those looking to move ahead in their current career. For job seekers a personal site is an excellent way to increase your visibility. For those looking to move ahead in their career track they can be used to help present you as a leader in your field. For both they can be a great way to centre your online presence in one place. They can be more than just an online resume as well, often a problem people will find with LinkedIn, by being an interactive way to display a portfolio.

To the non-technical, setting up a personal website as part of building your personal brand may seem like a difficult task. In fact, there are many tools out there that can make the task quite easy. We are going to discuss doing just that.

Getting a Domain Name

One of the most important parts of your online presence is your domain. If you don’t already own <yourname>.com or some other close version, you should start here. When Google indexes websites to be used in it’s search results, one of the most important things it looks at is the domain name, so if you own <yourname>.com and someone googles your name, having control of your domain name can be of great help to getting your site to the first page of results.

Actually purchasing your name’s domain name is quite simple these days. Several services exist that you can use to purchase this domain. Godaddy, Namecheap, Hover, as well as several others, can provide you with this service. The process usually involves going to their site and searching for the domain you are looking for. This will show you if the name you are looking for is available and if so the possible cost of buying it, it will also give you several similar options. Once you choose your domain, it’s pretty much the same as making any other purchase online.

If the <yourname>.com isn’t available, other top level domains(TLD) should be. In recent years, several new TLDs have become available and many can be as useful, if not more useful, as the traditional .com TLD when building your online brand. This includes some such as .guru, .work, .info and more. Countries also have their own TLDs, so if your job search is not international, when available, these country specific TLDs are great. Check out this list of TLDs to help you decide which one is right for you.

Getting a Hosting Platform

So now that you have your own personal domain name, what is the next step? Finding a place to host your site. A host is basically where your site is stored at and accessed from on the internet. There are a vast many different hosts available on the internet, for the purpose of this article, we’ll cover a couple of the simpler platforms available to you. In the future, we are hoping to have a few articles with deeper dives on how to use these in more detail but for now, we’ll just cover the basics.

WordPress
One of the most popular platforms available on the internet, some estimates peg upward of 20% of all sites on the internet are powered by WordPress. WordPress can be self hosted (we’ll cover this at a later date) or hosted on WordPress.com. Signing up is free and easy, simply click the link above, click on get started, answer the questions and BAM!!, you have a simple site that is ready for customization. One of the great things about WordPress is the massive amount of themes and plugins available for you to use to customize your site and add functionality. Make sure to browse through the themes (some are free, some are paid) and find one that you think can align with your personal brand.  At it’s core, WordPress is designed for blogging and although we highly recommend that as part of an online brand you start doing some professional blogging, it’s not necessary. You can simply grab a theme and set up a one page online resume page to get started. Here is a sample page, created in less than 10 mins.

Blogger
Blogger from Google is what this blog was previously hosted on. The reason for that, is much like WordPress, it’s simple to setup. Simply click the link above and sign up using your Google account. Much like WordPress blogger has a simple to use interface for creating new pages and is originally designed for but doesn’t need to be used for blogging. It doesn’t have the same large amount of themes or plugins as WordPress but because of this, is often a bit easier to use.

Wix
Unlike WordPress and Blogger, Wix is geared more towards simple personal pages than being a full featured blogging platform. To get started simply click the link above and you’ll be presented with the option to get started with Wix, answer the questions presented, which at the time of writing includes such questions as: what do you need a site for (maybe its a resume or CV). Wix has several different themes available to choose from and comes with an easy to use point and click, drag and drop style editor. Here is a sample page created with Wix in less than 5 mins.

Both WordPress and Wix easily allow you to link your personal domain to the site or you can actually purchase the custom domain right from both. Blogger is a big more work but can be done easily by checking out the help.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back with many more tips on setting up, designing and marketing your personal brand soon.

Part 2 Is Available Here

Also, if you need any help setting up, designing or marketing you personal site. Contact us and for a reasonable price, we will get you on the right track. An assessment is absolutely free!

Author: The NetWorkIt Team

The NetWorkIt Team is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. We work to create content and tools to help you succeed in your career.