Creating Websites for Individual and Corporate Worlds

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“You need a website!” It’s a phrase virtually everyone has heard at some point in their life, and for many different reasons. The internet is a democratic place where anyone can do just about anything—even create a website for themselves! And, in fact, you probably should create a website for yourself. But not just any website: one that meets your personal or professional goals.

Individual vs. corporate websites

The approach for creating a website for individual and corporate worlds is very different because the two have very different approach and audiences. For example, you might not publish amateur landscape snapshots on a corporate website, just like you might not put professional portfolio items on your personal website.
The purpose of each is different, so naturally the content and design will be as well. Understanding this concept upfront makes designing each type of website easier. Decide what you need before you start building and the pieces will naturally come together in the right way, because you have the right focus.

Elements of a personal website

A personal website shouldn’t be sales-driven, but rather information-driven. This means you should have your website set up around ease-of-navigation and with clear architecture, so people are able to find the information they’re looking for. Top navigation is essential in this regard.
A blog or some other expressive outlet is also an integral part of a personal site—after all, people are visiting to learn more about you! Whether you keep a regular weekly blog, share candid photographs from your life or record videos for your visitors, make sure it’s all collected in one place and properly managed and updated. For this reason, a user-friendly content management system (CMS) is important.
The overall design of your personal website should be welcoming and friendly, inviting to anyone who visits. People should get a personal vibe from your site—not feel like they’re being sold to. Make sure you’re not running adds or linking to affiliate sites and be sure to indulge in design a little more than you might with more corporate design guidelines.

Traits of a corporate website

When designing a corporate website, the chief emphasis will be on branding. The design should be clean-cut and well-organized, with cohesive elements throughout. Pay close attention to brand colors, logos, fonts and imagery, as well as smaller details like trademarks and registered symbols. People should be able to immediately tell they’re on a professional website when the page loads.
Flow of information is also important on a corporate website, but in a different way. Instead of letting people roam, you want to try and funnel them to where you want them to go. For example, having different landing pages set up with links and top navigation to similar pages is a great way to get people to buy or sign up for whatever you’re offering. In this same vein, having pages nested or hidden might be smart.
To help build your professional website’s credibility, you’re also going to need a good CMS. However, the content is going to be more siloed and less of a stream of conscious thought. Siloed blog posts or categorized videos make it easier to focus on granular information, which is better for link building and SEO.

Build with visitors in mind

Creating a website for individual and corporate worlds isn’t always cut and dry. When you determine the goal of your website and the type of content it needs, make sure you’re designing and structuring it around the people you expect to spend time on it. Paying attention to the little details and making improvements around analytic feedback is a great way to hone in even closer to your end goal—whether it’s page views, sales or just a better online reputation.

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