Reaching new heights warrants enough time on your part. It takes months to taste the fruit of success. To create a website for your venture is no different. Many entrepreneurs make a website, but a majority of them fail to reap the desired results. On the other side, some business owners use an online website builder that scales their venture amid tough competition. If you wish to list yourself among successful website owners, read below and find out how to make a compelling website from scratch.
How to create a website from start to finish?
A website is the online address of your venture. Just like a brick and mortar office, it has to be well designed to draw the attention of prospects. If it fails at this point, there’s no point in to build a website. People pay close attention to minute details when building their offline business. This fact applies to your website too. So, be wary of this point and take each step carefully to make an eye-catchy website.
Step 1 – Determine Your Niche Carefully
Entrepreneurs/marketers build a website for various reasons. Some individuals plan to earn money through an eCommerce platform so use an eCommerce builder. Then others intend to run a blog and monetize it with ads, so they use an affiliate website builder. You’ll also come across individuals who want to make a successful career in affiliate marketing or mentoring. Besides this, there are many other reasons why anyone may want to create a website.
As a business owner, you should figure out why you need a site, and why you need to be working on creating a website for your business. Your aim or niche will impact the type of site you should have. For instance, an eCommerce platform may not work for mentoring. It’ll be ideal for a store owner. On the flip side, a blog might be a better option for affiliate marketing and ad monetization.
If you already run a venture offline, then it’s simple. You don’t need to find a niche; you already have it. What if you’re just getting started? In such a situation, jot down your preferences. Do you’ve a knack for selling weight loss products? Are you interested in sharing your knowledge? If the former is your preferred choice, a blog or site dedicated to affiliate marketing ought to be your priority. In the latter case, a mentoring site might work best.
Step 2 – Decide the Domain Name
Most individuals have no clear idea of what a domain name is and critical to develop website. It’s the web address of your site. A domain name is a name written between www and .com or .net. For example, take a look at www.yoursite.com. Here your site is the domain name. The name describes the nature of your business. So, use the name that explains your business in one or two words.
For instance, if you want to create a website for weight loss products, your site name could be weightlosstips.com or fatlosspoint.com. On the other hand, earnmoneynow.com or makemoneyfast.com could be the best name for your money-making blog. However, be sure you pick the extension (aka .com or .net carefully).
A generic extension makes the best choice for targeting international visitors. Popular examples of generic extensions include .net, .org, or .com. if you plan to target local users, use a local domain name extension. As an example, if you want Russian visitors, use the .ru extension. For French visitors, the .fr extension works best.
Now, you know about domain names and extensions. Let’s find out how to pick a suitable name for your website for site builder. While it’s easy, the name may not be available to you. Why? Many people have the same interest and preferences. Someone might have booked the domain name. If this is the case, you’ll have to look for an alternative name.
If you don’t have alternative names, you might choose an undesirable name in a hurry. To avoid such a scene, list about 10 to 15 names matching your niche. Even if these names are taken, don’t worry. There are a million other possibilities. Just make certain you know what to pick from the available options.
Domain names aren’t costly. They can cost you between 10 dollars and 50 dollars a year. It isn’t going to hurt your pocket in any manner. So, don’t check multiple domain sellers. Just stay with the hosting provider to book your domain name and hosting.
Step 3 – To Create a Website – Get Web Hosting and Register the Domain
Once you decide on possible domain names, the next of the steps to develop a website is web hosting. A host keeps your site alive on the World Wide Web. Plus, a reliable hosting service stores your site files on a secure server that’s up and running constantly. Hosting for new sites usually costs between 4 and 10 dollars a month. The cost is less than a cup of tea, but it’s an important investment toward the success of your site.
There are hundreds of web hosting services. Be sure you check reviews and ratings to find the right one. Whichever company you choose, make certain it offers a free domain name with security (SSL), custom email accounts, a one-click installation feature for adding your website, unlimited bandwidth (no traffic limitations), and persistent customer support (to resolve your issues).
If you select a web host that offers all the above options, you found a good service. Surf through the various hosting plans of the company. Take some time and chat with the company to pick the right plan. You may even seek a custom hosting plan. The options are varied; you can easily find the plan that suits your budget and requirements.
No matter which plan you opt for, make certain that the site loads faster, and make website responsive. If the hosting company lags on this point, you’ll lose substantial traffic no matter how beautifully you create a website. Not just that, search engines will rank your site lower due to slow loading speed.
Besides this, pay attention to the type of hosting you get. A cheaper plan may look appealing, but it could be shared hosting. Shared hosting is a situation wherein you share a web server with hundreds or thousands of other websites. It’s slow; your site will load slowly. If you’re unlucky and share with a bunch of spam sites, search engines may even penalize your website.
It’s best to go for VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated hosting. VPS is also shared hosting, but it’s shared in a better manner. Dedicated hosting, on the other side, is the best option. You don’t share your web server with others. Although costly, it pays off in the long run in terms of a higher page rank and increased organic traffic.
