Should you have a personal website?
A personal website is basically your own domain and space on the internet for you to do as you please. Today, it’s cheaper than ever to buy and build such a site (unless you share your name with some really famous person, I suppose) but the question does remain…does everyone need a personal website? While it may be cheap, it does involve some amount of work, since no one would want to associate their name with something that’s subpar, and surely not on the internet, at least.
Since you’re reading this on priyankabanerjee.in, clearly I thought it made sense for me to have such a site. Let me start by talking about why I think personal websites can be handy:
You can use to control and consolidate your online presence
Most people usually have little nooks and crannies all across the internet. You have your social media profiles, your LinkedIn profile, perhaps a Quora profile with a good following and maybe a YouTube channel or a blog. A personal website consolidates all of this and becomes the one go-to platform for your online presence. The best part is that you can do with it, what you like. Present your stories, your work, your struggles – anything and everything that makes you you.
You can use it to display your work
A personal website can also be used to showcase your work. Right off the bat it becomes clear that certain professionals would benefit more from such a personal website than others. Designers, artists, writers, developers, musicians and so on can use their sites as portfolios. Plus, since we’re apparently moving to a “gig economy”, which is centered around freelance, consultative, part time and temporary opportunities, a personal website can be useful to get clients interested in working with you. It could also help with potential recruiters – there’s so much more you can add on your site, as compared to your resume. Even students can use it to talk about their projects, research work and so on.
You can merge it with your blog
Right now, this is mainly what I use my site for. Your site can host your blog too! And no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re a student or a professional, and regardless of your field, you can maintain a blog and have that set up on your site. According to me, it does look better than a “.wordpress.com” domain, and just makes everything seem a little more neat and tidy.
You can use it for anything in the future
I would say this is the best part of a personal website. Since I’m in my early twenties, I’m not quite sure what shape my life will take in the next 4-5 decades (I’m not too keen on living beyond that :P). Maybe I’ll start a side project I want to display on my site. Or perhaps I’ll become a professor one day and I want to share my work through my site. Maybe I’ll be a speaker and I’ll use my site to display recordings of my previous talks, to book more sessions! I love this site for the options it provides.
Coming to the original question, no, I don’t think everyone needs to have a personal website. However, I do think everyone should at least think about it. If any of the points listed above made you think, “Hmm, that sounds like something that’s relevant for me”, go ahead and get yourself a personal website!