Building a Website: A Step-by-Step Tutorial
Research shows that between 70-80% of shoppers research a business online prior to visiting in person or making a purchase. That means having a website is as necessary for companies today as having a phone number.
Maybe you are starting a new business venture or developing your personal brand. Or, maybe you’re looking to up-date your company’s outdated internet site. Whatever the case, creating a new web site can feel overwhelming, particularly without technical expertise or a budget for web developers.
To alleviate any kind of frustration you might feel, we’ve put together a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to creating a website. Best of all, a person won’t need a coder, web designer, or big budget to produce one — you’ll simply need to follow the nine steps below.
1 . Choose your website system.
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want to create a internet site using a website builder or perhaps a content management system (CMS).
Both provide the out-of-the-box functions, pre-designed templates, and extensions required to create a custom web site without coding, but they offer different experiences for creating and managing a website.
Website contractors provide everything you need to launch a site. You receive website building tools, hosting, domain registration, SSL certification, templates, and support in a single place, often for a lower monthly rate.
This ease of use and pricing appeals to many site owners; however , free website contractors as well as the more expensive alternatives are usually limited in flexibility. For example , you can’t add your own customized code, or drag plus drop elements anywhere on the posts and pages using a website builder.
If you want more control over the functionality and appearance of your site, utilize a CMS. A CMS will give you the content management features, advanced functionality, and customization options required to build larger, more complex sites.
When you’ve decided that a CMS is the greatest option for your business, consider the software program, ease of use, customizability, security, and pricing of different platforms to narrow down your choice.
The very best CMS system for your company will align with your site’s needs and goals. For instance, do you need the platform that allows you to add your own custom code or one that supports multiple different languages? Would you like a proprietary CMS to help share the responsibility associated with protecting and maintaining your site, or would you prefer a good open-source CMS? You might also thin your list by comparing the selection of templates and addons offered by each system.
WordPress, for example , is a popular open-source CMS that provides thousands of themes, plugins, and modules for modifying your site. In exchange for this flexibility, you will have to spend more time and cash downloading, installing, and maintaining these extensions. On the other hand, Wp alternatives like the CMS Centre provide more built-in features, app integrations, and protection features so you can focus on generating web content and attracting prospects.
Once you’ve chosen the best CMS platform for your needs, continue to step two.
second . Select a hosting plan.
Web hosting is a service that enables individuals or even businesses to run a website on the Internet. The service provider, known as a web host, will store your website data files on a secure server it keeps up and running, and then provide and display that site content to visitors who enter your URL in their browser.
The guidelines for selecting a hosting provider differ depending on whether you chose a proprietary or open-source solution above. A amazing solution will include web hosting in its pricing package. So you may simply need to select the plan using the bandwidth, storage, and other features that suit you best.
For example , Wix offers limited bandwidth and storage on its free strategy so you’ll have to upgrade to its Unlimited plan for limitless bandwidth and 10GB of storage.
If you opted for an open-source solution, you’ll have to find your own personal hosting provider, which will take take time and lots of research. There are countless web hosts on the market. Each one might offer different types of hosting, including shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting. A few briefly look at the differences beneath.
Virtually every web host offers shared hosting. Shared enviroment is the most popular type of hosting, particularly among new site owners, because it’s the cheapest option. However , because your website needs to share the same server with many other websites, it aren’t support high volumes of traffic and is most susceptible to hackers and other security dangers.
VPS web hosting is a pricier alternative because it isolates machine resources for your site particularly. That means your site will be able to deal with higher volumes of normal traffic. If you’d rather not share a server along with any other website, you can improve to d edicated server hosting.
Once you’ve decided what type of hosting you need, you can pick a provider. DreamHost, Host Gator, and Bluehost are among the most popular third-party providers and offer free area registration for the first yr. That will simplify the next step in building a website.
3. Get a domain name.
No matter what type of website platform you chose to build your site, you’ll likely have to purchase a domain name. Some website builders such as Weebly offer a free subdomain for your site, but an individual upgrade to a custom website.
One of the simplest ways to appear more professional and legitimate as a business is to pay for a domain name. Imagine you were looking for a freelance writer. Are you more likely hire me if my site address is carolineforsey. weebly. com or carolineforsey. com? An extension like “weebly. com” can confuse visitors plus dilute your brand identity. Worst case scenario: a visitor may assume you can’t afford reduced hosting service or customized domain, and draw a conclusion that your business is not completely established.
