BUILDING A WEBSITE BY YOURSELF
When it comes to building or re-designing your website, it may be overwhelming. If you are wondering, I'm not talking about Facebook fan pages, I'm talking about an actual DOMAIN site. I know if have been worried by the fact of not being able to find any settings, nor how to even link an email account to my site for clients to contact me. Like many of us, building our own is stressful and making sure everything connects properly and is easy to access is key to building a successful website.
I can tell you that I have tried multiple web hosts and website platforms, right now I use SQUARESPACE which is fairly awesome for anyone who wants to build a stunning website along with being able to get in touch with clients. Being able to link business emails, with newsletters, and even my social network accounts was a breeze the first day I started using Squarespace. Prior to that I had used WIX.com which is another great platform for making websites along with WORDPRESS which is a great blogging platform as well. For websites though WIX didn't offer me enough and WORDPRESS was the blogging king but not so much for websites.
Lets get building!
Few guideliness to use when building a website. While most platforms offer FREE websites or trial periods to explore software and firmware of the sites, you have to try them to see which one works best for you. Looking through sample templates that each platform offers or may even be one of their clients is a good way to see what you want in a site. Some helpful tips below to get you started...
- Ease of Navigation- While every platform claims their ease and suburb templates, you have to make sure you can locate all the important things that will help you better design your site. Along with designing, the platform should have easy accessible things such as ACCOUNT, MEDIA SELECTION, SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTION, PRODUCT SELECTION (IF APPLY), WAYS TO CONTACT YOU, PORTFOLIOS, GUEST TRAFFIC, DESIGN TOOLS, CURRENT IN SITE PAGES (GALLERY, ABOUT, CONTACT, ETC.) Most importantly how well you can find all of these.
- Templates- Every platform has so many templates, the one you need may be similar to what you want in order to design, while most templates let you customize where images are placed, text boxes, along with even moving the pages in order, you should be able to pick a template suited to your overall idea.
- Emails- With any website, there should be an easy way for clients to access you or information from you. Having a generalized email linked to your website will help you do so. We never want to lose clients, EVER! It may happen but fear not, making sure that future clients can reach you in some way is how you book or even just inquire. While you don't have to leave your email public, you should at least have everything important like Newsletter applications, inquiries, and general business related things linked. Your host should allow you to link all of those from the platform you are using.
- Social Media- By now everyone has Facebook, twitter, instagram, and even Google+. But are they linked to your website visa versa? Now I only have a few accounts, not all but have made sure that my clients can pin from my website, along with connecting to Facebook. With linking social media you can broaden the spectrum of networking along with targeting more clients as well. Most referrals or clients have probably checked your work out on Facebook or googled you before hand before booking or inquiring. That's one of the many reasons to link your website. In the age of technology we are in, its easy to be found on the internet so get to linking!
- Ease of navigation for clients- Now that you have mastered or have figured out the platform for the most part, can your clients or future clients navigate through the pages? Can they find the information they need? Or even a means of contacting you?
Happy website building!