How To Make A Website

7 simple, step-by-step guide to creating a website differently

 

 


 

Why do you need to create a website?

You have always wanted to make a website, but you have limited resources (time, budget, and know-how).

You feel like having a website would be helpful to build your online presence, but you are not sure why.

Clutch.co found that nearly half of the small businesses surveyed, do not have a website.

There are some compelling reasons to build your own website. Experts point to 5 major opportunities websites can provide small businesses (source),

  1. Marketing opportunities increase from a “local” audience to a global audience.
  2. Digital sales conversions save time and labor.
  3. Elevated brand and greater ability to manage web aesthetic.
  4. More cost-effective than brick and mortar.
  5. The ability to track marketing and business analytics.

What will you get in this how to make a website tutorial?

In this tutorial, we will show you how to build a website by yourself in 7 simple steps.

We will guide you through the choices and explain how to fit them into your situation.

You don’t need to be a tech-expert to build an online presence or build a website. You can easily do all of it yourself.

So, let’s get things started!

Create a website starts here

How To Make A Website – 7 Simple Steps

Step #1: Define A Website Purpose

This is the first and most important step you need to consider before creating a website.

A website is important to show your online presence. It’s also a part of your assets. Your website should relate back to your profile(s), product(s), or the thing(s) you do.

Here are some tips for defining your website purpose

  • If your primary goal is to sell products, your website should include features to showcase products and checkout process.
  • If your goal is to display company information to visitors, you might consider a modern one-page design website.
  • It’s best to have a blog section on the website if you wish to write and share about certain topics.

For example, at BuildThis.io, our goal is to help visitors in building an online presence. We suggest the useful tools and actionable tips that you can use and take action right after reading our guide.

In a nutshell, your website should solve your visitors’ problems. That’s should be the goal. That’s also the primary reason why your visitors landed on your website in the first place – to look for an answer.

Also, a clear website purpose will help you with the process of making a website easier such as choosing the right platform, themes, domain name, extensions to use, etc.

 

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Step #2: Build A Website Using The Right Platform

After you have decided on what you are going to do with your website, the next step is to choose a platform to make your website.

There are many ways for you to create a website, mainly – the old school way or the easy way.

The old school way is to build a website from scratch, you are required to

  • Have high-level of knowledge in programming language
  • Knowing how to connect to a database
  • Set up a local environment to make sure everything works fine before your website goes live
  • Need to know how to use FTP to transfer files to the correct web directory in order to update your website, and etc.

The old school way allows you to have ultimate control over your website such as theme design, configuration, coding style, functionality, etc. However, it requires a lot of work and we don’t recommend that.

That was 10 years ago.

Nowadays, the easiest way to build a website is by doing it with a website builder. With website builder, you can create a website even though you have zero knowledge of web languages.

How can a website builder do that?

  • All website builders come with a useful feature named – drag & drop.
  • Simply grab any elements (contact form, blog section, box, etc) from the editor and put it on your layout. Then your website is ready to go.
  • You don’t need to worry about any technical skills and web designing skills.
  • Just have to pick the template suitable to your niche and start working on it
  • Popular website builders come with extended functions to enhance your website. You don’t need to waste time to develop yourself
  • No additional software required to install on your PC. Any updating process is made through a web browser
  • As long as you know how to use a mouse, you are good to go

Let’s find out how’s the editor of a website builder looks like,

wix-edit-adi-step-5

Once you choose a template, you’ll see the full Wix Editor dashboard. You’ve 3 key areas inside the Wix dashboard (see highlighted sections): 1) The central part that you see in the above image is your website – and as you make changes, you can preview them in real time; 2) on your right, you’ve got options that let you delete, duplicate, rotate and adjust the placement of the various elements on your site; and 3) on your left, all your building blocks and design options are present.

Often, the process of building a website (using website builders) starts by editing the template you picked. So, it gives you an idea how your website looks like even before you started.

Are website builders popular and reliable?

Quick facts on popular Website Builders,

  • There are over 110 million people in 180 countries using Wix. (source)
  • Weebly powers more than 45 million websites around the world. (source)

To save your time, cost and money – We recommend using website builders to create a website compare to the old school way if you have no time for it.

