Refining Your Online Presence: Nameplate Websites

ryopnameplateAs I discussed in the last RYOP post, I want to start cleaning up my own online presence and take you along for the journey.

One of the first things I want to talk about is nameplate websites. Nameplate websites are an important way to make sure you control what Google has to say about you. Yes, you may have a blog or have made your Facebook profile searchable, or perhaps your easily found on Twitter. However, when someone googles you for the first time, you may not want the first things they see are your latest random tweet or something crazy on your Facebook page that may be public (we’ll cover that more in depth later in the series).

Nameplate websites are like your online business card. They tell people (and Google) the gist of what you’re all about in a context insensitive way. Perhaps you think you don’t need this right now, but for the most part, a nameplate website is a set it and forget it deal. And you never know when it will come in handy.

In this post, I’ll show you a few different ways to easily set up and maintain a nameplate website.

The Free Way

If you are just getting started and not interested in spending any money, my two favourite free options for creating nameplate websites are About.me and Flavors.me. Both websites make it very easy to add your name, a large picture, connect your social media accounts if you like, and write a little something about yourself.

Here’s a page I set up on About.me:Aurooba's About.me page

Here’s a different page I set up on Flavors.me:Aurooba's Flavors.me page

The general style of the pages is the same, but each service offers different amounts of customizations for free accounts. The set up process is painless and you are guided every step of the way.

Here’s another About.me page of a blogger I follow online, Ashley Ambirge:Ash from TMF's about.me page

The Paid but Super Easy Way

If you want to add a slightly more professional or classy touch to your nameplate website, consider adding a custom domain to your site that is yourname.com or yourname.me or yourname.ca, both About.me and Flavors.me allow you to add a custom domain.

At About.me it will be $48/year in which they will add Google Analytics, custom domain and many other things for you.About.me upgrade

At Flavors.me, for $20/year, you get pretty much the same thing.

Flavors.me

My advice is that if you are sticking with the free plan, then About.me packs in a lot more value for $0 as compared to Flavors.me, but if you are willing to pay a little bit, go for Flavors.me, because you get all the value About.me is giving plus more for cheaper.

The More Custom But Slightly More Involved Way

Okay, so if that’s not your style and you want to create something a little more different..or you know your way around a little bit of HTML or know someone who can help you out, this is the way to go. You get way more control, way more options, and it’s completely yours.

This is where you buy hosting and a custom domain name and do it all yourself. My two favourite webhosts to recommend are Dreamhost and Bluehost, go with what feels better intuitively and on your pocket, since they basically both give you the same options.

Here are some custom nameplate websites that I like, click on the images to go to the live websites:

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The first one is definitely the most complex nameplate website of the five. Jenny Blake recently outlined the process of working with her designer for an entire year to create that whole website, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. But then again, she is running a full time business, is a published author, and her needs are much greater than the needs of the rest of us.

Now don’t get me wrong, the other four nameplate websites are also of people who have been wildly successful in their own areas. Gina Trapani founded Lifehacker, which is one of my favourite tech and productivity blogs, is a published author and is doing amazing things, Adam Pash is the current Editor in Chief of Lifehacker, also a published author and doing cool things. Leo Babauta is considered one of the top bloggers of the world, he created Zen Habits, which has been a roaring success. Elise Blaha Cripe runs a craft blog and business and has designed amazing products not only for her own line but for other international companies.

However, the last four are simple and to the point. They reflect the personalities of their authors, their style, and the information they want to present to the world. They are simple sites that are very easy to make.

These nameplate websites can be made in different ways: simple HTML pages, using the WordPress platform, or other platform with added functionality and ease.

My favourite platform to work with is WordPress, because most people can easily use it with little to no knowledge of HTML (the main coding language of the internet). You install WordPress, select a theme, write up some information, add some links and pictures, and you’re done!

On a yearly basis, this can cost around $100, so of course, this option is not for everyone.

If you’re interested in more in depth detail about how to create a custom nameplate website, let me know. I’ll be sharing my new nameplate website next time.