Building a personal website isn’t tough. But building your personal website—the prime piece of real estate that you’ll present to the entire internet? That can be a little intimidating. When it comes to laying your site out, designing the right color scheme, picking perfect portfolio pieces, and crafting copy that’ll give your pages personality, it’s easy to get a little stuck.
Well, the best way out of that is to get some mega inspiration from people who have done it before you. To get you started, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite personal websites out there. From simple ones that anyone could recreate to seriously impressive ones that we can only admire in awe, check them out—then get ideas for how to make your site even better.
Pretty Simple (But Pretty Beautiful)
These sites get the job done in a way that is beautiful and effective, but totally attainable, even for those of us without design chops.
1. Krista Gray
Why We Love It: Gray’s homepage gives you all the basic information you need to know about her and her work in a clean, easy-to-read way. Plus, her “services” section explains exactly what she’s looking for, making it easy for people to understand how they can work with her.
Why We Love It: The simple, clean design of this site makes the colors of Vengoechea’s illustrations and user design screenshots really pop—helping her work shine even more.
Why We Love It: King uses her simple website to tell a compelling story about herself—and then give a clear call to action for people to reach out to her to work together. Plus, her social profiles stand out loud and proud, which is critical since she’s a social media professional.
4. Devon Stank
Why We Love It: There’s no question about what this guy does. But, in addition to the simple, clear welcome screen, Stank does a stellar job of integrating information about his skills and abilities with just enough personality to stand out.
5. Kristi Hines
Why We Love It: Hines has managed to make the examples of her writing work visual with the help of publication logos—plus, her testimonials page is second to none.
6. Red Russak
Why We Love It: While this site doesn’t offer a ton in terms of information, it gives you just enough to know who he is, plus a visual you’ll never forget. And with ample ways to reach out to him or learn more, Russak really doesn’t need much else.
Why We Love It: Being in the finance industry, Felix doesn’t have a ton he can show off on his site. That’s why it’s perfect that his blog—featuring regularly updated thought leadership in the field—is front and center.
8. Sarah Adler
Why We Love It: Adler puts her latest venture, Spoon University, front and center—but doesn’t let her previous work in publishing get lost in the shuffle. Plus all the bright colors really make this site fun to look at.
9. Alex Nuth
Why We Love It: This single page site is the perfect aggregator—and it really pops! Plus, it looks like it was super easy to set up, pulling in Nuth’s LinkedIn and blog right on the page, meaning she barely had to write a word.
10. Sarah Chang
Why We Love It: This minimalist site does a great job of making everything Chang has done incredibly digestible. When you can communicate all the critical information in less than a minute, you know you’re doing something right!
11. Ian Enders
Why We Love It: This basic one-pager shows just enough of Enders’ work to pique your interest—and just enough of his personality to make you laugh out loud.
Why We Love It: This site does a great job detailing all of Schweitzer’s accomplishments and bringing together all the places you can see her featured across the web.
Why We Love It: Kiu does a fantastic job of making her text-heavy writing samples visual and engaging. Plus, the bite-sized sections on her “about me” page make it easy to get to know her.
A Step Above
These sites take things to the next level, either with amazing graphics, especially snappy copy, or beautiful, easy-to-browse designs.
14. Anthony Wiktor
Why We Love It: Essentially a fancy online resume, this site does an especially good job of incorporating graphics and images in a super classy way. We especially like the “why me” section that summarizes Wiktor’s greatest attributes.
15. Nate Cover
Why We Love It: This site is somehow both simple yet visually striking and will make you say “wow” as soon as you land on it. Cover does an especially good job of breaking down his portfolio into his different skills and really highlighting his best work.
16. Nathaniel Koloc
Why We Love It: This clean-cut site lays out Koloc’s work and background in a simple, easy to follow way—and is infinitely more engaging with large logos and links to examples.
Why We Love It: This lovely site has consistent branding and design through and through, thanks, in part, to the fact that Smith designed and coded it herself to strut her skills. It’s especially nice that it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with information, but gives you just enough to know who Smith is.