Here are a few top website builders we recommend

1. Wix

Top of the class. Easy to use, suitable for all sorts of sites, always adding new features and updating their tools.

Popular plan: Combo
Pricing: $8.50 /mo

PRO:

  • Excellent web editor
  • Optional to build from scratch
  • Integrated with email software such as MailChimp
  • 500+ ready-made templates and 260+ apps in Wix market

Visit online

wix-templates

There are more than 500 ready-made Wix templates (see all templates here).

2. Weebly

Extremely easy to use and maintain. Best for newbies and site owners who don’t want spend too much time online.

Popular plan: Starter
Pricing: $8 /mo

PRO:

  • Easy to use. Suitable for newbies.
  • Able to add membership system
  • Manage and build your site using a mobile app
  • Offers 50+ website templates and 270+ in apps App Center

Visit online

Weebly Website Drag-and-Drop Editor. To build – Just drag elements from the left panel and drop it on the template.

Weebly Website Drag-and-Drop Editor. To build – Just drag elements from the left panel and drop it on the template.

3. Strikingly

Endorsed by marketing guru Seth Godin and many online ventures. It’s best-recognized for building one-page websites.

Popular plan: Limited
Pricing: $8/mo

PRO:

  • Scrollable one-page websites with parallax effects
  • Generate personalized website from social media profile
  • Drag-and-drop builder with layer switcher
  • Making a website even on mobile devices

Visit online

strikingly website builder

You can add pre-design sections such as text, row, column, gallery, etc. to the layout and edit them using layout switcher.

Our recommendation is to start with those that offer a free trial.

It’s important that you feel comfortable when using these website builders. With Wix and Weebly, you can build a website with their free plans.

During the free trial period, you can have better look and feel about the website builder. You also can have a hands-on experience with the website building process and find out more about the features they offer.

 

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Step #3: Pick a Pre-built Template to Design Your Website

Website design is the first impression for your visitors. It’s also one of the major factors in deciding whether your visitors leave or stay.

In many website builders, they often come with beautifully designed templates. This is a value added to those who don’t know how to design, just like me.

As I mentioned earlier, you just need to pick a template you love (from below) and start editing it. You will have an idea of how your website appears when it goes live.

Choose the pre-built website builders’ templates

wix-templates

Wix templates (see all themes)

weebly-template

Weebly templates (see all themes)

 

There are more than 500 beautiful Wix templates in 70 different categories that you can choose from.

See more Wix templates for different niche.

Wix templates for restaurant.

Wix templates for photography.

 

Weebly offers 50+ website templates in their repository. All of them offer great designs that are clean and responsive.

Explore more Weebly themes for the different niche.

Example of Weebly portfolio themes.

Example of Weebly event themes.

If you find the pre-built templates are not to your liking, not to worry. You won’t need to design one yourself.

Spend some time to look for some premium templates from the Internet. You can easily get it from a number of places.

Get the premium website builders’ templates

Premium Weebly templates by WebFireThemes.

Premium Weebly templates by BaambooStudio.

Premium Wix templates by PremiumWixTemplates.

Generally speaking, if you want a unique website design, choosing a paid design is the better option.

With paid designs, You won’t have the same website design (or a lesser chance) with other people.

Here’s an example of the test website we built,

wix website

Test website built with Wix.

 

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Step #4: Register and Connect A Domain Name to Your Website

At this stage, your website should be ready by now.

If you notice carefully, your website address will appear similar to something like this

Wixsite.com/yourwebsitename
Yourwebsitename.weebly.com

Such website address means, your website is parked under Wixsite.com or Weebly.com

Obviously, this is not what we want.

A website name is important as it represents your business. Registering a website name is like choosing a name for your company in the offline world. In the online world, we call it – domain name.

A domain name is the address of your website, for example, BuildThis.io, CNN.com, Facebook.com

As you observe – most popular websites that have a great online presence, are using their own domain name. Even Justin Bieber needs a domain name for his online presence.

If you want to establish your online presence or to grow your website, it’s a must that you register your own domain name. With a proper domain name, not only it will gain visitors trust, it will be value added to your SEO (more on this later) in the long run.

How can I own a domain name?

To own a domain name, you need to think of a unique name and register it with registrars companies.

