The process of creating and maintaining a website is frustrating for many people.
Working with a website designer can be a slow process: a lot of back and forth communication. When you finally get your website made, it needs to be tweaked, updated, and kept up-to-date. That’s why we started ActorGear, to streamline the process ensuring no failures.
Since our inception some other options have come online that allow you to create a website. Yet, even with these new options, there are plenty of ways to make bad websites. Here are some updated do’s and don’ts when creating your actor website.
Top 6 Mistakes Actors Make on Their Website
1. You are in a relationship with your web designer – A LOT of people get screwed when their EX boyfriend or EX girlfriend or COUSIN or NERD WHO HAS A CRUSH ON YOU BEFORE YOU GOT A BOYFRIEND is doing their website. Suddenly updates don’t get processed as fast as you would like.
2. Amateur Design – Even with many new online tools, there are a ton of ugly sites. Review example sites that a designer has first and also recognize that just by being able to make a site go live doesn’t mean great results.
3. Overly Flowery Language – Write your bio and news articles as if you were reporting on yourself. Be descriptive, but don’t exaggerate and use words like “starlett” Describe your credits and experience. Stick to the facts and don’t be a “big head” bride-zilla like wanna be. Be somebody that people actually want to work and get along with.
4. Flash Websites – Flash websites are done, they aren’t supported on all phones and are now by default, automatically not supported on websites. (Steve Jobs killed flash when he announced Apple was not supporting flash on the iPhone and everybody eventually followed his lead)
5. Background Music – I realize people want to create an experience, but with the internet, the idea is that users can control their experience. So going along with that train of thought…don’t even think about having background music on autoplay when somebody enters your site. Please, no.
6. Non-updatable Website – Keeping your website current is required. People want to see that you are active. So to accomplish this, go with a solution that makes it easy for you to log-in online to your site and make updates to your pictures, reels, bio, news, contact info, and resume.
Now that we have talked about mistakes…lets get positive and talk about what you ABSOLUTELY do need to do!
The 7 Essentials For An Actor’s Website
1. High Quality Photos – The website is there to frame your content beautifully and quickly. However if the content your website is framing is unprofessional and of low quality then you look bad. The idea of you only get one shot to make a first impression is very real in the entertainment world. If you dont have high quality photos, then just show a contact form till you do. But get those photos ASAP!
2. Behind the Scenes Photos – Posting head shots is important, but lets add a little variety, lets show the casting directors, studio exec, producers, directors that you are active and making it happen!
3. Social Media Links – Make sure you include links to your Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, and Instagram.
4. Bio – Give an overview of your career, let the audience or prospective director quickly learn about your journey….but don’t write a book! Keep it around 3 paragraphs…thats it.
5. Speed – Your site needs to load fast on a computer AND on a mobile phone. That means if you have a slide show of 10 meg photos on your front page…things are gonna be slow. Don’t make those mistakes.
6. User Friendly – Make sure the site is easy to navigate on both a computer and a phone.
7. Reels – Use YouTube or Vimeo for hosting your reels. Google and Vimeo spends a lot of money on servers (compression, colocation, resizing…and lot of other tech stuff) to make sure the videos load fast and play smoothly. However, be careful when using YouTube, sometimes YouTube will ‘block’ a reel from working because of copyright infringement on one of your clips. Vimeo doesn’t seem to have the same issues.
So now you have the basics down for what to think about when making your website for your acting career. Be thoughtful about the process, your website is very important and will be the cornerstone of the information you put out to the world.
PS: At the risk of tooting our own horn…we are going to toot our own horn. ActorGear addresses all these issues and more. After you sign up…we will also walk you through the process. We make sure failure is not an option. So when figuring out how to build a website…check us out! This is not just a side hobby, we are founded by real designers and real computer scientists with real degrees…so when we say we have you covered…we aren’t Trumping (aka pretending).