Actor websites should be a no brainer in 2016 and yet there still seems to be alot of red tape preventing actors from achieving a website presence. The fact of the matter is that you can do this yourself. That’s where I would like to step in and hopefully provide for you another alternative that will get things going for you. Whether it’s money or technical difficulty, let’s put all that trouble to the side and get your actor website up and looking awesome in 4 simple steps.
Here’s some good news facts for you:
- You don’t need a professional web design company or guru.
- You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- You don’t need to be a coding genius to do it on your own.
- You don’t need to spend days and weeks out of your life to get it done.
Here’s the real cost factor you should be spending:
You can get your own actor website up and running within a day. With experience, within the hour.
- Domain Name (usually 10 bucks for the entire year)
- Monthly hosting fee (something like 15 bucks per month)
- Yearly hosting fee (around 140-160 bucks per year)
Certainly not breaking the bank, right? With a little help, I will save you some dough and get you going on a nice website of your own for a fraction of the cost.
Step One – Domain Name
First move you need to make is buying what is called a domain name. That is your url, which is basically the name of your website (like facebook.com or google.com). Using your name is the most common purchase if you are an actor, but if your name is taken and it does happen, be creative and try to slightly alter it, perhaps adding a hyphen in between your first and last name for example (Jimmy-Whoever.com) or add something like tv or film to the end of your name if you have to. There’s always a way. Play with it so it still makes sense and can still serve your purpose.
Great place to buy your domain name is Bluehost. It’s about 10 dollars but they sometimes offer first timer deals for less. You will need to sign up for a free account and then you can make your domain name purchase.
Step Two – Hosting
Buy your yearly hosting fee (bluehost) because its cheaper per year but if you are hard up on cash, don’t sweat it, you can pay monthly, although it will cost a bit more, it will still buy you time if you want to purchase the yearly hosting fee at a later date. It will also get you going up on the internet for less…with the domain purchase and monthly hosting fee, you are looking at something around 25-30 dollars. Not too shabby.
FYI, a hosting fee is the company that represents your website online so people can gain access and visit your website. Without a hosting fee, you cannot have your website live on the internet.
Step Three – WordPress Installation
This step has a few baby steps inside of it but really isn’t difficult to do. Wordpress is a free content management system. Without sounding too fancy, it’s an easy and quick way to get your website up online that will permit you to upload your headshot, resume, reel and all that good stuff you want industry peops to know about you. Basically, it helps you manage your acting material.
WordPress has a ton of free templates to choose from and all you need to do is choose one and bam, you have a website designed. Make sure you host your domain on your own server with a company like Bluehost or someone else, not on WordPress itself because it will be better for you in search engines for people to find you. Plus, it comes off as more professional when you have your own domain name regardless.
WordPress provides you with their basic template when you first install them to your site. The way you install wordpress is simple. While you are logged in to the control panel of your hosting company, you scroll down to the “install wordpress” button.
Look at the image below and you will see from the fourth row down under the WEBSITE blue bar, Click on the blue icon called Install WordPress.
You will then be taken to the WordPress installation page as seen below. Click on the green install button.
The next page is where you select your domain name and press the green check domain button.
The next quick step is to select the two check boxes you see below in the image.
Once you select both boxes, a small menu will appear. This is where you fill in your username and password as seen below.
Once you are done filling in your username and password, click on the green Install Now button.
It should take less than 30 seconds to have install Wordpress on your domain name. You will see a green progress bar in the upper right corner as it installs to show you when installation is complete.
Once installation is finished, you can visit your website domain name to login and begin working on your website.
If your website name is www.emily-whoever.com in order to login to the back end of your website you need to type the url as www.emily-whoever.com/wp-admin and you will be taken to a log in page.
The /wp-admin after the .com is necessary if you wish to login to the backend of your website. This is where you place the same username and password that you made earlier while installing WordPress in your control panel. You can change templates until you find something you like best.
Step Four – Tweaking not Twerking Folks
Tweaking your website with your information is probably the step that will give you the most difficulty but trust me, it’s not as hard as you may imagine. Wordpress templates are designed with blogging in mind, so, at times there may be a template you really dig but may need to make some minor adjustments to in order to give it the look you would like it to have. What’s cool about WordPress templates is that there are thousands of them for free and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny to have a nice looking website. Do a search online for “free WordPress templates” and you will find pages full.
I would always recommend looking into WordPress forums if there is something you want changed and 9 times out of 10 you will find the answer. In case reading forums just isn’t your thing, than check this website out www.wpcurve.com These guys are extremely professional and affordable, plus you will still be WAY ahead of the game money wise if you need to use them versus having your website designed by someone else from scratch.
Again, there may be a slight learning curve and that’s to be expected but once you get things down, it’s quite simple. The most beneficial thing about this is not only will you be cutting down on cost, you will have your actor website profile online for all to see. Also, one of the best things about doing your own actor website is that you can make changes at any time you desire. You may make updates whenever you feel like it, without having to spend additional money on maintenance fees from a designer.
Hope this helps! =)