Should I kill my personal website?
Do we still need personal websites in 2018? Is there still an audience for that, or is everything done on social media these days? A question that bugs me, from time to time. Here’s an open thought experiment (or opinion piece, however you want to call it).
Personal websites are mostly used by known professionals. Or in my case: people that pretend to be famous on the internet. Having all the necessary information in one collective space online is useful, if you’re an expert at something. This way, visitors (and potential clients) can quickly get a complete picture of who or what they’re dealing with. A photographer, for example, could set up a site with some recent work, contact information and about about himself. So, you’d think a personal website would be quite useful in this scenario, right?
Well, no. Instagram can offer all of those things, too. It’s an easy place to post all of your recent work, contact information and something about yourself can be placed in your bio or in the copy of your pictures. So, is it then safe to say that a professional should actually benefit from social media, instead of putting time and effort in a personal website?
Obviously social media can’t always provide everything you need. There’s a (sort of) limit to what you can do and share. A personal website can go as in depth as anyone wants. But there’s also another factor to consider: People just search more often on social media. They’re easy to use, for both the person searching and the one being searched. Exposure is something you’ll get on social media, not really on a personal website, somewhere hidden on your space of the web.
Social media sites get the word out. If you’re looking for a job, you’ll go to LinkedIn or maybe even to Facebook groups. You can easily be heard by thousands on Twitter and Facebook, or in long form on Medium. In short: social media is taking over the work from your personal website.
However, something has to be said about identity. With a personal website you can quickly get your desired tone of voice right, something that isn’t always easy to do on social media. You’re stuck in a template, are forced to use their tools and guidelines. What makes you ‘you’ is becoming more and more important this day and age. Presenting yourself correctly means controlling what information has to be seen first when they get to know you.
I have no idea if I should kill my website, or not. Whether I like it or not, social media is a huge presence and provides everything a personal website delivers. It’s faster, easier and gets more reach. Still, there’s something about your own place on the internet and how you line yourself up.
It’s an interesting discussion, which is why I pass on the question to all readers. What do you think on personal websites? Should they be killed? Why, or why not? Let’s talk!