Do you think you can build your own actor website on your own? You can. The technical difficulty involved is not as bad as you may imagine. If you want your own actor website but want to cut down on costs and do it on your own, then continue reading.
Having your own actor website is crucial. You need to have an online presence that will feature your headshot, resume, reel, social media links and other bits of content that can benefit your reputation.
When you have a blog site and are regularly posting content, you will grow your personal actor brand in the search engines. This will provide additional exposure to who you are and the work you create as a performer.
Skip The Noise
There are website service companies that talk about being free to join. You are offered an easy sign up and the cost factor is zero.
The problem is that you are limited in your capabilities of having a visually pleasing site. You aren’t hosted on your own solid domain, which is a factor in your search rankings if someone looks you up. You sometimes have to accept the company’s ads on your own actor website. This will make you look totally unprofessional.
You need to have your own solid actor website with full control.
Building Your Own Actor Website
In today’s day and age, building your own actor website is easier than it ever was before. Not to say that you won’t run into a few obstacles here and there.
The upside is that it is one of the smartest strategies you can use to get your creative work noticed. Whether you are an actor, filmmaker, writer or whichever…building a platform is important.
Look at your actor website as your platform.
A platform is your stage. It is the place you can create and share your work to an audience of millions. What fascinates me about the internet is that it is a place you can put your artistry literally in front of the entire world. All through your computer and what you decide to place there.
Let’s walk through some of the important steps to get your actor website up and running.
Step #1 – Hosting Your Site
Web hosting is like paying rent, just no where near the cost of living. You pay a hosting company a monthly or yearly fee to keep your piece of the internet alive and well.
I would recommend paying a yearly fee or even up to three years in advance. The longer the term the less expensive your hosting plan will be.
A hosting company has what is called a web server. On this web server, all of your images and text documents remain.
You may have the option of having a shared hosting plan or your own server plan. Shared hosting plans are less money. The downside of being on a shared server is that it is shared with 500-1000 other websites. If one of those websites gets hacked or goes down with a virus, chances are you may have some downtime on your own website. If you are with a good hosting company, this usually is not a problem. It is good to weigh your options based on price and your own specific needs like how much stored space you will want.
You really shouldn’t have to spend more than a 1-200 dollars on a yearly hosting plan. That’s about standard. Ask about speed and technical support. You will need tech support because you will most likely mess something up sooner or later if you are a newbie. Not to scare you but it comes with the territory and if you have a good tech team in place via hosting, you will be fine.
Make sure you understand the details of the plan packages being offered. Make a call and ask questions to learn even more about how a hosting company can serve your goals.
Step #2 – Registering Domain Name
Your domain name is essentially your own name. There are cases when your real name is taken. You will have to create a derivative of your name. Get a name that is as close as possible to the spelling of your acting name.
Try to stay away from hyphens because they tend to get lower traction in search engines. Also, try to stick to a .com rather than another extension. This is also helpful for domain strength and branding.
Step #3 – Planning Your Actor Website and CMS Installation
Search around the internet and examine other actor websites. Get an idea and feel for what you like. Select three of the best sites that appeal to you the most. You will use the example sites you found as a rough guide for your own design goals.
Working with WordPress is a smart choice as your CMS. CMS stands for content management system. This is how you go about organizing all of your actor content for your site. WordPress is a terrific community that offers a ton of help and there is an abundance of free web design themes at your disposal. Search for a theme that is most similar to those three site samples you picked out. you may even discover something much more robust.
Be sure to get what is called a ‘responsive theme’. This is a theme that is flexible for mobile and tablet devices.
Keep a few things in mind when it comes to your design.
Navigation – keep it simple. You main navigation bar, which is your top menu bar should have the main categories you wish to feature on your actor website. Things like photos, reel, resume ect. Make it easy for the people who visit your site to navigate.
Color – again, keep it simple. Having a minimal but accurate website to see things easily is very beneficial. It isn’t necessary to a splashes of color all over your site in order to gain attention. It could have the opposite effect.
Spacing – don’t have things on your website pages squished together. It’s always better to give everything some space to make the look of your site aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Once you’ve found your free WordPress theme it’s time to install it on the backend of your hosting service. A good hosting provider will sometimes walk you through the couple of steps. You can also YouTube and Google how to perform a WordPress Theme installation within minutes. There are a ton of videos and documentation available online.
With a little bit of time and patience, you will be capable of doing this.
Step 4 – Promotion
This is the fun part. Once you have your WordPress installed through your hosting service, you will now have your website live on the internet.
Now that your site is built you get to spread the word about it. Start with your immediate network and branch out. This includes social media platforms you use regularly. Also, keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to leave your website link to any email send out you conduct with agents, casting directors, filmmakers and other colleagues.
Step 5 – Website Maintenance
Every so often WordPress has an update which you should always do in order to increase your website security. Keeping an eye on your site comes with the territory of owning one.
There may be changes you wish to make over time or updates you wish to keep making with new content. All of this constitutes as site maintenance.
It’s always good to test things out and see what works and what makes you most happy.
This is the overall concept of completing your own actor website. There are many more details involved but these are considered the main points to follow to get your site up.
It will take time, especially if you are new to creating your own site. There may be some growing pains but nothing you won’t be able to handle if you go gradually.
The amount of resources online to steer you forward to completion is remarkable. Have faith in the facts and steps to follow and you will have your actor website up and running before you know it!