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So you've decided to start your own business, and you know that you need a way for new customers to find you online. So, you decide you need a website.
The only thing is you realise you don't know computer programming, and the idea of building a website seems daunting. Fear not because you don't need to know how to program to build a website.
In today's modern era, there are lots of no-code website builders you can use to get yourself up and running.
We'll go through how you can start building your website step by step.
What are your website's goals? What does it need to achieve?
Before you dive straight in, the first thing you should work out is what you want your website to achieve. This should be done first because it will dictate what design choices you'll make and what content you need to include down the road.
Consider things like:
- What is the number one goal of the website?
- Who are you trying to reach with your website? whose it for?
- What are you hoping this website will do for your business?
Once you have that figured out, you'll be in a much better position to make choices for your website design project.
Perhaps you're looking at providing a one-stop information centre online where tourists can find out about your business and book holidays online? Or maybe you are looking to sell t-shirts online to complement your brick and mortar store.
Choose a CMS (Content Management System)
A content management system (or CMS for short) is a platform where you can create pages and posts, add content, and link them together to form a website.
There are a few well known CMS out there, so it's best to look around and decide which one is best for you.
For most business websites, we recommend WordPress; it's fairly flexible and customisable and has been around for some time.
Plan your website's layout
Next, it's all about planning your layout. You'll need to decide what pages you want and what sections each page will have. How will these pages be organised? Your page navigation will be essential both for your website visitors and for Google when trying to understand what your website is about.
How will visitors be able to get around your website? Will they be able to find the information they are looking for? If they can't easily find their way around, they'll get frustrated and leave. So it's key to getting this stage of your website planning right.
The next step is to draft up some wireframes so you can determine how the content is going to be placed. You can think of this as planning the placement of articles in tomorrow's newspaper edition. Editors will often move paragraphs and images around so they fit in a way that will work best.
You should also use this time to work out your branding . The look and feel of your website should be consistent on every page. This means the same colour scheme, same font styles and sizes for headings and for body text, even right down to the tone of the words. Ask yourself, what message do you want to convey to your audience?
Register a domain name and get some web hosting
A website consists of a domain name (that www.websitename.com address you type into a web browser) and web hosting (a place that serves as a home where your website is stored).
You can usually get both your domain name and your website hosting from the same company, and it can make things more convenient that way, but you can get your domain name from a company other than who you buy your web hosting from.
Start building your website pages with content
Now is the time to start building your website. Be sure to stick to what you had planned up to this step, adhere to the layouts you created, and keep in line with the branding you selected. Remember, you don't want a hodge-podge website that sends mixed signals and a lost message to your audience.
You can use this time to generate the content you want to include in your website like your text or blog content, any images you want to use, videos and so forth.
Make sure the content you do create for your site stays on point and is useful or helpful to the reader.
Optimise your website for SEO
Once you have everything built out, you'll want to ensure you have optimised your website's SEO before you make your website live to the world. SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and it's a way to improve your website's chances of ranking for the right keywords that people are looking for and showing up in the right searches.
Aside from having a few carefully selected keywords mentioned for each page, here are some other tips to help you with your SEO. These include:
- Page speed: You can increase the speed your website takes to load by compressing the file size of your images, caching your website pages and minifying your website's code. If you're using WordPress, you can use a few plugins to help you achieve this goal.
- HTTPS: By having HTTPS for your domain, it can make your website more secure, make your website visitors feel safer and, in turn boost your website rankings a bit more with Google
- Mobile responsive: Make sure your website looks nice on mobile and tablet devices, not just desktop computers and laptops. There's nothing worse than not being able to view a website on a mobile device where the writing is tiny, and the layout just doesn't work for smaller screen sizes. Google also considers mobile responsive websites better due to the excellent user experience and, again, can improve search rankings.
Launch your website, monitor performance and re-optimise it
Once you have launched your website to the web and it's live for everyone to see, make sure you monitor your site's performance and re-review what's working and what's not working.
Be sure to use Google Analytics to track your website visitors' behaviour. Be sure not to make any knee-jerk reactions to any analytical data that is only a few days; you'll want to see a decent size of user data to spot any patterns or areas of improvement. Two weeks' worth will give you a clearer picture than a mere day's worth of data.
This sort of thing is never set-and-forget. To ensure you are keeping your website at peak performance, make sure you set aside some time to revisit your website's performance, review what needs to change, make the change, rinse and repeat.
Are you looking to get a website built for your Perth, Western Australia based business? Thriving Web Design provides web design services custom-built with that professional finish. Contact us today for a chat and see what we can do for you.