Hi, all! I'm new to VO and VU, and I'm so glad to be here. What a great resource. I have to thank Teri Clark Linden for inviting me. Everyone has been really welcoming!

I got a website to promote myself when I move to Chicago to get VO work in September because I don't have an agent to do it for me!

What are the essentials of a good VO personal website?

More importantly, what are the essentials of a good animation VO website? (animation is where my real passion lies)

I'd like to know your thoughts on everything from what should be in a good bio to if I need a tag line or not. Any helpful tips you've got!

Two other questions:

1) All my experience and training so far has been in stage acting. Should I keep the website purely for VO, or should I take the opportunity to promote myself in another area?

2) I have some coding experience, so I've been trying to write the website myself. I don't want it to look unprofessional, though. What are your thoughts on web designers? Know any who have done good work for VO actors? Know any in Chicago?

Thank you all so much! I really look forward to your thoughts :)

Morgan
http://www.morganhbailey.com

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Morgan,

I won't even attempt to answer your primary question as there are others with way more info and experience on the subject(s). However, with regard to #2 of the other questions: I found great success with a premium WordPress theme. Clearly, you aren't afraid to do a little coding but there's no reason to reinvent the wheel when it's not only been invented but had fancy rims added and each lug nut has been meticulously. . . okay this analogy is too long. Suffice it to say, I think you can get a really good website without breaking the bank. I employed the aforementioned WordPress theme on http://www.anthonyhansenvo.com with an audio plug-in to add my demo to the site. I'm working with a graphic designer friend to do very minor look and feel adjustments to keep the cost to a minimum.

Hope this helps (if only a little) and best of luck,

Anthony Hansen
Thanks so much, Anthony! The site looks great. Are you a paid member of WordPress, or were you able to create that page for free? Creative solution. I'll have to look into it. I am already paying for hosting, though, which is a bit of a bummer.

Best of luck to you, too :)

Morgan
WordPress (http://wordpress.org/) is open-source so the basic install is free (as are many of the plug-ins) and might even be offered as a "one-click install" by your hosting company. If your hosting company offers a database as part of your current hosting package, you're essentially set. Otherwise you'd have to upgrade the hosting account for the database.

There are a lot of free themes available (dare I say, too many). After extensive research, I opted for a premium theme called bSocial by iThemes. Premium themes do have a price but they typically look a bit better and have more functionality than the basic WordPress install (which is still a pretty robust piece of blogging software as well as being the most popular one out there).

If you need any additional information, don't hesitate to ask.

-Anthony
Thanks for your comments, and yours is a good example of how good Wordpress can make you look.

I'm planning to use Wordpress, too, once I've figured out how to use the translation plugins (I need a bilingual site, but that's another issue). It would be cool if you could recommend a couple of plugins (eg which did you use for your demos), and could you explain how you set a homepage that doesn't look like a blogged item?

Thanks

andy
Andy,

The demo playback plug-in can be downloaded from http://www.1pixelout.net/code/audio-player-wordpress-plugin/.

I was able to avoid the blogged item appearance of most WordPress installs by going with a premium theme I purchased here: http://ithemes.com/purchase/bsocial-premium-wordpress-social-magazi.... However, you can (I believe) set your home page to be static in a standard WordPress install and have a subpage as the blog. (You can even forgo the blog all together and just use WordPress as a CMS to publish static pages, if you need to.) There are also a lot of themes - both free and premium - that will probably do the same or a similar thing and give you a more polished look.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Anthony
Hi

Thanks for that... I'm planning to use the Atahualpa theme which is free, and looks to give lots of layout flexibility. However I've hit a tiny wall as I want to create a bilingual site, I'm hoping that the next release will sort out some issues with qTranslate. If this happens it truely is a phenominal tool...

I coded my existing site several years ago... really there is no excuse not to have great websites as everything is prepared and ready to slot together. Your tip for playback plug-in was helpful as the only real problem is where to start as there is literally so much choice.
HI Morgan-

Elements of a good VO website- look at what works for others, checkout sites from successful pro's- there's a real good start. From there, it becomes personal preference. I did look at Anthony's site below- it's nice, clean, simple, to the point, and easy to hear the demos. I think those are the real key points. It should also contain some of your own personality, otherwise it wouldn't be truly yours, ya know?

Bios- I think they can be really helpful. Alot of companies look at what you've done, others don't. The bottom line they want to know if you can really do the job as your demo suggests. That's half of it. The other half is will you complete and deliver the job on time, or show up as promised (depending on the venue). Build some reputation there and you're good.

I think the site should just be for VO, because most voice seekers want to know that's where your heart is- or that you can do the gig and not have to go to an acting audition on the same day. However, when you become a giant star, supernova Morgan, you can pretty much do what you want I'd think. :)

Taglines- well there's a whole discussion on this subject in Bettye Zoeller's group or a blogpost, I can't recall, but it was a lively discussion. Just do a search on Bettye Zoeller in the search box up top on the right, and search for the discussion.

Is your time better spent coding a website or doing VO? Your final questions' answer lies here. Welcome aboard Morgan!

You'll find so much good stuff all over this site, and good people- real good people.

-Barry
Very helpful, Barry! Thanks for the info.

Cheers,
Morgan

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