Why We Love It: This “interactive resume” uses color blocks to break up the one-page site and make it easier to skim, and the images seriously up the excitement factor. It’s a perfect hybrid between a traditional resume and an online site.
19. Hope Reagan
Why We Love It: This portfolio-heavy site make it super easy to browse through different examples of Reagan’s work, without much site design to distract from her beautiful creations.
20. Jim Ramsdem
Why We Love It: Ramsdem does a great job of simply summarizing himself above the fold, with his graphic photo/logo and simple tagline. Plus, his about page does the perfect job of giving the tl;dr version of his life and professional preferences.
21. Hannah Silverton
Why We Love It: The imagery and logo on this site are kind of unforgettable, and Silverton follows it up with great examples of what she can offer, testimonials from past employers, and a beautiful portfolio of work.
22. Sandy Kreis
Why We Love It: This fun, infographic-style site is a great example of how the experiences of someone in a non-creative field can be transformed into an engaging, visual site.
23. Allison Stadd
Why We Love It: Stadd’s copy is delightfully fun to read and gives you a perfect sense of her voice and personality—which is great, since she’s selling herself as a writer. Plus, the photography she chose to occupy the large image banners on each page adds the perfect character.
24. Joshua McCartney
Why We Love It: The landing page of this site will make you laugh at McCartney’s personality, but the rest of the site will seriously impress you with his work examples and simple summaries of projects he’s done.
25. Stephanie Pal
Why We Love It: This single-page site does a great job of weaving an engaging narrative about Pal’s love of food, while incorporating impressive work samples and descriptions of her experience.
26. Ellen Skye Riley
Why We Love It: Riley’s smiling face and striking logo make you immediately think, “she’d be awesome to work with”—and then her easy-to-browse and beautiful work samples seal the deal.
Really Effing Cool
Okay, these sites are a little aspirational; without coding or design background (or hiring someone with those skills), you might not be able to recreate them for yourself. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspiration from them—or just browse in awe.
27. Adam Hartwig
Why We Love It: The interactive illustrations and bright colors on this website make the whole thing, dare we say, kind of fun. It makes you want to explore the whole site just to see what other surprises are in store.
28. Andrew McCarthy
Why We Love It: Pro tip: Go to this website and scroll down really fast. Sure, you’ll miss all of the information about McCarthy, but you’ll see some really impressive animation—and then probably want to scroll back up and read all about the guy who created it.
29. Fifty Coffees
Why We Love It: While this site looks unassuming—and doesn’t even really look like a personal website—it’s an awesome example of how good blog content can be an effective way to bring people to you and have them learn more about what you do.
30. Robby Leonardi
Why We Love It: We’ve talked about Leonardi’s impressive interactive resume—where you get to run through his resume like a video game character—before. But we had to include him on this list since his animated portfolio is just as memorable and impressive.
31. Albino Tonnina
Why We Love It: This site keeps you seriously engaged through Tonnina’s story and experiences thanks to easy scrolling and beautiful animated graphics.
32. Martin Ringlein
Why We Love It: It’s the user interface of this site that’s memorable—you use your arrow keys to scroll through Ringlein’s different experiences and learn more or less about them. Plus, he talks about his pet puggle on the first page.
33. Allen Tan
Why We Love It: This site seems incredibly simple, but becomes more complex and impressive as you scroll over and click on the different words that describe Tan. We especially love the “here’s what I believe” section on his bio page for understanding more about how he works.
Why We Love It: This site beautifully incorporates sketches that show off Gotthardt’s design and architecture aesthetics—right in the design of the site. The work examples only stand to back up his credentials.
Why We Love It: Bain’s illustrated photograph shows of who she is as a designer and a person, and her copy make you laugh out loud. Plus her consistent design through the site makes it clear she has some chops. Scroll over the text on the homepage to reveal more quips, a la “the real housewife of HTML.”