Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Video Website
Video is rising to be the biggest thing on the Internet since the invention of website builders. Just take a quick look around: The way in which we consume content is changing. More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube alone every day. And social media platforms are constantly releasing new features and algorithm tweaks promoting the use of videos.
In response, these measures have led to more people entering the world of videography, thus significantly increasing competition among amateurs and professionals alike. All and all, if you still don’t have a professional online portfolio, it’s time to create a video website.
Having your own website will allow you to control every detail about how your work is displayed and consumed, and can even be the first step towards a successful video business. The list of benefits is nearly endless, yet the task of building a professional site from scratch might feel daunting. But fear not, this complete guide will show you how to create a video website that takes your work to the next level and leaves your visitors speechless.
These are the steps you need to follow to create a video website that perfectly represents your work:
Identify your goals
Select the right content
Find the perfect layout
Add the necessary pages
Show off your social skills
Do your SEO
Look your best on mobile
Ask for honest feedback
Keep it updated
01. Identify your goals
The very first step on your journey to create a video website has little to do with the actual building, or with the website at all. Before you start working on how you want your online site to look and what you want to show on it, you'll need to take a step back and visualize your journey as a videographer. What is the focus of your work? Where do you see yourself in five years time? What is it that you want to achieve with your videos? Answering these questions in advance will allow you to understand what you need on your site and set guidelines and goals for your online presence.
Much like artists and media creators across diverse fields who choose to create an online portfolio, most video creators create a professional site with three purposes in mind: To share their very best work, centralize their online presence, and allow potential clients to contact them easily.
But the possibilities of a video website are nearly endless.
You can use Wix Video to start selling your videos online and launch your very own online business within a few clicks. Maybe you want to create a video website dedicated to a single creative project, or build one for each one of your projects. If that's the case, you'll be happy to read that you can use Wix to create as many websites as you want, all of them for free. Essentially, your video website can be whatever you want it to be, all you need to do is know what you want from it.
02. Select the right content
Once you have defined the goals of your website, it's time to select the videos that will help you achieve them. This might be the biggest difference between growing a social media account and creating a video website. Social media networks value engagement and consistency above everything else but the focus of your website should be to showcase the absolute best you can do.
Regardless of the purpose of your site, keep in mind that you should always value quality over quantity. It's better to have a website with a single, outstanding video than including a few not-so-great clips just to make the page look fuller. In fact, 38% of visitors will stop engaging on sites with unattractive content. This is why your focus should be to make an impact on visitors, something that makes them remember your name and hopefully contact you on the spot.
If you choose to display a significant number of videos, try to break them down into diverse categories or galleries to avoid overwhelming your visitors and to make sure your website loads properly. Ideally, you should select one video to serve as the face of each selection, using it to lure visitors into seeing the rest of your work. Keep in mind that nowadays most people see videos as a noticeable time investment, so you'll need to make them an offer they can't resist to ensure your work gets the attention it deserves.
03. Find the perfect layout
Creating a professional website is not only about the content you showcase, but also how you display it. You have probably experienced more than once the frustration that comes with being unable to enjoy someone's work because of how messily their content is displayed. You'll most likely get only one try at impressing new visitors, so you want to make sure you offer them the best experience possible. The key to success is to use a layout that perfectly suits your needs. As a content creator you want to put the spotlight on your videos. You'll probably want to stick to a minimalist background to make sure the videos stand out.
Spend some time browsing other creators' portfolios and pay attention to how they chose to showcase their work. Look for inspiration not only on video websites but also from other types of media creators such as photographers and artists. Broadening your research horizons will allow you to explore more options in order to find the one that best fits your work and needs.
Once you have a general idea of how you want your video website to look, it's time to get down to business. Not to defeat the Huns, but to start putting together your portfolio. The best way to do so is selecting the video portfolio template that comes the closest to what you had in mind.
All Wix templates have been created by experienced designers in order to offer the highest quality professional results. Since they have Wix Video built-in, you'll be able to seamlessly upload your videos from your computer, YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook and put together an outstanding online video portfolio in no time. You can personalize every single aspect of the template to make sure it represents who you are and the work you do, and best of all – they are completely free.
04. Add the necessary pages
Whether you choose to create a video website from scratch or using a professionally-designed template, you should take the time to study which pages you need on your site and how they connect to each other. For this task, we recommend you step away from the computer for a moment in favor of the good ol’ pen and paper. This will allow you to visualize the structure more easily and identify which elements you might be missing.
There are a few pages you should make sure to include:
You can only make one first impression, and you don't want to mess it up. While visitors may reach your site on different pages based on how you're promoting your website, your homepage will always be one of the most important ones.
The main purpose of this page is to present your brand and what you do - not only to human visitors but also to search engine bots crawling the Internet. To maximize your chances, pay special attention to the design and make sure to include your name and specialty in the field.
This is where the magic happens. The Disney World of your online presence. If there's a page that you absolutely can't ignore when creating a video website, it’s this one. The gallery is where people will discover and fall in love with your work. It is, quite simply, the most important page on your website.
But don't let this intimidate you. All you need to do is make sure your outstanding videos are displayed in a professional manner and can be played in the highest quality. Luckily, Wix Video will take care of it for you. Simply add it to your page, upload the videos you want to showcase, and pick the display layout that fits your vision.
On top of being the best tool to showcase videos online, Wix Video also allows you to promote and sell your videos, offer monthly subscriptions, sell your merch, and much more.
