How I Created My Website
Almost two years ago I decided to switch careers from paralegal to data analyst. I knew it would be a difficult transition because I did not have any professional experience as an analyst but I had plenty of transferable skills like problem solving and communication. After doing some research on Google and YouTube the biggest suggestion for new analyst looking for roles was to have a portfolio. With specific projects to showcase all of your skills to potential companies. It's proof of your work. If you're interested in the learning path recommended for data analyst check out my article.
Why did I want to create my own website instead of hosting it on a platform? I didn't want to host my portfolio on a singular platform like GitHub or Tableau Public. Because I knew I was going to do several projects using a variety of tools. I wanted one central place where I could link to my project whether it was on GitHub or Tableau public, or even my own article. So in 2021 I decided to create my own personal website.
While I do have experience with developing websites on the side. I decided I wanted to use a website builder instead. Mostly because this wasn't about showcasing my web development skills but rather showcasing my data analyst skills. I wanted to hit the ground running.
Why write this article? Several of my newest connections on LinkedIn have asked me how I create my website. Below I'll be going into my general process on how I created my portfolio website. I won't be getting into specific details on how to create your own portfolio website or go in-depth into my website design. Feel free to use this as a guide to help inspire you to create your own. I have linked a few articles and tutorials that do go into how to build a portfolio website at the end. You can click here to check out those resources.
The first step was to get my domain name. Which is my website name (kellyjadams.com). Since this was going to be a professional website to showcase my skills used my name for the domain. I know there are probably many Kelly Adams's out there so I included my middle initial (J) in the domain name. I got my domain name from Hover. Thankfully when I registered my domain I was able to get a .com domain.
Next I determined my website hosting platform. This is what you use to either build or host the contents of your website. I've used a few in the past like Squarespace or WordPress. But I went with Wix because of it's customizability. The plan isn't the cheapest but it's been worth it. It also has the ability to host a blog which interested me.
I won't go into detail about how I designed or create the website using Wix. But Wix is pretty intuitive and easy to learn. I tell other people if they know how to create PowerPoint presentations then they can use Wix. It's incredibly customizable and easy to learn. I'm not using a template for my website. I designed it myself and was inspired by other websites I've seen (I googled Portfolio Website Examples and used this). Which takes longer and might not be necessary for everyone. There are plenty of templates you can use though.
While designing my website I kept a few things in mind.
Creating a color palette that I would use throughout my site
Including enough white space between all of my elements
Make it easy to navigate between the three pages (home, portfolio, blog)
Also this is my third version of my personal website. It took a while to find a style that fit me and worked with what I was trying to showcase. If you want to see other places where you can host your portfolio check out my resources for data analytics post.
Next I determine the sections I wanted in my website. Below are what I decided on (in no particular order):
About - an introduction about me, my skills, what I'm interested in and anything else I would like someone to know about me professionally
Contact Info - I include my contact information like email (which is with this domain name), LinkedIn profile, and Twitter account which I actually don't use that much
Experience - my previous work experience along with the title and year for each
Education - includes my bachelor's degree information and any courses/certifications I may receive
Skills - list my skills in various categories like data analytics, writing, and general.
Resume - I include a button to download my most recent resume (As a note since this is available on the internet I include a different phone number and this website's email). The resume I use on my website is more aesthetically pleasing and meant to catch the eye. I have a different resume which I use when submitting my application for jobs which is more ATS friendly
Portfolio - Link to my portfolio projects with a brief description about it. I also include the specific tools I use for each project
Blog - well I don't think this is necessary for everyone I wanted to practice my writing skills and become more knowledgeable on data analytics because I'll be writing about it. In the beginning I wrote mostly about self-improvement and learning but since then have shifted my blog topics.
Then I determined how my website was going to be laid out. I decided on a relatively simple navigation with three pages.
Homepage which includes: my about, contact information, download resume, experience, skills, and highlights my best projects and blog posts.
Portfolio to include all of my relevant projects, descriptions for each projects, links to the projects themselves, and a list of the tools I use for the specific project.
Blog with all of my blog posts and include specific categories like data analytics, portfolio project articles, learning new skills, and anything to do with switching careers.
Now I won't be explaining every single page and the reason behind it but I will go into my ideas and thoughts with my portfolio page.
I wanted to have a separate page for my portfolio projects. This made it easier when linking my portfolio on job applications since I type kellyjadams.com/portfolio. At the top of my portfolio page I have links to my Tableau Public page and my GitHub. In case a person is interested in a specific type of portfolio project. Since GitHub is more focus on coding projects while Tableau public is for data visualization.
For each project I created separate cards with information. Each includes:
Description - with a basic description about what the project was or focused on
Tools - I list the tools I use for the project
Button - This button links to the Project whether that's in Tableau public or GitHub. Also I write a detailed article for every project I do which is linked in the table public description or GitHub read me.
Background image - This was mainly for a set of purposes and to easily separate the different projects from each other
This was the easiest way I found to list my projects. It was not only highly visual but easy to navigate and determine which project the person is interested in. I kept the text and images simple for faster loading times as well.
Connect it all together
Lastly I shared my website on all of my platforms and linked it to every site I'm on. This could be Twitter, LinkedIn profile, my GitHub profile in my readme, and in my Tableau Public profile as well. Here are a few links to my profiles on other platforms so you can see how all of these interact with each other and link back to my website. Since I think of my website as my main hub for the internet.
GitHub - https://github.com/kellyjadams
Tableau Public - https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/kellyjadams
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyjianadams/
The Ultimate Guide to Building a Personal Website from College Info Geek
How to Create a Portfolio Website for FREE from Alex the Analyst
Why you NEED a website? from Luke Barousse
Why you should have a portfolio website from Tina Huang