5 tips on how to build your own agency website

And how not to do it.

Just as in every web agency on this planet, time is one of the most important issues we struggle with. We're dedicated to building top notch web applications and we try our best to meet every deadline we set together with our clients. Besides our weekly burgerfest, that leaves us with little time for other projects such as our own agency website.

We're not complaining because that approach has paid off and in 5 years time, we've grown from 2 developers to 8! (And we're looking for more!) We did have some attempts to build the next amazing portfolio website, but to be honest, we never actually really tried. There just wasn't enough time.

Below you can find our 5 tips to smoothen the process of building your own portfolio website if you lack the time to do so.

1. STOP SAYING YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME

It's a mistake we've made for years. Our clients get our full attention and even though we sat together several times about concepts for our own website, we never actually started.

It's only some time later you realize that the agency still has a crappy website online, while the atmosphere here, deserves so much more. Like embedded food instagrams. Who doesn't like food?

2. PUSH THROUGH ONCE YOU'VE STARTED

At the beginning of 2015, we set ourselves a deadline (we're good at those) for our own website. After yet another brainstorm we decided it was time to push through and start wireframing all the ideas we had.

Immediately after launching the project, the issues from tip 1 arose again. Clients feel you're up to something and new projects start piling up quickly.

In contrary to what we did before, we did not put our website project aside and sacrificed lunches and some hours of our beloved sleep instead.

3. DON'T TOSS IDEAS FROM A PREVIOUS BRAINSTORM

We've had meetings for two years before actually deciding which direction to go. So you can imagine we had some material to work with.

Even though the web and its standards change quicker than I have to change the batteries of my mouse, you can still use some former ideas. Merge them with new thoughts and you might end up with something refreshing and original.

4. TAKE YOUR TIME FOR A PHOTOSHOOT

Most developers are happy with a Firefox-branded t-shirt and could not care less about the latest hairstyle trends, so they're not really waiting for you to tell them you're planning a photoshoot for the new website. Ignore the confused looks and be harsh.

A website without some good, non-stock pictures is an empty box and does not tell your agency's story.

Afterwards, you'll feel that working on design or copywriting will go a lot smoother.

Uni-t photoshoot

5. GO OVER IT. THEN REPEAT GOING OVER IT. TIMES TEN.

After designing a masterpiece, developing some beautiful semantic code, you think you're done. Think again... And again... But try not to get in an infinite loop!

If you're in the process of building your own website and have been planning to do so for a while, you tend to be happy with the very first finished product. You shouldn't be, because every criticism, even on small details, makes the website better.

A couple of bad UX decisions or a PHP error on your teampage you missed due to little sleep, kills the entire vibe of the website.

5bis. ENJOY THE RESULT

With lots of beer, obviously. An extra short night won't do you good, but it won't hurt you either.

You'll have plenty of time afterwards to check Google Analytics Realtime for visitors and where they're from (fun!).

Now, start brainstorming about yet another website, because you'll probably want a new one in a year or two.

STILL CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT?

Feel free to contact us!