Last Updated November 3 2023
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—show yourself painting if you are a painter, correcting a client’s form if you are a personal trainer, etc. 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:
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.
Besides the ‘creativity’ aspect, Joe’s website is a great inspiration for your ‘bio’ — you should read through all versions and pick what you like.
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 warmth & calmness in this intro + her smiling photos throughout the website, the dull color choice, and the always-modern-looking Futura font adds to the vibe. Moreover, most of the client stories mention how Jen’s style is “gentle, encouraging, and warm.”
One thing I found a bit odd is all the client stories (there are like 50 of them!) are of female creators/entrepreneurs. The website vibe sort of communicates that her target audience is female, but there’s no explicit mention of it.
Kantwon has a focus on 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 and an instructor, so this website is a great inspiration for students looking to build a student portfolio as well.
I love this About section—colorful, exciting, and informal:
Hom Sweet Hom (nice twist to Home Sweet Home!) is Lauren Hom’s personal portfolio website where she shares her work as a designer and lettering artist specializing in marketing, lettering, murals, and food art.
The website offers a portfolio of her creative work, online courses on topics like mural painting and marketing, and a blog sharing professional advice and personal stories.
The website design has intricate micro-animations, stunning typefaces, and a well-organized layout. The color palette is beautiful too, as are the professionally shot pictures of the designer.
On the “Work” page, the audience is treated to a visual feast of artworks presented in a mosaic of lively tiles. Hover over any piece, and you get a glimpse of the project details – like “Feed Your Soul, Illustration” – giving insight into the diverse ventures the artist has embarked upon.
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.
Scott Laidler has transformed the physiques of Oscar-winning actors, athletes, and military service personnel. He also offers online personal training to anyone and everyone. You can learn more about it on his professionally-designed website.
This website starts with a short introduction of Scott and his experience in the fitness industry. Then there are a couple of CTAs to help you understand how the online training works.
And below it are the most impressive sections: all kinds of trust-infusing blocks-
The website also has “What People Say” and “Verified Reviews” blocks in the footer.
Goes without saying: Since it’s professionally designed, the web design elements are on point - consistent branding, excellent visual hierarchy, obvious CTAs and navigation, readable & suitable fonts, etc.
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.
Nadéjiah Zakiyyah focuses on helping women reclaim power and confidence in their careers through her coaching services.
As you might have figured out by now, I am a fan of personal-cum-business websites where individuals show their faces. But this website goes overboard.
There are too many photos of Nadéjiah that demand your attention, and it takes away from other important aspects of the website. For example, try looking at this screenshot of the site for five seconds from top to bottom:
What do you remember? I saw only her face, whereas I should have learned about her services and seen some social proof.
Besides this minor problem, the website is well-designed. It uses excellent fonts and color schemes, has CTAs at the right place, the navigation is simple, and the website is mobile-responsive.
P.S. The website homepage is improved now. It now has fewer photos of Nadéjiah and some newer sections showcasing client success stories and services. I am just keeping the above screenshot for your reference.
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.
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.
Kelsey is a copy and brand messaging consultant who also provides done-for-you copywriting services. She started as a newspaper journalist and has borrowed the interview-inspired writing style from there in her copywriting career.
Her website is the perfect blend of everything a professional copywriter’s website should have.
The homepage has all the necessary elements:
The copywriter’s portfolio page is equally good.
Arlen has designed for Airbnb, Google, and Dropbox, among other companies. So he definitely knows good design, and it shows on his personal website.
The gradient color scheme, clean lines, and the modern serif typeface…are all features of a contemporary, tech-forward design.
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, making it professional-cum-personal website.
Gina Kirlew is a bubbly cartoon artist and illustrator who 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.
Aarron Walter is a creative team leader with vast experience. He was the fourth hire at Mailchimp, where he became the Director of UX. Then, he joined InVision as VP of Design Education, and most recently, he was the Director Of Product at Resolve to Save Lives. He is also the author of “Designing for Emotion.”
Aarron’s simple yet effective personal-cum-portfolio website shows his expertise by a) being a well-designed website and b) showcasing his work. Let’s take a closer look:
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.
