How to Make a Website

Are you interested in making a website for your business? Perhaps you want to create a personal site? Today, thanks to website building software, it is easier to do this than ever before. I’ll explain to you the steps that you need to take.

written by

James Examply

last updated

June 21, 2020

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Why Should You Start a Website?

If you have been thinking about creating your own website for quite some time now, but you are yet to take the plunge, do it! I promise that you won’t regret it. Here are some of the reasons why starting a website makes sense:

Everyone is online

Let’s face it; everything is online today! You want to pay a bill; you can do it online! You want to watch a movie; you can stream it online! You want to talk to a friend; you can do so online! The list goes on and on. If you are selling products or services and do not have an online presence, you are putting yourself behind the competition.

Be available 24/7

Your website never sleeps. People can access your store or site 24/7. 

Worldwide reach

Another benefit associated with making a website is the global reach. From China to Croatia, you can reach people all over the world.

It is your online virtual property

This is your virtual home address. It is where people can find you or your business. It is like your own slice of virtual real estate, only a lot cheaper. You can build on it. You can even sell it. It is yours to do what you want with and to make money from.

Now I’ve covered why I website is a must, let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow…

Get a Domain Name

The first step is getting a domain name. This is your website’s name. For example, the domain name for my website is websitebuilderadvice.com. 

To get a domain, you will need to pay a yearly fee to a registrar for the right to use the name.

You are not going to get a website or anything like that. Your domain name is just that: a name.

A lot of website builders and web hosts provide a free domain name for at least a year, so before you rush off and purchase one, continue reading to find out about the rest of the steps you need to take. Then you can figure out the most economical approach, i.e., whether to get a separate domain name, web host, and website builder, or whether to group some or all of these.

Select a Web Host

Next, you are going to need a web host. This is a company that has different servers all around the world that are connected to the Internet. When your website is placed on one of their servers, everyone around the world will be able to connect to your website and view your content.

Without a web host, no one is going to be able to see your website, so it is essential. 

Hostinger home
Hostinger is one of many web hosts available.

There are many different factors that you need to consider when choosing a website hosting service. The first thing I always look at is uptime. You want a web host that guarantees 99.9% uptime. If they fall under this, they should offer you some sort of refund. After all, poor site performance is going to hurt your brand image and search engine ranking.

Aside from this, I assess the host’s speed and different security features. A lot of website hosts provide backups as well, so this is another factor I always take into account. 

Support is important too. If you have a problem or a query, you want to be safe knowing that you will be able to get in touch with someone as soon as possible.

There are many popular hosting providers today. This includes SiteGround, GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostinger, and much more. You can read my review on the best hosting websites of 2020 for more information.

recommended

Best for customer support

Best for speed and performance

also great

Best for those seeking an all-rounder

Best for ease of use

Best for extra features and services

Use a Website Builder to Design Your Website

Next, you need to build your website. You have two options: either hire a website designer or create your own website using a site-building solution. I much prefer the second option, and I will tell you the reasons why…

  • You can have a website up and running in no time – You can have a website up and running in just a few hours. Of course, you will need to spend further time perfecting your site!
  • You don’t need a big budget – You can end up spending thousands on a website designer. With a website builder, you only pay a small monthly fee.
  • You don’t need any design or coding experience – In the past, you needed to be a bit of an expert to create a website. This is not the case now. Website builders have been designed so that anyone, even a beginner, can create a website without any difficulty.
  • Edit your website at any time, from any place – You don’t have to wait for updates to be carried out on your site, as would be the case if you used a design agency.
Weebly website builder
Weebly website builder.

How to choose a website builder

So, to start creating your website, you are going to need to choose a website builder. There are some great options out there, including Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. Some people also use WordPress to create a website. How do you choose the right one for you?

  • Ease-of-use – Personally, I find drag-and-drop builders the easiest to use, such as Wix. You simply click on an element and then drag it to the part of your website where you want it to be placed. 
  • Design templates – You want your website to look good, right?
  • Website tools – The best website builders today come with a comprehensive range of tools. This includes blogging, SEO, video, analytics, booking tools, and much more.
  • App market – Some website builders enable you to add third-party apps and plug-ins to extend the functionality of your website; others don’t. 
  • Support – Can you easily contact the website builder support team for assistance?
  • Pricing – Of course, you want to make sure the prices are reasonable and affordable. 

There are a lot of website builders . I have provided a comprehensive review of a number of site builders. Simply click on the logo of each one below to read an in-depth guide. You can also check out my overview of the best website builders of 2020

Once you have chosen a website builder, you simply need to sign up and start building your site. Most site builders have tutorials and help guides for beginners, yet they are all very intuitive so you should not find too much difficulty when using them.

recommended

Best for features and scalability

Best for selling online

also great

Best for membership sites and ease of use

Best for support and multi-language websites

Best for simplicity and free plans

Prepare Content for Your Website

The word ‘content’ is a term that describes everything that is visible on your website. This includes everything from videos to written content.

This is why it is imperative to write creative, unique, and SEO optimized content for your website so that you can convey your messages to your visitors. 

Badly-create content does not only frustrate viewers, but it can result in your search engine ranking suffering. 

