You may recognize the image for this blog from our flyer which we have been distributing since April 2014 advertising that IADB makes actor websites like no one else. We stand behind this statement and we will take a moment to explain to you every single line of the back of that flyer.
1. Do you have a website?
- we ask you because if you're reading this, then you are probably an individual who is considering obtaining a professional website. So if you said no, then you're in the right place. If you said yes, let's see at the list below to see if your website is good for you or not.
2. Is your website flash free?
- as you may know flash elements on any websites do not work on Apple mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones. Why should you care? Well, do you want people to look at your website or not? Users of mobile devices are increasing every day, saying no to apple devices is like saying no to people with blue eyes, you may be missing out on some opportunities there.
3. Does it look good on a phone?
- ... or any mobile device as a matter of fact? A lot of websites look good on a big screen, but what happens when you view them on the smaller screen? They're not built that way. I preview a lot of actor websites on my mobile phone and all I can see is the corner of their face instead of a headshot. This is not the way the websites are intended to work. All of our templates are responsive, which means that your website will look great no matter what the size of the screen.
4. Can you update it with ease?
- a lot of companies provide you with a website, but then you have to pay fees each time you want it updated. Sometimes you can't update it at all. Other times you can update it, but there are so many limitations that stop you from getting what you wanted. Here at IADB we work with actors and we work for actors. Our content management system is ultra-simple and you will be able to maintain your website with ease. If you ever come across any barriers - let us know. We're always looking for ways to improve ourselves.
5. Do you pay less than $5 per month?
- if you do, that's great, but I am a doubting Thomas. If you're paying so little, you most likely have a website that will have a "no" as an answer to most of the questions that we ask on this page. If you answer "no" to at least one of these questions, we strongly recommend that you switch over to IADB. If you sign up for an annual plan it is only $60 per year which comes out to $5 per month - and if you want us to evaluate your website - we will do so for free.
6. Do you have design options?
- a lot of big companies may offer hundreds of options for you to pick from, but these designs were simply mass-produced and do not reach the quality and attention that each one of our templates has. If you are working with a specific design, keep in mind that you will most likely not be able to switch your design anytime you feel like it. With IADB you can switch designs anytime you want with ease. Depending on what you want to promote at a given time, you can switch from having a large image slideshow on your homepage to having a full-screen video player. And it doesn't cost you anything extra.
7. Does it have a reel option?
- as an actor you most likely want to deal with websites that can showcase your reel. Our system will let you select a certain video as a main reel video and you can showcase it either using a specific video template or you can leave your template as is and the video will be highlighted in you portfolio drawing more attention to what's important to you.
8. Does it have a contact form?
- of course you can simply put your email address on your website, but some people choose not to do so for privacy reasons. Still though, you would want the user to be able to get in touch with you via your website. That's why we offer contact form that feeds directly to your Control Panel - this way all of your work related communications are kept in one place.
9. Can you upload headshots?
- this should have probably be a main question. Can you do that, and can you upload multiple images? Also once you upload your images, how do they appear on the website? IADB allows you to upload as many headshots as you want and you can crop them all so that no stretching of images happens with the preview thumbnails. Cropping also ensures that your page loads fast and smooth. Most of the website providers will not ensure that, which may mean that your images will load extremely slow, ergo forcing the users to leave your website before they can even see what they came to see.
10. Can you add multiple videos?
- Another big question. I see a lot of websites that only have one video and then few links to some other videos. Or maybe even no videos at all and links only. Sometimes I see websites with multiple videos, but the appearance of the webpage is unforgiving - different video sizes, embedding elements all over the page, slow loading website - these are all elements of badly designed video page. Our portfolio page holds the videos within your gallery, allowing users to easily browse through all your media.
11. Can you add audio samples?
- "Why would I?" - was a question that one of the actors has asked me. Oh, so many reasons. Maybe your video quality is not as good as you'd want it to be, but you still want to showcase the reading of a monologue that you recorded that sounds just perfect. Or how about annotating your dialect skills? Maybe you want to show off your singing ability. The possibilities are endless, but unfortunately 99% of the website hosts won't give you that option. At IADB you can upload audio files sized under 8MB.
12. Can you easily list all of your projects?
- By "easily" we mean, is there a nice and simple form which you can fill out to add a project to your website? Of course, most web hosts will give you a page and text editor and say - "here you go". But if you're not a web designer, you will most likely not know how to input all of that data in a way that it will always show up nicely on your website. We have input forms for everything - and we ensure that all of the data that you input into the website is displayed properly.
That's a dozen of questions with some explanations, here are some other questions that need less explaining:
1. Can you build custom resumes with your website?
2. Can you outline and highlight all of your skills?
3. Can you advertise upcoming events on your website?
4. Is your website optimized with keywords for your name and your job title?
5. Is your website appealing to an average user?
If you have an actor's website and would want it evaluated, check out the evaluation page on IADB, submit your website, and one of our main developers will reach out to you and give you a rank of your website on a scale of 0 to 100. We will be honest, we promise.
Based on the blog post above we'd like to recommend these two additional reads. If you'd like to write a guest post on our site, feel free to reach out to us at any time.