Gloria Lo is in Sydney, Australia, working on UX/UI design for software products. She currently works at Canva as a senior product designer. She also sings, paints, and writes.
Her website is a showcase for both her work and play. The UX work portfolio is the primary, so it’s at the top of the visual hierarchy:
Clicking on each portfolio item will take you to the corresponding case study.
Case studies are comprehensive yet never feel overwhelming. Sections are well-defined and in obvious positions. They have a screenshot of the final results at the top, then comes sections (from top to bottom): overview & Gloria’s role in the project, background info, the process & understanding the problem(s), insights, prioritization of issues, wireframing/designs, etc., ending with the results and takeaways.
The “Play” dropdown menu takes you to her music, art, and blog page. They are also well-designed. For example, the art portfolio page resembles the best:
Johnny Harris is an Emmy-nominated American filmmaker, journalist, and YouTuber known for his geopolitical series “Borders” on Vox. Post-Vox, he continues exploring global issues on his personal YouTube channel, also contributing to The New York Times, amassing over 4 million subscribers.
This site serves as a portfolio for Johnny, showcasing his work as a filmmaker and journalist. It includes a page about his biography, his works (which include Vox Borders), a link to his Presets and LUTs shop, a contact page for inquiries, a form to collect ideas (currently 404), and other typical stuff.
The clean typeface, the primary colors, and the high-contrast photos are reminiscent of his work.
Ine Agresta’s personal website introduces her as an artist, maker, and designer who seeks to participate in the world by blending archetypal concepts with personal experiences.
On the homepage bio, she welcomes visitors to her “vibrant and captivating art world,” and the website design reflects that statement: The website is indeed vibrant and captivating. It uses lively colors, an animated logo, plenty of whitespace, and big, bold, and colorful images.
John Green is a The New York Times bestselling author of several books, including “Looking for Alaska” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” He is also one-half of the ‘vlogbrothers,’ ‘Crash Course,’ and several other YouTube channels with 10 million+ subscribers combined. He also hosts the critically acclaimed podcast “The Anthropocene Reviewed.”
John Green’s website elegantly showcases his published works, featuring a concise bio and his latest book on the homepage. Its clean, modern design offers easy navigation through a drawer to essential pages like his blog, YouTube, podcast, store, and contact information. Separate pages list all his books and provide access to his podcast and vlog, along with a FAQ section for those seeking insights on Green or writing advice.
Lu Yu does interaction design & art direction. She was Head Of Brand at Pitch and is a Jury member of Awwwards & Digital Design award.
The fact that she is a jury member of a top professional web design and development competition body would assumably make it a given that her website will be on point. Is it? Well, let me try to evaluate it using Awwwards’ evaluation system criteria (Side Note: I don’t think I am eligible to be an Awwwards jury).
Awwwards ranks based on the following 4 criteria:
Design-wise, Lu Yu’s website is awesome:
None of the aesthetic elements interfere with usability.
On the scale of not-creative-at-all to outlandishly creative, this portfolio website has the right balance. It definitely has its own character, but the creativity never harms the usability like many super-creative sites do (many of which you can find on Awwwards itself).
I think this UX portfolio can do better with content.
Overall, Lu Yu’s site is superbly designed and made keeping usability/user experience in mind.
Ali Abdaal is an ex-doctor turned YouTuber, podcaster, entrepreneur, and author known for his productivity-focused content.
His personal site features articles, podcasts, courses like the Part-Time YouTuber Academy, free templates, and book summaries. Visitors can subscribe to his weekly 400k+ subscribers newsletter, “Sunday Snippets,” for more productivity tips and insights.
A lot of his productivity advice is about structuring, organizing, and prioritizing. Therefore, it’s no surprise that his website layout is well-structured and organized, and the content is in the right priority order (for the typical visitor as well as conversions).
The website has separate pages for Abdaal’s many personals — of writer, author, YouTuber, podcaster, course creator, newsletter creator, and small business owner — and each page/section is easily accessible. His latest notable work is his book “Feel Good Productivity,” so it’s at the top of the visual hierarchy.
