The web can be a perfect springboard for anyone: we have often spoken about artists and businessmen who, despite not being web design experts, became popular and boosted their activities with a website. Today, we will do something different and consider the viewpoint of someone whose business depends on website creation.
We are talking about François Schmitt, a former violinist who moved from the musical to the graphic design field back in 2001. After attending a course and doing an internship, he became a freelance graphic designer and video editor. François also creates websites for those who want to be online but don’t know where to start.
Discover his trips & tricks!
Let’s start with something more generic: what is a website in your opinion?
«Websites are showcases we can use to present our work to potential customers, the best way we have to convince them. I designed my own website schmitt-graphiste.fr for this reason: I wanted it to be a space I could use to talk about my business and show off my projects.
I organized it in different sections so that it could be easy to browse and my users can find what they are looking for immediately: a section is for photos, another for videos, and a whole part describes my activity as a web designer.
The leitmotif is somehow still linked to my musical origins though: the protagonists of my projects are, in fact, involved in the musical field, music never really abandoned me.»
Do you have any tips as an insider?
«In my opinion, the most important suggestion is to pay extra attention to the website graphic design. As I mentioned earlier, websites are meant to attract new customers: for this reason they should be neat and clean to be more reliable. At the end of the day, the graphic design of a website is the first thing which drags our attention as soon as we click on a link, even before its contents. Consequently, it is the first thing we need to pay attention to when we build it.
This is a concept most of us are familiar with, however, it may be difficult to put it into practice, especially if we do not have the necessary knowledge. I started creating websites for other people following my customers’ requests: they wanted me to help them bring their business online and achieve a professional-looking result.»
Which tools of the trade do you use as far as the website creation process is concerned?
«When I first started, about 10 years ago, I used Dreamweaver. Then, as the years went by and smartphones took hold, nowadays they practically substituted computers as far as online browsing goes, I looked online for any alternative tools. That’s how I came across WebSite X5. I still use it today to build websites for my customers and I used it for my personal website too, the Pro edition.»
What advantages does WebSite X5 have compared to other tools, according to your experience?
«The first thing that comes to my mind is the possibility of sparing a lot of time. Especially when you’re used to programming everything manually using HTML and CSS codes, you can’t but be pleasantly surprised as soon as you see how much easier it is to get professional results by using a tool which does most of the work, while you simply have to set up the options available on the user interface. Creating a website becomes so much easier!
I really appreciate the user Community too: I like to follow the discussions on the official forum and I provide my help and suggestions for the other French users when I can.»
One last question: after you’re done creating the website, are you also in charge of updating it, or do you usually pass the torch to your customers?
«Well, it depends on the case, but generally speaking, as no programming skills are needed, I tend to recommend WebSite X5 to my customers. I create the website according to their needs and, if they want to, I provide them with the project file, so they can access and update it on their own. WebSite X5 helped me work better and quicker, and I recommend it to my customers, so they can improve their activity too.»