Creating a Website | Where do you Start?
I received a call from one of my besties, looking for advice on how to create a website. She is a recent new mom, as well as an amazing Pilates instructor. She's been creating blog posts to target young women and new mother's who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Sounds amazing right? Insert first problem here: 1.) She has no platform to posts them to 2.) Nor does she know where to start. I couldn't help but feel her pain. That's exactly how I felt not too long ago when I wanted to create my own website! I had all these pictures and wanted to put them out there for the world to see, but had no idea where to start. I thought this would make an awesome blog post: Creating a Website | Where do you start?
STEP ONE: INSPIRATION
What do you like? I know, simple question, but seriously... what websites are you in love with? You follow them for a reason, so what draws you to these fabulous sites? Is it the content, the way the photos are displayed, the easy navigation?? Getting to know what you like is the first step to understanding your website style.
Below are my two favorite websites. The first is a blog from the infamous wedding photographer Jasmine Star. This woman inspires me every single day!!! I love her work, I love her style, and I love her website! The second is to my go-to style website The EveryGirl. Again, talk about inspiration... from culture to business tips, this site has everything to make you the ultimate every girl! Feel free to click the images below to view these two fabulous websites. Do you see any similarities? I love the abundance of images, the way Jasmine categorizes her photos, and the clean simple beauty both sites seem to portray.
So, why do these other websites matter? "I thought I was trying to create my own website", is probably what you're saying right now. Again, it goes back to inspiration. I wanted to use these sites as a benchmark for my own creation. When I created my website, I knew what categories to cover, the style and feel I wanted, and lastly how I wanted the content displayed based on my research from these fabulous sites. Viewing other people's work allows you to brainstorm what you want your website to become. Do your research, and let yourself be inspired.
STEP 2: CREATION
You know what you want, but now how do you make these amazing ideas a reality? Search "build a website" and the two most popular website creation sites that will more than likely pop up are Wix and Squarespace. I have used both. I first went with WIX, mainly because I liked the style of templates available, but it was harder for me to navigate for my portfolio. So I tried Squarespace, and basically fell in love. I found that the site was better suited to display my work, with more tools available to help create a personalized look and feel. However, this is a matter of opinion. Both offer a free trial where you can test various templates, so there is really no risk. Click the links below to view the template portfolios available.
By the way, you don't have to use either of these websites, there are plenty of website creators out there! Just be sure to find one that fits what you're looking to create based on your benchmark websites. And as a quick tip, most of them will host your domain as well. So I would look for one that has that feature available, this way you're able to keep all working materials with the same company.
STEP 3: HAVE FUN!
There is no right or wrong way to create a website (I know...insert gasp here). But I will say this, your website is a reflection of you. When I started this website almost a year ago, I wanted to display my photography, but at the same time make it unique to my style. I change things on my site ALL the time. It's all trial and error, and your first go at it out of the gate will not be perfect, and that's OK. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, so just be open to having fun with it.
Hope this helps! If you have any tips, suggestions, or questions, please feel free to comment below :)
And I can't wait for my friend to launch her blog about healthy lifestyle living for young women and new mom's... stay tuned!