If you’re putting the finishing touches on a film or video project, you’re going to need a proper website to help promote it. With all that hard work you’ve put into it, the last step is sometimes one that can trip people up. You really shouldn’t overlook your website though, it’s such a huge part of helping to promote and showcase what you’ve accomplished.
With the right website, you can make a great first impression, let people view trailers or behind-the-scenes information, keep people up-to-date with the latest news with a great-looking blog, even manage your Film Festival entries. There’s a lot that what website can accomplish and picking the right one is a crucial part of the process. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have all the information that you need to create an amazing website to help promote your latest masterpiece.
Fortunately, you’ve got a few options for making a film or video promotion website.
What’s the Best Way to Create a Film or Video Promotion Website?
Well, there are a lot of different ways to go about this. You can select a free setup, using something like Wix or SquareSpace. Those platforms offer free versions or paid versions to help get you up and running. Unfortunately, you sort of get what you pay for. Using Wix, SquareSpace, WordPress.com or any other free platform will make it pretty difficult to get the flexibility and features that you need to set up a really great promotional tool to help showcase what you’ve made. Personally, I think a self hosted WordPress.org website is a better way to go about things because it ends up being a cheaper option compared to a premium page builder setup like Wix or Squarespace.
Selecting a Web Hosting Company
The first step is to select a web host to give you the power and flexibility, the tools and the resources to establish a really nice looking site that gives off a professional air to help win over readers and get them into a theater, or to download your video or film to watch from the comfort of your own home.
Which hosting company should you choose? Well, that’s up to you, but I recommend BlueHost. I’ve used them in the past and find that the blend of features, security and speed is a really good value. Even with a simple shared hosting plan, which right now should cost you around $4 a month, you’ll have what it takes to set up a great looking website. For most promotional sites, anything more than a basic plan is going to be overkill.
If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry, it’s easy to do. Check out more information about BlueHost here.
BlueHost has one click WordPress installation, a free domain name for the first year, a free SSL certificate, which is critical if you’re selling products online. It’s user friendly and the support has been really solid, in my experience. For one year, you’re going to have to pay around $50 or so, which is pretty reasonable.
But, again, whatever host you want to use can work great.
Purchase a Domain Name
The first part of building a promotional site for your film or video, selecting a domain name. If you know the name of your film, snag that name as soon as you possibly can. Again, Bluehost offers free domain names for anyone who purchases a Hosting account. Normal prices are about $15 per year for a dot-com website so that’s what you’re going to save if you purchase posting. Again, hosting should be about 50 or $60 per year for the first year, so that knocks a little bit off the price tag.
Here’s a handy checker to see if your desired domain name is still available.
Okay, considering that there are quite a number of websites already out there, the perfect domain name might already be chosen. You can try adding slight variations to your film title to get something that’s going to work for you. Also, you can check for additional TLDs. Not all of them will be available for free purchase on Bluehost, but quite a number of different TLDs, so you should experiment with that to see which one works best for your film.
Of course, there are plenty of different hosting companies out there. If you are building a promotional site for a film or video, I don’t think that you need to spend a ton of money on hosting. Honestly, you will only be driving a little bit of traffic to your site, shared hosting plan should be enough. If your film blows up and goes big time, you can always upgrade hosting down the road. You’ll just have to pay the difference between the basic hosting price and whatever you upgrade to.
There are a handful of options available when you sign up for a Hosting account. In my opinion, you should probably just skip things like the SEO booster options that Bluehost offers. It’s just not worth the money per month, you can get your SEO squared away pretty easily for free. One option that you might want to choose is the private registration, which costs about $5 a month extra. This can be worth it so that you don’t get your email address on a bunch of spam lists. I do recommend WHOIS domain privacy. It keeps sensitive information secret and safe, that’s one thing that many beginners overlook. I’m all about the privacy.
Install WordPress to Your cPanel Account
Web hosting companies like Bluehost often offer one click WordPress installation. If you are just getting started and this is maybe the first or second website you’ve ever created, it’s a real time-saver. It’s going to install a perfectly fresh copy of WordPress, the absolute latest version, on to your cPanel account. I recommend WordPress over any other content management system because it has tons of different WordPress themes available and all of the plugins and add-ons that you can possibly need. It’s also free and open source, always a good idea to have. You’ll be able to add more tools to your website as you need them, WordPress is perfectly flexible and totally adaptable that any need.
Find a WordPress Theme for Your Website
Here’s where it gets fun.
WordPress is such a powerful content management system, it’s simple and easy to use and it can make even a beginner look like an expert web designer. One of the best things about WordPress is the amount of WordPress themes that are available for download. By selecting the right theme, you can create a powerful website that really appeals to your target audience. You can change up colors, fonts, layouts and styles, giving your website the same field that your movie has.
While there are thousands and thousands of free themes out there, you might want to spring for a professional or premium quality theme. These often have more features and flexibility, giving you more of an opportunity to change up the look and style of your sight. You can even change layouts. The vast majority of WordPress themes should offer flexibility in terms of features and layouts. Premium themes, unlike free themes, will generally have really helpful support offered by the developer. That can be very important if you are not particularly well-versed in setting up or customizing a WordPress website.
