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#WebsiteWednesday Posts

BrianTan.xyzNamecheap customer – (Phillipines)

Your personal website is a place where you can share your education and career experiences as well as the missions that are important to you, especially if you wish to impart helpful guidance and lessons learned from your experiences. There are no limits to what you can share, in fact you can create an online hub for each subject that you’d like to share with your audience. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll meet an accomplished product designer, app developer, and Effective Altruism advocate who does an extraordinary job sharing the EA philosophy as well as his varied professional experiences online: BrianTan.xyz

BrianTan.xyz

BrianTan.xyz is the carefully curated personal website of Brian Tan, an accomplished designer currently working full time with Effective Altruism Philippines, the local chapter of the EA organization he co-founded in 2018. Considered a philosophy, a movement, and a community, Effective Altruism is a response to an obstacle that many people face when trying to figure out the most impactful way to do some good. It’s the obstacle of wanting to help, but not knowing the best way how. In some instances, money and efforts are just not as impactful as intended. Effective altruism uses evidence and reasoning to determine how to help others as much as possible. There are over 170 different chapters of EA in over 40 countries. Brian created his chapter of the global EA movement because he wanted to bring together the local community of Filipinos interested in EA.

Brian and his EA chapter are currently working to spread the philosophies of EA and tackle COVID-19 issues with their ideas. In 2020 Brian gave an introduction to Effective Altruism and its benefits in addressing the pandemic during a virtual event organized by his EA chapter. He shares this talk in an article on his blog. He explains the attributes of Effective Altruists, including the willingness to solve global problems that are big in scale, neglected, and solvable. This includes global catastrophic and existential risks, which are things that could cause humanity to go extinct, thus ending the possibility of future generations to enjoy life. And, as with all other aspects of BrianTan.xyz, he doesn’t just tell – he also shares examples of how effective altruists are doing work in these neglected problem areas.

Brian’s experiences in the tech industry show off his impressive design skill set. On his website, Brian shares many projects from school and various employment experiences in a section labeled My Portfolio. One such experience, the co-creation and launch of the Hangtime app (a platform that helps students compare schedules with friends), served him well for a future project. Two years later, he joined a startup called HeronChat to work part-time as their lead UI/UX Designer, and made significant contributions to the design of their job placement app.

Brian is a very accomplished and globally conscious member of the .xyz community. He serves as a resource to those visiting his website. He shares not only his experiences and samples of his design work, but also the valuable lessons he has learned along the way. BrianTan.xyz serves to educate and inspire, and includes many opportunities to connect with Brian to learn more. You may also visit him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

McCluskey.xyzDreamhost customer – (United States)

Your personal website gives you the perfect space to share your career accomplishments and personal interests with audiences around the world. It’s where you have complete design control to show off anything you’re proud of. Whether you want to display your previous work experiences, photos of your pets, or tales from the job, your website is where you can share what you want, when you want. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features a website that shares the personal interests of a healthcare professional: McCluskey.xyz.

McCluskey.xyz

McCluskey.xyz is the website of recent Colorado transplant Zach McCluskey. A few months after settling into his new life, Zach began blogging on McCluskey.xyz about his life in Colorado, and his passion for his hobbies: running, music, and healthcare. “I created McCluskey.xyz after moving across the country to Colorado as a way to continue to share my multifaceted life with family and friends, as well as followers,” Zach explains. “The posts are a great creative outlet for me, and the website has become a place where I can go long-form with my stories and thoughts–something that isn’t easy on social media.”

Zach grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His family lived in a house in the woods, which helped create his strong love of the outdoors. He began running cross country in junior high, and hasn’t stopped. While in college, Zach began focusing on writing songs and playing shows with his band, and also remains a central interest in his life. Once Zach realized his career aspirations were in the healthcare field, he began an accelerated nursing program, which ultimately led to an exciting nursing opportunity in Colorado Springs. As an added benefit, Zach is thoroughly enjoying the abundance of scenic running trails in Colorado.

On his homepage you’ll notice his creative use of a logo that incorporates the “Y” of his last name into the .xyz domain, helping viewers to remember his URL. But that’s not the only synergistic aspect that attracted him to this XYZ Registry domain ending. “I chose to build my personal website on .xyz because I wanted to have a concise domain name with some personality. Plus, it didn’t hurt that there was a Z in it. You know, for Zach.”

Zach uses his blog to share powerful stories regarding his healthcare journey, his love of running, and his passion for making music. He started writing about healthcare when he moved to Colorado to begin his nursing career, when his first position was on a Surgical/Trauma Step-Down Unit. He writes that after caring for the trauma population, and the extensive studying to obtain his national trauma certification, trauma had evolved from a curiosity to a passion. He shares insights on a memoir he read, titled “Trauma Junkie,” about a California flight nurse in the Bay Area, where he was inspired by stories of life-saving attempts. He also shares stories of his various, impressive certifications and insightful experiences resulting from the pandemic.

For inspiration to pull your running shoes out of the closet, read Zach’s thoughtful posts about running, including stories about finding great trails, tips for new runners, and stories of first experiences with the trails of Colorado. A post from the end of last year details an awesome virtual running challenge that Zach accepted in lieu of the interrupted Chicago Half Marathon he was originally signed up for. The virtual challenge called for running the distance of Chicago’s elevated train lines over the course of eight weeks, which amounted to 131 miles. Exceeding that goal, Zach ran an impressive 283 miles and lived to write about it as well as share a few scenic photos from the trails.

