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I'm torn between making my homepage listing of (5-10 max) recent blog posts versus making my homepage my "about me" bio page. I can make the case for both (and if someone would like me to, leave a comment and I will). I think that my case for both is equally strong, but is there any evidence, scientific or anecdotal, as to what type of page or what content the homepage of a personal website should be?

I should add that I am interested not only in presenting content that would be expected, but also producing something that would help in ensuring decent result placement when searching for my site. That said, SEO is not my primary concern - I would suspect that most people who visit my site are either friends or colleagues who I have told about my site, people who have read my profile on a public site and want to know more about me, or people who have received my resume and wish to know more about me.

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3 Answers 3

I use my personal web site as my professional web site too. The front page is the only place where I'm overtly self-promotional, and even there I bring in a bunch of stuff such as:

  • Latest blog posts
  • (sometimes) Latest commitments to my Mercurial repositories
  • Links to interesting tutorials that I've written

I do rather well in search engines for the keywords that I want, however a significant amount of my business comes directly from word of mouth referrals, well these days its more like word of [insert social network here].

If your blog posts demonstrate that you have a firm grasp of the topic, they become far more interesting than any other 'canned' page, so sure - by all means - make sure they get into the front page mix with front and center placement.

Client, perspective employer, colleague .. you'd want all three to walk away with the same impression. Sure, its great to list your accomplishments, but keeping a sharp, frequently updated and well disciplined blog is the key ingredient. Again, that's only my opinion.

I may spend 2 - 3 minutes skimming your bio / about / etc pages. If your blog is interesting, I may spend a 'few cups of coffee' reading it.

Disclaimer - I am not at all suggesting that my own personal site is a shining example of this. In fact, I've digressed more into my Stack Exchange addiction than much of anything else over the past few weeks.

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I believe a good personal homepage should have a mixture of dynamic and static content. You should definitely introduce yourself, so people who land there know who's site they are on and what you do, but it's also good to have some dynamic content (such as blog posts, articles, photographs and other media) that keep the page fresh and interesting.

When I re-developed my personal homepage recently I bore this in mind. So I have some welcome text, with links to main sections of the site, and then under that summaries of the latest blog posts. I also mix in some other dynamic content pulled in using APIs (LastFM and Flickr) and also add a few random elements drawn from rest of site content (such as Quote of the Day and Random Music Track).

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In general, I would agree with what Tim Post said, with one caveat: It depends on what you blog about. If your blog is mainly technical with only a few personal posts mixed in, I'd put the blog on the front page. If it's the opposite, I'd put your CV/about page in front with links to your most popular technical posts.

However, there's nothing that says you can't put both on the front page. A short about section in a side column can function just as well as a full page.

One final thing to note: If you're going to use this website to showcase yourself professionally, keep that in mind when you're writing posts. Certain types of posts might not reflect what you want a potential employer or colleague to see.

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That last statement is important and very true! It's why I'm pretty careful about what I say and my privacy controls. –  Thomas Owens Jul 25 '10 at 18:13

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