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How to Build an Amazing Website for Your Web Design Agency

March 6th

Andy

Offsprout is the only WordPress website builder for freelancers and agencies.

As a web designer, you can get very busy working on client websites.

You can get so busy that you can’t seem to find the time to put together a good website for your own company.

The result can end up being that your website ends up looking bare or outdated.

It’s not a good look for a web design company.

Though it is important that you do good work for your clients and build a portfolio of great websites, your website reflects your skills to your clients.

Having a bad looking website as a web designer is like going to a barber who has a bad haircut.

As a customer, are you going to be so confident in their abilities to deliver a high-quality service?

Your own website should be one of your best sites.

It can be frustrating to have to make time for it because your own website is not a paying project.

But, it’s a marketing cost. You need a good website so that you can get new business.

What Elements Your Website Needs as a Web Designer

Here are things you need on your website as a web designer.

Homepage

This is the first thing people will see.

It needs to look amazing.

Visually, and message-wise.

Your homepage needs to show what you do.

You design great websites.

Show your visitor.

“Show, don’t tell.”

Saying you do great web design work is not as compelling as showing that you do great web design work.

Your homepage should be visually modern and stunning.

It should show the kind of work you do as well.

It should show the care you put in your work.

About Your Web Design Business

Who are you?

What do you do?

What is your process like?

Why should clients want to work with you?

Your About Us page should answer all of these questions.

Portfolio

Your site exists mainly to help you get new business.

One key aspect of this will be your portfolio.

People will be less likely to hire you if they cannot see a sample of your related work.

Create a good-looking portfolio with screenshots of your projects.

Bonus points if you can include write-ups that discuss the projects with some details.

Things like:

  • What your client wanted
  • What work you delivered for your client
  • What the process was like

These things help your clients to understand what it’s like to work with you, beyond the visual gut-reaction they’ll have of “Ohh, I ike this. It looks great!” or “I don’t like this.”

Get a sample of at least 3 sites.

More is better, generally.

Testimonials

Your Testimonials page will be a companion to the Portfolio.

Prospective clients can see a visual sample of your work on your Portfolio page.

But, they can understand more the quality of the service you provide on your Testimonials page.

When customers hire businesses, they want to know that these businesses will do good work, answer their emails and phone calls, be a pleasure to work with, and be responsive.

A portfolio can’t show that you are responsive to clients who email you.

A portfolio can’t show that you are pleasant to work with.

But, testimonials can.

Testimonials are “social proof” – people will have positive associations with you if other people are happy with you.

So, make sure to get testimonials from satisfied clients.

If you can, with the testimonials have accompanying pictures of the clients.

This will further help your visitors to comprehend that you have done great work with clients in the past and are capable of doing great work with them.

How to Go About Building Your Web Designer Portfolio Website

To actually build your website, you will need to take a few steps:

  • Map out the project
  • Get the right tools
  • Allocate time

Map out the Project

To build your new website, you need to approach this like you would any other client project.

You will need to map it out.

Like any client project, you will have steps you will need to take:

  • Creating a sitemap
  • Collecting assets
  • Choosing a theme
  • Creating a site design and aesthetic
  • Designing a homepage layout
  • Creating interior page layout
  • Populating pages with text and images
  • Review
  • Launch

Because of all these steps, you should be using a project management app to keep track of where you are.

If you have a preferred project management app for client projects, use it!

If you do not, you definitely should be using a project management app.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Basecamp
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Zoho Projects

All of them are great in their own ways.

Pick one of them. Use it to keep notes, collect your assets, and manage your progress on the project.

Build Your Website with the Right Tools

First, you’ll need a framework.

Our recommendation is using WordPress with the Offsprout theme and plugins.

It’s an incredibly easy-to-use visual builder on top of WordPress that has the benefits of the WordPress platform with an easy-to-use visual editor overlaid on top. It make it easy and quick to build great-looking pages without needing to have to fiddle around with code.

Regardless of what platform you choose to build your website, mobile-responsiveness is a must.

For some reason, many websites are still not mobile responsive even though more web traffic comes from mobile devices today than desktop computers.

Allocate the Time

Your website won’t get built by itself.

If you are a freelancer or web designer or running a web design company, your website will not get built if you do not put the time into it.

Block off time on your calendar when you don’t answer client emails and calls, and don’t work on a client project.

Take a weekend if you have to.

But make sure that your website project gets on the calendar, so you can dedicate the time you need.

You need to treat it like a VIP client project.

Other Tips and Considerations for Your Website

You may be anxious about launching your new website or have concerns along the way. So, here are some other considerations.

What You Launch Today Is Not Forever

Your website can and should evolve.

You don’t have to be 100% happy with your site.

Just like some clients of yours are probably fussy, remember that you can launch your website and make further improvements to it over time.

If your project is stretching out from weeks into months, consider scaling back your pre-launch “must-haves.”

If you cannot get testimonials for launch, get them later.

It’s important that you have a good-looking site that appeals to your potential clients. You don’t need the perfect site on Day 1.

Simple is Often Better

You may be trying to create something visually stunning and elaborate.

But, sometimes elaborate can get out of control.

Make sure that as you build up your website that you are mindful about your user experience.

If the website it all over the place and too difficult to work with, it can be hard for users to navigate and find what they are looking for.

User experience should come first.

You are creating a website, after all, not a piece of abstract art.

Build for Your Clients, Not You

This should be something that you are already telling your clients during initial conversations.

“Your website is not for you or your vanity, it’s for your customers.”

You can hate how your website looks so long as clients love it.

That may be a little extreme, but it’s important to take into consideration your clients.

What are they coming to your website for?

You need to deliver on that idea and help them cross the goal line to ultimately become your clients.

Conclusion

So, with the right planning and tools, you can create a website for your web design business that helps you attract more clients.

What was your process like for building your company’s website?

Share your experiences in the comments below.

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