Zach’s music blog posts range from stories of musical inspiration, newfound musicians that have sparked his interest, and posts about making his own music. One such example is a post titled “One More Kiss,” where Zach shares a newly recorded version of a holiday song he wrote in 2010. He is not alone in publishing music on a .xyz name – joining many melodious .xyz end users who are making contributions to music.

Zach uses his website to illustrate his personal brand online by showing his passion for his career and his favorite hobbies. He welcomes his friends, family, and anyone intrigued to learn more to reach out. Zach writes “I will continue to share more about my experiences in healthcare here on my blog, including education and certifications, interesting articles/books related to medical and nursing subjects, and new developments in health care.” You can reach him on Facebook, or his similarly named Instagram @McCluskey.xyz and Twitter @mccluskey_xyz.

LindaDesign.xyzNetwork Solutions customer – (United States)

If your work is whimsical and adorable, but you want potential customers to know that you mean business, it’s important to organize your personal site in a sophisticated manner. Take, for instance, a plush toy designer and illustrator who wants her work to be enjoyed for how sweet it is, but also wants to illustrate her interest in taking on exciting new projects. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features a personal website that is as savvy as it is sweet: LindaDesign.xyz

bytesized.xyz

LindaDesign.xyz is the online portfolio of Linda Raymond. Linda’s from San Gabriel, California, and studied toy design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She graduated in 2017 and began working at MJ Holding Company, the largest North American distributor of trading cards, trading card supplies, collectibles, toys, and hot trend items. There, Linda worked on the toy design team with a focus on plush and novelty toys, a couple of her passions (in addition to cats). Currently a product designer with Good Smile Connect, Linda is able to explore another of her biggest interests. As you’ll read on her homepage in a succinct blurb, Linda has a passion for Japanese culture. Good Smile Connect (GSC) is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products such as the Nendoroid and Figma product line. In other words, it’s a great match.

Keep it organized

While a student at Otis College of Art and Design, Linda and her classmates were encouraged to make websites for their online portfolio. Linda took inspiration from her friends in the same college class. The exact domain she wanted was available from .xyz. “I then just tried to make a site that had a color scheme that complimented my mascot character, the wolfbee, and tried to make things organized and neat.”

The first things you’ll notice on LindaDesign.xyz are a title bar featuring Wolfbee, the aforementioned mascot, and Linda’s name with the titles “Toy Designer” and “Illustrator” just underneath. Then you’ll notice her menu offerings and a precious caricature of Linda in her own style. Next, a small blurb telling viewers of Linda’s love for plush, toy development, Japanese culture, and her interest in new project ideas. The colors she has chosen perfectly compliment her mascot. The menu bar features three succinct main tabs, perfectly organizing her site without any unnecessary links that might distract an end user and cause them to trail off towards another website.

Simple navigation is key

The first tab, Portfolio, allows you to choose from her portfolio offerings in a convenient pulldown menu, or you can click to visit the portfolio landing page. Here is where users can get a true feel for the variety of skill and professionalism in Linda’s repertoire. Her projects range from plush and novelty toy designs for MJ Holding Studios and Wicked Cool Toys, a collection of her Inktober artwork, and the full design components of a game that encourages children to practice tidiness entitled Stuffy Squirrel, complete with a plush cast of characters. In a category of miscellaneous types of work titled “Non-projects and others,” viewers get a glimpse of even more of Linda’s range, including an array of extremely impressive sketch work and professional packaging projects as well as delightful craft projects, including plush versions of My Little Pony.

Make important information easy to find

Selecting About takes you to a page featuring a full size image of Wolfbee, as well as the introductory blurb also featured on her homepage. Below that are links to download .pdf versions of her resume and portfolio. At the very bottom of this and every page on the website is a smaller version of Wolfbee with a welcome to “Contact Me!” accompanied by Linda’s phone number and email address.

This invitation to reach out is reiterated on her Contact page, which has that same information but also includes an HTML form to send Linda an email directly from her website. This design technique saves the user the added step of leaving the website in order to make contact, risking distraction and a possible missed opportunity.

Linda’s seamless navigation, proper organization of her ample portfolio, and easy methods of contact paint a clear picture of a true professional. She looks forward to updating her website to include more of her recent work, and is excited to display more of her experience creating 3D models using Blender, a 3D computer graphics software toolset. If you’d like to reach out to Linda, you can email her directly from LindaDesign.xyz and you can also find her on Instagram.

Unsmile.xyzCDMon customer – (Spain)

It’s important for brands to promote their philosophy in a way that will resonate with viewers. The winning combination of a catchy domain name, a bright website design, a clear mission, and adorable products can ensure your website is not only seen, but makes your viewers smile. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll learn how a children’s clothing label in Spain donates a portion of their proceeds to charity and opts for a bold yet minimalistic website design in harmony with their merchandise: Unsmile.xyz

Unsmile.xyz

A catchy domain that makes you smile

Unsmile.xyz is the online home of Unsmile, a unique Spanish childrenswear brand. Unsmile makes cool t-shirts with a minimal design and complex message to invite creation. They encourage viewers to “put on our shirt and make the world something different.” Their name stems from a delightful philosophy: Cherish the smile of children, and even the “unsmile,” because without it the smile itself cannot be fully appreciated. This is akin to the belief that without the rain, there can be no rainbow. Or without sadness, happiness wouldn’t be as wonderful. This meaningful mission, fully explored on the Manifesto page, can entice viewers to further explore the site.

