How to Make a Movie Website
By John Yargo
Updated September 22, 2017
The internet and the film industry have developed a mutually beneficial relationship. Particularly for independent filmmakers, the internet is a valuable resource for publicizing and distributing their work. Additionally, big-budget studio pictures create elaborate pages for major films to reach audiences online The money and time you'll need for the project depends on if you want an “e-commercial” site (in order to sell the movie or other items) or a site strictly for content (availability, production elements).
How to Make Your Movie Website
Identify your target audience and narrow down domain names based on tone, scope, and specificity. If the website is dedicated to a single movie, try to work the title into the domain name. Choose a web host that has hosted other movie sites with something in common with yours, such as genre or style.
Build the technical side of your website with a website building program or by composing HTML or CSS code yourself. (If you feel uncomfortable working with either a program or code, solicit the help of a trained site-builder who can give your site a professional sheen.)
Create an opening (or splash) page to not only greet visitors but clearly express the purpose the film and website. Some dramatic image from the film can only help. This page should include tabs that lead to reviews from reputable sources, videos including interviews and trailers, and, if possible, theater listings.
Insert all the information a casual fan would want to know on tab pages. This would include a list of the cast and production crew (with names spelled correctly), a well-written and compelling description of the premise, a professionally edited trailer, a summary of festivals or other places the film has or will play and production information.
If your film has been rated, place it visibly, but not prominently, near the production information. If you get reviews, and they're positive, post quotes from them, giving appropriate credit to the reviewer and a link if possible to the full review. If the film has been nominated for any awards, or won any, that information should be on your opening page.
Convert any recorded materials (commercials, interviews, etc.) into a smaller, compressed flash video that will be easier and more convenient for viewers to see. Ease and quality will be very important values to keep casual viewers at your site. Create a design for your flash video player that fits well with your project.
Upload your website with a file transfer protocol. Many web hosts offer this feature, but if they don’t you can download an FTP program yourself.
Test your website by asking your friends to navigate it. If they struggle, you need to make changes.
Remain engaged with your audience by allowing them a place on the site to easily offer feedback and make suggestions.
If possible, post at least two high-resolution photos on the site strictly for publicity purposes. At least one should be in color. Make it clear for media visitors which photos are available for publicity and how the photo credit should be listed (usually it's the name of the photographer but sometimes it's the production company).
Stay involved with the community by posting blogs and comments on other websites.
As you look for a web host, you'll find some charge nothing but will inundate your readers with advertisements. If you pay some web hosts a monthly fee, you can probably establish a website without dense advertising or other inconveniences.
John Yargo is a sports writer, living in Orlando, Fla. His work regularly appears in the "Jackson Free Press," and he has published articles on theater, fiction and art history. He has also received a master's degree in English.