Well you would obviously want it to look very professional. I think that it's important to keep it simple so people can easily find their way around your site. Take a look at a few portfolio/web design sites for an example of how their sites are made. I'm sure you can find quite a few well designed sites on this forum. Look around and keep in mind that some people that are looking for web design services may not know a lot about computers so keep your page easy to navigate.
I've seen many designers who link to the sites that they've created. This is great right after the site is complete and people can see the outcome of your care and skill, but can leave you open to:
- sites that the owners take down because they go out of business or decide they can no longer afford/aren't providing the return they'd hoped for, or
- companies that decide to make updates themselves and end up butchering your original handiwork.
These problems might not be terribly common, but can really take away from what you're trying to achieve in posting your portfolio.
So, the solution is to either use screenshots, or screenshots and links that you monitor frequently (my preference) or just links that you monitor closely.
My own preference for the link-rot problem is to keep a local copy of the site and link to that. Of course, this needs to be agreed upon by the client, but most (in my previous life as a corporate slave for a design company) didn't seem to mind much.
If you come up with a good domain name, register it BEFORE posting it for opinions. Domains are cheap. Get a few and spend a few weeks contemplating them. Make your own decision on which fits you because you're the only who really knows.
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If you are design a portfolio site, the site should represents you.
A site doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles, it should be clean and straight to the point..After all You are showing your skills and your designs.
Actually i don't think a completely made up company name is the best way to go for the web unless you're a major company with a major marketing budget.
If you're not, then you wanna make 2 things sure:
- That people get a hint about what your company does just by reading the company name.
- That you get best possible placement in google search results for your keyword(s).
Despite what some people say, the domain name itself still is a factor when it comes to google results although not a very big one - but it is one.
So i think a better decision as far as domains go is to get yourself one that matches your keyword a 100% or at least has your keyword in it.For Google the extension doesn't matter so if your keyword domain isn't available in .com anymore try to see if it's still avaiable in .net or similar and go with that.
For instance, for my logo design business i have already 2 domains, logodesign.tv and logocastle.com ( for 2 different markets) and as you can see both have the keywords in it, the .tv one even matches the #1 keyword for my business a 100 %.
It might be wise though to look for a keyword that matches your business and has decent searches as a keyword on overture ( check out http://inventory.overture.com for that) but is more of a niche keyword so you won't have to compete with zillion others for the same keyword and respective Google listing.