Adorable products to add to your cart

Simplicity applies to more than the designs of Unsmile.xyz’s website and clothing. Their merchandise selection, found on the Shop tab of the main menu, is considerably light yet each piece boldly promotes the brand’s message. There are a few children’s t-shirts, a tank top, and even a small handbag featuring precious frowny faces and simple phrases like “how do you want to smile at the world?” and, “let’s be serious let’s smile.” Each item welcomes the viewer to click again to see more of the features and specifications, and allows size selection before adding the item to your shopping cart.

A clear mission to help others

There are two very special features that make Unsmile.xyz’s shopping experience unique. Firstly, their core piece, the Zero T-Shirt Unsmile Pack, comes with a special fabric marker for children to personalize their new t-shirt. And second, in the description of each item, the website states that 1 Euro for every item purchased is donated to the CurArte Foundation and will go towards hospitalized children and their families. The CurArte Foundation, established in 2006, has three main objectives: Contribute to changing the culture of care and attention for hospitalized children and adolescents, promote the humanization of hospital care, and work on a tailor-made project for each hospital based on their needs. Creating a cooperative relationship between your brand and a compassionate charity like The CurArte Foundation is a fantastic initiative, and being sure to promote this type of initiative on your website will better inform your customers of your interest in helping others in need.

A bright website design to foster happiness

Unsmile.xyz‘s homepage contains imagery of children wearing the brand’s T-shirts as well as various “unsmiles” on their faces. Each section of the homepage is filled with text blurbs such as: “(De)revolution of the child’s smile that vindicates things and causes that do not produce laughter,” “what shirt do you wear and why,” and “unsmile intervenes on reality,” providing an artistic and creative illustration of the brand and it’s vibe. And of course, you can’t help but notice their extremely large, animated, sad face emoticon logo. The whimsical, winking image evokes a vibe of youthful innocence that fosters happiness and joy.

Brands can make a strong impression with customers by promoting their products and their philosophy with a clear and easy to navigate website. Unsmile.xyz sells children’s clothing and shares a portion of all sales with an organization that helps the families of hospitalized children. Their website features bright backgrounds, easy navigation, and charming products. These features paired with the philanthropic initiatives of the brand can help to resonate with viewers and leave a lasting impression. Take a look at their adorable options for yourself. Unsmile.xyz can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @unsmile.xyz.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyzGoDaddy customer (Malaysia)

Greatness can be achieved when innovators recognize a universal need and get to work towards a solution for the greater good. We see this type of innovation a lot within the .xyz community. Moxie.xyz is a digital fitness studio focused on connecting health and wellness professionals to those wanting to keep moving from home at an affordable cost. Spinster.xyz created a platform for feminist dialogue. And Starship.xyz is an autonomous robot delivery service working to ensure a more efficient and cost effective future of delivery. These end-users created solutions for universal needs. Similarly, this week’s #WebsiteWednesday features another robotics company, this one in Southeast Asia, honing their focus to greatly reduce the risk of contagion in the home delivery process: HelloWorldRobotics.xyz.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz

Once considered a luxury of ultimate convenience, home delivery became a standard necessity due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. According to the CDC, a primary way to stop the spread of disease is to “put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.” Following these guidelines has led people to reduce the number of errands and shopping trips they make. And this has led to an unprecedented rise of the home delivery option, thereby creating an increase in the need for delivery drivers.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz considered the risk involved for both drivers and buyers in a new atmosphere of high contagion, in addition to the pre-existing risks of deliveries in unsafe and less accessible neighborhoods, as well as delivery obstacles like traffic congestion and lack of parking. HelloWorldRobotics.xyz states on their homepage banner that they’re dedicated to making delivery smarter, cheaper, and faster with their “No.1 Autonomous Outdoor Self-Driving Delivery Robot in Southeast Asia/Malaysia.” But you can use it’s more memorable name: TARS.

TARS, a name borrowed from the robot of the same name in the film “Interstellar,” is a “last mile” delivery robot that aims to eliminate risk and increase efficiency during home delivery. In a product’s journey from warehouse shelf to a customer’s residence, the “last mile” of delivery is the final step of the process, or the point at which the package arrives at the customer’s door. Described as a smaller version of a self-driving car, the TARS robot uses a sensor system named LiDAR (Light detection and ranging sensors). LiDar is a core component for self-driving cars, like GM’s Cruise and Alphabet‘s Waymo, and other robotics companies, like Boston Dynamics. The technology allows computers to take a 3D image of the world around them. The sensors measure the range or velocity of objects using a process that is similar to radar. They bounce lasers off objects and when the light returns, the sensors can properly map out a proper route.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz claims they are the first robotics startup to design outdoor “last mile” robotic delivery solutions in Southeast Asia, as well as the first startup in the world to develop what they call a “safe-drop.” A “safe-drop” is the deposit of a delivery in a safe, secure area at their location if they are otherwise unavailable to receive the delivery. With TARS, HelloWorldRobotics.xyz developed the safe-drop functionality so recipients can pick up their packages in front of their homes 24 hours a day (even in gated communities), eliminating the need to walk to guard houses or parcel locker locations.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz’s homepage features an informational video about TARS and LiDAR, which also shows the impressive robots in action. Sharing this video on their website is a great way to introduce potential users to the available technology. It helps increase awareness by showing TARS in action, which can bolster the possibility of adoption.

