How to Plan a Website for Interior Designers
March 18, 2019
As an interior designer, your business is all about aesthetics and functionality. Your spaces need to be both beautiful and easy to use — and the same goes for your website. Clients view your site as an extension of your business. If it’s stylish, inspiring, and professional, it casts your company in a positive light. If the website is confusing and ugly, it’s a red flag.
A great website tells clients that you’re professional, that you pay attention to detail, and that you have fantastic style. Planning a website for interior designers takes time, but that effort can pay off by bringing in a stream of new sales leads.
Plan Your Content
The first step in planning a website for your interior design firm is figuring out the content you want to publish when you’re building the site. In other words, what pages do you want to include on your site? To start, you’ll need the basics including Home, About, and Contact pages.
In addition to these pages, you’ll need content that convinces potential customers to get in touch with you to discuss your interior design services. These pages should give a sense of your decor style and communicate your experience. Some useful pages for interior designers include:
- Portfolio or photo gallery of your past projects
- Client testimonials
- Media mentions with images or links to articles
- Services you provide
- Social media profiles
Create Intuitive Navigation
Once you know what pages you want to include, it’s time to create a navigation structure. This is simply the way you arrange links and menu bars to help users find the information they need. Simple, easy-to-use navigation creates a great experience for your users.
To start, split your pages up into groups. The main group should include links to your most important pages. These links go on the main menu bar. Not sure what to include? Think about your website from the customer’s perspective. When they land on your home page, what are they looking for? If they’re considering using your design services, they probably want to see visuals — which means that your Portfolio or Gallery page links should be easy to find. You might also include your About and Media pages in this group.
The remaining pages are the links that people need eventually. You might put these in a less-prominent menu; many websites put this set of links at the top right of the page, in smaller text. These links might include Contact and Social Media.
What happens when you have multiple pages within a single category? For example, under Portfolio, you might want to include pages for Commercial and Residential projects. In that case, there’s no need to put all of those links in the main menu. Instead, simply include a Portfolio link. Then, on the Portfolio page, you can place Commercial and Residential links. This prevents the user from getting overwhelmed.
Design a Beautiful Home Page
When someone gets to your home page, they probably take only a few seconds to decide if they want to stay. That’s why it’s important to create a beautiful, compelling page when you create a website for interior designer.
Since interior design is highly visual, it makes sense to use photography. You might choose a single photo that represents your style. Alternatively, you could use a slideshow that changes the image every few seconds. This is particularly useful when you specialize in more than one type of interior design.
The images you choose should represent your best work. If you need help, try flipping through photos of your work. Select the ones that jump out to you. Then, run them past friends, family, and colleagues to see which they prefer.
Choose a User-Friendly Portfolio Layout
Your portfolio is the heart and soul of your interior design website. In most cases, it’s the thing that convinces a client to consider your services.
A portfolio does several things:
- Wows the user with beautiful images
- Shows off your style
- Proves your experience and capabilities
A user-friendly portfolio makes it easier for clients to browse your past projects. To start, consider dividing projects into categories, such as Office Space, Residential, and Retail. Then, use smaller image files to ensure that the page loads quickly.
Instead of using clickable image tiles for each project, consider giving each one a title and a short description. That way, users can skim the page to find a project they’re interested in before clicking to read more.
Don’t Forget About the About Page
On many websites, the About page is an afterthought. For an interior designer, it’s a crucial part of the sales process. Why? Interior design involves a great deal of one-on-one time with clients — which means that they need to know that you’re friendly, competent, and personable. A great About page shows off your personality and explains your qualifications, which can give users the confidence to get in touch.
You can take your About page in a variety of directions. You might tell the story of how you got into interior design, or explain how you work with clients. These small anecdotes or personal details help readers decide whether or not you’re the right fit for their project.
Somewhere on your About page, it’s a good idea to include an easy-to-find list of your qualifications. This could include a college degree, training program, or certification. Do you have one or more impressive projects on your resume? Feel free to add them to your list.
To make your page more relatable, consider adding photos of you and your work. This helps clients get a sense of who you are. Some possible images to consider as you create a website for interior designer include:
- A professional headshot
- Pictures of you on the job
- Blueprints or 3D renderings
- Finished rooms
Think About Calls to Action
A call to action is something that motivates a web user to take a specific action. Your calls to action depend on your sales process. How do you want users to get in touch? You might invite users to check out more of your work on Instagram, for example, or ask them to schedule a free consultation call.
The trick to a great call to action is to put it in the right place — that way, you motivate a user to take action when they’re most interested. You might place a “Check out my recent projects” link at the bottom of each portfolio page, for example, or add a “Schedule a free consultation” button to your About page.
Choose the Right Designer
The final piece of the website puzzle is choosing the right web designer. This ensures that your site is designed and built correctly from the start, which helps you avoid costly repairs down the line.
To start, look through different designers’ profiles to find aesthetics you like. It’s also helpful to find designers who are experienced in planning a website for interior designers. Once you have a short list, request a quote for your site using your list of pages and your concept for the portfolio. Finally, pick a designer that fits your budget.
Building a website for interior designers is one of the most important marketing projects your company can undertake. By taking your time to plan, you can create a website that boosts your client base and increases profits.