How to Easily Build and Host a Graphic Design Portfolio Website
July 29, 2019
- Use Wordpress
- Find Easy, Reliable WordPress Hosting
- Find a Great WordPress Theme
- Install and Setup the Theme
- Optimize Website Speed
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine running a graphic design business without a website. There are several reasons why graphic designers need a professional website. First, it’s much easier to market graphic design services with a website. Graphic designers can add a portfolio to their sites and showcase the samples of their work to potential customers. Second, a website serves as a powerful online advertising tool. If graphic designers promote their sites efficiently, they can land a lot of new customers.
Developing a website from scratch can be expensive. Also, it’s a time-consuming process. As a graphic designer you can create a design for a website yourself and reduce web development costs this way. However, don’t forget that you still need to pay to a HTML coder to get your design transformed into a real website and to a PHP developer to get an admin panel for your website created. It’s also important to note that SEO services will increase your bill.
Let’s assume that your budget doesn’t allow you to hire web development professionals to build your website. In this case, you should think about a Website builder that is balanced for artists and creators, or you even better - Wordpress. If you choose to have a website on Wordpress, you’ll get a website with a ready CMS. So, you’ll not need to hire a PHP programmer for backend development. This will help you save a lot of money on website building expenses.
WordPress is the perfect choice for people who want to easily build an awesome graphic portfolio website on a budget. The platform has everything that you need to create a great-looking, mobile friendly, SEO optimized and fully functioning website either for a graphic design agency or for a freelance graphic designer.
Today, we’ll explain why it’s so important to use Wordpress platform for developing a graphic design portfolio site. We’ll outline the key benefits of building a website with Wordpress. Additionally, we’ll provide you with the step-by-step instructions that you need to follow to create a good website for a graphic design business.
Wordpress is the number one website building platform in the world. According to the latest Wordpress statistics, about 19,500,000 websites (up to 34% of the entire web) are built on Wordpress and this number is growing daily. The statistics show that more than 500 new Wordpress sites are created every single day.
The reality is building a website with Wordpress has many great benefits. Wordpress platform is well-known for its best content management system. With this type of CMS you’ll find it easy to create menus as well as pages, change content and do many other things on your Wordpress site.
It’s worth noting that Wordpress offers a large selection of themes and plugins. So, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to pick the right type of Wordpress theme that meets your design preferences and fits your budget.
The vast majority of Wordpress themes are 100% responsive. That means that your graphic design website will look great on all types of mobile and desktop devices and automatically adapt for any screen size.
Wordpress is an easy to use platform. So, you don’t need to have coding skills in order to make changes on your website. With Wordpress, you’ll not find it hard to adjust your graphic design site for your needs.
As we have already mentioned, a graphic design site needs a portfolio. It’s pretty easy to add a portfolio to a Wordpress site. All that you need to do for this is to install a Wordpress portfolio plugin on your website. Or, you can pick a Wordpress theme with a built-in portfolio.
Wordpress offers great opportunities for search engine optimization. There are many SEO plugins (such as All in One SEO, Broken Link Checker, SEO Friendly Images, SEO Rank Reporter, Platinum SEO, SEO by Yoast, SEO Ultimate and others) that have been designed to make it easy for you to do different types of SEO tasks for your website. The plugins will provide you with suggestions on what needs to be done in order to improve website’s SEO. If you take advantage of these SEO plugins, it will not take you too long to do on-site optimization of your website.
Find Easy, Reliable WordPress Hosting
It all begins with the preparation. At the first stage, you need to find a web hosting service for your Wordpress site. Bear in mind that Wordpress hosting selection is something that needs to be taken very seriously. And of course, you should aim to find a reliable Wordpress hosting. The question is – what to look for in a Wordpress hosting service? In fact, there are many factors to take into consideration before deciding what hosting package you need to purchase.
There are different types of Wordpress hosting services including shared, VPS hosting and dedicated WordPress hosting. So, it’s important for you to buy a hosting package that meets your needs. Your choice largely depends on the amount of resources (disk space, traffic, bandwidth and so on) that your Wordpress site is likely to consume in the future.