Here are a few examples of solid WordPress themes that might be good for any film or video promo site.
Cinerama was created for film and movie studios, it’s got an attractive, dark design that really gives a moody feel to your site. There are several different portfolio layouts and the way it presents video and film content is really solid. This theme even has an interactive showcase to present any kind of creative content.
Circle is a multi-purpose WordPress theme for Creative agencies, film studios, actors and directors, blogs and magazines. This theme gives you a lot of different specialized functions to choose the sources for your video, whether you want to embed clips from the MEO, YouTube or Dailymotion, or if you like to self host Eclipse yourself. To avoid showing advertisements, I personally would recommend self-hosting your video.
Made for Creative agencies, personal and professional studio and filmmakers, phone Productions and video blog sites, Filmic is a really well-designed theme that filmmakers seem to love. This theme gives you several different premium plugins included for free, Revolution slider and visual composer two of the most important ones. You get unlimited options for customizing your site and everything is going to be mobile-friendly, thanks to the responsive design.
Silver Screen is specifically made for filmmakers and production companies, actors and directors, cinematographers and anyone else who wants premium quality seem to promote film and video content. This template gives you a lot of spectacular features to that help you effortlessly showcase any project. There are a variety of distinct homepages and a large set of portfolio styles, you’ll be able to promote any type of project and shine the spotlight right way.
That’s just a small sample of the wide variety of themes out there that might work to help promote your contact. We have a large selection of WordPress video themes that might interest you, though I don’t think that you need to completely lock yourself into a I think that describes itself as being made for video. That’s because it’s easy enough to take any existing WordPress theme and either embed or so your content in any blog post. So, you may be interested in this collection of personal blog WordPress themes. There’s a large selection of them to help give you as many options as you possibly can.
By selecting the right WordPress theme, you can highlight your film, promote it and showcase all the information you want to showcase in a fast loading, mobile friendly, well organized and well-designed manner. Basically, any of these themes will give you a professional-looking site quickly and efficiently. Best of all, you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make it happen.
Share the Latest News and Information
One small thing that I think you should absolutely keep in mind, adding an email registration form to your site. By building your email list, you can start to find a lot of people who are interested in knowing more about your film and directly keep them up-to-date when you make a new post, post a new image or upload the latest cut of the trailer. Many WordPress themes include this feature, so look for one with contact form 7 support. If you fall in love with a different theme that doesn’t have it, there are several different free plugins that can work just as well.
By creating a blog and updating it regularly, you can really engage with people who sign up for your newsletter. It’s always a good idea to just ask for the email, rather than all of the contact information that a person might have. Keeping it as simple as possible, that’s going to get people to sign up more often than not.
Add Some Testimonials
Testimonials are always a great way to build up the excitement for your project. Even if you’re film hasn’t come out yet, I’m certain that you can find a few people who are wildly excited about the prospect of seeing it. These testimonials put a personal touch on what it is you’re bringing into the world. They can give a lot of information about you’re film and build engagement and excitement. So, you should also attempt to select WordPress game that has testimonials built-in. Again, there are custom post types that are available in plugin form to you add testimonials. How you go about it is up to you.
Self Hosted vs Embedded Videos
Let’s talk about trailers. You’re probably going to want to have one on your website because it is probably the most important way to help promote a film or video. People are going to want to see what you have created and giving them a really nice look what you have created is a great way to build pause.
The choice between self hosting a video and embedding it from a video service like YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion, that is something that you’re going to have to think about. When you self host a video clip, you have a little bit more control over the look and feel of the end result. For that reason, I recommend self hosting. Just to give you a look at the difference between the two things, this is a little logo project that I worked on a while back.
This is the self-hosted version of it.
And here’s the same video as hosted on YouTube.
YouTube adds some extra garbage that I don’t think you really need to see, but that’s just my taste. For example, you get the ‘more videos’ once your clip has played, which I don’t really like. If you want to keep things cleaner, self hosting the video is always better. Vimeo is a little better, but the flexibility still isn’t as great as what you get with a self hosted video clip.
With WordPress, the process couldn’t really be much simpler. Just upload your video clip by dragging it into any post or page. Insert the media into your post and you’re done. Plus, there are dozens of plugins out there that can add even more functionality to your self hosted videos.
Of course, nothing is perfect. If your hosting account isn’t the most expensive, which is fine, it may be that you run out of bandwidth or your video may not load up very fast, which can be an issue. Something to think about.
Okay, let’s wrap it up.
Hopefully you have found all the information that you need to build a great-looking film and video promotion website. If you want a clean, powerful and flexible website, I think WordPress is the best choice. You can achieve all of the look and feel of a professional website with just a few dollars. And the flexibility that WordPress gives you is far greater than any of the free platforms that you might be considering, Squarespace or Wix for example. Building hype for your website is a real challenge, WordPress is one tool that I think you can harness to hope to build a real following.
If you’ve built a film promotion website using this guide, we would love to see it. Drop us a comment and we will do our best to went back to anyone who takes the time to get in touch with us. It’s just a little thing, but hopefully it can help turn your film or video into a real blockbuster.
Not like the movie rental company, they went out of business.