As detailed on HelloWorldRobotics.xyz’s About tab, Founder and CEO Kennedy Wai has accrued an impressive number of accolades and awards since graduating from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering. The website’s News tab features audio and video clips from Malaysian technology podcast Plug-In with MARii, which offer keen insight on the genesis of Wai’s innovative company.

At the onset of the pandemic, Wei and his company launched Project Care (Covid19),a focused effort to provide contactless delivery of essentials and sanitizing services via their TARS robots. The Project Care (Covid19) tab on their website contains useful information about this ambitious project. They explain that TARS delivery robots can be dispatched to hospitals, quarantine zones, shopping malls, and gated communities — nearly everywhere a person in need could be. Robots are deployed to deliver food and essential items to recipients after receiving directions from remote operators.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz explains their contactless delivery process via an illustrated guide. The illustrated guide for contactless delivery in hospitals and quarantine zones shows a member of medical staff placing food on the TARS robot. The guide shows the cycle of the robot then delivering to the quarantined destination within the hospital, reaching its location and awaiting pickup of the food, and then returning to the pick-up location to await the next order. Interested parties can also click the link at the bottom of the page to email the company for more information.

HelloWorldRobotics.xyz effectively welcomes business inquiries and partnership requests on their Business tab. Aiming to collaborate with existing e-commerce platforms, startups, restaurants, grocers, and dispatch companies, HelloWorldRobotics.xyz promises a next level experience for their customers. They offer various ways to reach out to them via their Contact tab. Be sure to check out their Instagram feed for compelling imagery of TARS, as well.

The .xyz community consists of many startup businesses making the most of their websites to help solve real world problems and universal needs. HelloWorldRobotics.xyz shares their technology and spreads their mission for safe and effective autonomous last mile delivery. Follow HelloWorldRobotics.xyz‘s continued growth on their website, Facebook, or Instagram.

LeightonGray.xyzSquarespace customer (United States)

If you’re a creative in the online community, a personal website can be essential to grow your online influence. People are visual, so it’s more beneficial to show them your talents rather than just telling them.Your resume, samples of your work, and your proudest accomplishments are primary examples of what you can put on display. If you have a diverse skill set, it can be challenging to decide how to organize and showcase your work on your website so that it captures all your talents. Your website’s audience consists of potential collaborators, clients, and employers, so making sure it’s well-organized is a top priority.

In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll learn how Los Angeles creative and self-professed “writer, sometimes illustrator, art director, story consultant, podcaster, and game developer” Leighton Gray serves as an example to follow for building an organized personal portfolio site via her own online portfolio: LeightonGray.xyz.

leightongray.xyz

LeightonGray.xyz is the personal website of Leighton Gray, a very busy creative living in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. She hosts two podcasts. She is a prolific illustrator. She has even had public speaking engagements about art history, video games, and Twitter. She writes and develops games for Game Grumps, an American independent video game publisher. And, she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Games list with her writing partner, Vernon Shaw. Together they created Dream Daddy, a cross-platform simulator that Nintendo World Report said “succeeds at creating developed characters that have unique stories, interesting dialogue, and fun personalities.”

So how does a writer-illustrator-art director-story-consultant-podcaster-game-developer showcase all their various skills online? Here are six tips for achieving an organized and diverse website design like LeightonGray.xyz.

1. Get noticed

A striking domain name will get you noticed immediately and can encourage a new contact to dive right into your website.

Leighton wisely selected her full name as her domain name, one of the most memorable selections you can make. The .xyz extension in her URL, she explains, made it zing. “The .com domain for my name was already taken, and I had never seen a .xyz before and found it unique. I find it more memorable than a more traditional .com domain. Looks great on business cards, too.”

A unique name paired with the allure of your .xyz domain can make visitors take notice. A memorable domain name can make the difference between a successful web presence and being just another website. Imagine you’re walking through a shopping mall among a sea of shops. An enticing shop name paired with an eye-catching window is likely going to see an impressive rush of visitors. That’s the goal for your website.

2. Accentuate your passions

Displaying the projects you have poured your heart into is a great way to highlight your capabilities.

You’ll notice on the menu just beneath Leighton’s About tab that there are four direct links to specific projects she wants to spotlight. These projects showcase her diverse interests and accomplishments.

First is a link to the landing page for her podcast for the “terminally online,” the Leighton Night Podcast. The next option, Fearful Fathers, leads to a page sharing Leighton’s presentation for the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) titled “Dream Daddy & Fearful Fathers: How Indies Can Cope with Being Terminally Online.” The third option, Metamodernism, is a direct link to a page full of resources on Metamodernism, another of Leighton’s passions. The fourth and final option, Deep Cuts, leads visitors to a page dedicated to Leighton’s horror movie-themed podcast of the same name.

