How Running Your Own Website Is Much Better for You Than You Think

Published on January 3, 2020 (↻ May 28, 2021), filed under and (RSS feed for all categories).

For web professionals there floats this idea that they should have their own websites. For web designers, for example, that is often an expectation, and personally I’ve early deemed that a reasonable one. I believe the idea for web professionals to run their own websites is more modern than ever. Let’s look at it again.

Few web designers, web developers, web professionals run their own websites. That’s a hypothesis for which I don’t have much data; and yet the hypothesis is well-fed through many interactions with peers (who don’t have an own website) as well as many years of observing coding and publishing trends (where Blogger, Medium, DEV, even GitHub * enjoy or have enjoyed great popularity in our field).

The typical reason for why professionals don’t have their own websites is that they don’t want to make that commitment, whether in time, money (domain and hosting cost), or effort (maintenance).

It’s not—as it can’t be—one of skill, because we’re talking about web professionals where we can assume basic skill.

It’s sometimes one of scope, but that we’ll ignore because scope for a website can be as narrow as merely creating and managing an online business card. Scope of such a small size I consider negligible.

Now, it’s quite fine for people to make that choice and decide not to run their own website. Nothing here carries judgment. Yet here’s the thing:

When Website Cons Are Website Pros

The disadvantages people see against running their own websites are actually advantages. Look at what we’ve touched on:

Now these look like good reasons not to set up a website—but they’re exactly the reasons why as a web professional, you should. Why?

The commitment you need for your own website is the mark of a professional, and it’s what clients, employers, and peers respect—and seek.

From here, then, it gets even better:

Website Pros

What more obvious advantages does having an own website have?

This is great stuff, and this is all stuff you get for free—once you decide to run your own website.

Run Your Own Website

All these advantages are what makes for the point of this article: As a web professional, running your own website is an asset. There is no downside unless you’re really bad at your work, in which case you should all the more run a site.

Given all of that, the reluctance and hesitation we sometimes observe with peers, be it through their sighing when being asked about their site, or their expressing of defeat when linking their DEV, Medium, or Twitter as “their” presence on the Web, is—strange. (“Strange” as in “difficult to understand given all the benefits of websites”-strange.)

All of that, then, must rather lead to a renewed recommendation: Run your own website. Even if it’s just a little business card, running your own website is much better for you than you think.

Yes, a peaceful land now… where hearty young warriors wear their armor on a peg.

Figure: Yet a website can’t be worn on a peg. (Copyright King Features Syndicate, Inc., distr. Bulls.)

* I’ve never understood why anyone would use GitHub for publishing (that is, posting content other than code documentation into public repositories accessible through I understand how publishing in familiar environments is enticing, right from a repo, but GitHub just isn’t a good tool for information architecture, content navigation, and content promotion.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!