Graphic design and web design are practically step brothers so having a website is a must when it comes to finding work as a graphic designer but I’ve found that there are two types of graphic designers.
- Graphic Designers who just do graphic design
- Graphic designers who do web design
If you’re in the first group then getting online may be a problem but it doesn’t have to be (more about that below). If your in group two then your level of knowledge will steer you in the right path to creating a website however if you’ve just dabbled in web design then most of that knowledge will go out of the window when it comes to designing a professional website.
Websites, contrary to belief are not free, especially if you want one to represent you. There are costs involved such as design, development, hosting, domain name and maintenance. Many companies try to market them as quick and easy solutions with minimal costs involved but its all a lie. You will need the help of a web designer to get your site going if you’re not already familiar with doing so. On another hand this could serve as your intro into web design so don’t be shy in trying to do it yourself (think of it as training).
Your first step will be a domain name. Do a domain look up or check sites like 1and1.co.uk and find a domain name for you. Domain extensions like .com or .co.uk do have an effect on search engines so try and get one associated with your country to help you get found by the right people but don’t worry too much if a particular extension or domain name that you want is already taken. At the end of the day, people will be visiting your site based on the direct link that you give/share with them so having an odd domain extension won’t have a detrimental effect on finding you.
Secondly is the hosting of a site. Hosting is the place where your website will be stored online. Think of it as a computer (server) that’s connected to the net to hold and display your website. Unless you’re going to be getting 1000’s of hits a day you don’t need anything special so any hosting account will do (average £50.00py linux server).
Lastly is your web platform. There are many platforms designed to be quick and easy to use if you don’t mind using a standard template design so if you’re not a web designer/developer and want a quick fix for a website then options like Adobe BC or Squarespace are a good option but most systems still need a professional touch to help you get what you want out of a website.
Lastly if you want to start blogging or use a blog to show case your work then hosted solutions like wordpress.com can be used for free. (more about blogs in later lessons).
At this stage your best bet would be something like Behances professional portfolio site. It’s a hosted solution for designers to showcase their portfolios without using any technical knowledge. It’s used by many designers as their main portfolio site and is a great tool to get you online with a cost effective and time saving solution.
The core aspect on getting online will be to showcase your work so make sure its your portfolio that takes precedence on your website in addition to your contact info.
You will need a website to showcase yourself and your work but building one alone won’t be good enough. The next step will be to promote it (more about that in the next lesson).
Finally it might be worth noting that Adobe BC and Behance prosite are both come for free with Adobes Creative Cloud