Can anyone remember the last time you pulled out your design portfolio? I bet it had something to do with grad school. The day of paper is done. Clients want information fast and easy, and that means a website.

A website is not just a way to market your design but can be a tremendous design tool. Marketing is a big part of having a website. I can't remember the last time someone asked to see my resume. These days, most say, “Do you have a website?” If a director wants to bring me on to a project, it is much simpler for the producer to see what I'm about online.

My website has made landing the job much easier, but after that, my site keeps working. For example, I worked with a new director last year. Our first meeting was over the phone, where he looked at my site to communicate the design style he envisioned based on other designs of mine. My website also makes project information available to my team. Larger projects mean many large files. Rather than clogging up email with bulky attachments, I send my team a link to an easily created project page where they can download everything from the updated Lightwright file, to renderings, to my program bio, which saves time and headaches. After a show opens, my site is also very useful to archive my work with an ongoing list of projects that make it easy to keep track of what year I designed which production. The possibilities are spectacular.

For years, I wanted a website but knew nothing about building a site myself, and a quality site is expensive to have professionally created. Yahoo Small Business offers site hosting for about $13 a month, which includes the use of Yahoo SiteBuilder. This software allows you to design a site for free before having to spend a dime. It's a fast and easy, point-and-click, drag-and-drop program that feels like you're working in a Microsoft Word or Publisher document. It allows you to use one of 400+ templates or design your site from the ground up for a very unique look. This full-featured software runs offline on your PC, and you can download it free at http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/index.php.