Before I start writing any content, I ask myself two important questions:

Will this piece of content by exciting, interesting, and relevant for my target audience?

How should the content be presented to my target audience?

So, let’s take a look at the essential content you need for your website. 

It is perfectly fine to simply have essential information and a few blog posts on your website when it goes live. However, the best way to build up your website is by creating premium content continually that will increase your site’s visibility engagement, and rank.

Of course, the essential content that you need depends on the type of website you are making, yet I will cover some of the most vital elements that most websites should have.

About Us Page

Your customer wants to know about your business. Your ‘About Us’ page allows you to introduce yourself to website visitors.

You can tell a bit about your story so that viewers can connect with you. The right content here can help to instil trust in your audience and build viable relationships. 

It is important to present content in an easy-to-understand manner. Don’t confuse customers with technical jargon. 

Contact Us Page

Your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website. This page serves two critical purposes.

Contact
Make it easy for viewers to get in touch.

Firstly, it is used by visitors who want to get in touch with you. This is the obvious point.

Secondly, website viewers use your contact page to check that you are a legitimate company.

The second point highlights why your contact page is so essential. Including a telephone number, email address, and physical address can establish your company as trustworthy. 

Blog Page

Not all business websites have blogs today, yet I always highly recommend that they do. A blog section is going to give you the power to attract leads and convert them.

Wix blog editor
Wix's blogging options.

You can also use your blog page to establish your company as an expert in the industry. You can share industry insights, trends, technical data, and other pieces of unique and interesting pieces of content.

You also have the opportunity to enhance your SEO efforts and improve your link building policy through your blog, which can help you increase your visibility on the search engine results pages. 

You can read my comprehensive guide on how to set up a blog for more information.

Optimising Your Website for SEO

Now that you have some content on your website, you need to make sure it is optimised for the search engine result pages. Search engine optimisation involves many different tactics that are used to move your website up the search engine pages such as Google so you can increase traffic and conversions.

A lot of the website builders on the market today come with a number of different SEO tools to help you achieve this.

Google

There are some basics you need to get right first and foremost. This includes adding title tags to all of the pages on your website. A title tag is an HTML element that enables the Google bots to recognise your website. 

Make sure your title tag is compelling. It should be between 50 and 60 characters in length, and it should include your target keywords.

The ideal title tag is as follows:

Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name

Write fresh and unique content

I touched upon content earlier. This is important in connecting with your customers, but it is vital for SEO purposes as well.

When creating content, it needs to be unique. Don’t simply copy work that you have found elsewhere. Yes, you can seek inspiration from elsewhere, but you cannot copy it.

Why? Google does not like duplicate content. Well, let’s be frank, neither do humans! Many marketers and website owners used to copy content and stuff it with keywords to rank highly on Google in the past. This approach does not work anymore.

Approaches like this are known as ‘black hat’ techniques. This means that you manipulate the search engine terms and conditions to get to the top. You may get quick results, but ultimately your website is going to get penalised by Google in the end, and it can be very difficult to come back from this.

External and internal links

Links are a critical factor when it comes to any SEO policy. Link building is a balancing act. In terms of international link building, between one and three links per 1,000 words are ideal. You can link to other parts of your website, as well as other authority sites. 

External link building is about getting backlinks to your website from high authority sources. You can begin by leaving relevant comments on other sites from your niche, as well as posting on forums and social media, and writing guest posts. 

My main piece of advice when it comes to link building is to remember that it is about quality > quantity. You need to make sure that the external links come from websites that are related to yours and have high domain authority. 

If you run a jewellery store in the UK, you’re not going to gain anything by having a mechanic’s website in India link to your site. In fact, this will hurt your SEO campaign if anything.

Speed up your website

Another factor that impacts the visibility of your website on Google is your page load speed. If your website is slow to load, people will leave it and simply look elsewhere. This lowers your website’s ranking. 

There are a number of things you can do to speed up your website. The first thing is to choose a host with care. Good hosting can do wonders for the speed of your website. I have chosen my top five hosts for 2020 to help give you a helping hand. You can also check out my top five WordPress hosts as well if you have chosen this as your platform.

You need to make sure that files are compressed so that they do not slow down your website.

Optimise your website for mobile

Mobile is everywhere, isn’t it? Next time you use public transport, look around and note how many people are using their mobile phones. It is quite remarkable!

Site123 mobile optimisation
SITE123's mobile optimisation view.

In fact, Google now prioritises mobile websites over desktop websites, which shows why your site needs to be optimised for SEO.

Most of the site builders today have mobile-responsive websites, so you don’t have to worry about this. 

Don’t be impatient

It can be hard to stay patient, I feel you! You want results yesterday. The truth is that SEO takes time. This is the only way to build sustainable and organic results that will last.