By including a variety of your passion projects on your website, you can show visitors just how multitalented and proud of your work you are. This can then generate increased audiences (and potential clients) by word of mouth.

3. Avoid complexity

It can be tempting to use elaborate detail when working on design projects, and creating a website is no exception. However, simplicity is often best as it yields a website that is concise and easy to navigate.

Leighton’s website is both clean and bright. Her Homepage and About page feature a stark white background with her small logo on the top left that states her name inside a word balloon. Using this iconography makes it clear that Leighton is an illustrator involved in comic art. Below her name, she’s specified three of her main working interests: illustration, writing, and games. This directly informs visitors on her primary areas of expertise.

It is best to avoid complexity in favor of strong content and a simple design. Doing so can better retain the interest of your visitors, and can also provide the best platform to showcase your talents.

4. Be yourself

Your personal website is an extension of yourself. You can use it to make sure your visitors truly get to know you. Some great ways to achieve this are by using design techniques that match your aesthetic and by writing copy in your authentic voice.

Leighton uses a menu on the left side of the homepage which encourages viewers to navigate to her About page. Then, she uses her unique voice to write a short biography with noticeable wit. This works to share her personality and demonstrates her abilities as a multi-hyphenate creative.

Designing your website as an extension of yourself gives your visitors more of a complete picture of you than simply providing samples of your work.

5. Be inviting

Provide clear and welcoming channels of communication on your website for potential collaborators or employers. They are interested in your content, and your website design can put them one click closer to reaching out to you.

Leighton’s About page includes her email address and links to her Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch. Listing multiple methods of contact gives potential collaborators or employers the choice to use the channel they prefer. Leighton stands to earn income from her video game, Dream Daddy, so she’s included a direct link to the game’s website, as well. Being able to read about this video game and then go directly to its download site may be just the incentive needed for a potential player to make a purchase.

Employing multiple ways to contact you on your website makes it easier for potential partners to reach out. This is a great way to drive more opportunities for collaboration or employment.

6. Put your best foot forward

Make your homepage a superior first experience for your visitors. This will grab and hold their attention, encouraging them to see what you’re all about.

You’ll see that LeightonGray.xyz opens directly to Leighton’s illustrations page, which showcases her colorful, female-inspired artwork. This includes artwork for a podcast titled “Leighton Night,” which lends a strong clue that there’s more to Leighton than her illustrations.

Spotlighting your strongest imagery or work samples on your homepage creates a great and memorable first impression for the visitor.

Your .xyz domain will stand out on your business card, so your website ought to stand out too. After all, it’s the place to incorporate all of your varied skills and accomplishments in a clean and organized manner. Following these six tips, LeightonGray.xyz spotlights her illustrations, podcasting, video game creations, and more on her vibrant and easy to navigate website. She is a great example to follow for how you can showcase your many skills and stand out with your own .xyz domain.

If you’re interested in discussing a possible collaboration with Leighton, or simply wish to enjoy more of her witty content, connect with her on Twitter or Instagram, or reach out at LeightonGray.xyz.

StudyHall.xyzNamecheap customer (United States)

Maintaining an online community means keeping up with a lot of moving parts. Managing subscriptions, publishing new content, and launching engaging initiatives takes skill and focus. It can be difficult to juggle these when using different platforms for each arm of your output. The most simple solution to take control of these tasks is to use your own website. It brings your community under one roof, boosts creative control, and provides flexibility for you and your members. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, StudyHall.xyz showcases seven ways to manage a thriving online community through your independent website.

StudyHall.xyz

StudyHall.xyz is an independent media outlet and online support network for media professionals. Founded in 2015 by journalists Kyle Chayka and P.E. Moskowitz, StudyHall.xyz‘s goal is to promote community and collaboration in the media industry. They do this by operating StudyHall.xyz as an online community for freelance writers. Memberships range from $2 to $11 per month. StudyHall.xyz’s over 4,500 members can network and share experiences through the platform’s Listservs and Slack groups. StudyHall.xyz also sends a member digest with commentary on current news and resources for aspiring journalists. All these member benefits are managed and maintained via the StudyHall.xyz website.

StudyHall.xyz makes smart use of their independent website to serve as the hub of their community. Follow their example to discover seven key benefits your website provides for managing your own thriving community.

1. Control and customize your image

Everything about your website’s appearance, from design and content to layout, feel, and features are fully within your control. This means you have the freedom to share the content you want without worrying about censors, filters, or guidelines that could limit it.

StudyHall.xyz is an independent media source, so being in control of their image online is crucial for standing out to potential members. They take advantage of this freedom by using each page of their site to promote the different features their program provides. The homepage outlines the benefits that members are offered in each subscription tier. They have a newsfeed page featuring subscriber stories and essays. The Community page promotes the benefits of their Listserv and Slack groups. They also preview their platform’s benefits to potential members via the Resources page. These include a transcriber database, media guide, and a form for promoting a writing opportunity on StudyHall.xyz. Because they own their website, they never have to deal with set-in-stone UI templates.

Use your website to take control of your community platform, say what you want, and promote its benefits.

