The first and most fundamental step in creating a website is to establish what the site will be used for and who by. To begin it is important to communicate with your client in order to assess and understand their needs and what they require in a site. Ideally you would set a time to interview and chat with your client, or enter into communication to ask and agree a set of questions that will narrow down what the client needs.
As I am making a site for my portfolio, I will assess everything that will need to be included in my site before I begin designing.
Once the initial briefing has been completed, and have a scope of what the purpose of the website will be, I can begin to do more in depth planning and analysis of the client requirements.
Who Will Be Using The Site and Why?
My website will serve as a portfolio of my photography and film work, therefore likely users will be peers, tutors, universities and potential employers. Therefore, it is important to have a website that is of a professional standard to best represent my work.
The age group of who will be viewing my website may vary, particularly as it will be a portfolio for my work. In this case, I will have to create a website that is universally appealing, for example, I can do this by choosing neutral colours.
Language will be in English as that’s where I am based and will unlikely need to be projecting to a global audience. However, the language I use on my website will be clear and direct, meaning whoever visits the site does not have to spend too long reading big chunks of text. I want the main focus to be the work itself, and to always point the user to ‘get in touch’, to encourage people to enquire after my work.
As it will be a portfolio, I can assume the demographic of people and of genders who visit the site will be varied. The language and terms I use on my site will always be inclusive.
Design Of My Site
I have looked at example websites of people in a similar professional, or who make similar work, to gage the sort of style and appearance I should be aiming to create, focusing on female creatives in the film industry.
Large dynamic visuals and a clear menu structure that sits to the top of the page, seem to be a common theme among people who use their site to showcase their work. Their creative work is the first thing you see when arriving at the site.
Black backgrounds, galleries and clean, simple text and buttons look professional and encourage you to click around the site, something I will try and hopefully reflect in my design.
Galleries seem to be a good design choice for showcasing multiple pieces of work.
I want my site to look professional, it’s not a personal site therefore needs to reflect the quality of my work and my intentions as a creative. I can do this with colour scheme, font choice and the layout and functionality of it’s design.
I have noticed that many of these portfolios are very responsive, they are uncluttered and have a clean, streamline design that makes it easy for the user to browse their work. These are elements I hope to incorporate into my own design.
It is clear from the examples I have explored that I need;
- A strong, dynamic front page show casing recent film work
- A contact page
- An about page
- Page for film work
- Page for photography work
Cost Of Site
An important part of designing and implementing a website, this accounts for amount of time spent on the design and visuals of the site, the cost of a suitable URL and hosting package. As my budget for this course is limited, I will initially be working with software and hosting packages that I can use at no cost, this will inform my choices.
Before I can begin creating my site I have researched where I can create a website and host it within my budget limitations.
Above are all sites that allow you to create and host websites on free packages, there are limitations to consider like:
- Limited to design within themes
- Upload limits
- Advertisements on site
- Can’t edit the HTML
For my purpose and budget I have considered that despite the limitations, this is the best option for now. Most of these services allow you to change your domain and hosting package at a later date by ‘upgrading’. This is something I will likely consider further down the line.
Wix has a great number of templates with a focus on video portfolios and has a more flexible editor, in terms of altering colours and layout. Taking this into consideration I will use Wix to build my portfolio.
If I want to upgrade my hosting package, Wix provides a variety of pricing options that reflect storage, removal of ads and greater customisability. This is something I will consider in the future.
If I had a bigger budget these are the domain names I would consider these options below;
Domain names available for purchase at a variety of costs. For the purpose of my website the most suitable extension would be either .com or .uk, based on my location.
helenshowreel . com
are both strong names that I would consider purchasing.
To begin I will title the site ‘helenshowreel’ and use the free provided domain name. Once I purchase my desired domain name, I will replace this – Wix has the ability to be able to change your domain name (or purchase one from them). This was an important aspect in the decision to use Wix as the host for my site.
It will be important to get a domain name to improve the search-ability of my site and hopefully prioritise my site when googled, and this will increase more traffic to my site.
The deadline for creating the website and having it live for testing is quite restricted, I need to make sure I efficiently plan the site to ensure I am able to construct and edit it in a time efficient manner.
My schedule for important dates on the website is included below: