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Which Platforms Should I Host My Personal Website?

A personal website serves as the hub for your digital brand. When prospects search you up, they can find all your information in one place.  

Forbes.com recently reported that 56% of surveyed hiring managers said they are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other branding tool. 

With that in mind, where should you host your personal website? 

Today we explore the top five platforms you should consider, while listing out the their pros and cons. 

Do decide which platform(s) might suit you best and let us know your decision!  
 

Medium 

Winning Features: Are you big on blogging? Medium is optimised towards content discovery. The platform exposes your articles to readers who are interested in particular topics. This helps expand your readership with much effort in marketing. 

 Cost: Free

Support: There is a help email address where you can send through your questions, feedback and bugs. 

Downside: Do consider that Medium is a third party platform. This means that while you are credited as the producer, the content published belongs to them. An implication is that when the third party platform decides to close down or change its T&Cs, you could potentially lose your hard earned content and followers. 

 

Our Verdict: We view Medium as a place to re-publish content that already exists on your blog, instead of original content. This provides another avenue to provide a traffic bump to your website. Therefore it is best you build your personal website on another platform, before looking at Medium to complement it. 

 

Wordpress.org

Winning Features: Customisable plugins. Due to their open source nature, they have plugins that tackles practically every need that you have. From capturing an email list, to improving page speed to social sharing. 

Costs: While it is free to set up, you are required to pay your own hosting and domain registrations. This typically works out to $100+. Depending on your requirements, customised website templates and plugins will cost you more. 

Support: There is no customer support due to its open source nature. Instead Wordpress hosts a forum where you can post questions for community members to answer. 
 
Downsides: It is important that you have technical knowledge or know someone who does. As the plugins are open source, the quality is not regulated and integration issues may arise. This mean that breakage in the website interface might occur. 

Our Verdict: We recommend Wordpress if you are planning to build a website with full capabilities. While this might be suited for a business website, it might be an over-kill for a personal website as you might end up spending more time and money than desired figuring this platform out. 

Strikingly 

Winning Features: This is possibly the best one page website out there. It is easy to build where you simply add sections to a page and is mobile optimised. 

Costs: The PRO package comes with unlimited bandwidth at $192 per year.

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Support: For any queries, you can visit their knowledge base or contact them directly. 

Downside: Specialising in one-page websites, there are limitations if you plan to scale your personal website further. There is also limitations in the form builder that only provides name, email and messages as the only field options (i.e. no radio buttons, checkboxes and file uploads). 

Our Verdict: It is great if your intention is to consolidate all your information onto a one page website in a basic fuss-free format. Beyond that it offers a small selection of great themes and lacks meaningful customisation options.

 

About.me

Winning Features: It consolidates all your digital and social media presence in one spot. This allows people find all information about you easily when searching for you online. 

Costs: Free

Support: For any queries, you can visit their knowledge base or contact them directly. 

Downside: Apart from displaying your links, there is not much additional features. You are unable to actively engage on the platform such posting updates and discussions on LinkedIn.  

Our Verdict: We would say that the about.me is more about placement. It doesn't hurt to have an additional item when you are being search up. Therefore you can set it up and return to update it occasionally. 

Squarespace

Winning Features: Squarespace stands out for its stunning designs. The templates provided are beautiful, modern looking and mobile responsive. 

Cost: For the personal website package, an annual subscription costs $96. There are typically no add-ons required, therefore this fee is all that you pay. 

Support: There is a one-hour email response turnaround time. From my experience, their customer support team handles my queries very effectively. 

Downsides: If you plan to go deep in design and functionality, do note that there are limitations to the capabilities provided in Squarespace. 

Our Verdict: If you intention is to have a hassle-free start to your personal website, Squarespace is a prime choice!  


To wrap up...

As you can see – While there is an abundance of options, you should base your selection according to your needs such as customizable options, costs and technical set up needed.

Keen on establishing your brand online with a kick-ass personal website? Do drop us a message to learn more about how we can help! 

P.S. If you enjoyed this articles, do check out: 

How Blogging Builds Your Leadership Presence (And 3 Ways To Get Started)

7 Important Elements Of A Winning Personal Website

Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.

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