Category: Blog

Great online portfolio design ideas for writers

Creating a website for your writing business requires careful thought. Whether you wish to generate new clients, sell books or coaching packages, or showcase your skills, you’ll need a website that looks great and is easy to navigate.

To inspire a professional look for your new portfolio, this article will explore a variety of websites from fellow writers to see what works and what doesn’t. You can also use the Studocu resource for summaries, lectures, and notes from top universities on how to build a website.

Michal Eisikowitz

An excellent website idea can be so challenging to come up with. But Michal Eisikowitz did justice to this problem by creating and incorporating many intriguing features on her website.

Michal Eisikowitz

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Simple
  • Visually gratifying
  • Exquisite use of colors and personality
  • Integration of real-time data-backed facts

Not only is this website vibrant, but it also directly tackles potential clients’ pain points and needs in visibly large letters. Michal ultimately expressed her value throughout the website by using a compelling yet conversational tone to make the reader feel like they were engaging in physical communication.  

The website flow is phenomenal and unique:

  • Targeted intro for high-paying clients
  • An immediate and bold call to action
  • Personality breakdown
  • Quick follow-up with real-life facts and social proof
  • Segmentation of services offered
  • More social proofs
  • A compelling call to action

Michal’s homepage features eye-catching navigation links, especially the “schedule call now” button, which was distinctly colored for more visibility. Pay attention, and you’ll notice how the usual “how it works” label was converted to a more simplified yet intriguing “process” tag.

Topping it all off, the homepage’s color was a good choice. Most women prefer using pink for their room decor and wardrobe. But Michal took it a bit further. This color gave the entire website a calm and comfortable feel.

You don’t need to develop your website in exact details like this, but paying more attention to each bit pays off. The goal is to create a well-segmented online page, strongly reflecting the values you offer as a writer and nudging your clients gently throughout the entire sales process.

Tom Johnson

Let’s take a peek at Tom Johnson’s website, a technical writer from San Jose, California, working at Amazon Lab126. Tom created a highly simplistic website where his passion for writing was freely demonstrated  —  primarily through his site name (‘I’d Rather Be Writing blog’).

Tom Johnson

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Casual
  • Purely blogging
  • Well-designed Navigation bar coupled with a search box
  • Social media buttons are within reach

Not all writers want to sell their skills online. A perfect example is Tom. While he writes technical topics for work during the day, he fills up his blog with valuable non-monetized posts at night. And if you’re like him, looking for a safe space to educate the public with your skills, then you can go ahead with this website idea.

Tom’s website is more or less a simple draft or diary instead of the usual portfolio-like interface. Moreover, he offers an eye-catching invitation to his writing community by placing a newsletter box in the left bar.

Of course, you can integrate more visually appealing designs and spice up your blog. Just ensure your message is being passed across and visitors get the gist of what your website is all about.

Jacob McMillen 

Jacob McMillen’s page is another exciting place to generate mind-blowing website ideas for writers. You don’t want to miss out on this fantastic website, especially if you plan to set yours up personally. Jacob created this entire site by combining a prebuilt WordPress theme with his kickass copywriting skills. All of these were done without hiring a third-party designer.

Jacob McMillen 

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Crisp and clear
  • Completely straightforward, with a prominent call to action
  • Easy Navigation
  • Clean segmentation

While this website does not feature too many fancy animations, it offers simplicity and clear messaging (I am the copywriter you need). Moreover, fewer aesthetic elements mean less visual complexity. This makes it easy for visitors to navigate the website without many carnival-like disturbances. 

Another note-worthy feature is the presence of a blog and podcast section in the navigation bar. Not all writers prioritize these two, but Jacob did. This is one of the many ways to increase the visibility of your website and offers by creating valuable blog posts that can scale up in search engines. 

Jacob took things a bit further by adding a review section. Note the strategic use of descriptive icons. Moreover, podcasts serve as a lead magnet for top industrial clients. There are just so many takeaways from this website.

Jacob’s website is an excellent idea for copywriters with low budgets and great writing skills. You can pitch your offers on a static page while communicating value to the broader audience through a dynamic blog using the same domain name.

