January 9, 2020
This blog comes as sort of a “Part Two” for our previous write up about why your business should have a website, period. In this blog, we’re going all-in with tips regarding effective website design for creatives: why you creatives out there need a website that’s just as creative as you and how to get there. Photographers, personal creative brands, graphic designers – all of you. Sure, having a website is step one, and sometimes getting to step one is the most important part. But once you’re there, you need to make sure your website has a good aesthetic and is a creative reflection of your services and is functional and easy to navigate as well.
So, where do you start? First, look at how your website flows. ‘Flow’ is an important factor that leads to whether or not visitors stay or leave. It means it’s not cluttered with text that’s too large and everywhere or doesn’t fit, boxes or images that make it look busy, or (God forbid) music that plays when you enter the website – please don’t do this, it’s a website, not a MySpace page.
Think about it this way – your website needs to tell some sort of a story and take the audience through a journey that converts them, whether it’s to reach out or sign up for your email newsletter/gated content.
Your branding should be clean and reflective of you and your business. Nothing on your website should be off brand, and everything should tie into the overarching theme. The text, the layout, the colors, the logo – nothing should seem out of place. This should be fairly easy, considering whenever you go to make your own website there’s always numerous templates with an easy theme you can follow and customize, OR you’ve hired a company to do this for you.
If you’re going to have images on your website, they need to be authentic. Stock photos are complete memes now, so you shouldn’t have them on your website, period. If you need good, usable photos that aren’t stock photos there are a ton of websites you can visit with a vast selection that will help make your website look good. We love unsplash, but there’s tons more out there to choose from.
The photos on your site should also work with the feel of your brand and sometimes it’s location – if you’re based in an area that’s more urban than rural, maybe having pictures of the city you work in would be better than, say, mountains and snow (this is a drastic example, but you get the idea). Another great idea is to have real pictures of your employees working or real products or services you provide.
Having all of your separate pages on your site be equal in terms of content and text is also important too. You don’t want to have one page that has multiple paragraphs and photos and then another that barely has anything (or worse – a “we’re working on this page!” quote across the screen). Be careful of creating pages that require a lot of scrolling as well. Your website should be short and sweet, with enough information on every tab that satisfies the consumers need for information on you and your service/product.
We’ve done our fair share of websites for creatives and business creatives, and we’re not ashamed to plug them here to provide examples. These are just a few of the ones we’ve had a hand in perfecting:
Aside from having a website with good flow, branding that matches, and images that make it feel authentic, you also shouldn’t give away most of your secrets. Yes, having a portfolio tab is important if you’re a creative in a field where your work is visual, but you should give your potential prospect just enough to keep on wanting to see more and have to contact you and eventually, hopefully, hire you. However, there is a fine balance here between too much and too little- too much might overwhelm a consumer, whereas too little could underwhelm and make them try to find someone else. Neither of which are things you want.
Something to think about when you’re creating an online portfolio page for your website is this: How much does your social media presence act as an information giver/examples of your work? If there’s already a lot of content on your Instagram, then maybe scale back on your website, or differentiate the types of content you can find on website versus social media.
This is specifically geared towards photographers and graphic designers – don’t think that an Instagram page with an email attached is enough. Make sure your website is more fleshed out, and communicates your services and brand feel. Social media is the first place people go, but your website is the second place they go to, and should be as professional if not more than your social media presence.
Having an aesthetic design to your site must also work hand in hand with it’s usability. Things like images that are too big, plug-ins, etc, can slow down the loadability of your site and deter visitors. Realistically, if your website doesn’t load within 2-6 seconds, you’ve already lost a major chunk of potential consumers. So whether you or someone you’re outsourcing is building your website, do research into things that could potentially slow down the speed of your site. Having a flashy website might look good at first, but if it’s slow, the balance is off, the flow isn’t good, you won’t be able to do anything with it.
If you liked the examples you saw above, then feel free to reach out with us and we can collaborate! We’re more than happy to get in touch with you. With all these points in mind, hopefully you can create a beautiful yet functional website, or maybe look for a team that can help you reach your website goals (wink).
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