How To Make A Website

5 simple steps / Build a functioning website in 30 minutes

 

Last updated on August 1st, 2018

Why this tutorial?

We make things straightforward and easy to understand.

In this tutorial we will show you the 5 simple steps in creating a website.

The entire process should take not more than an hour.

And we are here to guide you through each step – explaining the choices and how to fit them into your situation.

Besides, we also provide 9 bonus tips to take your newly launched website to next level at the end of this article.

 


Every business needs a website, where’s yours?

Having a website is one of the basic fundamentals of any business, big or small.

Unfortunately, Clutch.co points out that a lot of businesses put off making a website due to few reasons.

Clutch.co surveyed 351 small business owners based in the United States.

However, with the rise of DIY website builders, these problems can be overcome.

This is exactly what this tutorial about.

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

So, let’s get things started!

Create a website starts here

 

How To Make A Website – 5 Simple Steps

Step #1: Define Your Website’s Purpose

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

We all know that a website is important to show your online presence.  But, it’s also a part of your assets and it should relate back to your profile(s), product(s), or the thing(s) you do.

define website purpose

Your website should solve your visitors’ problems.

Here are some tips we help you define your website’s purpose:

Sell products

If your primary goal is to sell products, your website should include features to showcase products and make the checkout process super easy.

Display company profile

If your goal is to display company information to visitors, you might consider a modern one-page design website.

Write something

It’s best to have a blog section on the website if you wish to write and share content about certain topics.

For example, at BuildThis.io, our goal is to help visitors to build an online presence. We suggest 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 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 website with a clear purpose will make the decision-making process for your website (choosing the right platform, themes, domain name, extensions to use, etc.) a lot easier.

 


 

Step #2: Find The Right Platform to Build Your Website

By now you should have an idea of what your website is going to be. Next is to choose the platform for building your website.

Now, there are many ways for you to build a website, but generally, it boils down to two ways
the old school way and the modern way.

The old school way is to build a website from scratch, which requires you to have a high level of technical and programming skills.

However, it allows you to have ultimate control over your website such as theme design, configuration, coding style, functionality, etc. although it requires a lot of work.

That was 10 years ago.

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

What makes website builders really easy to use?

 

  • All website builders come with a useful – drag & drop feature.
  • You don’t need to worry about any technical or web designing skills.
  • Pick the template suitable to your niche and start working on it.
  • Grab any elements (contact form, blog section, box, etc) from the editor and put it on your layout.
  • All website builders come with extended functions to enhance your website.
  • No additional software is required to install on your PC. Any updating process is made through a web browser
  • If you know how to use a mouse, you are good to go.

Quick facts about Website Builders platforms:

 

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

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 Wix.com

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 Weebly.com

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. Strikingly is 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 Strikingly.com

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 a better look and feel about the website builder itself. You also can have a hands-on experience with the website building process and find out more about the features they offer.

Below is how 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.

 

Start Your Free Trial

Get started now – Create a website with Wix’s free trial.

 

Step #3: Using Pre-built Templates to Beautify Your Website

Website design is the first impression you make with 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 great value-added service to those who don’t know how to design, just like me!

As I’ve 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.

 

Explore More Wix Templates

 

Wix templates for restaurant.

 

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

 

Explore More Weebly Themes

 

Example of Weebly portfolio themes.

If you find that the pre-built templates are not to your liking, not to worry. You won’t have to design one yourself as there are plenty of beautiful premium templates available on the internet.

Get the premium website builders’ templates

 

Spend some time to look for premium templates from reputable template designers, some of which we recommend you checking out!

Premium Wix templates by WixProThemes.

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

With paid designs, the chances of you having the same website design with other people are less likely.


At this stage, your website should be ready by now if you follow the above steps closely.

If you want to see the example, below is the test website we built using Wix platform.

wix website

Test website built with Wix.

 

Choose The Beautiful Website Template

Create your website with free customizable templates.

