Personal webpage is not the same as a vanity license plate. There are similarities. But the purpose of a personal webpage is significantly different. This article focuses on a website that is truly ‘personal’. A personal webpage as in not focused on what it is you do to make ends meet.
A lesson from the world of commerce is your webpage is about branding. Like a business, your personal web presence represents you, the brand. Yes, you, me, the person who details automobiles, school bus drivers, college students, and so forth are a brand.
The Search Engine Acid Test
There are reasons why you may not want a personal web page. For example a police, customs, or correction officer. For most of us, however, a personal web presence is the new 411. Actually, it should be not so new 411 as the internet has been around for a while.
Let’s start with the search engine acid test. If you looked up your name on a popular search engine, like Google, what would turn up?
Are you happy with what is there?
Have you ever asked yourself, “Where did that information come from?”
The where did the information about you come from question may be surprising.
Are you a member of a club or association? Do they post minutes online? Are you a volunteer, cyclist, golfer, or participate in any activity where information is shared across the web? What about Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Slack, and on and on. Are you active in any social media platforms? Has anyone ever mentioned you?
Get the picture. Any reference to you on the web is harvested by search engines.
Worse, any mention of someone with a similar name can be erroneously combined with what is known about you. The web has no discernment.
Not happy with what you find? Try getting the misinformation corrected or even removed. It is not easy. Plus, you will never know who has downloaded it or made a copy. The world wide web is vast. There are rules. But, generally, only the good guys play by them.
Knowing all of this, should you have a personal webpage? Absolutely.
Why Have a Personal Webpage – Brand You!
The most important reason for a personal website, in my opinion, is to be an accurate representation of who you are. It is branding you the way you want to be known.
Doing this will give you leverage. It will be the facts about who you are, authored by you, and in as much detail as you want to share. Caution remember the world wide web is vast and not all participants are scrupulous. So, ensure anything you do not want shared is either not listed or password protected.
A second reason for having a personal website, and one that is rarely talked about, is the ability for you to have a personal email address. That’s right, when you have your own domain name, you can create email addresses that end in that domain name.
For example, let’s say you registered as your personal web name StacySmith.com. This means that you can create email address that will end in stacysmith.com. Assuming you are indeed Stacy Smith, having your own email address gives you credibility.
This is a huge benefit in branding yourself. It promotes trust. In the business world, I rarely do any online business with someone who has a Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or similar address. Priority is always given to a vendor who has an email address in either their name or the name of the company represented.
Other reasons for a personal website include:
- * being found by headhunters,
- * share your thoughts, point-of-view,
- * blog about topics related to your profession or that interest you,
- * link to club, associations, alumni,
- * share your personal mission statement,
- * an easy place for family, friends, associates to reach out to you,
- * share your interest in a hobby or network marketing program.
This is but a very short list. Reasons for having a personal website are immense.
Without a doubt there are indeed reasons not to have a personal webpage. Depending on your vocation, for example, it might be in your best interest not to have one.
For the rest of us, a personal domain name and hosted webpage is a plus. Top of the list is credibility and control. When you have your own website, you control the content. And, with an email address matching your name, that builds trust.
PS: Have you considered WordPress hosting??