Step 4 – Designing a Website
Okay, you’ve decided the niche, chosen a name, and picked a hosting service. What’s next? Now, you need to create a website. Here, you’ve three options. You may design a site on your own with an easy website builder, use a third-party website building tool, such as google website builder, or stick to a design option from your hosting provider, such as godaddy website builder. The best option would be designing your site in a do it yourself fashion.
However, that’s easier said than done. You ought to be a designer to make a website from scratch. If you possess those skills, then it’s fine. Go ahead and make the site as per your needs and intended targets. What if you lack the design skills? As a business owner, you may not be familiar with the design aspect at all.
Some folks argue why not learn web designing? It’s a great idea. However, learning to design a site isn’t a cup of tea that you make it within minutes. It takes several months or even a year to learn in-depth designing. Do you’ve that much time? Of course not!
Most businesses are out of time for anything but production and marketing. As a smart entrepreneur, you should concentrate on the core activities of your business. That leaves you with two other options: use an automated tool such as a website maker or choose a design package the hosting company offers. Let’s assess each of the options meticulously.
Relying on what some call the best free website builder or third party site may look appealing outwardly. Those platforms let you create a website with the click of a button. Tumblr, Blogger, and Wix are special mentions in this respect. Most of these platforms offer paid and free plans depending on your needs. Such platforms are tempting for building a site. However, you may want to avoid them at any cost.
If you’re blogging as a hobby, then it’s fine. Go ahead and feel handy to use a web template that allows you to make a website free. However, this kind of option won’t help when making a business website, which is not good to create a website for free for a business. If you’re serious about mentoring, affiliate marketing, eCommerce store, or blogging, you need a design you can customize as you go. The bottom line is third-party tools just don’t work for serious entrepreneurs.
Many drawbacks come with third-party site builders. If you choose a free plan with free hosting, you’ll discover that you just can’t do much with the available options. You can surely set up a basic blog, but it features several ads on it. Not just that, the support is terrible. You’ve significant space constraints. To get rid of potential issues, you may switch to a paid plan.
Those plans aren’t expensive, but they don’t come at a small price either. Even worse, you don’t get too much freedom to customize your site. You could curse yourself for using a third-party builder to create a website. Another prominent reason for not using third-party site builders is they aren’t easy as claimed. As well as wasting time, you’ll lose enough money and energy. So, it’s better to have the site builder and hosting bundled together.
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Step 5 – Choose a CMS
Put simply, CMS means content management system. Once you develop a website, you can store your site’s files on the hosting server and make suitable changes as you wish. However, that could be a painful job. CMS resolves this issue. You don’t need to access the hosting server to make amendments or create website content.
Rather, you make edits from the domain. Simply log in to your domain and customize your settings, layouts, and content on the go. You can even create new posts, edit the existing ones, and add new pages using web templates that are fairly easy to use. Even better, it saves enough time for you.
Now the hard part is the choice of the CMS system. No one can say that a particular CMS is perfect. There are numerous (more than a hundred) CMS systems on the market. Some work better than others. Assuming that you need a basic blog or site, you’ve a few handy options.
If you wish to create a website with customized apps and other complex tools, you need a custom solution for your situation. In such a scenario, hire a web design firm or a freelance developer. A professional service or designer will do the legwork. For simple blogs or sites, here are your CMS options.
When it comes to CMS, WordPress is king. No other CMS system is as popular as WordPress. The reason – It offers user-friendly web templates and easy social media sharing. Visit WordPress.org to download the wordpress website builder to install it on your site. Its intuitive admin backend helps you change the basic templates and create new posts, pages easily. You may create a website and add the CMS option or choose the system beforehand for a hassle-free installation after making the site.
Plus, WordPress provides more than 57000 plugins. You may use plugins for anything, from driving traffic to social media sharing, to doing an eCommerce website builder. However, be careful when using a plugin. Don’t add too many plugins as they can slow down the site. Also, some plugins can crash your whole site when updating.
Next to WordPress, you’ve Joomla CMS. While it may not be quite intuitive, it’s relatively simple. Creating and editing posts is fairly easy. You’ve total control over your site settings. Even better, it covers an array of plugins. These plugins are similar to WordPress plugins. They come with special features but have limitations. Too much use of plugins can crash your website or slow down its loading time.
Drupal is way more advanced than WordPress and Joomla CMS. It’s hardest to learn but it also offers more customization options. Instead of plugins, Drupal has modules. You can use modules for driving traffic, social media promotion, or other purposes.
The biggest plus with Drupal modules is they’re maintained and updated, thus posing fewer security risks to your site. However, Drupal isn’t recommended for beginner site owners as it’s highly complex. Using Drupal, you may create a website that’s basics. However, you need to be a pro designer to make an advanced theme.
Although Rainmaker isn’t as popular as other CMS options, it’s a top-quality product. Being a polished CMS system, it has been particularly developed for online entrepreneurs. It offers special features that are unique to the system.
For instance, you can create a website with simple features, make forums, membership sites, and mentoring courses. Additionally, you can upload and sell digital products such as eBooks, software, and others. The biggest advantage is its built-in reporting and analytics. You can also perform A/B testing to determine which page will deliver better results.
