Ever since Tim van Damme created a one page bio all about himself, similar sites have popped up all over. Along with his killer design, Tim listed his services and all his main social contact information. What wasn’t to like?
Not long after this trend was adopted by some great designers, web apps started popping up all over that offered a similar product to us mortals who can’t tell one end of Photoshop from the other. But none delivered an end product close to the quality of what the top designers were creating.
Until now that is.
I came across a service called Magntize recently. It’s premise is much the same as the others I’d seen in the past — it allows you to create a one page site all about you. Sort of a one page colophon rather than plugging in the same information into a page on your blog.
And, of course, you can do this for free.
The difference with Magntize is that it gives you all this, but with visual flair. The site looks great, and so do the themes you are able to use.
Another well designed app, signing up is of course simple and fast. Once your account is created and you’ve logged in, you’re immediately directed through the simple process of filling in your information.
You start with the basics — your first and last name and a photo. From there, you’re guided to make your online profile in a manner that the team behind this app thinks is the best way to help others get to know you.
As such, you are encouraged to add some keywords that describe who you are and what you do. These words are intended to be you but in summary form.
From there, you had your short bio. And short is key here — the app is designed to give your visitors more than they can gleam about you from Twitter, but still with the belief that brevity is a good thing. Your bio is limited to 500 words.
Now that we’ve covered the philosophy behind the app, let’s look at the remaining steps in the set up:
- Add your links: If these are RSS updates or social accounts, you can choose to have Magntize display your updates.
- Contact info: Add the details you’d like people to use to get a hold of you.
- Choose a theme: These are limited — with the free account or the Pro — but they are all pretty good. Much better than any similar service I’ve come across.
- Site settings: Here’s where you choose your domain. The free accounts are forced to end in “.magntize.com”.
And that’s it. During this entire process, you can click on the View Site button to preview how it’s looking. The live preview is helpful when choosing a theme.
For those who want a serious tool to create a professional presence, the Pro plan is good value. For $9 a month, the following features are added to the free plan:
- Custom domains.
- Email forwarding.
- A personal RSS feed.
- Premium themes.
- Resume Inclusion.
- Mobile optimized version of your site.
- No advertising (Magntize badge).
Unless you can afford to pay for a top-notch designer to build you your own site, Magntize seems like the best option available.
Of course, using a template is never as good as rolling your own design. But if you’re lacking skills on this area, Magntize is a great option to give your personal site a professional, aesthetically pleasing look.
As an example, here’s the result of my testing.