Website maker - Everything that you should know about
In this fast-paced business world, a business needs to keep customers informed, explain value propositions, boost brand awareness, brand recognition, and drive sales. Today consumers look for various information on the Internet, from product research to operating hours. So, it is not sensible to run a business without a web presence.
A well-designed website can give an extra edge to your business. A website can open up new markets for your business and help in expansion across the globe. Creating a website today is no more a daunting task. On the contrary, it is easier than ever. Regardless of technical skills, anyone can easily make a website. Numerous tools and website design software available for website creation make it uncomplicated and effortless.
In this post, we have presented a step-by-step website creation guide for beginners. Then, just follow some fundamental rules to give a professional look to your website.
Create your website
You can hire a professional web designer to design and code your website. A coding expert can even create a website using a plain text editor. However, you can also try your hand to build one using an online service or build it offline using a desktop software tool. It all depends on your skills, time, and budget.
This post will introduce you to various services and software you can use to create your website for free in just a few minutes. Initially, you can start for free and later upgrade to a paid plan, as per need. Using our guide, even a beginner can easily create a website. Let's get started.
Define your website's purpose
Before building a website, you need to elucidate the purpose of your website. Then, it will help you to decide on tools to be used to create the website.
Look for answers to these questions about your website.
- What is the motive of your website?
Whether you want to drive traffic, sell products or services, accept online orders, or do something else? Your answer will help out in choosing the host and site builder for your website.
- What is your marketing strategy?
Your marketing strategy will help in deciding the tools required to build the website. For example, if you use email marketing for your business, you will need to add an email sign-up.
- What elements does your site need?
To decide on the web host and site builder required to build your website, you need to identify the various features and functions you want in your website. For example, like to sell digital products, you will need the function to send files automatically. To sell products online, you will need a specialized e-commerce host.
- Where do you see your business in the next five years?
This question will help you explore the features and marketing strategies required to be added to the website. If you are planning to use paid ads soon, make sure to choose a host that can support more traffic and the easy creation of landing pages.
Choose a web hosting company
To set up a new website, you require to decide on three main components:
- A host - It stores your website files and delivers them whenever requested
- A domain name - It is the online location of a site
- A site builder is a tool used to create pages, add copy, upload images, etc.
There are several web hosting services available in the market that offer various all-in-one packages—for example, GoDaddy, BlueHost, and SiteGround. Choosing the best one for your website creation is the tricky part. It depends both on the service quality and its ability to meet your requirements.
Tips for choosing the right web host for your website
- Decide the type of hosting you need: For most small to medium websites, shared or cloud hosting is the best and cheaper option. For sky scraping traffic like e-commerce websites, you should give thought to some dedicated or VPS hosting.
- Pay attention to uptime: Always look for a web host offering at least 99.9% uptime. If they fail to meet the guarantee, the host must pay back a portion of your fees.
- Consider security: Choose a host that provides utmost security to your web files. The host should offer features like an SSL certificate, firewall, and malware protection.
- Keep future in mind: If you have plans to grow big in the future, look for a host with plans to grow with your site.
- Choose the one with the best features: Choose a host with a wide range of features, including site builders, SSL certificates, free domain names, marketing credits, and email hosting. No need to opt for an expensive plan with more "free" features that you will never use.
- Think about prices: Hosts come up with several discounts, like a free domain name for the first year. However, the renewal charges for next year are too high. So choose wisely.
So, before choosing a hosting platform for your website, go through the various features offered by the hosting company and read customer reviews of each hosting platform. This will prevent you from future inconvenience.
Elements to consider before choosing a domain name for your website
- Choose a domain name that is easy to speak and spell. Your site visitors should be able to speak the same with ease.
- The domain name should be short, sweet, and catchy. It should not be more than 14 characters.
- Better to go with .com, .org, or .net, as these are the tried-and-true ones.
- For your blog, you can use your name to build a brand.
- It is better to avoid numbers and hyphens in your domain name, and it makes it harder to recognize and looks weird in the URL.
Choose your site builder
A hosting platform comes with a wide array of templates and a drag-and-drop site builder facility, with the help of conveniently building a functional site in just a few minutes.
Hosting platforms also provide a proprietary site builder or access to a third-party builder. Let us now take a look at the most popular site builders available in the market.
WordPress is the most renowned content management system. These days nearly half of the websites on the Internet are using the WordPress platform.
Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder with a template-based site building tool. Squarespace sites are quite flexible, and its template selections include sites for all industry types, including restaurants, events, weddings, bands, and online stores. However, it does not allow you to migrate your website out and is available at a higher monthly cost.
Weebly is a popular and straightforward template-based site builder with drag and drop features. It also offers domain names, if required. Weebly is an affordable option for small businesses; however, not suitable for expanding businesses.
Wix is a convenient website builder with a drag and drop interface. However, six does not allow website migration, hence not suitable for growing sites.
Outline your web pages
Once you have selected a host and site builder for your website, it is time to prepare relevant content for your site. Keeping your audience in mind, work out the sections and pages you want to include in your website. You can also hire a professional content writer to write and structure the content for your website.
Ensure to structure everything properly to make it easy for the audience to find the relevant information they are looking for. Ensure that viewers do not have to dig in to find the information they want. A well-designed website with relevant and appropriate content and images will help the audience understand the content, products, and services better.
The number of pages usually varies based on your business needs. However, there are a few main website pages that every website should include:
- Home page: This is the landing page of your website and welcomes your audience to your site. It gives the first impression of your business to your potential customers. So make sure to make a solid first impression. The first step to winning over more customers is understanding the essential elements to include in your website homepage.
- Service or product pages: A product page will help your customers decide what to buy. So make sure to use different specifications and features to help answer customer questions, provide product reviews, and facilitate the buying process.
- About us page: It is the most important page and often the most neglected website page. It is often the first stop for most website visitors. It is a deciding factor before you convince your audience to convert to your customer. It need not communicate your entire journey or story but should at least provide an idea. It should contain social proof, testimonials, and some personal information as well so that visitors can relate to it.
- Contact page: Contact Us page of a website is one of the most valuable, and for most companies, it is one of the most-visited site pages. A well-thought contact page with a professional feel will make it easy to engage your audience and build a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
Don't forget to incorporate a call to action (CTA) on every page. These CTA will help to deviate the website audience to your contact page or your product page.
Optimize your website
With the help of good SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you can attract more traffic to your website and get more customer conversions. In addition, it will make your website more discoverable by search engines. An optimized website usually has superior metrics, such as time on page and bounce rate. So there are more chances that Google might rank it higher. And when potential customers search for terms associated with your product or brand, there will be a high possibility of locating your website and becoming your customer.
Set up payment processor (optional)
If you want to sell products online from your website, then you will have to embed a payment gateway to process payments safely. This payment gateway will enable debit and credit card payments for merchants. Some popular payment options are PayPal, Stripe, and Square. However, minor issues in the payment gateway can turn out in huge losses. So, you will need to hire a trained and qualified workforce and implement chatbots to troubleshoot problems.
A secure sockets layer (SSL) is a protocol to set up authenticated and encrypted links between networked computers. It ensures that data sent to your website's visitors is kept secure. SSL is a very significant search ranking factor. This is because it provides a good user experience ensuring user privacy and security. The most widely known use of SSL is secure web browsing through the HTTPS protocol.
Test and publish your website
Now you are all set to go live with your new website. Do one last preview to ensure all the pages are as per your desire and filled with the complete information your potential customers need.
Once you are done organizing the files and web pages that make up your website, but it is all online, so your audience can locate it.
Useful tips for creating an outstanding website
- Update your website regularly, content, product prices, etc.
- Optimize your website for search engines.
- Place strategic calls to action buttons at all relevant places.
- Set up automated speed improvements.
- Installing the right plugins will cache parts of your website.
- Keep your homepage clutter-free.
- Create well-optimized content for your website.
- Ensure smooth navigation of your website
- Make a mobile-friendly website
- Choose a reliable host and consider future business growth.
- Keep website design elements simple.
- Add visuals like images to add interest to your website.
- Add high-quality video testimonials and other video content relevant to your website.
With the wide range of tools and solutions available in the market, getting your business website no longer requires spending thousands of dollars. But, this is just the beginning of your journey to success. You need to frequently tweak your website to the ever-changing customer needs and market trends. Create productive and optimized content, optimize your website for speed, and grow your brand.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.