The first step to success online is being present online. Even if your portfolio isn’t perfect the first time around, getting something great out there is the first step!
Choose a company name
Choose a name that reflects you and your personality. Something to consider when choosing a name is going with a person brand, which involves some version of your name or a company brand.
A person brand allows you to use more of the credibility you’ve built in your industry. A company brand really means your starting from scratch.
The benefit of a company brand is that it isn’t always associated with you. So if you want to build a business bigger than yourself – hire employees or contractors – a company name is usually a good idea.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, check out Namium – a super useful company naming tool.
Sign up with a hosting company
Now that you’ve decided on a name you’ll have to register it and buy a hosting package to ensure it’s online.
When you register your domain name you’ll choose the suffix for your web address. This could be a dot com, dot io, dot co etc.
I highly recommend using WordPress. WordPress is a content manager that allow your to easy control your content. The beauty of WordPress over other content managers is the popularity of WordPress. On account of the popularity of WordPress, there are so many plugins and extensions that allow you to really customise the experience.
You’re luck! If you use the hosting company I recommend 1and1 – you’ll be able to install WordPress with one click.
On your 1and1 dashboard, you’ll notice a section called hosting > click WordPress
Name your site and follow the prompts to get set up
Find a theme
Creatives tend to want to create their own custom website design. I do not recommend this for starting out because you are still building your brand and identity.
As a designer, I really do value amazing design. Themes, contrary to popular belief, can be very mindfully designed
Here is a theme collective that I highly recommend Theme Kingdom
I really like Theme Kingdom because if you’re anything like me, it will take you a few tries to become fully satisfied with any one theme. Theme Kingdom makes it affordable to change themes with their yearly membership option.
They also offer 50% off to students, making it super affordable everyone.
Make an About Page
Your about page should have a snazzy photo of you.
Under your photo, write a short but compelling bio that really explains who you are and why people should hire you.
Your about page also should list out your services so people can quickly know what you offer.
Create a Portfolio Page
Ensure your portfolio reflects the type of work you want to produce not solely your best work. This means if your favourite project was a website but you want to move away from sites and start making apps, ensure your portfolio is predominantly apps.
Ensure for each post you write a description which outlines the following:
- Challenge you were trying to solve
- Your approach
- The results
This way clients can get the full picture of what you do and not just what the end result looks like.
Check out the case study by Dropbox for inspiration on how to write an amazing portfolio piece.
Remeber, quality is better than quantity in a portfolio. I’ve seen successful agencies with only one super comprehensive, well-written case study on their website. When you’re writing you portfolio page content, ensure you know who your target market is. This will determine how you write about your work.
Create a contact page
Your theme should have instructions on how to make a contact form. Ensure that your form is linked to an email that you actually check!
Brand the template
Upload your logo and ensure you customise the site title to say your company name
AND you’re done. Congrats on launching your new website