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a popular writer with reputable past clients such as Hubspot and Salesforce. You could picture her professional yet simple style right from her website design. Nothing complex, no fluff. 

Kristi Hines

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Simple and clean
  • Seamless user experience
  • Fitting typo for a blog
  • Well-segmented bar

Kristi’s website is super unique for its extreme simplicity and clean design. Starting from the homepage, she directly engaged visitors with her skills in action via blog posts. Moreover, you can get all of her available pieces on a single page without going through many touchpoints.

There’s no particular flow to see here, but you can savor the seamless scrolling experience going from one post to another or navigating the bar links. The website is also well segmented and looks different from the typical homepage design that you might expect.

Another exciting feature is the inclusion of a photography section on this website. That shows a writing website doesn’t have to contain just pitches and great copy. Sharing a few sidekicks should speak a lot about your personality and give clients something to look up to.

This website maximally utilized whitespace to give more clarity and reduce unnecessary link-ups caused by scalability errors. Notably, the color blend of white and black created a perfect background template for all other tints to stand out.

Aaron Orendorff

Still not saturated with the previous website ideas? No worries! Aaron here did an excellent job putting together different iconic elements to form a too-good-to-ignore website. This website’s uniqueness is not only depicted through its name  —  iconicontent  —  but also the exhilarating structure of each section on the homepage.

Aaron Orendorff

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • High-quality Hero image
  • Color Vibrance
  • Clean copy
  • Detailed

Did you notice how Aaron used a persuasive humanitarian copy (‘saving the world’) to introduce his skills? That added a bit of charm to the whole website and gives you that ideal view of what a good content strategist should look like.

Iconicontent was built using a simple layout to feature the essential details while guiding clients down the funnel. Moreover, Aaron offered a free content roadmap when visitors clicked on his first call-to-action button. This idea entirely overturns the conventional understanding of using CTAs by placing a “free offer” link instead of a “contact me” button.

Navigation-wise, Aaron’s website takes full credit since visitors can access all they need on a single page. Although stuffing your homepage with too much content is not a good website idea, you could still surround each section with significant whitespace to improve visibility.

This website also features a perfect color transition from the initial professional blue look to a playful yet comfortable magenta glow. Don’t forget the blog page, which effectively increases your site’s SEO.

From the use of an expressive hero image and a humanitarian intro to the professional font styles and colors employed, everything is right on the spot. If you’re going for something low-budget yet remarkable, then this website idea is something implementable.

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith was awarded as one of the Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and 2013. Her website UX does not require too much design technicality. And it is a perfect fit for book writers or publishers with little interest in online stores like Amazon.

Zadie Smith

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Clean and paper-like
  • Minimalistic design
  • Careful choice of colors
  • Zero clutter

The most fantastic thing on this website is how Zadie made use of a brilliant eye-catching red box that attracts all attention to the new book launch, “Intimation: six essays.” Notice how visitors cannot help but focus on the book section while disregarding everything else. Then the website gradually glides down to an excerpt section discussing how to acquire the featured book.

While the website does not include a single homepage detail on the author, Zadie ensured there is another navigation bar to take care of that. The “Contact” section, containing a couple of business email addresses, was put on a separate page to provide enough breathing space for the site’s front page. 

Moreover, the website’s paper-like background image created a bookish feeling. Zadie didn’t forget to add a tinge of red amidst the grays, giving the entire website an excellent color balance.

This website prioritized readability and ensured there was less fluff. Although you might not be the type to keep things this simple and short, you could still derive a few inspirations on how your book website should look.

Gill Andrews

Gill Andrew’s website is way too exceptional to skip the list. Every inch and corner of this website was well-crafted to appeal and dish out value visually. Out of the previously mentioned pages, Gill’s website contains the most touchpoints. Interestingly, these touchpoints were exquisitely interlinked to give an excellent user-friendly experience.

Gill Andrews

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Highly prioritized headline
  • Strong and immediate CTA
  • Exquisite use of many touchpoints
  • Well-built funnel or lead magnet

Gill’s excellent value proposition takes precedence through her headline. The site’s catchy intro was specialized for businesses with an online presence and it recognizes visitors’ pain points. An attractive website is a good start, but most visitors will leave your website if the main message is immediately visible. This is especially true for writers interested in creating a website for portfolio display and lead generation.

