Setting up your own web site is much easier than you think. More and more people want to have their own on-line presence. You don ’ t need to depend entirely on an Instagram profile, a Facebook page, or a Twitter account .
Why not make your own website?
To get started, let ’ s take a search at the most common questions we received from ambitious beginners like yourself in the past :
Will I need technical skills?
But this international relations and security network ’ t the only way to create a web site : flush if you aren ’ t very familiar with the technical side of things, you can easily set up a good web site .
By using a web site builder. If you can use Word, Facebook, or PowerPoint, you ’ ll be able to use these tools without any problem. These easy-to-use platforms offer a visual editor, hosting, and you can get a custom sphere name through them: a one-stop-shop.
A few important terms for absolute beginners
Domain name : that ’ s the world wide web address of your web site. For model : mygreatwebsite.com .
URL : includes the knowledge domain identify and any subpages. For example : hypertext transfer protocol : //mygreatwebsite.com/about
CMS : short for Content Management System. A software that you can use to create, upload and publish your web site. For exemplar : WordPress and Joomla .
Website Builder : a simplify version of a CMS, normally for smaller websites. It allows easily web site edit and offers predefined designs for you to choose from. It besides serves as your web hosting provider. Examples : Wix and Squarespace .
Web hosting provider : a put to which you can upload your web site, so other people can view it. Examples : Bluehost and Siteground .
Responsive web design : there are many different blind sizes these days ( background computers, smartphones etc. ). responsive web site templates adapt to the screen automatically and rearrange the content, so it ’ south clear without any issues .
Website template : web site builders come with pre-designed web site themes and page templates. You pick the matchless that ’ second cheeseparing to your estimate or industry and adapt it to your wish ( e.g. by changing images, texts, headlines etc. ) when building your web site .
SEO : short for Search Engine Optimization. If done mighty, your web site will rank at the top of search engines like Google for relevant search terms. This will attract constituent web site visitors, which, opposed to paid dealings ( e.g. via Google Ads ), is completely loose .
How to set up a website: 5 steps to get started
Most web site projects go through these steps :
- Make a plan for your website’s structure and content
- Register a domain name – ideally pick a .com
- Find a website builder (or CMS/hosting provider) to create your site
- Optimize it for search engines
- Launch your website
Identify the type of website you want to create
Websites come in all shapes and sizes. here are the most common ones :
Very small websites
An exercise of a very small web site would be an on-line portfolio or resume. A typical use-case would be a copywriter, translator or illustrator showcasing some references, contact information and an ‘ about us ’ page. normally these websites have around seven pages or less. It could even be a one-pager web site, where you display all the information on a individual page .
Online Portfolio template by Wix (‘Creative CV’)
This type of web site doesn’t get updated much and is mostly static. You create it once, make sure everything works as it should, test the mobile version and then let it sit there. traffic comes largely from people directly typing in the URL or from local directories like Google Maps .
Ideal ways to create it : a web site builder like Wix. For cheaper, slightly less herculean options, you can besides check out Webnode and Strikingly .
If you like to parcel your thoughts frequently you can besides start a blog. This gives your visitors a reason to come back to your website and normally invites them to comment. Adding web log posts is normally done via a simple editor program where you can upload text and images. A typical model would be a travel or food web log .
Squarespace web log template ( ‘ Hester ’ )
A web log can besides be added to portfolio websites, but this has become less popular ascribable to the resurrect of social media .
Ideal ways to create it : Squarespace or WordPress
Larger business-focused websites
In this type of business the web site is normally an integral region of it, meaning that without the web site, the clientele wouldn ’ thymine passing .
Shopify ’ s ‘ Prestige ’ Online Store Theme
The web site might be the main commercialize channel, for exemplar :
- A food delivery service
- A membership program (e.g. online fitness course)
- A booking website for a vacation rental home
- Online consulting or coaching services
The web site can tied be the occupation :
- An Online Store
- A website comparing different products (like Tooltester.com)
- An online education website
- An online newspaper or magazine
Ideal ways to create it : for content websites, WordPress is normally a capital solution. For on-line stores, Shopify or WooCommerce. But even Wix is worth checking out as they have many specialized apps for vacation rentals, restaurants, on-line bookings etc .
