If you’re an actor, you probably already know that a website is the superhero of marketing tools. After all, your own virtual real estate lets people know you’re a professional—plus, it’s the one place online where you have complete control over the content.
If you’re a thrifty actor, you may have decided to go the DIY route and are wondering where to start when it comes to a personal website. As an actor and web designer, I’ve put together a list of five steps and resources to consider if you’re wondering how to build your actor website from the ground up.
1. Choose your platform.
There are so many DIY website platforms out there, it can seem overwhelming. Currently, the most popular platforms for actors seem to be Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress. Many actors use these with great success, just remember that even with “easy” platforms, there will be a learning curve when you start so hang in there—it will get easier. And if you have zero money for a website right now, head over to about.me to get yourself a free one-page site!
2. Compress your images.
If there’s one piece of advice I could give all the DIYers out there, it would be to please optimize your images for the web. Believe me, you don’t want any of your web visitors to have to wait for your photos to download because they’ll likely get frustrated and move on to the next site. It’s always best to get web-friendly images from your headshot photographer, but if you didn’t—no problem! Just use one of the many free online image compressors. Try the free sites Imageoptimzer.net or picresize.com. You want to end up with a file about 400 kb (give or take).
3. Pick your font.
Think of your “name font” as your personal logo. The font should reflect your personality and how you want to be perceived in the industry. Here are three free font resources to help you find the perfect font to build your perfect logo
4. Create a banner.
If you want to upgrade your online presence with some cool images and don’t know the first thing about Photoshop, then Canva will be right up your alley. End up with a blog image, banner, or Twitter background that looks clean and professional. Plus, the standard version is totally free!
5. Upload your reel.
If you’re a TV or film actor, it’s super important to include video of your best work on your website. The easiest way to do this is by creating a YouTube account and uploading your demo reel there. Once it’s on YouTube, use the embed code to place it on your website. Your reel will be easily viewable on all devices and you won’t use up any of your website’s allotted storage space. Here’s a handy tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
What are some DIY tools you use that you can’t live without? I’d love to hear about them!
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.