Since I re-launched my website I have had many compliments coming in telling me how nice it looks. I have had questions about where I got the template, who designed the website, how much did it cost, what hosting am I using... (do I even know what hosting means...?)
So I decided to dedicate a whole post to this topic because I know if someone would have told me that it's not as scary as it sounds, months before I took the plunge, I wouldn't have probably procrastinated for this long. So here's the story about how it all came together and how to make it done quickly!
GO Live HQ has been recommended to me by a couple of industry peers just a little under a year ago when I started asking about different website options. Go Live HQ has a couple of different options to making your website look what you want it to look like. I went for the most obvious and easy option and purchased their template to redesign what I had.
My website is based on Squarespace Platform. I was with Photoshelter before and I felt like it was a little expensive for what it offered. My aim was to create a website fast, to start showcasing my portfolio and attract clients immediately. Squarespace offers great variety of different website templates for its value and has a great support library in getting you started to design it the way you want.
When purchasing a template from Go Live HQ you don't get to just.. copy and paste the code to have the whole thing up and running in two minutes. There are a number of educational videos (aimed at launching quick, so it's not painful, I promise) explaining a step by step procedure in getting the template to look the way it was in the demo when you purchased it. So have patience, assign a good 2-3 days to work on it and don't delay because the whole point of it all is to go live with your new website as fast as possible.
In my experience, it is a lot of work. Between designing the new content, inserting the images, getting the hang of the Photoshop (if you don't already know how to use it) and perhaps organising a couple of shoots for new photographs of either yourself or your work, it will take a good few days dedicated just to that! For example, I had almost all of the content ready to go.. I had to re-write the bio section and re-take the head shots of myself. I had to just roll with the old head shots and wait a week until the shoot came through, but nevertheless, my new website was already up and running. I started on Sunday and finished on Monday evening.
Too many excuses in relation to content and how to make it all happen fast? Luckily in our industries when you work for yourself, something like building a website and following the rules is easy. You don't have to put abstract ideas into a plan, it's already done out for you. So for me it was easy, following the steps and getting it done. Make a commitment to someone else to motivate you in having it done sooner, like putting up a post on instagram, or facebook ... Keep the promise and deliver on time. Don't procrastinate on the little details, get them filled in after, no excuses! Organise shoots for a week after the website launch, you'd be surprised how quickly it will all come together when you REALLY need to fill in the spots!
All in all, there are no rules in terms of launching your website. Just don't procrastinate and be okay with the mistakes that you may make. Trust me, very few will notice! Good luck with the building and I hope that in coming up to the new year a new website will be a new beginning of something that you can be proud of :)