14 Steps To Build a Website From Scratch
Web development companies seem to reveal in making website development really hard and complicated. It is not. With the advanced coding that has allowed for simple and easy to use platforms to build websites on if you can work Microsoft Word, you can build a website. Follow these 14 steps to easily create you first website.
- Buy domain– Your domain is your web address, literally what people will type in to get to your website. www.example.com is a domain. Most hosting companies provide an easy interface to buy a domain directly from them. This is not always the least expensive route. You can buy a domain from one place and host your website on another, it is actually really common. When you are looking for a domain do investigate how much your renewal rate will be and if privacy is included or is an add on charge.
- Buy Hosting– Your hosting is a crucial decisions to getting your new website on-line. First you need to decide which type of hosting you will need. The three most common are shared, VPS or dedicated hosting. You will consider your total storage needs, the amount of visitors you expect and what platform (WordPress, Drupal, Weebly) you are planning to use to construct your website.
- Install Platform– Once you have your hosting set-up then you can install the programming platform that you are going to use. Most hosting plans have a simple installation of these platform inside the cPanel or Windows server interface. Some places with built in drag and drop builders do not require this step because you will only be able to use their native platform.
- Choose Layout/Theme– Generally in the drag and drop builders they are referenced as layouts and you will have several dozen to choose from for your basic layout. If you are using WordPress, they are called themes and there are thousands of WordPress themes available. To find one that will work for your website, do a simple search for your industry and WordPress Theme. A couple of examples: Fitness WordPress Theme Plumber WordPress Theme
- Get A Logo– You can build a website without a logo but they never really look right or trustworthy without a logo. If you already have a logo, great, upload it and get it on your new website. However, if you need a logo, there are a few places you can look to get a logo quickly and inexpensively. Fiverr.com is a cheap source but you don’t have much control of what comes out. Other places, like 99designs.com or use a freelancer through Upworthy.com or Elance.com.
- Create a Tagline– Your tagline is more than just a throw away statement, it is the thread that should weave through your website connecting everything to your companies purpose.
- Decide Purpose Of Your Website– Deciding your website’s purpose is often overlooked when developing a website. Before you to creating, you should know exactly what you want your website visitors to do before leaving your website. Local businesses usually want the visitor to fill out a form or call their business. E-commerce site want some to complete a purchase. Other sites might be for pure email lead generation or just to cookie someone for re-targeting. Being very clear on what you want your website visitors to do while on your site will help you shape your content.
- Develop Site Outline (Structure)– Your site structure is just how your website will flow and how your menu will be structured. Developing this site outline will allow you to identify and produce all of the content that you will need to fill out your website. This includes the individual sections of each of your webpages.
- Write Content– There is no secret here, put pen to paper and write each section of your outline. Remember that if you are considering SEO, be sure you have a minimum of 350 words but getting 1500+ words on your page will help greatly.
- Get Images– Once you have your content, you can find and drop in the images that you want. You can look for open license images by searching google images and changing the search tools option, usage rights to labeled for reuse. You still should give credit to the photo. Or you can find the images you need on places like photostock.com and purchase the rights to use the images.
- Get Video– Video is a very powerful selling and thought conveying tool. You can search YouTube for related videos, but if you are a local business or and e-commerce business, you will probably want to have a video developed for your unique purpose.
- Put It all On the Page– If you completed the outline in great detail then this is just a matter of dropping each piece in place. If you did a really rough outline, you will need to arrange your pages so they are easily consumable and drive to your visitors exactly to what you want them to do on your website.
- Set-up Contact forms or E-commerce platform– This step ensures that your users can take fulfill the actions that you want them to take on your website. This includes setting up contact forms with good messaging on the form, after the submission, the confirmation email that they receive and how you will be notified that form was submitted. This is a crucial conversion point for small businesses. You also want to set-up and test all of your on-line selling capabilities. Setting up you shopping cart, optimizing each of your product pages and everything else that goes into your e-commerce capabilities.
- Maintain/update blog– Now your website is live. But your work is not done. A thriving website is dynamic and always changing and updating. This is where you start publishing blog posts, adding new items to buy, testing your conversion points. As you start getting users you will be able to look at what they are doing and make subtle changes to encourage them to the actions you want them to take.
There you have it, 14 simple steps to setting up your first website.