Fortunately, purchasing a domain name is typically inexpensive — even for those who sign up for web hosting plan that does not include free domain registration for season. There are two different techniques you can take.
You can visit a domain site, purchase and register a domain name presently there, and then connect it to your hosting account. Both Godaddy. com and Namecheap. com are cheap, secure, plus effective options for buying a website name, with added benefits such as SSL security and office 365.
Or you can finish the entire domain name search and enrollment process on your hosting provider’s site. For example , after subscribing to a Bluehost plan, you will be taken to this page to sign up using a domain name.
Here’s where it gets tricky. You’ll need to choose a domain name as similar as possible to the name of your company, but with more than 1 . 8 billion web sites out there today, your carrier’s name might already be used.
If your ideal domain name is already taken, consider using a different expansion. I’d advise you to use among the three most common extensions when you can:. com,. net, or. org. However , if it makes sense for your business, you might want to check out an alternate extension like. us or. shop.
Play around with it. As soon as you’ve chosen and purchased a domain name, you’ll usually also get personal email accounts attached, so make sure you’re happy to use your domain name as your main online identity.
four. Choose a theme for your site.
Now, for the fun part.
Themes allow you to easily change the look and feel of your site without having to code HTML and CSS from scratch. Themes comprise of templates, modules, images, and global content that will control your site’s general design.
On whatever platform you chose, take the time to browse through the selection of themes available. Many will come with a listing of free themes, where you can use filters or the search pub to find themes related to your own industry, with a specific layout, and more.
There are some must-have features that every theme should have. For example , it’s important your own theme is responsive, so your site will look the same on all devices. You’ll also want to stay away from hard-to-read fonts or flashy backgrounds that could discompose a consumer from understanding your core message.
Other factors will be specific to your company and site. You might be looking for a static header or a slideshow header, for example. Or you may require a theme that comes with a front-end builder. Below are some queries you can answer to find the right style for your site:
- Do you need a variety of layouts or just one?
- Are you looking for a theme along with built-in social media widgets or any type of other functionality?
- Would you like to install a demo site or start from scratch?
- Do you want to purchase a concept that includes its own theme builder?
Ultimately, no one understands your business better than you. Take the time to consider which theme might best represent your brand and most likely appeal to your own ideal demographic.
When uncertain, you can’t go wrong if you choose something clean with directly lines and a limited quantity of text. If you need some motivation, check out 27 of the Best Website Designs to Inspire A person in 2020.
If you can’t look for a free theme that satisfies your exact specifications, look for premium themes within third-party marketplaces.
Once you have selected and installed a composition on your site, move on to the next step.
5. Customize your theme and templates.
Once you’ve chosen a theme, take the time to customize it and its individual templates. Your own site’s design and functionality is your chance to persuade a good audience to take a nearer look. It’s imperative your own design makes sense to your perfect consumer and works to improve your product’s success rather than impede it.
That’s why you should think about your theme and web templates as a starting point, rather than the final look. Depending on the website platform you’ve used to build your site, you’ll have different degrees of control of your site’s appearance.
On most platforms, you’ll be able to c hoose a template then change the color palette, r eplace the images, i nsert social media icons, a dd personalized types and menus, and c hange the scale, colors, and fonts of buttons.
Upon more flexible platforms such as the CMS Hub, you’ll be able to modify your theme’s global configurations to make sitewide changes. This means you can make changes to your typeface and other elements in one location and they’ll be implemented across all pages on your web site.
6. Add web pages to your site.
It’s vital that you plan exactly which webpages you’ll need to include in your web site. While it varies business in order to business, I’d guess you’ll need at least a homepage, an “About Us” web page, a “Services/Product” page, and a “Contact Us” page.
You should also add a blog homepage. I might become biased, but there are severe benefits to business blogging. For example , w ebsites that feature a blog are usually 434% more likely to be rated highly on search engines.
Whilst every platform is different, it is typically easy to add plus remove pages on whichever platform you use. Let’s take a closer look at the process on WordPress, for example.
- Start by logging into the WordPress dashboard.
- On the remaining side of the screen, click Pages > Add New .
- You can add text, insert pictures, embed videos, and make any other changes you like.
- When you’re ready, click Submit.
Once you’ve chose what pages you need on your own site, make sure to add these to the routing bar of your site. You are able to rearrange page topics any way you want, or combine them.
You can visit some other company websites within your business to get ideas for the way to organize your navigation pub, or which pages to incorporate and exclude if you’re unsure.
