Freelance designers are always learning, evolving, and enhancing their skills. As trends in the industry come and go, and as your career evolves, it’s a good idea to periodically re-evaluate the brand image you are putting forth into the world.
Bottom line: you want to make sure that your online branding and presence is updated and optimized to attract the best possible clients to your design practice.
Having an online portfolio site is a key element for any professional designer to maintain, whether you’re a UX engineer pushing the boundaries of design, an illustrator manifesting magic onto a digital canvas, or you work in one of many design-adjacent industries.
Unlike third-party portfolio sites, having your own website provides you with a sharable, virtual gallery where you can showcase your design skills exactly as you like for as long as you like.
Because of the portfolio’s importance, designers are looking for new ways to distinguish their work online.
A simple yet innovative tactic is to elevate your portfolio’s URL by using a .design domain.
Here are more reasons why you should ditch the boring .com domain for a .design domain:
.design tells your potential clients exactly who you are and what you do.
A .design domain name lets people know (especially your clients or future employers) what you do before they even arrive at your website.
These days, attention spans are notoriously short and professionals are continually pushed to do more in less time. That’s why you want to make sure you never miss an opportunity to reinforce your brand with a potential client. A .design domain helps you to break through the “noise” of online life and make a lasting impression. Your website or portfolio speaks for itself with a .design domain name.
.design improves your personal branding.
For a freelancer, a brand identity is a manifestation of your personality, your skills, and your values. Your brand conveys how you want the world to perceive you. It is the context through which your peers and potential clients get to know your work, and it is the foundation upon which your reputation is built.
With an elegant .design domain name, your branding and your domain name can complement each other. Incorporating a .design domain name into an easily-legible logo or visual aesthetic is much easier than using an awkward or too-long .com domain.
Top brands like Spotify, AirBnB, Adobe and Slack are already using .design.
Major companies have launched sites to show off their design departments and improve industry engagement and recruiting efforts. Innovative companies such as Spotify, AirBnB, Adobe and Slack have dedicated sites on .design domains that allow them to foster their design departments and publicly build their recruiting clout.
This approach bolsters the brands’ reputations as industry thought leaders, simultaneously showcasing their capabilities and strengthening their image. For companies and individuals alike, a .design domain is a more elegant URL that allows designers to stand out from the .com crowd.
.design makes your URL shorter, memorable, and more elegant.
Old domain extensions like .com and .net are ubiquitous, but a .design domain is novel and ahead-of-the-curve. For example, instead of janesmithdesign.com, you can get janesmith.design.
Since your clients will look to you for advice about how to stand out in the contemporary digital marketplace, familiarizing yourself with the implications of new top-level domains like .design can pay off for your clients as much as for yourself.
.design professionalizes your contact information
Unlike .com or .net, a .design domain name reflects what you do as a designer and helps with your branding. Having a custom email address can give you a little extra boost of confidence and professionalism as you are communicating with potential clients! The same goes for business cards, online advertising, professional bios, or anywhere else you want people to have a memorable way to contact you. Using .design is a professional touch that introduces your professional branding into every client communication.
.design is the best way for you to put your portfolio online.
A solid portfolio is an essential tool to win new clients, and a .design domain name is the natural fit to showcase your digital portfolio online. Your .design domain gives context and structure to your portfolio, and helps your prospective clients understand and appreciate your work. Whether you’re an illustrator, decorator, architect, or web designer, a .design domain gives your portfolio a stamp of professionalism, authority, and quality.
However, if you’ve recently pivoted to freelancing or you’re a recent design graduate, you might not have a name-droppy list of impressive clients, nor years of professional work to show off in your portfolio.
Don’t let this stop you from showing the world your creativity, uniqueness, innovation, and skill. Create a portfolio to attract the clients you want to have!
If you don’t have a lot of experience yet, you can hone your talents and build out your portfolio at the same time by working on mock projects. Just imagine your fantasy design job for your ideal client, turn it into a creative brief, and dig in.
Lots of desirable .design domains are still available. Register yours now for free!
Most .design sites are in use as individual portfolios and agency websites. However, the newsworthy adoption of .design by large companies is a good reason to secure your domain now, before someone else does.
Porkbun is currently offering DesignYourWay readers a free year of .design domain registration.
Best of all, this unbelievable offer is backed by the quality services Porkbun provides as a top-rated domain registrar. Porkbun transparently displays their pricing, bundled services, and Trustpilot reviews on every search page.
Porkbun is so focused on providing great customer service that they openly compare themselves to the competition. A quick comparison reveals that Porkbun has some of the lowest pricing available, offers more services, and boasts better reviews than any comparable registrar. No wonder they have a 5-star Trustpilot rating from over 1,000 reviews.
Every Porkbun domain includes the following premium features for free: a hosting trial, an email trial, SSL certificates, and WHOIS privacy, allowing you to test out Porkbun’s hosting features while keeping your domain secure at all times. With one free year of a .design domain, you’ll enjoy a sleek domain name that will bolster your brand, as well as the premium Porkbun features that will make your registration experience a breeze.
Regardless of your level of internet expertise, Porkbun is ready to help you build and maintain your brand online. With one year free of .design domain registration, now is the perfect time to build or refresh your portfolio.