Building a website is as simple as walking through the park. With the right tools and systems, nothing could be as simple to make. You don’t necessarily need any coding knowledge or need to hire a web developer because there are many self-serve platforms that are easy to use. The only tricky part is choosing one that is perfect for your needs.
If you are a business owner, blogger, or an individual, you can create your own website with ease or hire a professional to do it for you. This post will guide you through the basics of building a website that represents your business and brand.
Why You Should Create Your Own Website
A website is one of the most powerful tools for communication. It helps you to connect to the world. It’s where you share your passion for music or business, inform people about your hustle, sell products, or otherwise. There’s no limit to what you can do with your website and there are tons of possibilities available for you. Here are the most popular tools for website building.
Best Tools to Help you Build Your Own Website:
As you already know, you don’t have to worry about servers or physical space because site builders are cloud-built. All you need is a computer with access to a web browser like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. All the tools have their pros and cons. We will help you identify tools that may work for you and respective possible shortcomings.
Building a website on GoDaddy is easy and straightforward. GoDaddy is a name to reckon within the digital space. They provide domains and hosting, but they are best known for website building. Being one of the most established internet companies, the website builder has been in the market for about four years. The recently added editor comes with a completely new look with added features.
One great thing about GoDaddy is that it offers a beginner-friendly website builder packed with mobile-optimized designs. They have four plans to choose from, the most affordable being $10 per month. One of the benefits you get is the 24/7 customer support. However, the name of the domain is not included in the $10 package. That means you will only benefit from it through their “Ecommerce” plan. Another advantage of using GoDaddy is that you can now test their website builder in the first month at no cost. This is an opportunity to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the website builder. GoDaddy uses ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to make website building a lot easier. Whenever you enter the type of website you would like to have, it creates an example site that you can edit, saving you time and technical effort.
This makes GoDaddy the fastest website builder in the world, especially for beginners. The end product is a website that is simple and speedy, but may not have the advanced features you require.
• Easy to use
• Smartphone-optimized layouts
• Free website builder test for the first month
• Makes work easier by creating an example site
• Editor layouts are limited
• Blog is too basic
• Poor support quality
Just like GoDaddy, Wix has become pretty well known. Wix became popular due to its expensive marketing campaigns. I’m sure you have seen their ads on YouTube starring Jason Statham, Heidi Klum, and Gal Gadot. As we speak, the Wix website building is hosting more than 160 million websites. What makes Wix stand out? For starters, they offer a drag and drop feature, which makes it easier to create smaller websites. Wix has free and paid packages that provide web hosting as well as access to domain names. They also offer hundreds of templates which gives you many choices in design. Many people prefer Wix because it’s affordable, easy to use, and a hassle-free way of creating your website.
Gone were the days when we had to pay whiz-kids to build our sites. Wix’s template editor allows you to explore and put your creativity to use without any coding knowledge. If you have gone through the websites created by Wix, they all look professional and beautiful. The reason why you should create a website with Wix is because of their impressive layouts, which are designed for every type of business, large and small. There are layouts for restaurants, businesses, online stores, artists and more. Websites created by Wix are optimized for mobile devices and can also be spiced up with any of the numerous tools in the Wix App Market.
Wix is like a prefabricated house. It provides a fundamental structure that cannot be changed or altered in any way. However, you can choose a theme, just like you can paint the walls of the house, and add photo galleries, just like you would add furniture.
Here is our view on the pros and cons of using Wix:
• Extremely flexible
• Excellent templates
• Easy to add animations
• Artificial Design Intelligence (Available for projects like yoga, portfolio sites, etc.)
• Hundreds of website app on App Market
• Provides automatic site backup
• The cheapest ad-free plan is not actually cheap. Starts at $14 per month
• Loading speed is slower, especially on mobile devices.
• Templates cannot be changed easily. You can only change the design
WordPress is the most popular website builder in the market at the moment. Unlike Wix and Godaddy, WordPress is completely free. It powers more than 33% of all the sites on the internet. Don’t confuse the WordPress.org content management system with WordPress.com, a hosting service. Though they are under the same umbrella or brand, they have different functions. WordPress.org gives you full access to all features of WordPress. You will, however, need some technical know-how to run a website with WordPress.org. The biggest advantage of WordPress is expandability. Once you manage to run your website on the platform, there’s no going back, and no limits.
Here are some examples of scenario which make WordPress stand out:
-You want to have a premium membership area within your website that supports online payments.
-You work in real estate, and you want to provide a potential client with a database to search for property.
-You need advanced SEO features to beat your competition.
-You want an impressive design that supports all the latest technical features added on your website while leaving room to adjust the code.
Long Story short, WordPress.org allows you to build a unique website. WordPress.com works like Wix and GoDaddy, offering a much lighter platform while allowing you to achieve similar results as drag and drop website builders.
• The software is free to install. Hosting and premium templates must be purchased, though.
• Great flexibility allowing you to code anything you wish to change.
• You can move from one hosting to another.
• A CMS with the widest variety of templates.