Gill’s website also demonstrates what a perfect landing page should look like. It’s not just about stringing different widgets together and splashing colorful paint all over your webpage. You could see this from how Gill followed her headline with several real-life claims or reviews before segmenting her services.

Fixing too many clickable links with different destinations on your homepage is not a good idea. Things get messier when your CTAs get in the way of your readers. But Gill did a great job aligning each touchpoint to create an enjoyable scroll. The “do it yourself” section features a few checklists with the same functionalities as a website audit tool. So bookmark her page if it sparks up some website ideas in your mind.

Matt Philcarver

Matt’s page is one of the most artistic websites on the list. It features a straightforward and clean design, aided by several artworks representing Matt himself. You could easily relate to the fun personality of the website’s owner, which makes visitors feel at ease while scrolling through.

Matt Philcarver

Take note of how this website introduced Matt as a tripartite individual  —  copywriter, blogger, and word nerd. Readers don’t need to scroll much before figuring out who he is. While there is no call-to-action button immediately after the introduction headline, clients can get in touch with Matt through the links on his nav bar.

Check out how this website used interactive labels like “What my clients say” instead of “testimonials.” You can see that Matt is not a man of many words from how he followed up his header with a client review, a brief introduction, and a quick close with relevant links. 

The website is well laid out, from the unique wordcraft to artistic inclusions and a crisp design. If you have little free time to write numerous copies, this website idea is a perfect fit.

Kayla Hollatz

Everything about this website is fantastic. Incorporating such playful word strokes with a bluish-gray background is out of this world. Kayla demonstrated her specifics on the homepage in large and bold letters, with a short but exciting copy below. 

Kayla Hollatz

Why Is This Website Unique?

  • Playful strokes
  • Clean segmentation
  • Clear call-to-action buttons
  • Great follow-up copy

One interesting element about Kayla’s website is the inclusion of a quiz section. You can integrate this idea into your website to encourage visitors’ active participation and increase lead generation.

The website flow is seamless and gives a good user experience despite featuring more than one different section on the same page. Notice how Kayla’s blog blends smoothly with the entire homepage before an email CTA puts a nice close to everything.  

Brittany Berger

What a great way to end the list with a sassy website by Brittany Berger. It’s so amazing to see how the whole website reflects her personality. Pay attention to the lively and cheeky feeling that melts the hearts of visitors right on their first click.

Brittany Berger

Everything from her shirt, which features a little text “serious businesswoman” to the superb head copy in bold capitals, attracts the total attention of clients. Brittany made sure to use each bit of her website to bond with the readers and lead them through an effortless journey.

Moreover, her use of colors with huge contrast put her message in the spotlight. Look at the quiz section gently lodged in the nav bar to increase website engagement for readers.

Interestingly, this website design is something you could pull off with a little bit of technical knowledge if you are working with WordPress. To save some extra cash, you can pay for a prebuilt WordPress theme or build your website from scratch using a WordPress builder tool.

Inspired yet?

As a writer, you probably need a website to acquire new clients, feature your books, or showcase your skills. Regardless of what goals you have in mind, the main thing is to ensure your website performs well, visually and SEO-wise. 

Each of the websites mentioned above had unique differences that made them stand out from others. And some basic actionable insights you should consider when building a website for your writing business include:

  • Targeted headline for your homepage
  • Optimized call-to-action buttons
  • Use of quality visuals and relevant content
  • Avoiding page clutter
  • Careful pick of colors
  • Integration of a blog section to improve SEO

Once you have all these in place, it is time to publish your website and optimize it accordingly.

And for more on creating a personal portfolio site, check out our other articles, How to create a successful digital portfolio and How to build your portfolio online.


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wpadmin September 21, 2022 0 Comments

VPS or Dedicated Hosting for your business?

Every website needs a home. The question is: what kind of home does it need? Just like homeowners may need extra rooms as they think of the future pattern of tiny feet, new businesses could quickly outgrow their allocation of resources with shared hosting and need to expand.

Many businesses will need powerful hosting from the start, while others will have expanded beyond their initial hosting arrangement and are looking for the next stage. They will likely choose either a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or Dedicated server hosting package, but deciding which is best for their needs is not always as simple as it seems.