Visitors in general, and potential clients specifically, want to know who the creative mind behind the work they are seeing is. Sharing a bit of yourself with them will make you more approachable, which will improve your chances of being contacted.
This page has two main purposes: To tell visitors you'd love for them to contact you and to show all the ways in which they can do so. Your contact page should include, at least, an email address and links to your social media accounts. If you are a professional video creator, or aiming to become one, make sure you add your phone number as well.
Last, but not least, we recommend you add a form to your contact page to offer visitors the opportunity to message you without having to leave the page at all.
If you are looking to attract new clients, you need a service page. Here you'll be able to offer detailed information about the services you offer and their prices, as well as answering any questions visitors might have.
Testimonials can be a great addition to this page. Happy customers can act as a seal of approval of your work and encourage people to get in touch.
You can even allow people to hire you on the spot thanks to Wix Bookings. Show potential clients your availability and let them schedule appointments and even pay from within your website.
This one probably caught you by surprise. After all, you're probably used to let your visual content do all the talking for you. Why should you even bother with writing more than it's absolutely necessary?
For one, writing a blog is one of the best ways to draw traffic to your site and strengthen your SEO efforts. On top of that, sharing your knowledge with people will improve the value of your work and help position yourself as an expert in the field.
05. Show off your social skills
Social media platforms have become a key piece of our society, and as such, they'll play a significant role on your video website. Chances are you are already actively sharing your work on several of these networks, so the first step is bringing them together on your site. Your website visitors should be able to access any of your social accounts within seconds, no matter where in your site they are.
This ensures that those who like your work will start following you on their preferred networks and keep up with your newest projects. The easiest and best way to do so is adding a social bar that is clearly visible across all pages of your online portfolio. Generally it is recommended to anchor it on the site's footer or on the side, as visitors will most likely choose to head over to external sites after they see some examples of what you can do.
Next, add a link to your professional video website on each of your social profiles. In a perfect world, every person who finds you on social media should end up on your site in hopes of reaching out or hiring you.
Once your online presence across all sites is connected, it's time to leverage this bond to ensure users across all platforms to see all aspects of your work. With Wix Video, you can bring YouTube and Facebook live streaming to your website. This feature will empower the social capabilities of your professional portfolio, as well as expand the reach of your social activities to a broader audience.
06. Do your SEO
One of the most significant benefits of creating a video website is being able to be found online through search queries other than just your name. As a professional content creator, you want your work to be found when people look up for the kind of services you offer. And the best way to appear on relevant searches online is having a solid SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy on your website. The hardest part of SEO is that bots cannot simply see your videos and decide they're so amazing that the whole world should see them. In order to be visible on searches and bring more traffic to your portfolio, you'll need to make the effort to think like a bot and put your keyboard skills to test.
Luckily for you, Wix SEO Wiz will be waiting for you to get your site ready to put together an SEO strategy that suits your needs. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your business in order to get a personalized plan. Once you do so, you'll get a detailed checklist that'll tell you what to do and how to do it in order to get your site indexed and focus on ranking higher and for the most promising keywords. Afterwards, you'll receive regular updates about your SEO, such as when your site appears in search results and when people click on your site.
07. Look your best on mobile
Only a few years ago we saw mobile-friendly as a nice feature to have on a website. Nowadays, we see as an absolute must, even more so since Google announced they were rolling out an algorithm supposed to give an additional rankings boost for mobile-friendly websites. In 2019, a huge percentage of the people who reach your site will do so from their mobile devices, so you need to make sure your work looks as good on small screens as it does on desktop.
While video can pose a significant challenge when it comes to mobile performance, this is something you won't really have to worry about. Wix Video is mobile optimized and will show your videos in the highest quality on any device. As for the rest of your website, all you need to do is check out the automatic mobile version of your site on the Wix Editor and optimize the design in only a few minutes by dragging, dropping, or hiding the elements as you please.
08. Ask for honest feedback
Once your site is ready for your world to see, share it with a few close friends and family members and ask for their opinion. In some cases, their first instinct will be to tell you it's amazing, and perfect, and you're a superstar. But keep in mind that your mom might not be the most objective person out there. Ask them to be critical with the navigation and pay close attention to typos and formatting issues. If you can, sit with them as they browse through your site and try to identify potential pain points visitors might experience. The more people you ask for feedback, the better you'll be able to fine tune your site for the real world.
09. Keep it updated
One of the biggest, and most common, mistakes people tend to make after creating their website is forgetting about it. In a way, it's easy to understand the logic behind this behavior. A professional website does not require the constant care and user engagement as do the other numerous platforms where you share your work, and so updating it may fall to the bottom of your to-do list in favor of other, more demanding tasks.
If that's your case, you'll be happy to know that Wix Video is here to save the day again. By syncing your site with your YouTube channel, every video you upload to the social platform will automatically appear on your website. In order to make sure your best work keeps its position as the star of your site, you can create a gallery dedicated to your latest projects where visitors can catch up with your most recent YouTube content.
As amazing as the syncing feature is, you shouldn't trust your site to do all the work on its own. Every so often, save a slot on your busy schedule to take a look at your video and SEO analytics and check that all elements of your site are working properly. This will allow you to categorize your content by popularity, as well as spot and fix broken links or missing content that can have a negative effect on your visitors' experience.
Ready to step up your online presence? Create a free video website with Wix today!
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Photography Expert for the Wix Blog & Social Media Team