Do you have an idea for a website? Are you in search of a new side project that will help you build your name online? If the answer is yes to either of these, then chances are you want to start a website. Starting a website from scratch can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but it’s also rewarding. And with the right information and support, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here’s everything you need to know about how to start a website—from planning stages through maintenance—so that you don’t get stuck along the way.
Keeping track of the process can be daunting, but don’t fret! We’ve included a FREE downloadable and printable pdf checklist so that you can monitor and map your progress, ensuring that you begin your build the right way.
The 4-step process to build a website
The first thing to get right is the planning stages, since a poorly planned website will have a tough time scaling. Here are the four steps that will help you create a stellar website, from first concept to launch:
- Plan your website – This is where you come up with the basics of your website, like its name and purpose. You can also perform keyword research to see where your audience would be searching for information about your topic, so you can choose the right keywords that will make people click on your site.
- Build your website – This is where the coding is done and where you build the actual website. You can either use an admin panel to code your site or code it yourself using HTML, CSS, and other programming languages. Code is what makes a website look like a website, but it’s also important to think about optimization, or how to make your website load fast and be search engine friendly. You can also use a website builder to get up and running quickly but you many not be able to customize it completely.
- Publish your website – This is where you “publish” your website, which means putting it online where the world can see it. There are more steps in between publishing your site and having visitors see it and link to it, like getting your social media accounts set up.
- Analytics and traffic – As your website grows, you’ll want to measure its performance, like the number of visitors you get from specific keywords. You can also track where people are coming from so you know how to improve the traffic and make your site more attractive to future visitors.
How to get started with planning your website
The first step to building a website is planning, and this could mean a few different things depending on your business. If you want to start a blog, for example, you’ll want to research what blog platforms are popular and which one is best suited to your needs. You can also look into website design and development services to have a web design team build a site for you.
The planning stage also includes research on your target audience, focusing on where they’re located and what they want from a website. You can also look into keywords and what people are searching for online related to your topic.
Build your own website or hire a web designer
Building your own website may sound like a good idea, but in reality, it’s not always the best option, especially if you don’t have the coding skills and the time to do it yourself. However, if you’re confident in your coding abilities, there are many websites out there that can help you build one for cheap.
On the other hand, whether it’s a personal website or a startup company, a professionally designed website is a tremendous asset to any brand. Having a web designer ensures that everything you need will be consistent with your brand and have a unique appearance. Having a designer is also a wonderful idea since they can make sure that your site looks and functions beautifully on both desktops and mobile devices. It is up to your preferences, time constraints and budget on which option to go for.
Before you launch your website
Before you launch your website, you’ll want to make sure that it’s ready to go. Make sure that your website is ready for launch, which means that it has the following:
- The right amount of content – You’ll want to make sure that your content is informative and relevant to your audience. That content should be sourced from reliable sources and be properly formatted for the web.
- A fast and secure site – A fast website that’s secure means that it’s easy for your readers to navigate and doesn’t slow down when you load it with new content. If a visitor encounters a slow page, they’ll leave, and that’s not what you want. Also ensure your website has SSL installed so that it is secure.
- A domain name – People enter your domain name—the address of your website—into the URL bar of their browsers to access it. There are numerous distinct extensions for domain names. The most well-known one is.com. There are other additional alternatives, including .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and others.
- A reliable hosting environment – The hosting environment is what helps your website connect to the web and load pages. A hosting environment can be a shared server or a cloud-based system like Amazon Web Services (AWS). Make sure you choose the hosting environment that’s compatible with your website.
After you launch your site
Now that your website is published, you’ll want to continue to maintain and scale it. This means that you’ll want to:
- Monitor your site’s performance – You’ll want to track the number of visitors to your site, the pages they visit and exit pages, and the number of inquiries from search engines. You can use Google Analytics to do this, or you can also use a third-party service like Majestic.
- Find new ways to get traffic – The best way to get new traffic to your website is to increase your social media presence, but you can also think outside the box and see what else you can do to get traffic to your site. For example, you can share your website with your audience and ask them to recommend it to their friends.
- Maintain your content – If your content is valuable and fresh, people will keep visiting, reading, and sharing it. Keeping up the quality of your content will help to scale your website.
- Continue to improve your website – As your website grows, you’ll want to continue to improve it, so make sure that you’re not reusing the same templates and colors. You can also think about building a custom theme and hiring a developer to customize it and make it unique.
Wrapping Up: What You Can Take From This Article
As you can see, building a website from scratch can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but it’s also rewarding. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you make this transition:
- Start by researching where your audience will be searching for information about your topic and certain keywords. Then, choose the right platform and blog format for your content.
- Once you have a solid foundation and your website is ready to go live, you’ll want to continue to maintain and scale it. This means that you’ll want to:
- Monitor your website’s performance.
- Find new ways to get traffic.
- Maintain your content.
- Continue to improve your website.
If you need help starting your website, contact Zammeth! We are an experienced and enthusiastic team of expert web designers that are passionate about web development and design. All our services are offered in-house and are integrated to exceed your business requirements.