In this article, we will make the VPS vs. Dedicated server distinction, weigh the pros and cons of each of these hosting types, and help you work out which is best for your web project.

What is VPS hosting image

What is VPS Hosting?

Virtual private servers offer a type of hosting that sits somewhere between shared hosting and having your own dedicated server. The server that you use is shared between other users (like shared hosting), but it is divided using virtualization software. This means each user effectively has their own virtual server, with their own resources and environment, but the physical server is divided and shared.

When you have a VPS plan, the number of users you are sharing with is much lower than when you choose Shared Hosting. VPS Hosting also provides you with root access, the choice of operating system (OS), and complete control of your virtual server.

There is also the option for your VPS Hosting provider to host you using either cloud hosting or a traditional server. Find out more about the differences between traditional VPS and cloud hosting.

What is dedicated hosting image

What is Dedicated Hosting?

This is, quite simply, when you have the entire server to yourself. With a Dedicated server, you have more space and resources, as well as complete control over the setup, management, and configuration.

If VPS Hosting can be seen as owning an apartment in a building with other tenants, then Dedicated Hosting is having your own house.

For everything you need to know, take a look at this Dedicated Hosting guide.

How Dedicated Hosting and VPS Hosting compare

When choosing a VPS or Dedicated server, you will see that the differences between the two hosting types make them suited to users with different needs.

With a Dedicated server, you will have more hardware power as well as a higher degree of flexibility. Dedicated Hosting also enables improved resource isolation because you are the sole owner of the server. With VPS, the isolation is virtual, so there may be several other virtual machines on the same server node.

Managed vs. unmanaged hosting

With VPS and Dedicated hosting, you can choose whether your servers are managed or unmanaged. When you have managed hosting, the provider will take on certain responsibilities and services so the user doesn’t have to. With unmanaged hosting the user has more responsibilities, which can be better suited to those with advanced server administration skills. These users will have the extra control of root access, creating a custom environment, and choosing the firewalls, monitoring software, and other tools that may be needed.

While some providers sell managed products separately, others sell them as optional add-ons.

Namecheap offers three levels of management and additional ad hoc support as needed. We also sell server management as an add-on at an extra price. Alternatively, we offer a managed service at an additional total cost of your subscription.

You can find out more about Namecheap’s VPS management options in this article.

VPS Hosting vs.  Dedicated Hosting Pros and Cons image

VPS Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting: Pros and Cons

When comparing two products, it’s always good to look at the individual features to see how they match up. Here we have focused on six of the main factors affecting the hosting-type decision.

Resource allocation

Dedicated servers generally come with more power. You can notice this when you look at the following server specs:

  • Core count
  • Bandwidth
  • CPU
  • Storage
  • RAM

Naturally, the specs vary with each individual provider, but in most cases, Dedicated servers have a greater capacity in comparison to VPS servers.

Security

First, VPS and Dedicated servers are very flexible in terms of security. They both provide you with the control to install and configure any security tooling, or the hosting provider may already have it installed as part of the management plan.

However, unlike VPS users, Dedicated server users are not at risk of being hacked by their node neighbors, which puts them at a slight advantage.

But security shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for users on VPS, who can secure their servers so their server neighbors may pose less of a risk. Similarly, Dedicated Hosting users are also exposed to external attacks if they do not look after important security measures, such as anti-malware, logging, and a firewall.

Performance

The performance of a server will depend on the following criteria:

  • Configuration
  • Server optimization
  • The software and licenses that are used for server optimization and the ability of the system admin that set up the server and its components
  • The specifics of the project that is running on the server

For small projects, there could potentially be no difference in performance when comparing a Dedicated server vs. VPS server, provided that everything is set up the same way. But performance results may vary when there are differences in the setup or resource consumption, such as when the project is too large for a Virtual Private Server and therefore isn’t able to perform as effectively.

Configuration and customization

Dedicated Hosting usually offers a greater range of plans, as well as more flexibility in the use of operating systems. With VPS Hosting it is sometimes the case that you can only install the OS from a limited number of templates. Dedicated Hosting also usually offers more hardware control and the ability to include more server optimization solutions, due to a greater resource capacity.

