Last Updated September 20 2022
A personal website is all about you. It should communicate your personality and vibe. It could be fun and bouncy or serious and austere—whatever represents you best.
Above all else, don’t be afraid to be human: Write in the first person, and include photos of yourself. If possible, show yourself in action in these photos. And ensure your pictures are clearly visible (larger photos are always better than smaller ones).
Of course, remember your website goal during all of it.
Whatever you want to tell or show — your art or résumé, portfolio or testimonials, or simply your story — ensure it is easily accessible from a visual and hierarchical viewpoint. The best way to go about it is to show it on your homepage or make a separate page that’s easy to reach from the navigation bar and other CTAs on landing pages.
For inspiration, these are some of the best personal websites that achieve the website’s goal while communicating the personality:
Currently located in Los Angeles, visual artist and designer Mindy Nguyen helps brands with identity, art direction, web design, and much more. She currently freelances and also works with ilovecreatives Studio.
As soon as you enter her site: She effectively showcases her fun personality with the use of GIFs and by mentioning what she does in her free time. Plus, she achieves the website’s goal of showcasing her work & professional self by mentioning it in the bio + displaying the best portfolio items on the homepage.
Her about page is one of the first things in the website’s visual hierarchy. And anyone visiting it would know her instantly.
Needless to say, the designer’s website is well-designed. Fonts, spacing, hierarchy, photos…everything is on point.
Fun fact: Not only is this website a great personal website inspiration; we recommend studying it to anyone who wants to make a great portfolio website, an excellent service website, or a terrific website in general.
Shane Kinkennon helps principled executive leaders untangle impediments through his leadership advising services. This clean, professional site pairs bold colors and unique illustrations to accomplish a sleek, dynamic look and feel.
You can see Shane in action (teaching something on board) as soon as you enter the site. Plus, notice the language throughout the site — most of it is in first-person, and it’s in a professional tone that oozes confidence, i.e., it’s in a way a c-suite professional would expect from a coach. For example, see the text in the My experience section:
Besides Shane’s words, his potential clients would want to see fellow c-suite executives recommend him. And the site delivers: Shane nicely showcases testimonials on the homepage as well as a separate Testimonials page.
Josh is from the Bay Area but has traveled throughout, sharing his music, dance, and acting talents. You can find music on his website and links to his YouTube channel as well.
For the kind of work Josh does, his personal website should display Josh’s fun and artsy/energetic nature. And boy, does the website deliver! Everything from the professionally-shot photo of Josh dancing on the homepage to the vibrant colors and curvy fonts suits the personality Josh would want to communicate.
A couple of nit-picks:
Devon is the Squarespace website design guru. If you need an impressive website, this is your guy. Additionally, he provides training and additional plugins that you may need.
You can see Devon in action in the hero section video. Plus, there’s a nice photo of him coupled with a very straightforward introduction to what he does right below it:
Remember how, in the introduction, I said your personal website should be all about you and showcase your personality? Devon’s about page is a great example of displaying “you” — your passions & personality.
Joe is a freelance copywriter, and his website is one of the best copywriter portfolio websites on the internet.
His website homepage is brilliant. He has created 50+ different versions of his bio and has arranged them in a range from Less Hard Sell to More Hard Sell.
Jen is a coach for busy creatives. Both professionally and personally, she is passionate about improving the lives of others, ensuring that they find success while feeling joy in the best way for them.
Here’s how she introduces herself on the homepage: “Hi, I’m Jen…and my superpower is supporting online business owners to build and run simple, spacious, and thriving businesses.”
There’s a certain calm in this intro + her smiling photos throughout the website, the dull color choice, and the always-modern-looking Futura font adds to the vibe.
Kantwon has a focus in robotics and computer science. His website is super fun and stands out from the crowd, diving deeper into the fun side of what can appear to be complicated topics. At Georgia Tech, he is both a student as well as an instructor, so this website is a great inspiration for students looking to build a student portfolio as well.
I love this About section:
You may have seen Lin-Manual Miranda in the Broadway show “Hamilton.” He is also the creator of that play and has won a ton of awards, including a Grammy, Tony, and an Emmy.
His personal website showcases who he is simply yet brilliantly. It uses a great color scheme, has great photos of him and his work, and is constantly updated with new news pieces about him and links to his work if published on OTT platforms.
Peter McKinnon is a photographer, videographer, and YouTuber from Toronto. His 5 million+ subscribers YouTube channel has some awesome tutorials that help others learn in a fun way. You can also purchase presets and buy gear from him.
We featured his website in our Photography Websites collection. There, we mentioned this:
“His website is more of an influencer’s personal brand website where they sell their merchandise and less of a photography portfolio. If you want to build a website for your personal brand and showing photography is secondary for you, then Peter’s website may be a good inspiration.”
