The demise of the website is greatly overstated.
Sure, the kids get their information from TikTok and YouTube, and large swathes of the over-55 crowd exist in a Facebook-generated alternate reality.
But Google still processes billions of search queries every day. Social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and — yes — Facebook provide massive user flows for traditional websites too.
Still, it’s worth asking the question: Is it worth your time to create a personal website now if you haven’t already? Or should you focus on other ways to reach your audience?
Let’s take a look at three arguments in favor of personal websites and three against.
Why You Should Have a Personal Website
Here’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the potential benefits of your personal website-to-be.
1. A Personal Website Is Yours and Yours Alone
Your personal website is yours to create and edit as you see fit. You could make the case that your social media profiles fit this description as well, but in practical terms, you’re far more constrained by those platforms than by a website that you design yourself.
That opens the door for nearly limitless creativity. The professional website for Michael Capiraso, a New York-based sports executive, is a great example. Rather than simply list Capiraso’s work history and accomplishments, it includes colorful logos for some of the organizations he’s worked with and high-resolution graphics showing how his personal and professional interests coincide.
2. You’ll Automatically Rank Well
It’s usually wise to be skeptical of anyone who claims they can get your website to rank on the first page of Google.
Your personal website is one of the few exceptions. As long as your name isn’t extremely common or shared with someone much better-known than you, [yourname.com] is very likely to rank on Google’s first page for searches related to your name.
3. You’ll Have More Room to Share Your Value Proposition
For all practical purposes, your personal website won’t have character limits or other formatting constraints. It’s best to get straight to the point, of course, but you’ll have much more creative freedom to get long-winded if you wish.
Why You Don’t Need a Personal Website
Okay, but do you really really need a personal website? Here’s why you might not bother.
1. You’ll Probably Get More Traffic to Your Social Platforms
Popular social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are among the world’s most-visited websites.
Your personal website is…not. And it probably never will be. If you’re looking to invest in only the highest-traffic personal web properties, focus on social.
2. A Personal Website Isn’t Very Interactive
Sure, you can enable comments (if you dare), but you’re not going to have truly robust, valuable conversations on your personal website. Social media is a better forum for that, or if you’ve already established some thought leader credibility, a creator platform like Patreon or Substack.
3. You Have to Pay for Overhead
Maintaining a personal website doesn’t cost a fortune, but it’s not free either. You need to pay hosting fees, domain registration fees, and more. Social media platforms and creator sites don’t pass overhead costs to you.
It’s Your Call
In the end, it’s your website. Or non-website. You’re in the best position to determine whether, in fact, it’s worth the effort to set up a standalone domain or continue to rely on your existing social channels and outreach funnels. There’s a case to be made either way. Which will you choose?