Part 1: What should you include on your first website?

My first website. I remember sitting on our sofa in college and designing the site that would officially launch my business. It makes me feel all nostalgic. I decided I wanted to be a wedding photographer and read every article I could find online. I knew I loved photography and it was time to make it all look professional. A facebook page could only take me so far!

If you're in the early stages of website development, know that it is a lot of work. First, you need a logo - and the rest of the branding suite. Then you need to design a site that fits your brand and speaks to your ideal client. If you have the resources, hire a designer. Creme Brands is brilliant. It's insane how good she is. Here are a few website essentials... 

Business Tips - What you should include on your first website

1. A PHOTO OF YOURSELF

You will want this photo to truly look like you. I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes the photos we love most of ourselves don't reflect our personalities as well. Schedule head shots with a photographer whose style fits your brand and send the gallery to a few good friends. Ask them which photo looks most like you and use that image on your about page! 

Consider what the angle and distance says about you and your brand. Are you up close and personal? Are you looking off to the side or straight at the camera? Are you standing at a distance? these slight changes make a huge impact in your brand!

Related: New headshots for July 2016 Goals

Business Tips - What to include on your first website

2. CONTACT FORM AND AN EMAIL

You will want a way for people to contact you and it's typically easiest if you have a contact form. You will want to make sure that the tab order works correctly and that the person inquiring has to leave their email address. It wouldn't be much fun to receive an inquiry if you didn't have a way to reply! This is why I also ask for the phone number - in case the email address is typed incorrectly. It happens more often than you would think! 

Related: What making your bed and your inbox have in common

3. SOCIAL BUTTONS

I made the mistake of leaving social buttons off my site until the end of 2015. The end of 2015! The truth is that I didn't know how to put them on my wordpress site and it was always at the bottom of my list. I finally figured it out, but let me tell you that Squarespace is the bomb. Really. It's all drag and drop and I can add social buttons anywhere I want!

Stay tuned for part two!

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