• A variety of plugins for e-commerce, multilingual websites, member pages, etc.
• Many programmers specialize in WordPress.
• Requires updates regularly for your security.
• Installation may require basic knowledge.
• WordPress was made by volunteers, and they don’t offer assistance within their system.
• You don’t get to see the end result immediately unless after publishing.
While building a website, you’ll also need web hosting services. The best choice and most popular is Bluehost. They have been around for a while, offering the best hosting at a pocket-friendly price. They also provide excellent customer support. Bluehost offers basic shared hosting from as low as $2.95 monthly on a three-year contract. They offer you a variety of features for your website needs. For instance, they have a great SEO tool that tracks how your website is doing on the search rankings for specific keywords. This allows you to optimize your site for better search rankings.
When choosing web hosting, you need to understand the purpose of your website, the amount of traffic and growth you expect, and your budget among other factors. Other vital things to consider are the types of servers available, load speed, uptime, and customer support. Using this criteria, Bluehost tops the list as the best hosting.
Bluehost covers everything you need from a host. That includes installing WordPress, upgrading your WordPress to improve security, or getting more control by upgrading VPS. The hosting also has its share of disadvantages.
• Cheap on the first term
• Solid uptime
• Unmetered bandwidth (Doesn’t limit the traffic of your website)
• Generous storage
• Speed is not that great
• Bad support
• Only US servers available
• No free migration
• Poor backup options
The Basics of Running a Website
To create your own website, you need to follow the following basic steps.
1. Register your Domain Name
The first step to owning your own website is registering a domain name. The name should reflect on the products you sell or the services you offer. Doing so will help customers to find your business quickly. Your customers also expect your domain to represent your brand and also be the same as your business name.
The domain name will also be used for your business’s email address. While you may use your personal email, sending emails from your business address will look professional.
To register a domain, find an established registrar like GoDaddy. Cheaper options may offer poor support. You may need to change contact information or hosting companies, and a registrar like GoDaddy will be more helpful.
2. Choose a Web Designer/Developer
Services like GoDaddy and Wix don’t require you to be a web designer to build a site. If you don’t intend to earn from your leads, you can use Wix to create a free website.
However, if you need to generate leads, you will need to hire a web designer. Some designers work with developers and marketers who can help your business succeed.
3. Prepare your Content
Think about what you want to share with your customers via your website. It helps you to know what sections you want to include on the site.
You might need to hire a professional writer to structure your content. A website that is well designed and informative will help your business stand out.
4. Build Your Website
You can do it by yourself or have a web developer do it on your behalf. It needs to be kept up to date.
Also, set a free account with Search Console and connect to Google Analytics. This will unlock Google Analytics reports. It will also provide you with critical information about issues your site may be experiencing,
If you decide to hire a professional, it may be useful to understand some of the basic terms related to building websites. The following are basic terms to know when hiring a web designer:
1. 301 Redirect
This is a permanent redirect for one URL to another, usually from an old website page to a new one.
404 is an error message that is displayed when the user can’t find what they requested.
These are concerns about making a website accessible by people who experience disabilities. All websites should follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
A cache acts as a temporary data storage and aids the site speed by storing important information on your computer after visiting a site for the first time. When you revisit a site, the computer will not reload the site information.
This refers to the amount of data transmittable over a connection at a given time.
Application Program Interface, or API, is how computers and applications communicate with each other.
Cookies are small text files that carry a unique anonymous identifier and visit information sent from a website to the browser and stored on the visitor’s hard drive.
8. Call-to-Action (CTA)
This is usually in the form of text, banner, image, and uses action-oriented language to make the user act and engage.
The name of the website. People type it into the browser to visit it.
Hypertext Markup Language is a markup language used to build web pages and show content like images, text, video, and links.
11. HTTP & HTTPS
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of HTTP, which is a protocol in which data is sent from the browser over to the website and vice versa.
Hosting is the web server where all the files and details of your website are stored.
13. Page Speed
A measurement of the time it takes for content to load on a specific web page.
14. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is creating or modifying content for the sake of better visibility on search engines.
Search Engine Results Pages are displayed to the users after searching for something on a search engine such as Google.
16. SSL Certificate
Secure Socket Layer is a security protocol with the purpose of establishing encrypted communication between a website and a web browser.
17. User Experience (UX)
UX is the interaction a user has with a website’s interface, from wireframing to copywriting, designing, and programming.
18. User Interface (UI)
UI is the interaction between user and computer.
A visual guide that shows the structure of a web page that doesn’t have any design elements. It’s mostly used when redesigning a website or designing a page.
Your website can be central to your personal or professional success. It can be a place where you connect with the world. Starting one for your business will not only establish credibility, but it will also connect you with your customers. All you need to do is keep it updated with fresh content, be quick to address technical issues, and keep your customers happy! Once your website is active, be sure to check your analytics and webmaster tools. Always make changes to your site based on the results or reports you see from Google Analytics. This will help you to maintain the visibility of your site and generate more leads, sales, or interactions with your customers.
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