2. Amplify the reach of your content

Google and other search engines index the content you publish on your website. That means you can optimize it to appear in results for search terms that potential community members are looking for. Where some platforms limit your published content’s reach to only their users, your website opens your potential reach to a global audience.

StudyHall.xyz publishes free reporting and essays to give potential members a taste of what they offer to full members. These include career perspectives from journalists, advice for starting out, and commentary on the state of journalism. Because this content can be optimized to appear in relevant online searches, more potential members will see it when looking up these topics on their own than if it were only shared on social media. This opens StudyHall.xyz’s content up to a wider audience and helps attract more subscribers by amplifying their voice. They’re also able to link to these pages directly when promoting their membership via email, forums, and social media.

Use the global reach of your independent website to amplify your content through online searches.

3. Create a platform you own entirely

Your website is your piece of online real estate for as long as you want to own it. That means you are not limited by the short or long-term success of another platform. You are not likely to be stuck having to move your entire community over to a different technology in order to stay relevant to new members. Keeping your community’s home base to your website means that they are never left scrambling to find a new home due to changes outside of your control.

An independent website offers you longevity and control. As long as you have your domain name as your permanent address online, you are in control of where your community meets and where potential new members can find you. You also completely own all content shared on your website. This is important because some third-party platforms have the power to claim ownership of content published by their users.

With an independent website, StudyHall.xyz don’t have to worry as they own their brand and complete catalog of content. They own all monetization on future usage of their content as well.

Grow your community with the confidence of ownership on your independent website.

4. Fully customize memberships

Using a website where you control the membership features is a handy benefit. You are not limited in what you are able to offer, and you are in control of how much it costs for you to offer it. If you are gathering your community via social media alone, you may not even have the ability to charge for memberships. Using your website to manage memberships gives you the flexibility to create custom subscriptions however you want. This gives you the flexibility to make it as easy as possible for your members to choose an option that fits their budget.

StudyHall.xyz uses their website to offer different prices for similar membership options which are segmented for certain users. Using highly customized memberships makes the benefits of their community more accessible to all media professionals wherever they are financially.

Enjoy the freedom to truly customize your offerings as you like for your members on your independent website.

5. Cut down “Middleman fees”

Membership platforms make money on their users’ transactions. These fees are an important revenue source membership platforms rely on to continually offer the easiest solutions to small businesses that don’t yet have the ability to create their own. However, if you have the ability to develop your own independent solutions, you can bypass some of these fees. This is often part of growing as an online service. Setting your website up as an e-commerce platform with custom solutions means you can cut down on any “middleman fees.” Doing away with third-party fees can increase the funds that you have to put back into improving your platform.

StudyHall.xyz switched from using a third-party membership platform to accepting payments right on their website. This allows them to collect member fees directly for one smaller transactional fee.

Simplify payment and keep more of the revenue by collecting payments through your website.

6. Give members one simple login

Your website can act as the sole address your members need to use to enjoy perks and engage with others in your community. This avoids them having to sign up for many platforms and keep track of different logins to access benefits.

StudyHall.xyz‘s choice to offer access to all membership perks right from their website means they avoid conforming membership offerings to a membership platform layout. They house all content, member resources, and access to groups right on their website by using a single member login. Members only need to type StudyHall.xyz into their browser to connect with the rest of the community. Then, they can interact with all of the features of the website as well as find links to social media accounts, email, and all other platforms where their community has a presence.

Make it easy for your members to enjoy being in your community by offering them one single hub to access all benefits and places to interact with your business via your website.

7. Use data to improve your offerings

Tracking the performance and popularity of member perks is a key part of growing your community and attracting new members. Using data-driven strategies to set revenue goals is crucial to your community’s long-term success. You can track these important statistics by collecting data from your website.

StudyHall.xyz can track website data to see what their most popular content is, how long users view certain articles, and how many times content is downloaded from the website.

They can then use this data to improve membership offerings and provide more content their members want to see. In fact, thanks to their independent website, they can collect and track data in as many different ways as they choose. Then, they can utilize that data to find out how to best serve their customers.

Use analytics from your website to learn what your members like, shape future content, and improve benefits.

Conclusion

Using your website as the central hub for your community gives you more freedom to customize offerings and reach a global audience. It can also act as one memorable URL for members and lets you control your brand and have complete ownership of everything you create and offer. Using data tracking on your website can help you improve membership benefits through better data access. Your website is yours as long as you want to keep it, lets you cut out middleman fees, and hands you creative freedom.

StudyHall.xyz is a strong example to follow for how to build a successful independent website for your community. To learn more about StudyHall.xyz’s community or join yourself, visit their central hub on StudyHall.xyz.

Frontier.xyzNamecheap customer (Singapore)

Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) are two of the hottest buzzwords in tech. Countless new services are entering these spaces every day, making them a hub for innovation and progressive ideas. But, even some hardcore techies might tell you they’re not 100% sure how blockchains work, let alone what a DeFi aggregator service does. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday uses their website’s straightforward User Interface (UI) to clear the confusion and show the benefits of their service: Frontier.xyz.

