Personal website, the basics
Regardless the industry or your work position, needless to say that an online platform not only helps but also makes you stand out within the pool of competitors. Even if your job is out of a creative field, it is worth putting a thought into building a website with your brand, portfolio or recent projects.
Choose a Platform
Despite your computing skills, there is no need to spend substantial amount of money neither on agency nor on a freelance professional. Choose a platform depending on your needs, do a couple of trials, experiment with templates. Blogspot can be something to start from; keep in mind that it is very popular among bloggers, writers and photographers. WordPress is known for being user- friendly and for having the options of professional outlook. Squarespace is another great platform to take a look at, positive aspects include uncomplicated settings, award winning support team (ask questions easily via online chat), e-commerce options and quick video tutorials (on the topics of SEO, design etc.) just to mention a few. If you are trying to get your products out there, Shopify as well as Squarespace can be as of one of your go-to options. Reassess your budget and your needs, research; and a couple of evenings in, you will have your personal web corner.
It is easier to adapt the website templates to your requirements, if you prepare the desirable visuals in advance. You do not have to think big and schedule a photo shoot, but even the simplest things take time. Your headshot, your product (whether a portfolio or actual objects), and other descriptive images that will help the viewer to understand what you do and that you do it well. Do not be scared to ask for help, get a girlfriend or two on it, make a mood board of the photos you would like to achieve and listen to others. Often the greatest ideas come out of a collaborative team work. If a photography session is nowhere near your schedule, or the pictures require a bigger production, look for the websites that sell professional images (shutterstock, iStock, fotolia etc.).
Once you have all the content on the ready and spent time on your preferred platform of choice, it is time to look through your well-job-done with a censorious eye. Do you have a biography/about page that is short and straight to the point? Is it easy to reach you? Contact form and links to your professional social media profiles should be visible. Personalisation is crucial, whether it is your domain, professional e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org is simply recognisable, many platforms provide personalised e-mails with the purchase of a domain), or a logo. Get creative but not messy. Imagine going on your website as a complete stranger and ask yourself critical questions. Again, ask for help, show it to your trusted group of girls from different fields – that way you may get feedback and ideas that did not even cross your mind in the first place.
Draw a list of your favourite professionals and their websites. Acknowledge what you really like about them, and what can be done better. Make a note to yourself. Many have ‘powered by’ links at the bottom, see which platforms your preferred experts use. Research platforms, portfolios and other start up e-commerce websites. Do not fall into the trap of looking and not making, give it a go and perfect it on the way. Good luck!