Having your own personal website gives you a platform, outside of social networks, where you are in full control of what is displayed and how.

Assuming you are no web guru, having a personal website — like I do here on TheA.li — gives me full control on how I want to convey myself to you.

I designed my site specifically for possible employers, other developers, and those interested in random subjects I’m interested in. For example, do you enjoy e-cigs or vapes? Check out my post questioning whether vapes are safe.

To get started, all I needed was a domain I’m excited to pass around and put on my resume, on my Twitter, and wherever else I can place it. Cost: <$12. 

I use NameCheap and have for a while now. I really like the free 1-year WhoisGuard which comes with it. Every domain registered must have the owner’s information, which will be available publicly through a Whois lookup… NameCheap’s WhoisGuard forwards your emails and keeps your personal information safe. I recommend it.

After you have your domain name, you’ll need hosting. Namecheap also offers that, but I personally rely on a private server that is stupid fast — with ample bandwidth, RAM, etc. There’s no need to get a private server, you can go for shared hosting to host simple websites. If you need help setting up your first site, there are tons of free resources available. Just do a quick Google search for something like “how can I host my domain” or just go through NameCheap.

Once you’ve got the basics squared away, it’s time to select a design or theme. I recommend WordPress for beginners also. Or, use static html generators, free templates, or learn how to create a custom site — this is all possible with a number of technologies. I’ll likely have to post a more in-depth, and more organized step-by-step to hit the ground running with your own website (if you don’t already have one). So far, I’ve gotten nearly 10,000 unique visitors since October and over 7,400 blog post hits, so maybe I should consider adding more depth to my site, or change up the format…I can do that at anytime because I own it 🙂