5 things that suck about Circus Artist’s websites

Here are 5 (of many) things that suck about the average circus artist website…

  • Flash. It’s amazing that in 2012 there are still people posting links to new websites that have Flash embedded. Flash doesn’t work on any iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), is buggy and is unnecessary. If you really want spinning animations or even some tasteful crossfading photos then HTML-5 is where you need to head. Leave the Flash in the 90s!
  • Splash pages. No one wants to land on a page that is just a photo of you with ‘click here to enter’ (BOOM,BOOM!) written underneath. It’s pointless and ups the chances of someone giving up on you before they get to see what you’re really about.
  • Homepages. Circus is a visual, live medium. Obvious I know but clearly some of you need reminding of this because you don’t have a video on your homepage. Why not?! Having great images on your site is important but not as important as showing what you actually do! Embeding a YouTube or Vimeo video is super simple, if you don’t want their logos involved they pay for a Vimeo Pro or VideoPress account (personally I think it’s fine, people trust YouTube and therefore more likely to click play). Don’t make a potential booker have to search for your video, it should be one of the first things they come across.
  • Use of lingo. Your site is probably not aimed at people who understand circus lingo so avoid specialised words and phrases.
  • Ego (I’m learning this one the hard way). You don’t want ego on a site that is about you. Sounds odd but it’s true. Your design, layout, copy, video, blog and social media should be aimed at a particular type of customer. You need to address their worries and wants rather than use your site as a chance to show just how really great you are. That’s not to say you won’t show your strengths, it’s just you want to do it in a manner that connects and engages rather than shows off. It’s possibly the most important thing to learn in marketing and particularly important for artists who have to promote themselves. If your sites going to be effective at driving you business then you need to study this stuff and more!

Technology Tips for Circus Artists – 8

In this series of posts I’m going to give tips on using technology to make your hours behind your desk that bit easier.

Tip Number Eight: WordPress
Wordpress.orgEven though we are in the age of social media I think it’s still a good idea to have a website.

There’s a lot to be said about outsourcing web-design to a professional but if you’re not ready to spend large sums of cash on a site or you’re willing to invest some time and energy sat at a computer then look no further than WordPress.

WordPress is “A semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.” In other words it’s a simple and elegant way to easily create a highly customisable website that you can edit on any computer, smart phone or digital tablet with an internet connection.

Something to be aware of is that there is wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The .com is 100% free but your are limited with the design and other details. The software for wordpress.org is free however you will need to pay for hosting and a url, there are 100s of companies that provide this, you’re probably looking at about £50-100 a year, not exactly mega bucks. For the record I use Fasthoasts. You may also want to pay for a template (this gives the look of the site) which can cost from £10-£50 as a one off fee although there are some free usable templates out there.

Read here, here and here if you’re thinking about making your own site using WordPress.

Otherwise you can find someone to implement a wordpress.org site for you at a much cheaper price than you would pay for a design from scratch (I offer this, send me an e-mail).

If you make you’re own site using WordPress be sure to leave a link in the comments!