So you want to build a website? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here we are going to walk you through all of the steps required, not only to create and start your own website but to promote and maintain it as well. Just remember, you can have the best website on the Internet, but if no one knows that it’s there, you might as well have never even wasted your time building one. So get ready, and hang on for the ride, now we’re going to tell you how.
Choosing a Domain Name
First things first, you need to decide on a domain name. We consider this a crucial part in the design of any website. This will essentially be the name you are giving to your website, and this is the address everyone will need to use to find it. Coming up with a name that is easy to remember will be a critical component to the site you are building. If you give your website a domain name that is easy to misspell, or too long to understand, then it could be detrimental to its success. For example, choosing the domain name ABC.com would be much more successful than selecting the name AybeeCee.com. Keep the name short and to the point; you don’t want your users having to type a paragraph to get to your site.
Choosing a Host
Your next step will be choosing a host for your website. This is essentially a place to park your website and a place to store all of its information and content. This is another critical step because if you choose poorly here, you risk website downtime or crashes leaving your website unavailable to your intended audience. There are many hosting companies available, so do your research here. Most hosting companies will even let you register your domain name at the same time you sign up for the hosting of your website. Allowing you to eliminate an extra step, essentially making your job a bit easier at this point. Do not always just give into free hosting services because you will also run into issues that do not occur with paid hosting services. Limits on bandwidth, storage, and content are some of the major issues that you will run into by selecting free hosting rather than fee-based hosting. So, I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research before making your decision.
Designing the Website
Designing your website is just as important as choosing a host. Having a poorly designed website will only make your intended audience seek more user-friendly and eye-pleasing sources for the information or services they are seeking out. This is not what you want to show your clients; you want your site up each and every time your website is accessed because otherwise you’re going to lose customers, business, and/or money. And since these are usually the primary reasons people go into becoming a website builder and creating a website in the first place, it will be highly counterintuitive for you to settle for a sub-par product.
Testing the Website
Testing your site should be done throughout the process of designing your website. This is as important as the actual design of your site because if your website does not function properly on the browsers your audience frequently uses, you are as much at risk as if you’d had a poorly designed website that was not visually appealing. You can obtain the major browsers free of charge off the internet. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari for Windows, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 are all easily obtainable so you should have little to no difficulty downloading these programs online for free. Additionally, for those that are considering or already running Windows 10, you should consider testing using Microsoft Edge, which is the replacement to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It is also imperative to test the website on mobile platforms as well, just to make sure that your website appeared correctly within those applications.
Publishing the Content
Most hosting companies will make publishing your website simple for you within the application or dashboard provided by them. This step is about getting the content you have created in the planning and designing phase onto the servers of your hosting company of choice. You can contact your hosting provider for information on this if you run into difficulties, but this step is one of the most rewarding ones because once this is done, you can start leading your intended audience in the direction of your site. This is where the fun begins, and the money starts pouring in.
Selling Products on Your Website
If you are going to be selling products, creating paid memberships, or just have a financial incentive, you will need a way to accept and process payments. You can check with your hosting company for ways to implement a way to process payments because they might offer discounted pricing for merchant accounts as you are hosting with them. Hosting companies often work with other companies to help make your life simpler by choosing them to host your site. PayPal is another option and setting up this option can be easier than setting up a merchant account. PayPal gives you the option accept payments made by credit cards even if your customers don’t have PayPal accounts. They even offer the ability to send invoices to clients directly from PayPal; although this option requires them to have an account with PayPal.
Promoting the Website
Promoting your website is key to its success. I mentioned earlier that if you have a website that no one knows about it, then you might as well not even have one. This is where you show people who are seeking the items or information that you are providing how to find you. If they can’t find you, you can’t show them what you have to offer. Once your site is published and tested, you can submit it to Google, Bing, and Yahoo. These are the three biggest search engines that can help with increasing your website’s ranking. If your site is already being linked to by other websites, then it is possible that you could skip this step altogether, but I would not. There are also many other options to promote your site, including word-of-mouth, press releases, and even newspaper advertisements. When promoting your website, get creative. You can even get bloggers to review your site, or create a blog on your own to promote your primary website. The more your site is mentioned on the web, the more fruitful your promotion tactics will be.
Metrics and Analytics
Being able to track visitors and trends within your site is another key to advertising and maintenance of your website. Both Google and Bing offer tools that can help make this task easier for you to figure out whether your advertising campaigns are effective. Setting up these tools and taking the time to analyze the date can be as important as advertising alone.
Maintenance of Your Website
How you want to handle the maintenance of your website will be one of the most important choices that you need make in the overall process of your website building. Browsers are continually updated; newer devices keep getting released, and your audience will get bored without new content. Always strive to test your website on the latest and greatest web browsers available as this will ensure that your audience always has the best view of your website. Creating relevant content is just as important. Content that is appealing and relevant to your audience will help secure the success of your website, and will in turn bring success to your life.
Here we will discuss the three best website builders available to you to help make building your website simple and easy. Taking all the steps above and making it simple and easy all in one web-based builder.
Our choice for the best website builder goes to Weebly. While they are definitely not the cheapest of the bunch, they offer it all. Truly anything that you might need to do with a website builder, you can do with Weebly. They are the complete package.
Our second choice for easy website builders is Wix. Wix is by far the cheapest option out there and is the editor’s choice from PC Magazine. Unfortunately, if you are looking for site portability, this may not be the website builder you are looking for. But if your budget is your primary concern at this point, this would be an affordable and wise choice as your website builder.
DudaOne is number 3 on our list as it offers some of the best options at an affordable price. Although if you are building a site to use for blogging, then this is not the choice for you. DudaOne does not have tools for blogging in their website builder platform but offers plenty of options for those that may not require any of the tools needed for blogging.
Sourced from: PC Mag
Featured Image: Thinkstock/ grmarc