 

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

If you notice carefully from our test website above, the website address appear like this:

Yourwebsitename.wixsite.com/home
Yourwebsitename.weebly.com

That website address means that 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, such as BuildThis.io, CNN.com, Facebook.com

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 your visitor’s trust, it will be a value added to your SEO (more on this later) in the long run.

Domain registrars we recommend

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 and 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 NameCheap

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 GoDaddy

GoDaddy

How do you 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 chose is not available, you will have to look for an alternative.

Note:

 

You can also register your domain name with website builders. 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 a website builder. Sure, you can easily connect your website to your domain, but you might face difficulties if you want to transfer out later on.

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  (Yourwebsitename.wixsite.com/home, Yourwebsitename.weebly.com).

Connecting your domain name to a website builder

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 plan. The upgraded plans will also remove all the brand ads from your website.

Here are the basic plans that you can choose:

Connecting NameCheap to a website builder

 

First, sign in to your NameCheap account and look for the domain list.

 

Visit NameCheap

Update the correct value to the DNS records. (Wix details, Weebly details).

Connecting GoDaddy to a website builder

 

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

 

Visit GoDaddy

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 with editing those parameters, ask help from your domain registrar companies.

Send them an email with a request to connect your domain name to your website.

To whom it may concern (e.g., GoDaddy or NameCheap)

 

I purchased the following domain from you: 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 with this.

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

Things to consider when 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.

If you need help to get a good domain name, here’s the list of domain name generator you can try.

 


 

Step #5: Adding Important Pages to Your Website

No two website is ever the same as they might serve a different purpose and/or function.

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

Why do you need these pages on your website?

For starters, these pages act as a hub to inform or sell to your visitors. Furthermore, visitors who want to know more about your website can find them on these pages. If they can’t find what they are looking for, chances are they will leave your site pretty quickly.

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

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.

Here are some examples of the pages from different niches that we think are great:

 

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 combines 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 a 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.

 

Take Action Now

Get started – Create the website you want!

 

How to Make A Website: 9 Bonus Tips

With all those important pages done, your website is pretty much 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 the next level.

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

Tips That Will Elevate Your Website 

1. 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.

You can use tools such as PicMonkey to edit, touch up and design your images.

2. Learn about SEO

I bet you’ve heard about SEO. SEO is a process that’s used to enhance your website so that it will appear in search engines such as Google.

Like it or not, you’ll 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. Read our SEO for dummies guide.

3. Understand basic HTML

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned that you don’t need to know any programming language to create a website with website builders. However, it doesn’t hurt to learn some HTML basics, which could be a lifesaver down the road.

4. Design an awesome logo

Having a logo is important for a website’s branding and can be key in attracting new customers. If you have a logo in the real world, include it on your website.

Plus, people tend to go to a website with a familiar logo when they’re searching online or need help.

5. 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.

6. Design a favicon

Did you see the letter “B” that appeared on 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.

It’s a nifty little branding technique that’s often overlooked by website owners. You can make use of these free favicon generator to help you.

7. 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.

Here’s an article on how to monetize a website you can find out more.

8. Make a sitemap

A sitemap is 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 that lists every page on the website for navigation purpose.

This is how BuildThis.io’s sitemap looks like.

9. Implement HTTPS

Consider implementing HTTPS to your website because it’s good for search engines and that Google’s algorithm requires it.

Also, having SSL implemented will enhance user privacy. That’s important if your website is going to handle credit cards or utilize a login functionality.

Find out more before you buy SSL certificate as there are certain things you need to prepare.

 


 

Begin Now!

To recap what you’ve learned in this tutorial:

  • Define your website’s purpose.
  • Build your website with the right platform.
  • Pick a template that fits your niche.
  • Register and connect a domain name to your website.
  • Create important pages to build rapport with visitors.
  • Learn additional web building tips to elevate your website.

 

Action speaks louder than words! We encourage you to take action and start building a website yourself.

To begin, follow the link and you are on your way to Sign Up for a 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!