f you are working as an interior designer, you will need a website to showcase your work, describe the services you offer and to provide potential clients with a quick and easy way to get in contact with you. A client will often be looking to invest a significant amount of money when embarking on a project and will typically spend time scrutinising the portfolios of everyone on their list of potential designers.
Ideally, your website will be built by a professional designer, but when you are starting out, you may not be able to afford the expense. Fortunately, there are several do-it-yourself options available. In this article, we will review the most popular services freelancers use to maintain an online presence. You will also learn how to hire a professional designer, if you want some guidance on improving the appearance of your website.
Squarespace (squarespace.com) offers creative individuals the tools they need to create striking, professional-looking websites within just a few hours. After completing a free trial, the cost of maintaining a site starts at £15 per month. Squarespace also acts as a domain broker and can also help you to set up an online store. This is useful, if you wish to sell your own products such as soft furnishings, artwork, or ornaments. You can choose from dozens of website templates, including 16 that have been developed especially for those working in art and design related fields. Squarespace offers a variety of template styles and most are clean and minimalist, encouraging visitors to your website to focus on your work, rather than the site’s design.
Wix (wix.com) has also gained popularity in recent years and is regarded as very easy to use. You can create a website for free using their drag-and-drop site builder and create a gallery that shows off your best work. If you wish to upgrade to a plan that allows you to use a custom domain, remove all Wix branding from your site and take advantage of bonus applications for building forms and boosting the overall performance of your site, you can take out a subscription starting at £7.56 per month. More advanced premium packages are also available, offering high-end features including a professional site review and the option to include an online store on your website.
Site123 (site123.com) advertises itself as “By far the easiest free website builder” and you do not need any coding or web design skills to set up your own portfolio-based website. The “site wizard” guides you through the main steps you need to follow when setting up a site and you can use royalty-free images from their library. All you have to do is copy and paste your written content where indicated and upload photos to your image gallery. Site123 pride themselves on their responsive customer service and are happy to answer any questions you may have prior to signing up. The basic package is free and for £7.56 per month, you can add more storage and bandwidth to your account, remove Site123 branding from your site and link your website with a custom domain name.
Although there are many easy to use applications that make setting up your web presence relatively easy, making your site aesthetically pleasing and unique is not always straightforward. In addition, if you have little experience or training in the visual arts, it can be difficult to ascertain whether the finished product looks clean and professional. If you suspect that your site could look better, consider hiring a web design professional. Online platforms that connect you with experienced web designers include Freelancer (freelancer.com) and Upwork (upwork.com). Be sure to explain precisely what you want and need when advertising the job and ask applicants for work samples, when making your hiring decision.
When building your website, bear in mind that simple designs are often the best. Potential clients will judge your design ability on the quality of your website, so try to choose a style and colour scheme that aligns with your personal approach or specialism. For example, if you specialise in designing commercial interiors or modern homes, a very “clean” design would be a good choice. If you specialise in designing children’s rooms or creating cosy vintage spaces, you can take a softer approach, using bold colours to communicate a sense of playfulness or pastels to convey a feminine aesthetic.
In conclusion, setting up your own website need not take up much time, or cost a lot of money. Try a couple of platforms to see which suits you best, then put aside two or three days to put together a site that fits your needs and personal brand. Browse through some sample websites built using the service on offer, before making a commitment to any package. Remember to update your site, as you gain more experience and add more items to your portfolio.