I find that people think of websites as one-size-only... LARGE.
It scares people out of getting started. Today, I want to debunk that myth.
Websites come in all sizes and prices. Compare a domain "website coming soon" parking page to Wikipedia.com or Amazon.com. Get the picture? One costs ~$20... the others $2+ million!
As you read about website sizes and look at the examples, I'm going to challenge you to think about what would serve you best. The website sizes are...
- Small: Online Business Card (The Present)
- Medium: Current Campaign or Calendar (Present + Near Future)
- Large: Full Portfolio or Museum (Past, Present + Future)
- X-Large: Full Museum, Publishing House and/or Store (Past, Present, Future + Sales)
Let's break them down a bit...
I start all clients with a small website. Sometimes called a landing, cover or splash page... the idea is to put up something today that serves you for tomorrow.
Think of it like an online business card that's equally smart and sexy. In reality, this may be all that you need for a little while...
More examples here.
This is when things get a little nebulous... you're not quite large, but not quite small, right?!
Instead of a small website (basically saying "here's who I am") or a large website (sometimes saying "here's who I am with everything I've ever done"), a medium website is more future focused.
A medium website is perhaps not as precious. It's confidently saying "you know who I am and here's what's happening for the next few months." This is a relatively new website strategy that I hope will inspire you today!
The best example for this is actually KanyeWest.com. Kanye opens with a video, then a link to buy tickets for all of his upcoming shows, and ends with the opportunity to subscribe for email updates.
I like this concept because...
- it forces you to update your website at least every 3-6 months
- it keeps things "clean" and "not overwhelming"
- it should help grow your audience (email subscribers and/or social following)
- it forces you to confidently own the phrase "I am enough"—because you're not trying to prove anything!
Keep in mind that people can still go to Wikipedia, IMDb, IBDb, BroadwayWorld, YouTube, etcetera to learn more about you! For most personal brands, you'll likely want to send subscribers to your social media versus email marketing—you can read my thoughts about both here.
I call this building your dream home. This is what Maggie, Jonathan, Eric and I have built the most of.
A large website highlights the past, showcases the present and positions you for the future. I also call these the "dream home" because it should be the vehicle to help you manifest your goals.
The size difference here is dependent on content—your portfolio or archives.
I'll often refer to Meryl Streep. If she had a website... would she show everything she's ever done and every photo she's ever had taken?
Alternatively, would she choose a curated selection of career highlights? I think you know the answer! ;)
The only difference between a large and extra-large website is the amount of content—whether we're talking about photos, news, reviews, etcetera.
When you add e-commerce... it also ups the ante. Here are some client examples... but also think about Amazon, Wikipedia or The New York Times as other extra-extra-large examples!
Regardless of who you are or where you're at in your career, a website allows you to control your Google results and reputation 24/7 and around the world. Once someone researches you and/or discovers your website, it's about creating results—whether that's an email message, subscription, sale or merely a lasting impression.
What are some of your favorite websites? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.