Smart Finder: Answer 5 simple questions to find your ideal website builder
What’s the Best Website Builder for You? (Last updated: Mar 2022)
The 3 most popular ways to start a website
Let ’ s go over the most popular ways to start a web site. There are many solutions. Some are more flexible than others, and some are more complex .
Option 1: Setting up a website with a website builder
Let ’ s originate with the easiest option : a web site builder. This is an “ across-the-board ” software, sol to speak : a individual company will normally provide the template ( plan ), drag and drop editor, web host, world name, electronic mail address and accompaniment. The web builder takes caution of the difficult tasks .
This international relations and security network ’ t lone useful for beginners. It just depends on the undertaking. Why complicate your life if there are easy ways to do things ? Almost all web site builders let you create a rid basic web site on a subdomain ( e.g. yourname.sitebuildername.com ), which is ad-supported. Using such a plan you can try it in detail before deciding if the cost is worth it .
however, if you want to take your business on-line, you should consider a pay plan. Prices start at around $ 8/month, but it includes all the essentials. Add around $ 1-6/month on exceed if you need a professional electronic mail address for your business web site .
To better understand precisely how it works, please watch our bit-by-bit tutorial to website creation !
Ever wondered how difficult it is to create a website? We have some good news, it’s very easy! Check out our full tutorial here: …
How to Create a Website? Learn It in Less Than 5 Minutes!
- It’s very easy to use.
- You don’t need additional software or even hosting.
- You can start without technical knowledge.
- Updates and security aspects are handled by the website builder company.
- Predefined themes that you can adapt as you like.
- Mobile-optimized version included by default.
- You can’t always add extra features (depending on the website builder).
- It isn’t as flexible since you’re dependent on the provider.
- They aren’t designed for very complicated projects that require a database (e.g. a job board or real-estate directories)
The most popular web site builders are Wix ( see tutorial ), Squarespace ( see tutorial ), and Shopify ( for ecommerce stores ). You ’ ll find other web site builders in our accomplished comparison .
You can try the Wix web site builder for rid and for angstrom long as you want .
Try Wix detached
Quick start guide to setting up a free Wix website – 4 steps
- Go to the Wix website and select a template you like
2. Click on Edit
3. Sign up with your electronic mail address and choose a password ( or even easier : sign up via Google or Facebook )
4. You are nowadays in the website editor. Start replacing text and images with your own ones .
Tip : find a much more detail Wix Tutorial here .
Option 2: Creating a website with a content management system
content management systems ( CMS ) are a spot more complicate. even though they basically work in a exchangeable direction as a web site builder, they are far more difficult to use.
That is because they are prepare to accommodate huge web site projects ( e.g. Typo3, Joomla ! or Drupal ). A typical user would be a larger enterprise, creating hundreds of pages while having a consecrated technical school team working on the web site .
fortunately there ’ south besides one more CMS, which is much more accessible : WordPress. Thanks to hosting companies that offer a one-click facility, it ’ s not quite as difficult to set up. This is besides one of the reasons why it ’ s the most popular CMS cosmopolitan.
WordPress – the beginner-friendly-ish CMS
Let ’ s take a quick look at the pros and cons of WordPress :
- You can freely choose the web hosting company.
- Great for multi-language websites.
- Technical flexibility: you can access the whole source code (if you know what you’re doing).
- You can get more features with plugins.
- You can optimize your page loading speed
- No direct personal technical support (limited support from your web host or theme provider)
- Creative freedom depends on the template.
- It can have additional costs for the plugins.
- You may need a programmer even to make small aesthetic changes.
In this basic video, we take a front at what you need to consider if you ’ re setting up WordPress .
Let’s quickly check how to install WordPress using SiteGround’s hosting. SiteGround is one of the top hosting providers for WordPress sites. You can try …
Learn How to Install WordPress with SiteGround’s Hosting
You can sign up for Siteground here .
