Blueprints to build your website and presence by yourself

Todd A
Todd A
Aug 31, 2015 · 2 min read

This is obviously the most unconventional thing I can say: build your website yourself.

In fact, I was uncomfortable when I first thought of including it. But I realize that this is where all this advice is heading.

I’ve divided this section up into blueprints for you to build, launch, and grow your own web presence. Don’t take on too much. And always be open to hiring an expert. Otherwise, have at it…

The Formula

You need:

  1. a website to land in search results

WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA + STRATEGY = PRESENCE

Here are the blueprints for the first two items: Website and Social Media.

A word: I began this guide with a discussion about spending your money on the right things. Whether you are an artist or a businessperson, spending money on a professional service like Squarespace or Bandcamp is spending your money on the right thing. Whether you are an artist or a businessperson, using free sites (like those at Wix) that smother your site in ads or those that lock you into yourname.theirname.com represent you poorly. Be serious about your craft or your business: pay for professional services.

Here are my recommendations for getting your minimum viable website for several professions:

Musician

MINIMUM WEBSITE: Bandcamp

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Facebook Page

EVENTUAL WEBSITE: Squarespace (optional)

Writer

MINIMUM WEBSITE: Medium or Atavist

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter

EVENTUAL WEBSITE: Squarespace or WordPress.com (provided you pay for yourname.com)

Actors / Artists

WEBSITE: Squarespace (list and/or display all your work; remove extraneous pages)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Ello

Restaurant

WEBSITE: Squarespace (put your menu in plain text on the site. NO PDF DOWNLOADS)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter

Business that doesn’t sell any product on the web

WEBSITE: Squarespace

SOCIAL MEDIA: LinkedIn. Twitter and Facebook are optional. (If you use them, go through the proper steps to have a business page there.)

Business that sells products on the web

WEBSITE: Squarespace or Shopify (choose based on the features you need, specifically payment options)

SOCIAL MEDIA: LinkedIn. Twitter and Facebook are optional. (If you use them, go through the proper steps to have a business page there.)

Now you’re ready for a little bit of strategy…

“Seriously, do not start down to the path to a website for your small business until you read Todd A’s book.” — Amazon review

Take Unconventional Website Advice with you. Buy it on Kindle for $1.

Check out good.simple.open for more ideas about doing better work.

Unconventional Website Advice

A web developer gives no-nonsense advice about building…

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