Gaby Melian is an Argentinian chef, author, YouTuber, and Instagram influencer known for her expertise in the culinary field. She was previously the Kitchen Manager at Bon Appétit and now has a significant presence all over social media, including Instagram (nearly 250k followers) and YouTube (~80k subscribers), where she shares her culinary skills and knowledge.
Her website acts as a sort of personal brand website (with links to her social media and a short bio) + author website (with her books visible front and center).
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!
Olivier Ifrah is a product designer at Snap, focusing on AR Lenses. He calls himself a generalist with a passion for food, the Arizona Cardinals, civil engineering, and his dog Olive.
His minimal site is both a personal website and a professional website. The best part? You can switch between both (labeled ‘Work’ and ‘Play’) from the navigation bar. The ‘Work’ part shares his professional portfolio, i.e., case studies of his design work. The ‘Play’ page has his passion projects.
James Hoffman is a coffee expert who has been working in the coffee industry since 2003, authored a book, and started several coffee-related companies. He also has a popular YouTube channel where he shares his tips and thoughts on coffee and everything surrounding it (from roasting beans to coffee machines).
His website provides insights into his work in coffee, links to his social media accounts, and a contact option. It also hosts his “The Ultimate Series” - a series of recipes to make the ultimate coffee, and “Weird Coffee Science” - a series where James teaches making weird coffee.
Mark is a self-made millionaire based in London, England. He teaches business, personal finance, and investing to the next generation through his YouTube channel (almost 2 million subscribers).
His website is a personal brand platform showcasing his journey from a school-leaver to a self-made millionaire. It’s a blend of a personal blog and a hub for his YouTube channel. The site reflects his passion for educating the next generation on financial literacy. Additionally, it features a ‘Press’ section for his media appearances and a ‘Contact’ page for business inquiries.
Mark presents himself as a multifaceted creator, specializing not just in graphic design but also in art and music. His dynamic skillset showcases a broad spectrum of creative capabilities, from designing logos and websites to creating unique art prints.
They say first impressions last, and boy, does Mark’s website impress as soon as you enter it. The captivating hero image is a testament to his expertise as an artist and graphic designer. Plus, it says “hello,” communicates his passion for creating, and introduces himself as a graphic designer whose client work you can see by clicking on the conveniently placed CTA.
The website exudes a bold and contemporary vibe, using stark contrasts of colors and large typography. The fusion of art elements, like the paint splatters and the framed artwork, gives a sneak peek into his design style – edgy, vibrant, and inherently artistic.
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.
Austin Kelon is famous for his non-fiction trilogy Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work, and Keep Going. His physical book covers and dimensions of the book are a work of art itself.
Unlike most authors’ websites, Austin puts his blog at the center. Here’s why: He built an audience online, unlike traditional authors. His followers visit the website to read his blog; that’s why the blog is the homepage. The website’s purpose is to serve the visitor — and by that definition, Austin’s website is excellent.
Jay Acunzo is an author, speaker, and showrunner who specializes in storytelling for business, helping experts increase their influence and build passionate fanbases. With over 15 years of experience, he has been recognized as a top B2B marketer and podcaster.
This personal website has a solid long-form homepage with well-written copy, well-sprinkled testimonials, appropriately placed CTAs, and a great hierarchy. The other pages are similarly designed, too.
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.
Kristina Plummer categorizes herself as a boutique branding agency. She created her beloved platform, Your Kompas Inc. She combined her passion for a plant-based lifestyle with design skills and the app allows others to quickly find plant-based options on the go.
This is her resume website.
Justin helped build two companies past a $1B valuation and raise over $300M in venture capital. Now, he helps solopreneurs identify, develop, and monetize their skills. He also has a 180K+ readers newsletter called The Saturday Solopreneur, where he shares tips, strategies, and resources to launch, grow, and monetize a one-person internet business.
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.
This is the personal website of Lois de Fretes, a 21-year-old UGC (User-Generated Content) creator from Deventer. She specializes in travel, fashion, and self-care content creation for brands.
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.