From our experience, the most recommendable host companies are Dreamhost ( extremely low-cost ), Siteground ( a snatch more expensive but superintendent powerful ) and Bluehost ( popular choice with 24/7 support ). Learn more about the other brassy WordPress hosting companies we recommend .
To get a customized layout for your consumption case, you ’ ll need to install a WordPress theme that matches your vision. normally, you ’ ll find a few basic themes when you first log into your newly WordPress site .
fortunately you can find an enormous assortment of specific themes for all sorts of industries that can be adjusted and customized. Cheaper themes are available on Themeforest, for case. To increase the chances your composition will be supported for years into the future, it ’ second important to check its ratings and that the number of sales isn ’ t besides moo .
then there are besides premium subject providers such as Astra. They provide a basic release version ( chiefly to test ) a well as premium plans that include customer support and integrations with page builders such as Elementor .
Keep in mind : customizing a WordPress composition can be quite a bit of work. If there is something you don ’ thyroxine like, you ’ ll much have to modify the CSS or HTML ( you or a programmer ) .
The host, sphere, electronic mail address, initiation and level of support you choose will depend on how much you want to spend and your technical foul cognition. It can be quite cheap if you do it yourself. Take a front at our price steer for typical web site projects here .
Of course, that may not constantly be the ideal solution, particularly when you ’ re busy running a business. In this font, you can besides try to hire a web interior designer who can help you set up a WordPress web site, for exemplar .
Additional website features via plugins
An enormous advantage, particularly for WordPress, is that you have thousands of plugins that let you add special features to your web site that are not initially included. A distinctive example would be WooCommerce, a plugin that adds a complete on-line shop .
By default, WordPress is designed to be in a individual language, but there are plugins, like WPML, that let you translate the page. Another of my favorites is the Yoast SEO plugin, which lets you change the search locomotive settings ( e.g. to rank higher on Google ) .
You ’ ll find more information on WordPress in our WordPress beginners guide .
Option 3: How to program a website yourself (or hire someone to do it).
This is the supreme discipline : opening the editor and starting to code. Those who need total liberty will have to make the page themselves. You do need patience for this, and for beginners, it is normally consuming ( and frustrating ) .
A good rate to start are websites like Codecademy, Mozilla, or W2Schools, which have bit-by-bit tutorials for beginners. But expect a long journey before your website is ready. Of course, to speed up the process, you can hire a web couturier. Just keep in beware that your programmer shouldn ’ t be doing designs and frailty versa. The skills required for each of these tasks are very different .
Giving a general price is not easily hera, since it depends on the project. You ’ ll obviously need to pay for host, but there are plenty of cheap web hosting providers to choose from. Above all, it will be much more expensive if you need to hire a programmer : paying the $ 8-15 a month for a website builder will always be cheaper than what any graphic designer or agency will charge for an hour of sour .
- The possibilities are unlimited if you know how to program.
- Cost-friendly hosting.
- Maximum flexibility.
- No (or costly) support.
- The learning curve is steep.
- The costs are hard to calculate.
- Requires a lot of study and implementation time.
What about the domain name?
If you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to use a absolve domain name ( which looks quite surly as it will have the name of another company in it ), you need to purchase your own domain. This will then look like www.mycompany.com. normally, it ’ south best to get the .com extension unless you are strictly operating in one country like Canada ( .ca ) or the UK ( .co.uk ). Of course, there are besides many successful businesses that use one of the modern knowledge domain names like .me or .agency, for exercise .
Our own domain name
There is no deficit of registrars that sell customs knowledge domain names. We largely buy them at Namecheap as they are, well, pretty cheap but the differences are not that significant as they range from $ 9-18 per year .
But depending on where you build your web site, you can get it besides included in your website builder package. Wix, Weebly, and Jimdo, for example, all have the domain name included for free in the first base year. The following years they charge slightly more than Namecheap, for exemplar, but the add public toilet of only having to deal with one company is normally worth it .
