One of the many important pages of your construction company (such as the “About Us” page), your construction projects display is a key component and one that many clients, partners, and competitors will spend a great deal of time on.
Your portfolio of projects is done twice. Once is usually some kind of archive where the project can be selected, and then again for the dedicated project page. So, how exactly should you show projects on your site? Good question, and it may not be the same for every company.
Many factors come into play when making this decision and to help cut through to the potential end result you must adhere to the old ‘plan the work and work the plan’ adage! Why do I like this statement? Because if you get everything organized, it can help direct you to showcase your portfolio of projects in the way that best supports your organization.
Planning the display of your portfolio
Know your audience
The most important factor in preparation is to make the determination of your audience. This goes for practically any web page throughout the site. Knowing who your audience is (or your preferable audience/user is) can help make some determinations of functionality, stats, content, and other visual aspects of these projects.
Possible Features and Functions for the projects
The filtering of projects can be helpful and usually done from what is called the ‘archive’ or listing page. This acts as the one spot where users can see all the projects on your website and has grown in popularity to show as thumbnails in recent years. Think about it: you likely filter when shopping; be it by price, ratings, newest, or otherwise – your portfolio could be a similar experience. Is being able to see the latest project important? This could extend to other statistics like budge, or even project types.
One option that is very popular is the ability to categorize and sort by categories. Project types and services have become very popular for sorting on the projects listing page. This is a great feature if you have many projects, that stretch over many years, and can distribute them nicely through the different categories. Not only that but it also can lead to the next feature…
Show the user similar projects. This is usually done after you get through all the information of the project you are viewing (before the footer). It is helpful in guiding the user through your projects without having to navigate to the archive listing.
Social networking is a part of life now. Your projects could benefit from being able to be shared on a variety of platforms. Sometimes this option comes with the ability to quickly email the link to an associate – this can be a useful tool to distribute these pages.
What’s readily available?
How much already exists to create these project pages? Content drives pretty much everything regarding searching online, so if your portfolio page only displays photos there is a good chance it won’t track too well. Knowing what content is available, how much may be needed if you are writing it or requesting help.
Here are some types of content to consider:
- Start and Completion Dates
- The Client the work was done for
- The Architect (which can include a link to said partner in the project)
- Interesting facts and figures
- Budget or value of the project (if available)
- The size (typically square footage) of the build
- Description of project – this can be anything from brief to fully fleshed out and formatted in a way to communicate what the project was all about (for instance a “challenges” and “solutions” approach).
Photography, in general, is important through any contracting website. Users want to actually see the projects, so if only low quality and small photos are available, where detail is lost – then we’d suggest thinking about hiring a photographer to get good shots. Many photographers provide options for web and/or print usage, it may be beneficial to do both as you may want to produce slicks or flyers that can be distributed showing your work.
Determine your most important projects. Ones that provide the best indication of the type of work you do. On the flipside – are there any types of projects you would like to do more of? Can you aggregate enough information on these growing services?
Determine the ideal quantity of projects you want to show. If your company does only a few really, really, big jobs throughout the year then maybe consider only showing a few projects. Some companies opt to feature 10 projects that provide specific information and then turn each one into their own destinations within the site.
What is important to feature on the specific project page?
Each project is its own story. The best projects are ones that have a defined narrative. Even if that narrative may seem very straight-forward and not super exciting there are some tidbits that could be extracted.
Project Overview – This is the meat of the project. Overviews can be somewhat brief, or more flushed out (as mentioned in the “challenges/solutions” approach), but they should communicate different points of the project.
Project Details can often be derived from the overview and act as a way for the user to quickly scan the project page.
Awards – Are you frequently awarded for your projects? Any award is worth highlighting on a project
Your Clients. If all your projects are similar, and there isn’t much difference to them, then perhaps the client list becomes a tad more important.
Your services – The reason many companies have a website is to promote their services. So, do the same! List out the various activities your contractors performed on the build and find a way to link to other portions of the website.
Safety – depending on your audience, each project having some kind of ‘safety stat’ could be impressive and show dedication to this topic.
Photos – Pictures can say a 1,000 words (or so we hear). Show the project itself as the details are being presented. Sometimes they can be all finalized images, other times before/after is shown. They could even be presented as a timeline!
Determining the visual display of projects
Not all construction companies are the same and their project pages shouldn’t be either. Your brand should be supported through the visuals that a user can see. Based on how the rest of your site looks here are some examples of how to take the considerations above and translate them into a webpage.
Big Photo Header
If only a handful of good photos are available, and you don’t mind them being obstructed by text – then having the image act as a page title could work in the projects favor!
Huge Background Photo
This display can be a savior if you only have a few very high-quality photos available. The same could be said for content and information available too!
Have a bunch of photos and want to display them as prominently as possible? Try utilizing a slider
Want to show the project in a sequence from start to finish? Consider using this visual to balance information and multiple photos
Depending on the content available, this is also a nice way to show projects
This type of visual is typically reserved for companies that really want to create a new kind of environment for visitors. A case study can be brief or have multiple sections, but it is a great way to combine content, photos, and desire to display a limited number of projects.
Have a construction website and considering a bit of a renovation of your own? If this sounds like something your contracting business could use 4CDesignWorks services for we are happy to help! To reach out and learn about our limited time offerings for Construction companies visit our website and learn more. You can also contact us directly to find out more!