Step 6 – Pick Your Brand Identity
By this point, you’ve a basic site that’s alive online. Now, you may want to make it appealing to awe the end-users. For any CMS system, you’ve to install a theme. All themes are built on a basic CMS system. However, they can be customized for looks and functionality. For instance, you can customize one theme for podcasting. The same theme works well for artists with a few changes.
Find an Ideal WordPress Theme to Create a Website
You’ve a few options to choose a WordPress theme. Searching within WordPress is the first option. Go to the Appearance option, check Theme, and click on add new. You may also sort themes by popular, featured, or other advanced filters as you want. In case you like the appearance of the theme’s thumbnail, press anywhere to open a preview window. If you’re drawn by the preview, press install; otherwise, press X to return to the search screen.
After installation, activate the theme. You may either do that from the installation screen or return to the main theme page where you see a new theme to add. If you don’t like a theme, you can check a third-party site. You may buy a premium theme for about 30 to 50 dollars. Although free themes exist, premium ones are a better bet. Make sure any theme you choose can make website mobile friendly.
Create a Website Using Drupal
Just like WordPress, Drupal has its own collection of themes. You can locate the library of themes outside your admin panel. Just sort the options and scroll down to find a suitable theme. Once you find an ideal one, go to the download section and add it to the site. Go to administer, then click themes, and press enable on the theme. Finally, head over to user preference and pick the theme.
Create a Website Using a Joomla Theme
Joomla is pretty different in that you should find a theme on third-party sites. Just search for Joomla themes free in Google; you might come across solid options. You may even check a paid marketplace to find a premium theme. Installing a theme is straightforward. First of all, download the desired theme on your computer and then upload it to the CMS system.
Step 7 – To Create a Website for Free – Edit Your Site Without Messing Up
Most beginners are scared of breaking a website when they’re trying to build a website. Although that’s not likely, you ought to be careful to avoid messing up. Use a child/duplicate theme to protect your site. A child theme is a style sheet kept separate from your theme’s files. You can always input CSS into your child theme to customize the appearance of the site. Using a child theme offers two main benefits. Firstly, your site won’t crash when you’re trying to create your own website. You can remove the child theme if you want to do so.
Secondly, it shields you against updates. If you make amendments in a theme, it’ll automatically wipe out all changes in the theme files. A child theme remains unaffected by the edits. So, you can easily revert to the original design with the child theme. Each of the CMS systems has its own way to update the child theme. Depending on what system you use, get familiar with the creation and usage of child theme files.
Step 8 – To Create a Website – Market Your Venture
Now you’ve a site that looks and works decently. You may finally finish the technical part and add things you want to do on your new site. Just having a skeleton site won’t help out. You need to add a slew of things to make your site lively and in flesh.
First of all, get a logo. Brand your venture with a logo. A small identity will draw user attention and create awareness about your brand. In case you don’t have a logo, you may design it using free tools or hire someone for the job.
Next, Create Website Content
Fill up the empty site with fresh and useful content, which helps make website mobile friendly . Remember, content is king. If your site lacks meaty content, it won’t come up in search results. Even if it manages to get on top of search rankings, users will move away due to outdated content.
First of all, fill the home page and the about us page. Also, update your contact us page and add a blog section. Above all, don’t forget to add a page describing your products/services. Provide detailed and to-the-point information. If you use an easy website builder but fail to add compelling content, you’ll wind up your venture sooner or later.
You may want to find out how your site performs. How many visitors checked your site and what actions did they perform? That’s what Google analytics do for you. So, don’t forget to add analytics to your newly built site.
Plan Your Strategies
Simply hosting a site with content and products won’t bring in traffic. You need to thrive hard and promote your venture across the web. So, formulate your marketing tactics. Online strategies can be divided into on-page and off-page optimization. You should carry out on-site strategies the moment you create a website. To begin with, use high traffic keywords and put them smartly at the right places. Keep the density to 2 percent.
If you go for 4 to 5 percent density, your site may get penalized for stuffing keywords. Next, optimize your title tags, URLs, and images. Make sure you’ve simple navigation that effortlessly leads visitors from one page to another. Easy navigation reduces the bounce rate and paves the path for higher conversions.
In addition to on-site SEO (search engine optimization) tactics, employ off-site strategies. Get links from authoritative sites. Try to gain multiple links to increase your site’s rankings. Also, promote your website through social sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Above all, don’t forget to optimize your site for Google maps listings. At the same time, post relevant content in your blog section for visitors with call to action buttons or links pointing to products. All these tactics will increase page ranking and drive a ton of targeted traffic through multiple sources.
Running a business smoothly involves a slew of chores. From website designing with a Google website builder to marketing, you’ve to pay close attention to each detail. A single error could translate into blunders, throwing you out of the competition. So, find out how to use the best free website builder (mentioned above) and market it effectively. Over time, you could see noticeable results in the form of increased traffic and subsequent sales.