GoDaddy and NameCheap are two popular domain registrars. We have been using them for a long time.

1. NameCheap

Founded back in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall. Now, NameCheap is a leading ICANN-accredited domain name registrar with 2 million customers and managing over 9 million domains.

Pricing:

  • $10.69/year for .com
  • $12.88/year for .net
  • $12.48/year for .org
  • $2.88/ year for WHOIS Privacy

Visit online

NameCheap

2. GoDaddy

The world largest domain registrar company with 17.5 million customers worldwide and 76 million domains under management.

Pricing:

  • $12.17 /year for .com
  • $12.17 /year for .net
  • $20.17 /year for .org
  • $7.99 / year for WHOIS Privacy

Visit online

GoDaddy.

How to register a domain name?

To register your website domain name: 1- Visit NameCheap.com, 2- type your website name to the search bar, 3- check if your name is available, if yes, proceed to check out.

To register your website domain name: 1- Visit NameCheap.com, 2- type your website name to the search bar, 3- check if your name is available; if yes, proceed to check out.

If the domain name you choose is not available, you will have to look for an alternative.

You can also register your domain name with website builders such as Wix or Weebly. Normally, you can get a 1-year free domain name if you sign up for their annual plans. But, the renewal fee can be different depending on the platform itself.

Wix is offering $14.95 /year to renew while Weebly is slightly more expensive with $19.95 /year.

We don’t recommend you to purchase your domain name with website builders platform. Although you can easily connect your website to your domain, you might face difficulties if you want to transfer out.

Quick tips for choosing a domain name:

  • Pick something unique and easy to remember.
  • The shorter, the better. Be creative.
  • Don’t put too many dashes or elements that are difficult for your visitors.
  • Choose a .com whenever it is possible.

After you have registered a domain name, what you need to do is to connect your domain name to your website and replace the current URL  (Wixsite.com/yourwebsitename, Yourwebsitename.weebly.com).

Connect a domain name to website builders

Since your domain name is registered with a domain host, you have to connect your domain name to the website builders using name servers.

Important: Before you can connect a domain to your website, you must upgrade to the basic plans. The upgraded plans also remove all the brand ads from your website.

Here are the basic plans you can follow:

Connecting NameCheap to website builders

 

First, you need to sign into your NameCheap account and select domain list.

Find out more.

Connect NameCheap to Wix (details).

Connect NameCheap to Weebly (details).

Connecting GoDaddy to website builders

Login to your GoDaddy domains setting page and connect to the websites you preferred.

After you click on the connect domain button, follow the steps that appear on-screen to connect your domain. Update domain name servers to correct value (Wix details, Weebly details).

 

If you are not comfortable in editing those parameters, ask help from your domain registrar companies.

Send them an email with your request.

To whom it may concern {name of domain host (e.g., GoDaddy or NameCheap)},
My name is {your name} and I purchased the following domain from you: {your domain URL (e.g., www.yourwebsitename.com)}.
I’ve built a site on Wix.com or Weebly.com and want to connect my domain via name servers.
Please update the DNS records in my account to these records {add the DNS records respectively}.

I’m sure they are happy to help you on this.

Note: It may take up to 48 hours for the name server changes to take effect.

 

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Step #5: Adding Important Pages to Your Website

I’m sure you know that each website is unique because of its purpose.

However, you will find that there are some standard pages that every website should have. And, these pages are more important than others.

Why you need these pages on your website?

For one thing, these pages offer information you need to inform or sell to your visitors. Further, your visitors are expecting to know about you through the information. If they can’t find what they are looking for, high chances they will quit your site quicker than you think.

Here are some basic yet important (and most-visited) pages on a website:

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • FAQ page

What should you write on these pages?

Homepage

The homepage is the first place where most visitors will land on your website for the first time. You need to make a great first impression and deliver the right pitch. The homepage should let visitors know how you can help them, and drive them deeper into your site.

About page

This is the page that builds a rapport with your visitors. The About Page lets you introduce yourself to your visitors and tells them more about your website. It’s best to include images to show that there are “real people” behind this website.

Contact page

If people want to get in touch with you, the Contact page is the page to go. Although this page sounds dry, you can impress your visitors with some personality. Make sure to include as many options as possible (social media account, email address, etc) for visitors to reach you.

