Welcome to Submit Saturdays, a year-long series of articles in partnership with Squarespace. Be it a professional work website, a shop, a social enterprise or a site that hosts a personal project, Submit Saturdays will showcase the work of creatives around the world who use the online platform Squarespace. This is a great new opportunity to share your projects and ideas with our readers.
So you’ve built your website and it’s out there in the digital ether – but now you’re thinking, “what’s next?” There are a multitude of things you can do once you’ve actually made your website to help keep it fresh and develop it.
At It’s Nice That we visit hundreds of websites every week, so we’ve picked up a few handy hints along the way. Whether you’ve created a professional portfolio, a space to host your student work or a holding page for a new business, here are a few simple tips on how to maintain your website.
Regularly update it
In this digital age, your website is the first place many people will come into contact with you. It speaks for you when you aren’t there and acts like a silent pitch to potential clients, so it’s key that everything on there is a true representation of your work right now. It’s all very well to fill your website with content when you first built it but are you making sure you update it with new stuff? There’s nothing quite so underwhelming as going on a website and finding it hasn’t been updated for over a year. So make sure whenever you complete a project, pass a milestone, or do anything new, make it known on your website too.
Promote big updates
Even if you’re regularly updating your website, you can’t just expect people to come to you. Remind them you’re there and drive people to your site by sending a monthly newsletter. Newsletters allow you create a mini digest of your recent activity, and it’s a great way to communicate new projects or shouting about an upcoming commission.
With Squarespace, its nifty Newsletter Block can be added to your Squarespace website and encourage your audience to subscribe to your newsletter. You’ll need to have a host for your newsletter like MailChimp or Google Drive, but this button allows people to instantly sign up and hear about any updates direct from you.
Track how well your site it performing
Understanding the behaviour of those visiting your site, dwell time, bounce rate and the like will give you a great insight into how to present your content and get people to engage more efficiently with your work. No one looking at your Contact & About page? Maybe signpost it a bit better. Are people really digging your Gallery tab? Try integrating images into other pages. With Squarespace its easy to add Google Analytics to your website with their built-in integration tools, see here for its step-by-step guide
Try diversifying your website
As well as space to showcase your work, it could also be a great place to sell it too. Perhaps you make zines, ceramic sculptures or just can’t stop making linoprints – get a little reward for your hard work by selling your creations directly to you audience.
There are a couple of ways to do this. Many sites – including Squarespace – allow you to link through to existing shops on Etsy or Shopify, meaning people don’t have to do a mad Google search to find your shop. Alternatively if you have a Squarespace account, you could streamline the process with Squarespace Commerce. Working in a similar way to its regular website builder, here you can create a custom shop using any template. To find out more click here.
If you talk about work on your social media accounts, make sure your website links to all of them. That way if you haven’t had chance to document a project properly but you’ve given a taster on Instagram, your audience are still in the know. Naturally, social media updates are a lot quicker to do than updating a website, so you can complement finished work with sketches and experiments. Remember to keep it professional though, no one needs to see your meme obsession on your website, so just keep in mind the other places your updates will appear if you do this.
Likewise, many platforms like Squarespace, allow you to push any new content on your website onto your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr pages, making those social updates a breeze.
Increase your visibility
Another way to increase your visibility is to become a bit more SEO savvy. Search Engine Optimisation means making it easier for people to find you online and you don’t always have to fork out a fortune to make yourself more findable.
As a beginner a couple of easy things to do is; customise site titles and headings; add tags and categories to your posts; use keywords in your URLs; and optimise your images by using Alt tags. SEO is a complex beast but for more easily explained tips, Squarespace has distilled the basics in this handy article.
In partnership with Squarespace
Squarespace is a creation tool enabling individuals to create a great website by giving them the tools to create an elegant solution and get their voice heard in the world of online publishing. Whether for experienced designers or for someone putting together their first website, it makes forming a beautiful platform simple.
If you’re not currently using Squarespace to host your site, the kind folks over there are offering It’s Nice That readers 10% off their services. Sign up here or upgrade your account using the discount code SUBMIT to get 10% off.