As an Architect just starting out in the industry it may be harder to start your own website, as you have yet to create many projects and play a major role in said projects. Yet more and more firms nowadays view webpages as easier forms to interact with an architect or designer’s work. You also have the ability to control the narrative and how your projects and ideas are presented to any interested parties, whether they be hiring firms or independent gigs you can attract.
You should consider creating your own webpage as a form of defining yourself, but also as a tool for your next job search, and considering the higher and higher levels of turnover, you might want to have tools setup ahead of time. Not only this, but the website format and cost has never been more applicable and affordable than ever.
With all of these factors in mind, we have created a list of 5 tips to consider for Architects and Designers seeking to create their own website and/or better understand why it makes sense for them to create one.
1. Which website platform should you use starting off? Squarespace or WordPress? or Another option?
While Squarespace is more beginner friendly and seems cheaper at first, the slow load times can lead to possible leads leaving your webpage, as well as lower quality SEO results. WordPress on the other hand provides more versatility and flexible templates that are easier to personalize and administer over time. It is more of an investment at first, but the access to plug-ins to create more use and applicability for your webpage far outweighs price. You should definitely use a website template rather than hire a technician to help with setting you up, especially if you are just starting as an architect or designer.
2. Copywriting is a skill that many claim to have, but not many know how to properly execute for their personalized situation!
What are you saying in your text on your webpage? and how are you saying it? These are the two questions you should ask yourself before you start working on the text that will be placed within your website. The tone and the message you want to get across must be planned ahead of time, as you are the one that is guiding the audience towards your webpage and into your world. Make sure that you are properly defining their needs and placing the correct message in front of the correct person. Remember! People are not reading your text or copy because it is boring, but rather because it does not address the problem properly.
3. Advice for how you should design and present your «homepage»
Make sure that your homepage is inviting and easy to use for those that land on it. So you should have simple summaries of areas such as «About», «Projects», and «Services». Ideally, you should be able to give the audience a quick idea of what your design style is like and what kinds of projects you have worked on. Make it as easy as possible for them to find the information they need.
4. Advice for how you should design and present your «About» Page
Usually once a possible client reaches this page, they are looking for re-assurance, not inspiration or ideas. They want to confirm that you are what they are looking for. Think of all the Why, Who, How, When, Where, and What! All of these questions need to be answered in a simple and clear way. Try to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself the questions they would be asking.
5. Advice for how you should design and present your «Project» Page
In this area, you are trying to show certain key projects in a case study format. So you would briefly talk about client needs, the briefing, and the big ideas you created to address their concerns. For example, you would give an Overview section with an explanation of the client’s lifestyle, the client’s brief for the project, the challenges presented, and the solutions. You also want to include the feedback from a testimonial given by the client, and finally the media links to the different sections of the project.
If you take advantage of these 5 tips we gave you and apply them to your own website, you will see success in the way that you are able to collect future leads and future employers too.
When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-US, and improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.