Clearly, a small website for graphic design business is unlikely to consume high amounts of resources. That’s why sharing Wordpress hosting would be the right option. Sharing Wordpress hosting is the cheapest option. However, you simply don’t need to pay more.
It’s crucial for you to deal a reliable Wordpress hosting provider that has been around for a long time and built a solid reputation on the market. Such hosting companies usually have a lot of positive customer reviews left by happy customers. You need to do the research and analyze customer reviews carefully. This will help you figure out what people say about various Wordpress hosting providers in advance.
Additionally, you need to pay a close attention to hosting plan’s features and benefits. Try to find a hosting company that provides clients with 24/7/365 customer support, 99.9% uptime, one-click Wordpress installation, DDOS protection and SSL encryption.
Of course, you need to analyze the price of hosting service. However, the quality of a hosting service always needs to be the number one priority. We recommend you not to economize on web hosting services. It makes sense to pay more for Wordpress hosting service if it’s worth it.
When choosing hosting services for a website it’s important to take into account your current location. If, for example, a graphic design studio is located in the United Kingdom then it would be better to consider finding UK-based Wordpress hosting.
It’s important to know that the vast majority of Wordpress hosting companies provide their customers with a so called 30 day money back guarantee. That means that you can cancel a hosting service within 30 days and get a full refund if for some reasons you are not happy with your current hosting provider. Take advantage of a 30 day money back guarantee period to test your Wordpress hosting services!
Find a Great WordPress Theme
The next important step you need to take is to pick a great WordPress theme for a graphic design site. ThemeForest is known for being the world’s leading online store that specializes in Wordpress themes. ThemeForest has the largest collection of themes and thousands of satisfied customers. The store offers Wordpress themes and other solutions for different types of websites.
ThemeForest is the right place to search for WordPress themes that can be used to build sites for graphic designers. All themes are conveniently sorted by categories on ThemeForest. Go to Web Themes & Templates / Wordpress / Creative / Portfolio and you’ll get the access to a nice collection of Wordpress portfolio themes. Right now, more than 1200 WordPress portfolio themes are available for sale.
It’s also important to note that ThemeForest is very selective when it comes to approving themes. Wordpress developers need to meet the strict criteria in order to get their themes approved. Only high quality themes that have no errors are allowed to be sold at ThemeForest. What is great about WordPress themes available at ThemeForest is that they are constantly worked on and improved.
You’ll quickly realize that there is no shortage of Wordpress themes available for graphic design agencies and graphic designers at ThemeForest. Thus, you may find it difficult to make a smart choice. Let’s try to figure out what type of a Wordpress theme is the best option for a graphic design website.
First of all, you need to take a look at the theme’s design. Wordpress themes for graphic designers come in many different design styles. It’s a great idea to use a Wordpress theme of either minimal or modern design style for a graphic design portfolio website. Additionally, you need to pick a Wordpress theme that contains the most important pages of a website. Give a preference to a Wordpress theme that includes Home page, About Us page, Contact Us page as well as Portfolio section and Blog section.
Plus, you need to explore the key features of Wordpress themes for graphic designers. Wordpress themes for graphic designers usually have multiple templates and layouts. So, you’ll be able to easily customize each of your site’s web pages. If a Wordpress theme includes a page builder tool, then you’ll be able to create your own page layouts for a website. Does a Wordpress theme of your choice come with multiple color schemes? If so, you’ll have an opportunity to pick a color scheme that suits your design preferences.
It really makes sense to use filters when searching for themes at ThemeForest. Filters allow searchers to sort themes by features, sales, ratings, date and price. Using filters will help you narrow down your search and get exactly what you are looking for quickly. As a result, you’ll find it easy to make the right decision. Once you pick a good Wordpress theme for your graphic design website at ThemeForest, just buy it and download theme’s files to your computer.
Install and Setup the Theme
Have you selected a Wordpress hosting package and picked a suitable theme for your graphic design website? At the next stage, you have to install and configure your Wordpress theme. First, you need to login to your hosting CPanel, pick Wordpress script and install it on your domain name. You need to know that the installation process is simple and doesn’t take too much time. Actually, you’ll be able to create a Wordpress site in just a few clicks.
