Having a homepage isn't something special anymore, however having a homepage that is actually working for you is something completely different.
Therefor I would like to share some insights with you. We all know it! When a homepage isn't esthetically pleasing and user friendly, we’re off and we’ll never visit again.
I would love to help you to prevent your homepage from being one of those pages.
So this is part seven of the BIZ-Checklist, all about homepages!
As a creative there are certain things that should be on your page like your portfolio, so let’s dive right into part seven of the BIZ-Checklist:
Do you have the following content on your homepage?
This part is probably pretty obvious, because of the integrated explanation.
If you however do have questions please let me know! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Are you using images, videos, and texts online and offline of which you own the rights?
Or do you have a written permission to use them?
Make sure you always own the rights of everything, or at least have a written permission to use them. This is really crucial because when using someone else’s intellectual property you could risk getting in a lawsuit and you might end up having to pay really high fines.
The other thing is, as creatives we all know that it sucks when someone else is copying your ideas and esthetics, so make sure you’re not hurting someone else!
Do you know how you can use your own camera to make beautiful images of your works?
If you’re unsure about your photography skills it is time for you to learn how to use a camera.
Sign up for a photography course. You will always need a lot of beautiful imagery, so make sure you can take decent photos yourself.
In some occasions you might want to hire a professional, but taking beautiful photos is just something you will have to do every day.
Having bad imagery can turn away potential customers really quick, so make sure to prioritize this!
Do you know how to enhance your pictures?
It’s great if you know how to use software from Adobe, but if you have no idea then I would recommend to try out canva and pickmonkey.
I’ve never used them myself, because I just love photoshop and illustrator, but I have heard lots of great things about both of them.
Is the style of your homepage matching your style guide?
The visual appearance of your homepage should be like everything visual you’re creating and match your overall esthetics. The esthetics of your actual work play a big part in this, but there is more to it. If you don't have a style guide yet, make sure you read my blog post about creating your style guide (link).
Always remember the visitors of your homepage will decide whether they stay or go in seconds!
So make sure to use those seconds!
Is the navigation of your homepage user friendly?
Another important thing is of course the usability of your homepage. If the visitor needs to search for what they are looking for they will get frustrated. So always make sure to keep the usability in mind.
When you finished up your homepage, let someone test it. Make sure they haven't been part of the creation process.
It can't hurt to ask someone that isn't tech savvy! You will get a much better idea of how easy it is to navigate through your homepage, then when you ask a tech savvy friend.
Did someone check the spelling grammar of your page?
I really suck with grammar, so I make sure to ask someone to check all the copy I write for my homepage on spelling and grammar mistakes.
I know we all hesitate to let someone check out copy, but it is really smart to do so.
After working on your copy for hours you just can't see the little mistakes anymore, so make sure to ask a friend that is really good in spelling and grammar to check your copy.
Is your homepage mobile friendly?
There are more and more people checking out your homepage from their mobile devices only. So make sure it looks good on them too.
I know this is a big thing and I'm still not happy with how the mobile version of my page looks, but I think this is something we all need to think of.
I love to use Squarespace and they make it pretty easy to create an awesome mobile version of your homepage, so you might want to check that out.
(I'm not being paid to say this, I just really like Squarespace!)
Did you take a look at your page from different browsers and resolutions?
Oh men, you really need to do this!
It was really scary at times to experience what different browsers would do to my beautiful homepage. It took me a while to figure out how I need to change things in order to get it nearly right on all the different browsers. There are still some little things that change between the different browsers, but it isn't something major.
So make sure to test your page!
When working with a designer make sure to ask them to look at the page from different browsers too! But always check it yourself too!
So there you have it!
I know there are so many other things that play a role in creating your own homepage, but I tried to stick to the most important once.
If you’re already really experienced in creating your homepage, you might want to dive a little bit deeper, but for the beginning I think this is already a lot to take into consideration.