Frontier.xyz

Frontier.xyz is a DeFi aggregation layer. Their service works by connecting or “layering onto” other DeFi services. In practice, Frontier.xyz says their service aggregates key cryptocurrency management actions like lending, borrowing, and asset swapping. One main feature that sets Frontier.xyz’s tool apart from competitors is that it’s “chain-agnostic.” In other words, it is able to work with many different cryptocurrency exchanges. Their short homepage description explains this information to visitors in detail under the heading “What is Frontier?” They use the first two paragraphs to give an in-depth description of their service, but conclude with a much simpler mission statement so all website visitors can understand what they do.

“In short, Frontierʼs core mission is to bring the essential pieces of DeFi to users across whichever platforms they prefer.” – Frontier.xyz homepage

But that’s just the start of where they take their complex service and break it down into digestible information.

Illustrate problems and show solutions

For those not familiar with DeFi services, Frontier.xyz’s single page website layout features multiple sections that aim to answer all their questions. To illustrate the benefits of their tool, Frontier.xyz outlines problems facing DeFi and crypto vs. how their service provides a solution.

Frontier.xyz

Each problem is detailed so readers can understand the pain point, even if they do not fully grasp the tech behind what’s causing it. Then, they explain how each Frontier.xyz solution uniquely provides a fix, backed up with evidence and examples.

As an example, Frontier.xyz say their tool solves the fragmented nature of crypto management by aggregating management services. This pitches the Frontier.xyz service to potential users by selling them on a one-stop solution for asset management. They showed the pain point first, then clearly explained how their service directly solves the problem. Using a problem and solution setup on your website helps you explain what’s great about your product or service while also giving potential customers reasons to buy.

Keep copy readable and use images to reinforce your point

When talking about any topic, you want your website copy to be short, simple, and readable.
This can prevent your visitors from getting lost in the weeds trying to learn what you do. It’s also a basic best practice for increasing your website’s SEO, as search engines use readability of content as a factor for ranking pages.

Frontier.xyz’s website uses short, simple sentences that are on an accessible reading level. This helps them boil down their complex services and industry terms into understandable language.
It also helps keep those who might not know much about crypto and DeFi reading by explaining their tool in an engaging way.

Frontier.xyz

They use images to show what the product looks like when in use, as well. This takes their service from an abstract concept to a visible platform that visitors can picture themselves using. It’s also an opportunity for Frontier.xyz to highlight their clean UI, which is a one of the key selling points of their service.

Share company history to detail your solution’s growth

Frontier.xyz shows what sets them apart as a company and a tool by sharing their history through major milestones. This follows their journey from foundational brainstorming up through the building phase and to their current activity launching their own coins.

Frontier.xyz

Each milestone is explained with the same short, readable copy and builds on the milestone before it to show the company’s journey toward disrupting their industry and solving big problems for DeFi. This also helps site visitors connect with Frontier.xyz on a more human level by seeing them as a growing business and not just a DeFi aggregator tool.

Bringing it all together

No matter what your company does, you can use your website’s UI to communicate it to users in a way they will understand. Keep your copy short and easy to read while using images to illustrate. Outline the problems your service or product solves to convey value without losing readers in the minute details. Give visitors an insight into your company journey to show the humans behind the work and create more relatability.

If you’re curious to learn more about Frontier.xyz’s service, you can do so via their website or by following them on Twitter and Telegram at their very memorably branded @frontierdotxyz handle.

MightyType.xyzSquarespace customer (United States)

Your website is a place of unlimited freedom to create, share what you do, and promote the things you’ve made. It’s the place you have full control to show the world what you’re most proud of. You may want to highlight past work, share current projects, or promote your personal business. One of the best parts about your website is that you can use it to share all this and more. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday is a multi-talented individual who serves as a stellar example of how to do just that: MightyType.xyz.

MightyType.xyz

MightyType.xyz is the online home of skilled creative Tanner Vargas. An architecture student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tanner researches social infrastructure and inclusive space. He uses his website to share articles he’s written on these topics along with other pieces on creative mediums like music, movies, and short stories. This content is how Tanner began expressing his creativity online, calling it The Type. He’s since expanded to include his photography work and a dedicated page for his independent store, Mighty Merch. This marked his website’s evolution into MightyType.xyz.

More than a blog

Tanner shares his written work in the Typed section of his website. His pieces often focus on the topics he’s most passionate about. He writes about architecture, exploring ideas for future city designs and discussing how architecture impacts people. His article on inclusive infrastructures in cities, for example, seeks to address the problems of division against minorities. He writes about music, giving his captivating criticism of new albums, songs, movies, and trends. These come in the form of compilation lists like best songs of the year, as well as individual album reviews. He writes about films his audience may want to check out and gives an analysis on why they are worth watching or skipping, as well.

Going beyond standard blog updates, Tanner displays his own creative writing prowess by completing a short story series he dubbed “short story Sundays.” His horror-themed narrative explores different emotions, from fear to overcoming internal battles. This series shows Tanner’s impressive writing ability while also allowing his audience to join in his love of creating.

On his dedicated architecture page, Tanner introduces readers to his professional passion and explains why he chose it for his studies. He links to papers he’s written and shares photos of designs he’s created in the program. All this content is enough to make for a robust personal portfolio website, but it’s only half of how Tanner uses MightyType.xyz.

