As a filmmaker, you need a website. In fact, having a great website for both your mini-studio and your movie is one of the most important aspects of your eventual movie marketing campaign. Setting up an initial website can be done in roughly three steps. You will want to reserve your domain name, get some hosting and create some content.
Similar to making a movie, your initial site is going to be very rough. This is totally OK, as the goal is to get something.
This first version of your website does not have to be complex, but should include the name of your company, your contact information for any press and traditional distributors. Then later, as you go into production on various movies, you will want to set up websites for each movie.
The first step in your Internet movie marketing campaign involves reserving a domain name and hosting. To reserve space for your movie website, head over to my friends at BlueHost and reserve your hosting and domain name.
Your domain name is often referred to as your website address. If you are building an online presence for your production company, you probably already know the name of your company. But if you are building a site for your movie, I recommend creating a domain name that reflects the title of your movie with the word “movie” after it.
For example, if you created a movie called about a chemical pollution called Toxic Soup, I recommend reserving ToxicSoupMovie.com
Sometimes you will find out that your domain name is already taken. You will have to decide if you want to change your movie title or modify the domain name. But if you cannot get a .com, I would strongly suggest avoiding other extensions like .net or .org. Unless you are part of a large nonprofit, those extensions are silly when it comes to movie marketing.
People throw around a bunch of silly jargon like Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 to describe the Internet evolution. But for the sake of your Internet movie marketing mastery, just know that websites are usually described as dynamic or static. A static website was all the rage in 1999. There was a time when your kid sister made crappy-looking HTML sites to serve as an online brochure, complete with crappy content.
Over the years, static websites have been slowly replaced by dynamic sites that can be updated frequently. One example of a dynamic site is WordPress. Many filmmakers choose to utilize WordPress because it is easy to modify sites to include sales pages, movie trailers, opt-in forms and other cool stuff.
To set up a WordPress website (for your production company or your movie) – After you reserve your domain name, you will be redirected to your Bluehost control panel. Once there, click on an icon called “WordPress.”
From there, you will install WordPress on your server.
After a minute or two, WordPress will be installed. You will then be issued with a username and a password. Once you have it, you can log into your new website and begin adding content.
Keep in mind that the biggest reason I recommend installing WordPress for filmmakers, is because once you set up WordPress, you will be able to create and modify your content and change the entire look and feel of your website, with the ease of sending an email. (Below is a screenshot of me editing this page on WordPress.)
In my opinion, WordPress is one of the most robust and powerful website platforms in the world. By making these tweaks yourself, you will save the cost of constantly contacting your webmaster.