If you are using WordPress.org or build the web site yourself, you will besides need to organize your own web storehouse. This can be bought at the like station where you get your custom sphere name from or at even another specialize company like Siteground or WP Engine. But if you are only starting out, this won ’ thyroxine count besides much for nowadays .
Let ’ s now look at an area that is close connected to the sphere diagnose :
How to get a professional email address?
If you ’ re running a clientele, you probable preceptor ’ t want to use a Gmail or Hotmail address. Having an custom e-mail address on your own domain list looks much more professional ! And it ’ s reasonably easy to get. Let me give you a few different options :
- Get it from your website builder or web hosting company: a few of them include email addresses at no extra cost (e.g. Webnode and Siteground)
- Get it from your domain registrar: Namecheap, for example, offers it for less than $12 per email address per year.
- If you love Gmail, you can try Google Workspace. It’s the most feature rich solution, but will set you back $6 per email address. This is also the solution most website builders offer (Wix, Squarespace, Jimdo etc.)
- Tip: For a completely free solution: Zoho Workplace, which includes up to 5 email addresses. It’s a little bit more complicated to set up but your domain registrar should be able to help you with that.
Design and planning of a website
good like it isn ’ thyroxine constantly a full idea to start cooking without following a recipe, at least if you have no experience, the same goes for creating a web site. Here, improvising is not a good idea. Planning will help you decide what sections you need, the capacity that works best for you and how your web site should be designed .
Mind map for an on-line shoe store
A dependable way to start is by creating a mind function with the ideas of what your web site will need. The main items of this mind map can be used for your navigation .
Tips for planning your website:
- Use a paper and a pen and write down everything you want on the website. Brainstorming and creating a mind map are the perfect ways to organize your thoughts.
- Take a look at other interesting websites both in terms of design and content. Note what you like and what you don’t.
- Once you have a draft of what you want on your website, ask people you trust what they think. You’ll certainly find some interesting perspectives you can incorporate.
- Create a list(e.g. in Excel) with all the pages that your website will have. Note down the title, what kind of content you’ll have, keywords, the purpose, the kind of page and their importance.
- Bonus: If you want to position yourself well in search engines, this is when you should find out what keyword each page will have, and add them to the list in point 4. Read this SEO guide for more information.
What about the website design?
Creating ocular network designs is no easy undertaking. In fact, I ’ d say that on-line, there are more examples of frightful designs than commodity ones. Don ’ triiodothyronine let your web site be one .
merely like bell penetrate jeans were stylish in the 70s, they were farcical in the 80s and 90s. The lapp happens with network design. You have to remember that what was considered commodity exercise 5 years ago, can now seem kind of old or out of date. Check out this article to know what practices to avoid .
This is not a guide for professional designers, but it will give you some tips that I think constantly make :
- Try to use a light (or white) color for the background.
- Choose attractive colors that complement each other. Use Adobe Color if you need help.
- Keep the design clean, simple, and leave white space between the elements. More information.
- Don’t use too many fonts: one for the titles and another for the text is usually enough. This guide will help you choose.
- Keep consistent style and format. The users should not notice any differences between your pages. Don’t create a Frankenstein.
- Your website should also be perfectly adapted to mobile devices.
- Any images you add must look professional. Don’t upload a selfie you took in front of a bathroom mirror. Keep in mind that today’s smartphones take very nice photos. If you plan right, you can get great headshots.
- Less is more. When in doubt, go minimal.
If you want to go deep with the vane purpose, take a look at Wix ’ s web log. There have space tutorials and guides on easy-to-digest designs .
What elements do good websites have in common?
1. Great-looking artwork
The logo and effigy selection are crucial to getting a professional-looking web site. today you can easily find loads of free stock photos : the best ones to check out are Unsplash and Creative Commons .
What ’ s more, you can find more professional-looking photograph ( starting $ 1 ) on a set of other websites, like Depositphotos and Shutterstock. here are some big rid photograph options .
It is important to make certain you understand the available image formats: .gif, .jpg and .png are the main formats. Plus, you have to optimize the size and quality of the visualize to the network standard browser. Everything you need to know about this subject can be found here .