Well, it is a good personal website inspiration.
Amy is a product designer at Microsoft. She delivers people-first designs and currently leads user research for Money in Excel, a Microsoft 365 solution subscribers can use to manage, track, and analyze money and spending, all in Excel.
Her UX portfolio website’s homepage is an excellent example of showcasing the most essential things top of the fold. She introduces herself and sums up her extensive career right at the top in beautiful yet clear typography. She has also added a confident picture of her interacting with her team below the intro. Overall, potential clients will know pretty much everything about the “professional Amy” as soon as they land on her website.
Arlen has designed for Airbnb, Google, and Dropbox, among other companies. So he definitely knows a thing or two about designing, and it shows on his personal website.
His About page shows his love for the work he does + the other things he enjoys in his personal life — like travel, hiking, and photography.
Rafikah Halim is a Product Manager and loves to help his customers from start to finish as they develop their company and products. He’s all about growth and finding what works through data.
This site is more like a professional website, but since it’s all about Rafikah, you can identify it as a “personal website”.
Vaughan’s website contrasts Rafikah’s website quite well in that this website is about everything Vaughan does as a person (and Rafikah’s was about his professional self).
The ‘About’ section introduction text tells all the site is about: “My name is Vaughan and this is my little corner of the internet. I’ll share random things about work, food, life, family, and other random sh*t.”
Gina Kirlew is a bubbly cartoon artist and illustrator that adores her career. Her work is cute yet defined and certainly full of color. Exactly what you’d expect from a cartoonist.
Her art speaks for itself in the portfolio sections. The only details she adds are the title of the cartoon, the size of the canvas, the canvas type, and whether it’s available or sold — those, too, in a small, light font.
Karina currently works for Google as a Program Manager, capitalizing on her journalism skills. By combining beautiful images and unique words, she loves to create a compelling story.
This personal website is very simple. Most of it is text about her, which is fine.
I just have one tiny issue: The small font size makes the text hard to read. She could increase the font a couple of pixels (ideally to around 16 px) and maybe decrease text width a bit (somewhere between 600 px-800 px — currently, it’s 900+ px), and it’ll read much better.
Michael Girdley is an entrepreneur and investor with over 120k Twitter followers and 50+ investments in tech. His personal website showcases his success, blog writings, tweets, and more. Plus, people visiting the successful entrepreneur’s website can also easily sign up for his newsletter by clicking on the CTA in the navigation bar.
Tim is a content marketing and copywriting professional who has worked with SaaS brands like Hashtag paid and Smile.io.
Tim’s website is pretty typical, but his website builder choice is not. Tim uses Shopify (an ecommerce website builder) for his website.
In my opinion, Shopify is overkill for basic ecommerce (he sells his content creation & content strategy package on the website). And it’s not ideal if designing a good website is a priority — there are far better options. For example, Squarespace and Wix suit the job better — both have excellent drag-and-drop editors and good ecommerce features for these types of websites.
Erik Jaworski is a photographer with a diverse portfolio, including headshots, cosplay, travel, boudoir, and other photography.
The personal-cum-portfolio website certainly does the job of showcasing Erik’s excellent photography skills, but I would recommend using some sort of gallery instead of a slideshow (Squarespace has many beautiful galleries and photography portfolio templates!):
Andreas has a Ph.D. in physics and biophysics. He practices endless research and provides teaching at MIT with patents in biosensing. You can see interviews on his website about a variety of scientific topics too!
This website’s domain name is “mershin.org”. If someone is asked to identify the type of website just from the domain name, they might think it’s some organization’s website, but it’s definitely a personal website. Do you know how I know? The homepage hero section text reads, “Welcome to my personal website!” 😬
Weston, who goes by “Wes”, is a tech guy who uses his skills in many different fields to help new companies flourish. He currently runs Rarely Decaf, a company that helps small businesses with automation.
For a tech guy who has built his personal website with Webflow (perhaps the best website builder for creating complex websites), his simple, text-only website is underwhelming. But, hey, it does what a personal website should do: Communicate about Wes!
Melyssa is a former high school teacher turned entrepreneur who now helps other entrepreneurs strengthen their mindsets and cultivate their life.
She is fun and bouncy, and it shows on her website.
Andy is a product designer who has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, including Amazon and Google. He can write, design, and tell a story with a combination of both.
David is a man of many interests, including photography, robotics, space, and more.
He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Alongside, he is also a Propulsion Design Associate Engineer at AGILE Space Industries and has previously worked at SpaceX.
His personal website includes details about his professional experience, academic experience, and personal interests: music & photography.
Amanjeev Sethi is a programmer, photographer, and fan of science. He has both a blog and a photography portfolio that show off his style, which incorporates all of these topics as one. He has also spent time in the past teaching others about Computer Science.