FAQ page

Think about the hesitations, objection, excuses from potential visitors when they visit your website. List these questions down and provide answers to them strategically. You are able to tell visitors that you know their queries.

Here are examples the pages from different niche

 

Bulldog – a men’s skincare company, “About Page”  rocks as it explain where the brand came from and how they redefine the men’s grooming. It includes a call to action within the page.

Bulldog Skincare About Page sends a lovable and memorable message.

 

Survicate’s contact page is a beautifully designed page with a simple layout.

It combined with large form fields, CTA button, and typical contact information – company address, contact number, email address, hours of operation, etc – in a way that easy to read and scan.

Survicate’s contact page is simple and mobile friendly.

 

You might consider adding additional pages like Gallery page to showcase your works or products. This is useful when you are in a specific niche, for example, photography, property agent, car dealers, etc.

 

Mauricio Candela showcases his creative works through different gallery page such as portfolio and behind the scenes.

This amazing photography website is built using Wix.com.

Photography site – Mauricio Candela.

 

Page Eightyfour is a one-woman creative agency who uses Weebly’s slideshow to showcase her portfolio and quirky sense of art.

The result is a really beautiful site that’s both unique and eye-catching.

Creative Agency website – Page Eightyfour.

 

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Step #6 – How to Make A Website: Additional Tips

With all those important pages done, your website is ready to launch!

Congratulations!

But wait!

The process of making a website doesn’t end here. In fact, you need to do more if you want to take your website to next level.

Thus, in this tutorial, we go the extra mile by giving you additional tips to make your website better, ahead of others.

Additional tips to make a website fly

Include images

Images are an important and cost-effective way to enhance a website. You can easily search the Internet for stock free image or royalty free images. Most of them are free to integrate into your website.

Learn SEO

I bet you heard about SEO. SEO is a process to enhance your website so that it will appear in the search engine like Google. You need to know the basics of SEO in order to gain exposure to your website. Having a branded URL will surely boost your SEO effort in the long run

Basic HTML

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned you do not need to know any programming language if you were to create a website using website builders. However, no harm to learn some basic HTML syntax. It could be your lifesaver.

Design a logo

It’s important for a website branding and helps to attract new customers. If you have a logo in the real world, include it on your website. Many times when people need help, they will tend to go to the website with the familiar logo.

Example of logos from 99Designs.com.

Promote your website

Just because you have launched a great website, doesn’t mean everyone knows about it. You need to utilize different types of channels, such as social media channel, email marketing, Search engine listing, to market your website.

Design a Favicon

Did you see the letter “B” that appear to the left of your browser tab? This is a favicon that represents our website. Like a logo, Favicon is a smaller version of a logo representing a website that appears in browser tabs or bookmark bars.

Monetize your website

Besides the nature of your focus, you can make use of your website to earn extra income. For example, selling Ad space, accepting sponsored articles, joining Google Adsense, selling your own products, etc.

Make a Sitemap

It’s a document that helps search engine to better understand your website while crawling it. A sitemap can also be a basic page on your website listing every page on the website for navigation purpose.

Implement HTTPS

Consider implementing HTTPS to your website because it’s good for search engines as Google’s algorithm requires it. Also, having SSL implemented will enhance user privacy especially if your website accepts credit cards or has a login functionality.

 

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Step #7: Take Action to Create A Website Now!

To recap what you’ve learned in this tutorial,

  1. Define your website purpose
  2. Build your website with the right platform.
  3. Pick a template that fits your niche.
  4. Register and connect a domain name to your website.
  5. Create important pages to build rapport with visitors
  6. Additional web building tips to make your site fly.
  7. Take action to sign up for a free account.

Action speaks louder than words! We encourage you to take action to explore yourself.

Get Started – Sign Up Free Account

To begin, follow the link and you are on your way to Sign Up the free account.

wix signup

Example of Wix sign up page.

Just enter your email and preferred password, like the example above, and it’ll take you to the initial first step.

It’s that easy!

… if you still have any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with us. Or, find us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you find our tutorial useful and offer something different, please share it with others. This will keep us motivated to stay up to date and provide more unbiased information.

 

Happy building!

Last updated on May 23rd, 2018