Architects website – advice for an architecture practice
For an architects practice – why create a good architects website? Six obvious reasons include:
1. To look professional when someone Googles you (and they do) – so showcase your work. You would make a point of looking professional in print, so why not on the web?
2. To answer commonly asked questions. It would save a lot of time for your team.
3. To attract a certain type of client or business and to put off certain types of unwanted client work.
4. To allow potential clients send you an enquiry 24/7 through the website.
5. To avoid losing work from existing clients who Google your name and finds someone else, who fits the bill.
6. Attract high quality staff who are searching for a suitable practice. How do you look when these people search for architects website
Your website is more than a basic tool, so do research what to buy. You have to learn how to use it to good effect or have someone competent do it for you or with you, by outsourcing some of the work, so add that resource to your plan. There are various options and each one comes with challenges and opportunities, costs and returns on investment. And your web presence is a lot more than just your website.
Have a complimentary 30 minute consultation with us, no obligation, just to see what you need for your particular practice. Meantime, below we include 10 guidelines, 10 questions, 10 tips and some general advice, to help you get it right first time, to save a lot of your valuable time.
10 Guidelines for a planning and layout of a good architects website
1. CMS – Get a website that is built on a CMS Content Management System, which makes it easy to edit. Content is king, it will decide your success on the net, so create it, add it, curate it and make yourself stand out as an authority on matters legal. You are the best person to produce good content, do not leave its creation to someone else, unless they are competent.
Get a website that is Modular, like a modular home, so that you can move elements around without needing a developer again. For example, add or move a scrolling ‘Testimonials module’ on the Home page yourself or move it to your ‘About’ page.
3. Open Source
Use a platform that is open source and allows you to move from one web partner to another. Avoid a one man band, someone who offers to be everything, planner, designer, developer, digital marketer. How many professional architects practices have just one person employed to do everything?
4. Design Theme
Get a website that is theme based, so that you can change the whole design theme without having to create a new website. Also, this makes it easier for you to move to a new web partner – avoid any basic HTML developers who have to make every code change for you – at a price, in time delay and money.
5. Custom Design
Plan your branding, colours, content and CTAs Calls To Action before or when talking to a professional web developer, if how you look online is important to you to build your brand. Think Scott Tallon Walker, Grafton, RKD or De Paor.
Make Navigation simple, intuitive, stand out and logically show what you specialise in, services such as residential, industrial, commercial or community and experience or qualifications.
Show off your knowledge, experience and useful information from the industry, maybe articles about green energy or renewables, council guidelines or trends. Try Guest Blogging or answering questions in forums !
8. Social integration
Tie in all Blogging, Social Media and Advertising to your website content and draw people to the site – they might just connect with you by asking a question. It also helps you monitor all your web output, so you have more control over what gets seen. You can to some point dictate what people see when they search your name.
Bear in mind a website, like a car, has to be maintained and updated. It needs constant attention, security updates & patches, cleaning, plugins, software updates, apps updates and useful add-ons – but most of all useful helpful content or advice to engage with visitors, to help promote your practice.
For a spend in Year 1 for the design, branding, photography, CMS website, advertising, digital marketing etc and then do a new budget for year 2 for building on that platform. The higher the spend the higher and faster the return – GUARANTEED (if done well)!
Three Quick Takeaways:
1. Get good web partners, pay them to be supportive – establish an ongoing relationship in the same way you do with your Accountant or other key suppliers. It is outsourced qualified labour, ready to support you when you need help.
2. Treat this web project like opening a new office. How much would that cost ? How much attention would you give it ? Build what you need rather than buy something off the shelf at a set price.
3. Most web agencies are not good at MultiTasking. Chances are you need a 1. Domain Registrar, 2. Hosting Company, 3. Web Graphic Designer, 4. Web Developer and 5. Digital Marketer.
The good news is – a website can promote your practice, show your professionalism, showcase your work, get you found in search, showcase your work, answer frequently asked questions, save time, make appointments, take fees or payments online or allow client access.
Now you know the brief ! What is your next step ? Have a no obligaton 30 minute discussion with us to get some direction on your specific requirements.
Architects websites – options for a good architectural practice website
Some architects will want:
1. a simple Starter professional looking site with about 5 pages as a basic web presence or digital postcard with contact details and general services listed on one page.
Others will want
2. to expand on their services in more detail, to attract more visitors, to educate them, answer questions, explain terminology, to filter them and engage with them, to use digital marketing to grow enquiries. We list lots of tips here to help you plan what you need and avoid the pitfalls – contact us any time for a personal 30 minute complimentary consultation
10 good opening questions to consider before building a website for your architecture practice:
1. Why do you want a website ?
2. Do you need a website at all ?
3. Is it just a simple Brochure site or a more informative one or a Blog
4. Who is the Target Market ?
5. Who will create the website for you ? Why choose that web partner ?
6. Who will manage it, support & maintain it and train you?
7. Do you have a Digital Marketing Strategy ?
8. How much business do you project will come from your web presence ?
9. How will you measure success or your return on any investment ?
10. What other questions come to mind for you – every Client has specific requirements for their target market ? Portfolio layout specifications, client access to files, secure email, shared cloud folders, taking payments online etc
PS Keep it simple, but do plan it. Talk to Michael directly on 086 2510117 or Contact Us HERE
Architects website – 10 tips on how to use the web well
10 Reasons to get a professional web presence and a competent team of web partners.
You make a point of looking professional in print, so why not do the same online?
Most people are timid about approaching an architect and they are afraid of costs.
1. Look professional – if someone finds your website you want it to reflect the real you whatever that may be. You can dictate how people see you rather than leaving it in the lap of Google search results. You can even look friendly, inviting and agreeable, at least on the web 🙂
2. Save team time – answer common questions on your website and save a lot of phone calls that are time consuming and repetitive. Invite questions and if you get some with any frequency then answer them on the website too.
3. Spell it out – ensure that the practice policy is adhered to by having your enquiries or questions answered the way you want them to be answered, rather than having team members speak off the cuff when the phone goes
4. Make a statement – by using your website to record and promote your policies and standards, terms and conditions – this will help ensure that your team are aware of them too, especially if you have any HR issues around misunderstanding of policies
5. Engage visitors – add value by offering useful information such as standard costs for any normal expenses (not necessarily your fee structure) or how much a planning application costs.
6. Help – let people find you and contact by having your correct full address, postal code, telephone number, email and functioning Contact Form
7. Provide downloadable forms – on your website as PDFs to save on postage and speed up delivery as well as providing a useful service.
8. Social – Integrate all your social platforms, your various publications, statement or comments, by linking your accounts to your website including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
9. Blog – use your blog to post news about you, your services, your industry news or your activities in the community
10. Security – ensure that your domain name and hosting is in your name on your credit card
Professional Web Services for Architects – useful ballpark estimates below as a guideline only
|CMS Content Management System||Y||Y||Y|
|Page Builder with Drag n Drop||Y||Y||Y|
|Support||email 72 hours||email 48 hours||email 24 hours|
|Hours included for Developer||10||20||POA|
|Book Now||Book Now||Book Now|