Website for architects is an integral part of an architecture business, in fact it is hard to find a business today not in need of an online portfolio. But what are the dos and don’ts when creating a website for architects and architecture practices.
ARCHISCENE editors talk to DSCENE magazine‘s tech and social media editors to help you create the perfect website for your architecture business:
01 Finding Good Website Builder Platform
Architecture as a strictly visual form demands a practical but also well designed web page. Before starting the design part a good website must start from a good builder platform. We might say this is the 1st step, but if we are honest this is no doubt step 00 before a thought of a website even comes to your mind. Choosing a platform such as the predominant WordPress platform or alternatives such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly may easily come as the first step. These and similar platforms are extremely convenient if you opt for an upload of an already created template. However if you are looking to develop your own web page and your own design options such as Joomla! are the appropriate solution. However, bear in mind more complex options will also require professional web developer help. While for example a WordPress template is easy to adapt to needs of start up architects and architecture practices and their website presentations. When choosing the right website platform make sure the platform itself will allow you to create a web page making SEO optimization an easy task.
02 Functional Website Design
While you as an architect might be impatient to start with the visual, we can’t emphasize strongly enough how important it was to get part 1 of our guide right.
When it finally comes to the design the visual part may be what draws us to a website template or an architects online portfolio in our mind. While the design visual is extremely important for any architecture practice and their online presentation the functionality design of a web page is far more important. A well designed website navigation is to allow your future clients to get the right information about you and your architecture practice, to see the project you are working on and to finally get in touch with you easily. This means easily accessible sections of your website, such as about, contact and projects pages. You can also use a slider plugin to create a slideshow of your best work right on the homepage hero. Additionally if you are an architect or an architecture practice with a much larger portfolio make sure your website allows you to separate the architectural projects part of the web page into sections such as residential, housing, commercial, etc.
03 SEO for Architects And Optimization of A Website
SEO optimization can never be an afterthought, this is the 1st step mistake many architects and small business owners make when creating a web page. A good SEO optimized architects website is the one allowing you to optimize every single web page of your domain from the get-go! SEO for architects is not something you should be doing after your website is already launched, it is an integral part of starting a website. Consulting a SEO expert is often a good way to go for any search engine optimization tasks, however allowing the expert to help you with a well structured web page in place is a true game changer.
A reliable SEO expert will initially analyse your web page, however they are not web builders. A SEO expert’s role is not redesigning your website. Instead they are here to help you fill in the necessary information on your website. Point out the mistakes you are making and help you find your spot on the web. Good SEO optimization does not mean landing on the first page for keywords such as ‘architect‘. If we entertain the thought that is your target, how important is it for an architecture practice to be on the 1st page when somebody searches for the word ‘architect’? Your clients are to primarily search for an architect based on their location. This is something we should never forget. Thus your SEO goals should come with a more local character, with an international focus if working in a very limited niche within various fields of architecture and you are developing as an internationally available business.
Good SEO means showing up in online searches for the right clients, not millions of wrong clients living an ocean away from you.
04 Carefully Curated Portfolio Feed
A portfolio of an architect is similar to a portfolio of a photographer. It grows and shapes throughout the life of a career or an architecture practice. However it must constantly change and evolve. Just as photography style and trends change, so do architecture trends. Make sure your architect’s web page portfolio is continuously updated. Obsolete projects from the start of your career perhaps don’t need to be anymore on your web page. Make sure the architecture projects represent where you are now but also highlight the best of your and your architecture practice work. The projects on your web page also need to be informational. A good architecture portfolio projects hold descriptions of every project, floor plans and images. The description needs to talk about the work in progress behind the projects, your queues from a client and the overall inspiration behind the project. Furthermore it is important to emphasize whether the project is a renovation or an entirely new project.
05 Good Images And Video Are Everything!
Step 5 in our little guide connects incredibly closely with step 4, and both are an integral part of an architect’s website. Good photography can make or break your portfolio! Today photography is a must for any business. However it is important to keep up with the trends. On every social media platform from META‘s Facebook and Instagram to TikTok video has reshaped the way we consume content. Make sure you work with photographers skilled in architecture photography but also videographers skilled in creating visually pleasing architectural content. Today architectural videos drive traffic to renowned magazines such as Architectural Digest but also a myriad of beautiful YouTube channels showcasing the most interesting architecture projects you can imagine. These videos often garner thousands and when beautifully edited even millions of views. Whether we are talking about a stunning seaside multi-million dollar seaside villa or a small 30 square meter apartment (our all time favourite must be the Never Too Small Youtube Channel!)a good video can be the perfect promotional and SEO tool for your architecture business.
06 Company and Architects Team Introduction
Today most businesses try to give their work a personal aspect allowing the clients to get familiar with people “behind the scenes“. While an architect’s website needs to have a well written biography of the leading architects in the company there are additional aspects you can work on to create a better portfolio. Good way for your client’s to get to know you better is creating video content, perhaps describing your work in progress or simply the projects you have worked on. Whether these are interior design projects or full on architectural solutions.
07 Social Media is a Must Have
Finally, we are on the social media corner. This step is already closely connected to steps 5 and 6 yet it is a chapter of its own. Simply said, 10 articles can be written about it. Today at DSCENE publishing, the publisher of ARCISCENE magazine, three Social Media Editors work continuously on updating our social media feeds. That said, whatever the size of your architecture practice, social media can go from a part time job to a full time job for one of your team mates. Whether you choose to engage on YouTube, also a good place to host videos you can embed later onto your website, to post images on photo sharing platforms such as Pinterest this is not an easy 5 min job. These are all ways to simply market your architecture business online. However employing a social media expert to your team can pay off in potentially reaching out hundreds to thousands of new clients. Today’s architect like any of us must also turn into a content creator whether we like that or not.
If you have any additional advice for colleagues and fellow architects let us know in the comments below: