Your online presence is key to running a successful business and there is no better way to establish your online presence than having your own website. A professional website ups your credibility with your audience and allows you to point them in the direction of your products and services with ease.
Building a website from scratch is easier now than ever before. It’s possible for you to get an engaging site up and running without even knowing how to code.
With these nine steps, we will walk you through the full process of building your new website from scratch. Let’s get started!
1. Get Your Game Plan Together
Before you start designing anything, you’re going to need a strategy. You can’t very well build a website before you know what you want it to look like or what pages need to be included.
It’s time to buckle down and do some research so that when you put the wheels in motion it will be much easier to lay everything in place.
What do you want your website to accomplish?
Maybe you’re trying to sell a product or service to your customers. You might want a place to put your professional portfolio where it’s easy to show off. Or perhaps you’re hoping to showcase your expertise in the form of articles.
Take the time to sit down and figure out everything you want included on your website to reach your ultimate goals. These are things like:
- Pages – about, contact, pricing, services, faq
- Content – blog posts, videos, images
- Integrations – email, live chat, pop-ups
Knowing exactly what you want on your website will help you down the line in choosing the right web host, site builder, and plugins to use to get everything you need in place.
Look at the websites of your biggest competitors and find out what they all have in common. What’s working for them? There’s a reason they are your biggest competition and you can use that knowledge to your advantage in building your website.
By doing this, you know exactly what information your potential customers are searching for and how to address it.
Part of this research can be done while you’re looking into your competitors. Take note of how their sites look and what’s visually appealing about them.
Then, go through some professional website templates to get a sense of what layouts you like the best. You’re aiming for colors, fonts, and layouts that are easy on the eyes and fulfill the goals you set at the beginning.
Step Two: Choose a Web Host
Picking the right web host can definitely take some time. You have to do your research to find one that suits your budget, has all the features you’re looking for, and keeps your website running smoothly.
There are some popular hosts out there that you’ll see pop up a lot such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, DreamHost, NameCheap, and InMotion.
Get familiar with uptime, backups, security features, and storage options so that you know what you need out of a host before you commit to one. Compare a few yourself or read comparison articles to help you make a decision.
Switching hosts if you’re dissatisfied is possible but also time-consuming. It’s better to choose the best one for you right away so you don’t have to go through the trouble later on.
Step Three: Pick Out Your Domain Name
Choosing the perfect domain name is incredibly personal and also incredibly important. Your domain name is what everyone is going to remember your website by, so it needs to be a good one.
Pick something short, simple, and to the point. It needs to connect with your brand so that people know who you are as soon as they type it in their browser bar.
Though .com is the most widely used domain ending, if you’re having trouble finding a URL that fits your brand, you might consider using a different top-level domain for your website. There are far more available to you than just .com that may even suit your business better.
Step Four: Decide How to Build Your Website
You have a few different options for actually building your website that will depend on your skill level and your budget.
If you’re a small business owner that wants to put the whole thing together by yourself, you might consider using a website builder. These drag and drop style sites allow you to create an entire website from scratch without any technical know-how.
You may be constrained by whatever templates your site builder of choice has to offer. However, most of them have so many options that you’ll most likely find something you like without any trouble.
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders out there. It takes a little more practice than most to get the hang of but it can help you build the website of your dreams without help from a professional designer.
If you do have the budget and you don’t want to do the job yourself, you can always hire a website designer to do it for you. If you do take this route, the rest of this guide won’t be of much help to you.
Step Five: Create Your Website Layout
Now it’s time for the time-consuming part. Putting it all together in a cohesive layout that will be your personal website.
This can be done pretty easily with the use of pre-made templates and your research from earlier on. You should have a pretty good idea of what you want on your website, you just have to put it all together now.
This step includes:
- Adding new pages
- Uploading content
- Creating forms
- Customizing navigation menus
- Adding social media icons
Your homepage or landing page will be what people see first when they come to your website. Put a lot of thought into how you want the page laid out, what you want attention drawn to first, and where you want your customers to go from there. Then make it easy for them to find everything else.
Step Six: Connect Necessary Tools and Features
Time to add all those bells and whistles you were dreaming about in step one. Make sure you have everything you want to be connected to your website ready to go before you introduce it to the world.
This can be things like Google Analytics or Google Ads. Set up your email marketing service so you can collect subscribers for your email list and easily keep them updated on your site.
Don’t forget to integrate live chat, pop-up CTAs, or push notifications if they are important to your business.
A good website builder will include plug-ins and integrations to help you get all this done fast and easy without any coding necessary. Just make sure you test everything to ensure it’s working properly!
Step Seven: Optimize Your Website for SEO
Getting found on the internet isn’t as easy as simply building a website. You need to keep search engine optimization in mind along the way so that your audience is able to find your website without jumping through a bunch of hoops.
You can use SEO tools to help you find keywords, optimize your content, and keep an eye on your domain authority so you know your website is always search engine friendly.
To get the best benefit from SEO, you need to secure your website with SSL security. SSL certificates can be of many types like single domain, Wildcard SSL certificate, multi domain SSL certificate, etc. You should first assess your site’s requirements before choosing an SSL certificate.
Step Eight: Preview Desktop and Mobile Versions
Don’t publish your website before you preview it as it will look to all of your customers when it’s live. Take the time to go through all of your pages on both the desktop and mobile versions to make absolutely sure nothing needs to be changed before you put yourself out there.
It wouldn’t hurt to run through a website launch checklist while you’re at it.
Step Nine: Publish Your Website
You’ve gone through all the steps, done all your research, and put everything in place. If you’re happy with your website, all that’s left to do is hit publish and start promoting it absolutely everywhere.
If you’re a business owner then you need a website. Thankfully, putting together a professional website from scratch isn’t as hard as it might sound. There are so many tools available that make it easy to set up a website in no time at all.
Just follow these nine steps to get your ducks in a row and get to work building a beautiful website you can call your own.