Private at the moment frambaldi@iapad.org

The making of a website

I’ve been very active online and on social media in particular but failed to realized how crucial it is, to have a website for promoting my services and for networking. Learning about the benefits of a website made me want to create one as well. Last year I discussed this with my father who is experienced in web design and social media. Together we acquired the primary domain federico-rambaldi.com. This is the first critical step for securing a clearly recognizable web presence. We choose WordPress (WP) as the Content Management System (CMS) and one freely available WP template to design the site. The site offers links to my social media accounts on LinkedIn, Vimeo, Instagram and YouTube. Using available plugins, I now syndicate content (videos and animations) directly from Vimeo on my website to allow visitors to watch my products and assess my skills. A form, allows interested parties to get in touch with me. My website www.federico-rambaldi.com is simple, but is meant to grow in terms of sections and content in the near future. I recently added the Blog section and will in the coming days add a portfolio of still images and video clips I am offering via Shutterstock.com. A home page slider features a sequence of images which are meant to convey the message on who I am and what I do. It will soon be updated to showcase advanced technologies I am exposed to via my attendance in the SAE Amsterdam course.

When designing and maintaining a website you have to perform a number of regular tasks to meet your goals which are to have a recognisable online presence, and attract visitors and clients.  A website has to look beautiful and inform the visitor about your experience, products and offerings.

As stated above, it is very important to secure a good primary domain. I was lucky as federico-rambaldi.com was available. This domain is easy to associate with me as an individual. Should I set up a company website, I would need to think about a name and check if such a domain is available. If not, I may have to re-think about the company name. People want a nice simple name for a website so that it is easy to remember and search up.

In terms of structure, the website needs to be easy to navigate and offer readily accessible information. The look and feel is also important and it should reflect its purpose and content and also take into consideration the target audience. The colour scheme should be carefully selected. Usually templates offer variable colour pattern. In my case we were able to adjust the colour palette based on our intentions and thought-through target audience. A website should not have many contrasting colours but a blend of matching colours which one can choose using online tools like https://coolors.co .

Pictures used on the website need to be carefully selected and duly compressed to reduce download time to a minimum. Good practice tells to use own pictures or images free of copyrights which one can find on flickr.com under the label “Creative Commons”.

Each page or post need to have customized metadata including among others keywords and one sentence summary of page / post content.

When making a website, the main challenges include offering of attractive and regularly updated content, its maintenance, promotion and monitoring of usage. Maintenance includes back-end work in terms of updating plugins, the CMS and running scheduled backups. Promotion includes using social media (including paid campaigns) to draw potential customers to the website (still to be implemented) and monitoring visitors using Google Analytics.

Indexing by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others needs to be optimized via generating a Google XML Sitemap and using a plugin to include it on the site. This is one of the many actions needed to improve the site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).