Before upload images to your site, use services like TinyPNG or ShortPixel to compress your photos for free. Although the human eye will hardly recognize any change in the effigy, it will speed up your web site and improve the drug user experience for your visitors. Of course, research engines love fast load websites excessively !
alike, it will come in handy to have an editing platform to be able to edit and change the size of the images. A professional and rid option is Gimp, however, it ’ second quite complicated to use. other Photoshop alternatives are Affinity Photo and Acorn, which costs only a fraction of the price of the original and doesn ’ thymine require a subscription .
But there are increasingly more tools you can use to create graphic resources just and without having to learn to use Photoshop or Illustrator. For example, you can use Stencil or Snappa .
2. Professional copy
Remember that writing for a web site international relations and security network ’ t the like as writing a letter or a script. On the web, we tend to be less formal and at the same time want to help interfering individuals find the information they need quickly. That means we have to make our content scannable by :
- using a headline structure that makes sense,
- not letting the text paragraphs get too long,
- adding bullet points and
- choosing fonts that are easy to read.
We ’ ve actually written an stallion guide around this subject, which you can find here. It ’ randomness besides substantive to already keep SEO best practices in heed at this stage. Depending on the size of your web site you should at least find three main search terms that you want to rank for at the peak of Google .
3. Contact page and a navigation menu that makes sense
To give a professional impression to your visitors, you should use a contact form rather of an e-mail address. fortunately it is straightforward to integrate contact forms with solutions like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress .
Remember that your web site ’ sulfur navigation bar is crucial for visitors to go from one page to another. Pay attention to it and make sure it flows logically. For model, if your objective is for users to send you a message through the contact form, forgetting to link to it in the menu or page footer would be an epic fail .
Make certain you besides do a test bless up before publishing your web site !
Steps for setting up a website
To recap, here ’ s your design of natural process :
- Plan your website and order the ideas in a mind map.
- Buy the domain name, for example at Namecheap (but you can also buy it after).
- Choose the best website builder or CMS.
- Create the content (e.g. texts and images) for each page (following SEO best practices).
- Add the content to your website and set up analytics tools.
- Publish and promote the page.
obviously, each of the above points can be built on much more. We have a ( free ) ebook where you can get extra information .
Your website is up. Now what?
If you ’ ve already created your web site and published it, you can start promoting and optimizing it to increase visits and improve the exploiter know .
- Update your website: Websites are not books. Once published, they can still be updated. Make sure that you create new and relevant content when you have the chance and that you’re constantly updating the website. For example, imagine a restaurant’s website: if the menu changes, it should be reflected on the website as quickly as possible.
- Online positioning: To attract as much visitors as possible, you’ll have to further optimize your website’s SEO. This is not very complicated, but it requires time and work. Check out this guide for more information.
- Web analysis: Your efforts in online positioning (above point) will be useless if you don’t measure your website traffic. That’s how you’ll know whether it’s working or not. The most popular website analysis tool is Google Analytics. And it’s free!
- Of course, once you publish your website, you should register with Google Search Console to notify Google that your page exists and get information. Or at least send your website’s URL (address) to Google so that it can index it.
- Email Marketing: Another usual strategy, especially for businesses, is to send regular emails to its visitors not to lose contact. This is especially useful for online stores, small businesses, and bloggers. Email marketing is a science in itself. You can read this how-to guide to find more information on how to get started sending newsletters.
- Social media: Finally, most websites also have social media profiles (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to be able to interact with their visitors (and potential visitors) outside of the website you’ve created. This works especially well for visual professionals, like illustrators, jewelers, or photographers.
I hope that this small guidebook has helped you understand how to create a web site from start to finish .
next to the guide you were reading just immediately we besides have a couple of industry-specific guides as well :
If you have any questions on how to start, leave a comment below, and we ’ ll try to help.
26 May 2022 : Added more information to WordPress section
03 May 2022 : A few additions
21 february 2022 : Added information about different types of websites
13 october 2021 : Checked for accuracy, e-mail address update
Category : How To
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