Benedict is a tech analyst working independently. He has spent years evaluating mobile, digital, and technology programs and now writes essays and provides a newsletter on these topics.
Tinneke De Block is the founder of Atelier Tinika. She is a fine artist who creates expressive and playful paintings and illustrations with a feminine touch to them.
Jordan is an instructor from New Zealand. His fields of specialty are philosophy of both psychology and science. Currently, he works at the University of Pennsylvania. He features his CV, teaching portfolio, and research on his personal site.
Valentin Perez has an education in computer science and math. He is the co-founder of “Monthly,” which offers online classes in creativity led by creative geniuses.
Dave is a family man whose professional career includes software development. When working in this field or developing new strategies, he’s passionate about solving the most difficult of problems.
Julia Grace is one of the brains behind our beloved Siri. She’s currently working as an Engineering Director for Apple but has a long history of working for other companies such as Slack and IBM, where it all began.
Her website features her speaking engagements, interviews (with Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and likes), and a blog.
Oliver Anderson is a photography and film expert as well as Co-founder of Dynamo Films. You can find projects he has worked on with big names such as Coca-Cola and Macy’s. His ads are shown on every major TV network, including HBO, NBC, ESPN, SHOWTIME, and CBS.
Esteve Castells is a growth specialist in terms of SEO and technology. Whatever goal a business has in mind, Esteve can help them achieve it.
His website is a simple one-page website, but it communicates what he wants to communicate.
Luana Psaros is an entertainment force with talents as an actor, singer, dancer, and musician. She is located in New York, and her resume has a large amount of history in Theater.
The background of this website is sort of a stock animation, and it’s disturbing + makes the whole website look cheap. Stick to basics when building your personal website.
Katie is a global strategist and a branding professional. Using research, data, and personal touch, she can navigate through the many aspects of a brand and how to give them the best chance for success.
Her website is all about showcasing her experience & expertise, and she does it well.
Samantha’s specialty and education are in the field of marketing. She helps companies using social media, design, and strategy that grabs the attention of customers and adds value to the experience. Everything about her website communicates her experience and expertise.
Kalina is an entrepreneur of many kinds. She’s a journalist, a model, an artist, and the founder of the media project BigTalk. You can view her wide-range portfolio on her site.
Faraz is a designer and creative producer who dabbles in many different projects that speak to him. Lifestyle, martial arts, and gaming are all on his list of interests. Check out some of his writings and information on the tools he uses to create.
Chris works for Adobe and holds the title of Customer Success Manager. You can find more info from the site on his Linkedin and Twitter accounts. He also has a love for gaming.
Gary’s personal website is a resume website where he has detailed everything from his academic experiences at Duke University to professional experiences while working at Google Cloud as Software Engineer Tech Lead and at Civics Unplugged as COO/CIO.
Michael is a web developer based in Toronto that designs and develops websites with Webflow, Tailwind, and Netlify. His website is a mix of a personal website and a service website.
Erin Dawson fell in love with the art of web development many years ago. The combination of logical science and the arts caught her attention, and she looks forward to new and exciting projects.
System Sunday is Ben Meer’s website. He shares data-driven and tech-enabled systems with people to help them become more productive.
His website’s goal is to get people to sign up for his newsletter, and he achieves it immediately by having the sign-up form as the homepage hero section.
Emily Reeves is from Michigan and now lives in New York. She is an actress, singer and dancer all wrapped into one, landing her roles in theater and on Broadway.
Scott Lacy is a professional Biathlete and Ski Racer with the CrossCut Mountain Sports Center and the US Biathlon team. Scott uses Squarespace Commerce for his personal website to gather funds for international race season — website visitors can support him by clicking the Support button and making a contribution.
Miiro is an engineer with a high-level resume in the software world. He is the CEO at his company Releaseworks. You can find his work within a variety of different fields from healthcare to travel.
Gregory is an actor, model and a physique artist. He has completely transformed his body which you can see via the site and competes with his new level of fit. He also has a portfolio featuring lifestyle and bodybuilding shots.
Felix Kaiser has a love and education in formulating the perfect customer experience. He is the founder of a podcast as well as the special story telling event Wahre Geschichten.
Philip Källberg’s single-page website is an excellent example of a concise personal/professional résumé website. The whole website has just two things:
There’s no “CTA” because a personal website doesn’t necessarily need one, but he has linked to his important social media profiles - LinkedIn, Twitter, and ProductHunt.
You can use any good website builder to create a personal website.
We recommend Squarespace because it's structured editor has the right balance of beginner friendliness and flexibility + it has some of the most beautiful templates for personal websites.
Most personal sites have an about section/bio, a portfolio or resume, a nice photo, testimonials, and other web design properties (like font, color scheme, and copy) that suit the individual's personality.