With your goals clearly in mind, it is now important to create the outline for your website. These are the bones on which you will add the flesh. Here, before you dive in, you need to map out the web pages; creating the directory, if you will.
Your Entry PageThis is where your easy to read and remember domain name should lead people. If you are asking yourself, "What is a domain name and be careful with that thing or someone's gonna get hurt!" I'll try to write another post showing you how to operate that kind of heavy equipment with the proper safety measures. Just kidding. It couldn't be easier.
Otherwise, by now we each should have registered our own domain for $7.95 a year (it's cheap, just do it) with one of the many many registrars out there. Something in the form of www.ashortandmemorablename.com. Of course, the shortandmemorablename part should be your business name, if you have one. Point this to your entry page so that if someone types this in their browser they land here. Because, in two weeks, the only thing your prospective client *MAY* remember is the somethingshortandmemorable part.
For those that are REALLY serious, buy more than one domain name and point them all to your site. For me, it is www.glengoffin.com and www.glengoffinphotography.com.
This is also the key point where your gallery or website hosting service comes in. Smugmug makes it pretty easy to do all this. They even have their own domain registry partnership with GoDaddy and can automatically point your domain to your Smugmug site. If you are interested, go HERE.
Favorable First Impressions ... Or Just More Internet Noise?This is your first chance to make your first impression. Oh, right, it's also your last chance. Stick the landing! You know that one image you shot that always gets an, "oooh ... nice!" This is where that one goes.
Having said that. I took a different strategy. Rules are meant to be broken. I have (IMHO) enough decent shots that I put some of the "really decent but not my best" ones on the front page and left the rest to add as hidden gems for later pages. That way, explorers will hopefully find my site progressively more delightful the deeper they go ;D
Wow ... there's a lot to say. I try to keep these blog posts to little bite-size chunks so I'm going to continue this section in the next post.
PS - Another site with some basics is here
PPS - Note to self: Don't chop your models off at the knees anymore.