A side hustle born from creative passion

MightyType.xyz

Tanner also uses MightyType.xyz as an online store to sell what he’s dubbed “Mighty Merch.” The Mighty Shop features prints and stickers of Tanner’s original artwork as well as clothing designs he created with his partner Daniell. Shoppers can buy photo prints inspired by architecture or Tanner’s own artistic interests. Some print designs prominently feature the MightyType.xyz URL to help spread the word about his website.

The shop also launched an original line of screen printed shirts and sweaters featuring The Mighty Type artwork in a similar style to their stickers and prints. In addition to original designs, the store features upcycled vintage shirts or sweaters refinished with an acid wash look. Some have custom embroidery done by Daniell to add a unique touch.

MightyType.xyz

Many clothing items in the shop are one of one, making them especially unique for the buyer. Tanner uses an e-commerce store he set up through Squarespace (where you can get a free .xyz domain) to process orders, which also allows him to see data on what products are most popular. Buyers can check out right on his website, then switch over to reading his content and enjoying his creative work.

Putting it all together

Your personal website can be anything you want it to be. Tanner uses the freedom his personal website provides to blend his creative work with his passions. He also uses it as a platform to launch his own independent business through his shop. Take inspiration from Tanner to harness the power of your personal website to share your passions, start a side hustle, or create anything you want to put out to the world. Connect with Tanner on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or get alerts on MightyType.xyz shop sales by joining the Mighty Mail newsletter.

MarquesColston.xyzGoDaddy customer (United States)

.XYZ has proven to be a conduit for next-generation leaders to establish a memorable online presence. For example, look no further than autonomous delivery project Starship.xyz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup accelerator Engine.xyz, and viral creative collective MSCHF.xyz. .XYZ’s reputation as a domain for innovators has inspired notable figures to join the movement and brand on .xyz domains themselves. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday we’ll meet one such leader. This Ex-NFL player is sprinting into the next chapter of his career, branded on his own FirstNameLastName.xyz domain: MarquesColston.xyz.

Marques Colston is a former National Football League (NFL) wide receiver and Super Bowl champion, best known for his 10-year career on the New Orleans Saints. During this time, Marques also developed a second career off the field in business development. He began by serving as President and General Manager of professional indoor football team the Harrisburg Stampede and purchased a share in Arena Football League team the Philadelphia Soul. Since retiring from the NFL, Marques has grown his business leadership profile through roles for the NFL Players Association, his alma mater Hofstra University, and Virtua Health. He’s also become a partner in New Orleans-based juice bar franchise Main Squeeze, consulting firm Dynasty Innovation, and an adjunct professor at the University of New Orleans. Marques shares his wealth of experience from these roles through his own consulting service, MC Consulting. His website, MarquesColston.xyz, is the official page to book him for management training, performance coaching, and corporate development consulting.

Marques’ coaching aims to help businesses shift their thinking and develop strategies for sustainable success. He does this through a method he has developed called “creating separation.” The system gets its clever name from Marques’ football experience. As a wide receiver, Marques needed to create separation from his defenders to catch the ball and score. Now, he uses this analogy to help companies and professionals create separation from competitors. Marques teaches the mindset needed to “create separation” through 3 steps: irrational confidence, creativity and possibility, and dynamic decision making. He credits this mindset for his ability to overcome obstacles in his career and sustain success in football and business.

On his website homepage, Marques breaks his philosophy down further by giving an overview of each step. First, the “art of irrational confidence” helps individuals perform at seemingly unattainable levels. After unlocking this mindset, creativity and possibility help them generate value. Finally, through dynamic decision-making, they can sustain this value and reach long-term success.

Marques teaches this system through bespoke training and speaking engagements. He breaks down potential topics for clients based on their needs. In leadership development training, Marques helps organizations give new leaders the tools for dynamic decision-making. For professional development training, he teaches team strategies aiming to transfer skill sets and unleash creativity. Lastly, he helps athletes transition to professional life by teaching them to manage their personal brand. Each training leverages his business leadership skills and past experience as a professional athlete.

It’s easy to book Marques for a training session right on his website. He includes options to request information under each specific area he’s available to speak on. He offers frequently requested speaking topics on his website to make booking the right talk easier for clients, as well. Marques has already done speaking engagements for many high-profile organizations, including the NCAA, NFLPA, the University of New Orleans, the New Orleans Saints, and the Entrepreneurs’ Association. Many have praised his training, shown by testimonials featured on his website from the University of New Orleans, the Virtual Center for Innovation, and D1 sports who each spoke on the value of his talks.

Showing his branding knowledge, Marques places his memorable website URL at the center of his online promotion. He shares it in all his social media bios and includes it in the banner graphics on each page, as well. This strategy fully utilizes the memorability of his domain name. Potential clients will see this URL and have it stick in their minds thanks to Marques’ being able to use his own name and brand on a memorable extension – .xyz. Making his website the center of his promotional activities means he is not limited by any third-party platform constraints. This gives him complete control over how he presents the benefits of his training.

Innovators like Marques who share their expertise and pass their success strategies on to others are a stellar example of the .xyz community. Marques is a great example of the forward-thinking .xyz philosophy, and his domain perfectly brands his services to reach the next generation of business leaders. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram or reach out to bring his expertise to your organization at MarquesColston.xyz.