If your project, organization, or business is not on the internet, does it exist? With each passing year, the answer to that question becomes a more confident “no.” You need a website so that people can find you and engage with you online.
For several different reasons, you may want to construct a website all on your own. Maybe you don’t have enough funds to pay someone, or you like to get your hands dirty and would like to do it yourself.
Here’s the good news: it’s easy to build a website from scratch. You don’t even need to have coding skills. The technology behind building websites has developed to the point where it’s as simple as click, drag, drop, and type. That’s all you’ll be doing throughout, so if you can work a mouse and keyboard, you’re good to go.
1. Find a Customizable Website Builder
There are many excellent website building platforms out there, all offering similar services. These website builders are usually able to get you a domain, host your website, and build it for you. Before you get started, you should have in mind what you want the site to look like, how it should work, and what it should do.
When choosing a website builder, you will also want to decide what type of hosting you want to use. Your options for hosting plans include:
- Dedicated hosting: This hosting plan is an excellent option if you are looking for performance and also having control over your website, including the server, operating system, and hardware. The only downside is you are in charge of fixing anything that goes wrong with your website.
- Shared hosting: An inexpensive option because you share it among many users. With this plan, you will share resources like data, disk space, and memory. While this is a great option if you are on a tight budget, you do sacrifice performance and security with this plan.
- VPS hosting: Virtual private server is a powerful shared hosting option without paying a high cost. Only a few sites are running on the server; you have your own RAM, data transfer limits, and storage.
Website builders also cater to specific industries such as online shops, restaurants, and charities. To get started, you should compare and choose from the best website building services.
2. Choose a Name and Theme
The name of the website is essential because that’s how your audience will recognize you. If your operation or organization already has a name, then that’s what you should use. If you have to come up with a new name for the website, try something simple and memorable.
There is a difference between a website name and a domain name. The website name is what you want the site to be know as, and there is a lot of leeway here. A domain name is your internet address. A domain name must be unique (no two websites can have the same domain name) and easy to remember (you want people to recall your website address easily).
When choosing a domain name, there are some tips for choosing the best one:
- Make it memorable
- Pick something unique and stands out
- Right extension: choose .com as the extension
- Avoid hyphens and numbers
- Easy to spell
- Keep it short
- Choose something you can brand
The best-case scenario is if both the website name and domain name are the same as in “Cupcake Jane” and “cupcakejane.com.” If the ideal domain name is already in use, then only make a slight change so that the name recognition is intact. For example, “Cupcake Jane” could translate to “cupcakejaneonline.com” as a domain name.
The theme sets the tone of your website; it includes the sit’s design and aesthetics. Some themes come with unique features, so it’s essential to understand what you want your website to do and how you would like it to look.
3. Keep it Simple and Build and as You Grow
It’s easy to get carried away when thinking about building a website. Try to keep your aspirations grounded. Keeping the idea simple makes it easier to get started. Once you have reached the hang of how a website works and what it can do, you can start growing it.
As you are building your website from scratch, you will need to learn the following:
- Web page editing: Use a content management system to help you power your website.
- Learn Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): This will determine how your website will look.
- Learn Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): Look for a tutorial where you can learn how to use HTML language.
As you continue to grow and build your website, you will want to keep up with any trends, new ways to update your web design, and anything else that will help your site stand out.
4. Choose the Right Layout, Fonts, Colors and More
These elements form part of your website design. Before you go ahead and choose the layout, fonts, and colors, keep in mind what you would like your website to look like overall. Is it a serious website or a light-hearted one? Is it for creative or conservative personalities? What’s your target demographic? All of these factors will affect what your website will look like once it’s complete.
When structuring your website, there are things to also take into consideration:
- Home page
- About page
- Contact page
- Reviews or testimonials
- Social media accounts
Additionally, your layout, font, and colors should make your website easy to read and navigate. The cursive font is beautiful to look at, but it’s terrible for long reads. The placement of your text, images, and modules should make it easy to read or to take action. As a rule of thumb, keep it simple.
5. Optimize for SEO and Make it Mobile Friendly
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that helps your website and other content rank highly on search engines. It’s a set of strategies that make you appear higher on internet searches.
Each website builder has a small questionnaire designed to understand your website’s purpose and, most importantly, categorize it. The information garnered from your answers will help the website platform create meta tags to make your site easier to search. So, answer the questions to the best of your ability.
The information and content that you use on your website will also be used by search engines to rank you. So use distinct, simple industry-specific words, also known as keywords. For example, Cupcake Jane would use keywords like a cupcake, custom cupcakes, cupcake shop, bakery, and confectionery.
Most people use their mobile devices to search websites. So your audience will likely see your website from their phone. Having mobile-friendly features is now standard across website-building platforms, but it’s in your best interest to make sure of it.
Having an online presence is a smart strategy. Your product, service, brand or project will become easier to find and interact with and allow you to reach new people. So knowing the basics of building a website from scratch will help your company grow.