However, additional resource adjustments with a Dedicated server are somewhat limited as upgrades are more difficult.

Scalability

There are more options for upgrading your resources or plans when you have VPS Hosting. With Dedicated Hosting, however, any upgrades will usually mean purchasing a new server, which is a more complicated process.

Price

If you want to have a server all to yourself, then you need to pay for the privilege. Dedicated Hosting does not just cost more, but also there are the additional costs of extra licenses. Things like a control panel and firewall are more expensive for a Dedicated server.

the differences between dedicated and VPS hosting at Namecheap

Namecheap VPS vs. Dedicated Hosting

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the VPS and Dedicated Hosting products we offer at Namecheap. This breakdown of the difference between a dedicated server and VPS may vary with other hosting providers.

VPS

Pros Cons
More affordable
Scalable
Root access
Management options
Fewer resources
Resource isolation on the virtual level
No control over hardware
Limited range of OS templates

Dedicated

Pros Cons
More hardware resources than VPS
Full resource isolation
Management choice
No OS choice — you can set up any OS you need
Root access
Higher price
Scalable
Yeti deciding between dedicated and VPS hosting

Should you choose VPS or Dedicated Hosting?

Whether a Virtual Private Server vs. Dedicated server is better for your needs depends on the specific needs of your project or business.

Reasons to choose VPS Hosting

Perhaps you require the control of having root access, but you cannot be quite sure how many resources you will need. This could be the case for those who run a small personal or educational project. Then it may be a good idea to go with VPS.

You can find more reasons to choose VPS Hosting in this article.

Reasons to choose Dedicated Hosting

VPS may also include Root access, but with Dedicated hosting, you will be able to configure security to the highest level. You should go for a Dedicated server for your project if the following are true:

  1. You require more power. You may find that the required specifications (RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc.) for your project are not typically offered with VPS plans. This may be the case if you run resource-extensive projects, in such things as gaming, video streaming, e-commerce, popular news resources, or other websites with huge traffic spikes.
  2. Your project requires a completely isolated environment. This could include your internal business infrastructure, a testing sandbox, or compliance with certain security certifications.

Have we helped you make a decision?

Your choice of server type can make all the difference for your website hosting. Are you ready to take on the extra responsibilities of a dedicated server — and do you really need all the extra resources? Can you predict how your project is going to grow and are you able to factor in the scalability you will need? How important are price and security to you? The answers to these questions are not always completely clear. This is why the planning and review stages are crucial in the decision-making process.

Whichever you decide to go for, it’s good to know that every type of hosting can be found in the same place. Namecheap has a wide selection of Hosting plans so you will always find the one that meets the needs of your project.


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wpadmin September 20, 2022 0 Comments

WordPress Themes Team Launched the Block Theme Creation Plugin

In June 2022, an exciting new aspect of WordPress themes was launched through a plugin that enables easier access for all. The Create Block Theme plugin lets users create a child theme or a whole new block theme entirely – fully allowing creativity and curiosity.

Creativity Diversified

The plugin is very accessible, giving everyone creative control.

It’s been designed to complement the existing tools in the Site Editor to build a theme using it. The editor contains different elements of blocks, each block representing a different type of content.

Minimal to no coding skills are required, so users can customize the theme via the WordPress Site Editor and quickly export it.

Here’s the Flow

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to install and use the plugin.

  1. Install and activate Create Block Theme and Gutenberg plugins.
  2. Activate a block theme like the default Twenty Twenty-Two.
  3. Open the Site Editor by navigating to Appearance -> Editor and start customizing the theme and the templates.

Alt-text WordPress Site Editor Home Page

  1. Open the Create Block Theme plugin panel by navigating to Appearance -> Create Block Theme. Select one of the options and click Export theme to download its .zip file.

Alt-text WordPress Create Block Theme Options Page

Eventual Integration for All

There are high hopes for the plugin. WordPress is also encouraging contributors to submit their own Block Themes. This will allow the WordPress theme repository to grow.

Have you used the Create Block Theme plugin? Let us know what you think about it in the comment section below!


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wpadmin September 19, 2022 0 Comments