After a Wordpress install, your site will look pretty basic. Now, it’s time to login to your Wordpress panel (also known as backend). Go to Wordpress panel’s left hand navigation and then select Appearance / Themes and finally you’ll get the access to the standard Wordpress themes. Now, you have two options. You can either activate one of the standard themes or upload your Themeforest theme.
If you would like to use theme that you’ve purchased on Themeforest, then click on Add Themes / Upload theme to make this happen. It takes no longer than 1 minute to upload a theme to a website. After that, you need to activate the theme on your Wordpress site.
Each of Wordpress themes has unique design and its own set of features. Traditionally, Wordpress themes come with additional plugins. When the theme becomes live, you can also install extra plugins such as Revolution Slider, Visual Composer Page Builder plugin, WooCommerce WordPress plugin, WordPress multilingual plugin (WPML), Contact Form 7 plugin, Templatera, Ultimate Addons and others. Each of these plugins can improve your Wordpress site’s functionality.
Now, your website will look differently. You can go to Appearance / Theme Options in order to customize the theme. When it comes to website customization, Wordpress offers too much flexibility and freedom. You can pick homepage layouts, header layouts, blog post formats, theme colors, fonts as well as navigation styles for your graphic design business website. But most importantly, Wordpress makes it possible for you to change feel and look of a website in an easy-to-use theme options panel. You don’t need to make any changes to website’s code.
Finally, you’ll get a unique graphic design portfolio website that will help your business stand out from the crowd. Without a doubt, your website will make a lasting impression on visitors and positively affect their decision.
Optimize Website Speed
There has been a lot of talk about the importance of optimizing website speed. It goes without saying that a delay in page load time can have a huge negative impact on your website and your graphic design business.
We all know that slow websites are bad for SEO. So, your website is unlikely to rank well in the search results if its web pages load slowly. There is no question that a slow loading website needs to be fixed. Otherwise, you’ll get less search traffic and your business will have a decrease in sales.
Slow load times also negatively affect site’s conversions. If people find that your site is slow to load, then they are likely to go away and choose your competitors. And of course, you should do everything possible to prevent these kinds of things from happening.
Normally, your site’s pages should load within 2 seconds. If this doesn’t happen, you have to speed up your website. No matter why your website’s pages load slowly, you need to take an action quickly and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of plugins that allow you to improve Wordpress site speed. For example, you can take advantage of Smush plugin to make your website fast. Smush scans a website and detects images that negatively affect load times and then compress them. This helps decrease page load speed. W3 Total Cache is another good plugin for website speed optimization. The plugin decreases load times, improves user experience and boost site’s performance. The plugin serves static pages instead of dynamic content and that’s why the load on server is reduced. As a result, a Wordpress website loads faster. W3 Total Cache allows your Wordpress site to be online even during traffic spike hits. You can also improve your Wordpress website speed and performance with CDN server like CloudFlare.
As you can see, Wordpress is an ideal choice for graphic design agencies and freelance graphic designers. All hosting providers support Wordpress hosting these days. Web hosting packages come with click to install scripts that include Wordpress. The vast majority of hosting companies offer special Wordpress packages. So, you’ll be able to install Wordpress on web hosting in just a few clicks.
It’s not a problem to find a good Wordpress theme for a graphic design website. Wordpress themes have mobile friendly and SEO optimized layouts. A lot of Wordpress themes come with a portfolio. So, you’ll get a ready graphic design website with a built-in portfolio if you pick this type of Wordpress theme.
Wordpress sites are fully customizable. It’s pretty easy to change colors, create web pages and add menus on a Wordpress site. That means that you’ll find it easy to adjust your graphic design site. You also don’t need to have HML knowledge to customize a Wordpress website and update content on its web pages.
There are plenty of plugins that have been designed to make the life of Wordpress site owners easy. You can use Wordpress plugins to expand website’s functionality, improve user experience, optimize website speed and boost site’s SEO.
More and more graphic designers prefer to build their sites on Wordpress. People choose to use Wordpress for various reasons. Generally speaking, Wordpress has everything that’s needed to create a graphic design portfolio website. Use the power of Wordpress to take your graphic design business to the next level! Best of luck!
This article was written by Hosting.co.uk, a fast and reliable UK-based web hosting company, offering 24/7 support and a 30 day money-back guarantee.