Step by step
Owning a website makes you visible to your audience and target group everywhere at any time. You not only use the website to tell who you are and what you do, but also to publish (parts of) your work. This way the visitor immediately has an impression of your qualities and expertise. This roadmap shows you how to create your own website.
Setting up your own website
Think of an original name for your site and check if your preferred name is still available. You can check online with so called web hosts, or if you want a .nl domain via SIDN. If the name is still available, secure it with such a host. Hosting a website shouldn’t cost more then thirty Euros a year.
Determine for yourself what you want to achieve with your website. Do you just want to be visible or attract potential employers? Do you want to upload new publications on your site weekly or even on a daily basis? Would you like to sell your work via your website? Would you like to have visitors to your site being able to respond to what they see? In the last scenario a weblog is a simple and cheap solution. You can look up WordPress or Blogger. Whichever format you choose, make sure you have a contact page on your site.
Write the texts for your website or have a professional write it for you. Writing a web text requires a specific method of writing. Keep it short and simple and make your texts personal. If needed, work with listings to avoid having large pieces of text on the screen. This puts the reader off. Always have the texts proofread and make sure they are free of errors.
Collect visual images for your site and make them suitable for uploading on the internet. The standard resolution of photos on the internet is 72 dpi. Unnecessary dense images slow down your website.
Depending on the complexity and what you want to achieve with your site you can design your own website with programs such as FrontPage and Dream weaver. You can also use open Content Management Systems, such as Joomla or TYPO3. If you don’t feel up to it, have a specialist put your website together. You can save costs if you use the services of a beginner web builder. Make sure your web builder explains to you how to keep your website up to date.
If you want to build a website yourself, then take the different versions of browsers and plug-ins into account. The most commonly used ones are Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. A site that looks perfect on one browser, may have ugly colours and be distorted, or even unreadable, on another. For special applications, you will need so-called plug-ins. Materials made with Flash, for example, require the FlashPlayer plug-in. A user who has not installed the necessary plug-in will not be able to see the special application. Plug-ins can be downloaded for free. Some well-known ones are WindowsMediaPlayer, RealPlayer and Quicktime.
When your site is finished, you have to make sure it draws attention through public and search engines. You can do this by emailing your web address to your network. Also register your site with search engines such as Google and Yahoo, relevant e-zines or starting pages. The more hits on your site, the higher you get in the ranks of search results.
Regularly publish news or new works on your site. This will make people return to your site. If the site looks like it hasn’t been updated for months, it will make visitors leave and never come back.