Q&A: Suggestions for Getting Started with a Personal Website

by Justin Skycak on


Do you have any suggestions for personal website software/frameworks? Or should I just use HTML.


My recommendation would be to just go for whatever gets you up and running the quickest.

While it’s nice to have room for customization, you really want to avoid a situation where you spend a ton of time developing the code and not enough time developing the actual content on the portfolio site (especially if you have a tight deadline on this, like a college application deadline).

While raw HTML/CSS could (in theory) work if you’re really REALLY good, in practice what would probably happen is you’d spend a ton of time on it and it would just look “okay” (not bad, but not great).

Personally, my own site runs on a heavily customized version of mmistakes.github.io/minimal-mistakes. I chose that because it looks really nice right out of the box, and is really easy to fill out with content, and I can hack it to look/behave how I want (within some reasonable degree of similarity to the boilerplate).

There’s a bunch of other frameworks that you can browse here: github.com/topics/portfolio-website

There’s also no-code website builders like wordpress.com and weebly.com, which have highly functional free versions. (For instance, one of the world’s top mathematicians uses what appears to be the free version of WordPress: terrytao.wordpress.com.)

So, final answer: my recommendation would be to start by finding a handful of designs you like on github.com/topics/portfolio-website and then checking their source code to get a sense of which one is going to be easiest to use.

And if you run into technical issues and can’t get something up and running within a couple days, then just go with wordpress.com or weebly.com.