Designing a website sounds like a daunting task, especially if you have no experience or knowledge on how to create one. While it won't be a cakewalk, creating a website is definitely achievable if you are willing to put in the necessary work and research. Here are six important steps to building your first website from the ground up.
1. Come Up with a Plan
What is the purpose of your website? Are you looking to provide content and information on a certain topic? Do you want to sell a service or product? Is the website for entertainment and leisure? Think about who your target audience is. Consider going for a niche area. Similar to crafting a business plan, it's important to setup a vision and some ideas for what the website will be about.
2. Find a Website Building Platform
A website builder designs the look and feel of a website. Unless you know how to code with HTML and CSS, you will likely need to hire a web developer to setup the actual website. There are popular building sites like Wordpress and Joomla, or there is the option of hiring an independent web developer.
3. Pick a Host and Domain Name
It's a good idea to think about the domain name because it will be your brand identity. Search through domain name listings and purchase a name that is catchy, easy to recognize and fits your web content.
The web host you choose needs to be carefully selected. The best thing you can do is compare the different web hosts and decide on the one that best meets your criteria. The AWA is a good place to start for this. For instance, iPage is known for hosting small businesses and individuals. BlueHost is famous for its simple and secure hosting. Look into the plans that are offered by different hosts. Does the host you are interested in have affordable plans that fit your needs?
4. Think About Monetization
If you are looking to make a profit from your website, there are a few different strategies for making money. Many websites simply rely on being sponsored by advertiser programs like Google's AdSense. You will need to generate a lot of traffic to your website if you want to gain the interest of an advertiser.
There are also websites that have membership and subscription programs to make their revenue. A subscription program has users pay for specialized content or services that the site offers. Memberships and subscriptions are best for websites that have faithful clients or customers who need a service that they can't get anywhere else.
You can set up an e-commerce shop for your website. Sell products or merchandise that are related to the content on your website. If you don't want to manufacture the products yourself, there are plenty of dropshipping companies out there that will handle manufacturing and delivery.
5. Create the Content
One of the most important steps is creating interesting content. If you are running an online business, list the products and give them enticing descriptions that gain the attention of visitors. If you are writing articles or blog posts, produce quality writing that engages the readers. Whatever kind of content you submit, make sure that it is something you are passionate about, otherwise it won't work.
Once the website is up and running, it's time to market it to the world. Let people know that your website exists. Research web marketing strategies. Common marketing avenues usually involve the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr and so on. You can also advertise your website in free spaces like Craigslist. Learn SEO so that your site can get a decent listing on search engines like Google or Bing.