Building Your Website

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Lesson Overview

By now, you should have an idea for your brand, so in this lesson, we’ll design the home for your brand: Your Website.

What goes on your agency’s website? We’ll consider ideas for these web pages:

  1. Services
  2. About Us
  3. Contact
  4. Portfolio
  5. Reviews


Lesson Transcription

Welcome! I’m Leighton, your webmaster. By now, you should have an idea for your brand, so today, let’s design the home for your brand… your website. So obviously, as a web design company, you’ll be building plenty of websites for your clients. But what about your website?  Some would argue that that’s the most difficult website you’ll ever build! My own website has been through so many iterations that I lost count! So point is, your website will continue to evolve as you grow and refine it. So what goes on your website? What do you think would be important?  Well, there’s a few essentials:

  1. Services. Explain what you offer, which is website design and development, mobile-friendly websites, security and SSL, search engine optimization, and whatever else you’d like to specialize in. Key Point: Make sure you only solicit the type of work you actually want to do. Don’t put marketing, branding, logos, printing, advertising, video production, unless you actually want to do all of those things. And you’re good at them.
  2. About Us. This is the page people will visit to learn your story. What you’re all about! How long you’ve been in business, your strengths, specialties, etc. A current trend now is to be personable and transparent. Let people see your face, read your values, and learn how you got to be where you are. And if you do show your face, so help me, it better be a professional headshot. This is such a Key Point: Clean up, put on a tie/blouse/suit jacket, whatever is appropriate for your gender, present yourself in a professional manner with good lighting and a solid background. Hire a professional photographer if necessary. Your headshot will either work for or against you. In fact, what would you think about a company whose owner is presented on their website in sweatpants and an oversized tee?  Would you perceive that company as professional or casual? Perception is key. A $50 professional headshot can make a huge difference.
  3. Contact. You’ll obviously need a Contact page. This is standard. It’s usually your phone number, email address, and a contact form. You can also include a map, social media links and hours of operation. Have you ever struggled to find the contact information on a website?  That’s a huge no-no. Web Design 101. Contact info should be extremely easy to find.
  4. Portfolio. This is so important for a website design business. In this industry, no one’s going to ask for your formal education. They want to see the websites you’ve built. What would you think about a web designer… who had never built a website before?  Would you hire that designer?  That’s how important a portfolio is. Your work should speak for itself, so start building your portfolio as soon as possible. Super Key Point: Once you’ve completed several projects, you can start picking and choosing your best work to feature on your portfolio. Quality is far more important than quantity. That’s also why you should work extra hard on your first few projects, since that’s all you’ll have on your portfolio.
  5. Reviews. This page is necessary on all websites. What’s your perception of a company that has 0 reviews?  What if the majority are 1 or 2 stars?  Positive reviews are critical for the success of a brand, so start collecting them as soon as possible. In addition to the actual review, ideally you’ll have an image to go with the quote, but the best case scenario is a video testimonial! Those are golden.

As I mentioned, my current website has been refined so much since 2006 that it’s unrecognizable from my original site. So what better way for me teach you how to build a site for your web design business than by showing you mine? Let’s take a look!

DEMONSTRATE www.Pioneer.Media

RECAP: So what have we learned?

  1. You need a website for your business.
  2. Your website should contain a personable yet professional About Us page, list your services, and contact information.
  3. Start collecting reviews and building your portfolio with every new project. 

I’m Leighton, and now you know… how to create your website!


Lesson Homework

Start designing and developing your website! Build it on your hosting server using the domain name you purchased.