Test Your Website

One thing that people do not do enough is to test their website! Testing your site is vital to the success of it. There are numerous tests you can do. Here are two tests that I recommend…

Beta testing – It can seem impossible to know where to start when testing your website before you launch it. After all, there are so many different elements! Here are some of the important places to test:

  • Any issues relating to your hosting and your backup systems
  • SEO details like proper usage of primary keywords and optimised meta titles
  • Developmental issues, such as broken links
  • Design-based elements like the fonts used and the alignment of images
  • Your content for punctuation or spelling errors

Post-launch testing – Once your website has been launched, you must have a firm strategy in place regarding what to do next in terms of site maintenance and website growth. Some of the areas that you should cover are as follows:

  • Preparations for the measurement of various metrics and promotions
  • A maintenance team should be accessible when required
  • Collecting visitor feedback
  • Adequate backups

Promoting Your Website

Your work does not stop once your website has been launched. You need to work just as hard to make sure that your website is visible and that you attract plenty of traffic.

Email marketing 

A lot of people think that email marketing is dead, but I certainly do not think that this is the case. Email marketing enables you to connect with a large number of people and build strong relationships. 

However, this is only going to be the case if your emails are compelling and do not come across as spam.

Start commenting on other sites 

Comments are an effective way of promoting your online presence. While site owners are (rightly) cautious of spammy comments, quality comments are always welcomed. 

So, if you read other blogs, make sure you leave valuable feedback. If possible, include a link to one of your resources. However, make sure you do this in a helpful and natural way.

Social media

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are the main platforms for social media today. LinkedIn comes into play for professionals and B2B businesses are well.

Social media icons

Social media websites are ideal for sharing your content and reaching more people. 

One of the worst things I see people do is setting up accounts on every social media platform possible. It’s not good to try and be a jack-of-all-trades, as it is going to be simply impossible for you to dedicate the time and effort you need to all platforms. 

This is why you need to do your research to find out what social media sites your target consumer base is using. You can then focus on these social media websites. 

You also need to make sure you do not use social media as purely a promotional tool. Social media is about connecting with people and building valuable relationships. 

You can also use it to answer customer queries, share interesting content, and host competitions.

Guest posting

If you have not done this already, you should get in touch with other businesses in your industry. This should not be your direct competition, but related businesses. 

For example, if you run a cake store that sells wedding cakes, why not connect with wedding florists and wedding decor companies? You can then agree to write content for their blog and they could do the same for you. This is a great way to get your guest blog policy up and running. 

Quora

Quora marketing has become very popular as of late, and it is something that I am a fan of for a lot of business types.

For those who are unaware, Quora is a platform that connects people with questions to those willing to provide the answers. 

You can use this as an opportunity to find questions relating to your industry. By answering these questions, you can get the word out about your business and share your content. 

Monetising Your Website

There are a number of ways that you can make money from your website. Of course, if you have a business that sells products or services, this is the main way that you are going to want to make money. However, there are some other ways to make money as well.

Ad placement

All websites have white space, and you can use this to post adverts. There are two ways you can go about this. The first is by using Google AdSense. You can begin your ad campaign here, handling and maintaining a consistent flow of revenue. The other option is to sell white space on your website directly to other companies and brands. 

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves earning a commission by allowing other businesses and brands to use your blogs and website for advertising their products. A lot of advertisers and companies are looking for relevant blogs and sites in the same niche as them to sell their products. If you post links to their items and promote their products, you will receive commission for every purchase made.

Summary

So there you have it: my step-by-step guide on putting together the perfect website. I hope that you have found this information useful. However, if you have any further queries or concerns, please check out the FAQ section beneath or drop me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked...

There are a number of different website builders that offer free plans, including Wix and Constant Contact. You simply need to sign-up for one of these builders and choose a free account. However, if you can afford to, I would recommend going for one of the paid options. This is because the free plans are very limited. You won’t get to use many features and you will have the website builder’s branding everywhere. Plus, most free website builders don’t allow you to have your own domain name.

It really depends on your goals. If you are looking for something that is easy to use, I would go with Weebly. If you want something with a great prepackaged design, Squarespace is a good option. For a good all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with Wix. That’s why I have put together comprehensive reviews on each site builder so that you can get a better understanding of the different options that are out there and determine which one is going to be right for you.

You are not able to purchase a domain name on a permanent basis. The registration of a domain name is done on a year-by-year basis. Nevertheless, you are able to pre-pay for as long as 10 years, which secures you that domain name for ten years. You should then be able to renew it as you are approaching the end of your contract.

Technically, you can, as some site builders give you the ability to publish a free website without having to pay for hosting, such as the free version of Wix and WordPress.com. However, these websites feature the site builder’s branding heavily and you will not be able to use a unique domain name, so I really do not recommend going down this route. The only time when this would be appropriate, in my opinion, is if you were creating a site for yourself that no one else was going to see. 

To start freelancing, you need to begin by choosing your niche. Make sure you are clear about what your service offers. You should also define what your perfect client looks like and put together a good portfolio. Focus on building credibility online and make the most of freelance sites in order to acquire jobs. 

No, a domain name is essentially the website’s name. A website is what users see when they interact with your site once they get there.

Website builders are exceptionally cheap and they provide you with an easy way of creating a site even if you do not have any coding knowledge. So, in my opinion, they are most definitely worth it. Site builders come with plenty of different features, themes, and plug-ins, ensuring that you have everything you need to create a successful website without needing to pay a fortune for the services of a website developer.

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