7. Write content.
This is arguably the most important step. Now that you have your pages set up, what will you put on them?
I’d suggest writing rough breezes for pages like your “About Us” page and landing page. Talk with coworkers and stakeholders — what message do you wish to put out there? What shade do you want to set? Should you make jokes and be funny, or even aim to be more inspirational?
In case your online audience stumbled across your internet site, what questions would they have got first?
Imagine your website will be your only chance to have a full conversation with a potential customer. The home page is the preliminary introduction: “Hey, we do XYZ. ” Your “About Us” page digs deeper: “We are XYZ. ” As well as your products or services pages are your own big push to the complete line: “You want to work together with us? Great, here’s exactly how you’ll benefit. ”
In this stage, it’s imperative you need to do your keyword research.
For example, if you’re selling eyeglasses, so you notice “retro eyeglasses” has more monthly search volume compared to “vintage eyeglasses, ” you might use this research to steer the direction of the content material on your site.
If you’re trapped, check out competitor’s websites to gauge what other companies inside your industry are doing.
8. Fill in general settings.
Once you have filled in your pages with all the heavy-hitter content, you can still increase your search visibility by adding SEO elements to each and every page.
On your web pages, you should include:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Image alt-text
- Structured markup
- Page URLs
- Internal linking
- Mobile responsiveness
- Web site speed
Make sure you include a site title and tagline in the “Settings” of your website building platform. Go through, and check out the Web addresses — are those optimized for search?
Each of these elements are crucial to your on-page SEO. They not only help to tell Google about your website and how a person provide value to site visitors and customers — in addition they help optimize your site pertaining to human eyes as well as internet search engine bots.
Any platform occur to be using to build your site need to make it easy to optimize these types of elements on every post and page. With Wix, for example , y ou can add image alt-text, meta descriptions, headings, and custom made URLs right in your content material editor.
9. Install add-ons.
Lastly, take a look at your site and determine what you’re missing. Ideally, your platform will offer all the add-ons you need to extend features of your site.
It’s important to note these add-ons might be called apps, extensions, modules, integrations, or plugins, depending on the platform you use.
If you’re working an ecommerce site on HubSpot, for example , you might use HubSpot’s Shopify extension. Or even, maybe you want to ensure your own WordPress website is secure, to shield client data. In that case, you may download the Wordfence Safety plugin for firewall security against attacks, malware, and other threats.
If you’re lacking out-of-the-box features for security, SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, image compression, and social media marketing, check if your platform offers an app or integration to include that functionality to your site. It’s much easier to do all this work in one place rather than having to log on to several disconnected platforms.
Let’s say you’ve looked at your platform’s directory or marketplace and chosen a number of add-ons you think will take the potency of your site to the next level.
Installing these add-ons will vary from platform to platform. To provide you with an idea of how long the procedure will take, let’s walk through the process of installing an app from the HubSpot marketplace.
- In your HubSpot account, click on the Marketplace image in the main routing bar.
- Use the filters in the left sidebar to browse for an app.
- Simply click an app to see more details.
- On the right, you can review the important points of the app. Under Requirements , check whether or not the app is compatible with your HubSpot subscription, and see if you can find any app-side subscription needs.
- When you’re ready, click the Connect app button in the top correct corner of the screen.
Once you’ve completed these nine steps, just click “Publish” and your site is looking forward to use.
How to Make a Website with HubSpot
Lastly, let’s have a look at how to make a website with CMS Hub. If you’re already using HubSpot’s CRM, it most likely makes the most sense to build a website within HubSpot to integrate all your sales and marketing needs in one location.
HubSpot CMS offers a number of plugins and extensions, designed templates, and sophisticated tools for SEO analysis.
If you want to build a website with HubSpot, it’s easy and intuitive. Here is how:
1 . Create home page.
Within your HubSpot portal, click on “Content” on the dashboard on top of your screen. Then, click on “Landing Pages”.
After that, click the lemon “Create landing page” key and name your web page.
2 . Select a template.
Now, you’ll be taken to this “Select a template” page. Scroll through your options, search page templates, or check out the Market place. When you’ve found a template you like, select it.
several. Edit the modules.
This is your landing page. You can scroll over text boxes, images, or other modules to edit them. In the beneath picture, I scrolled within the “See The World” Banner ad Text, and when I click it, it allows me to edit that text.
You can also click the “Edit modules” device on the right side of the screen and edit from there. For instance, I selected “Service 2 Text”, which guided me to the “Make this your own” paragraph on my landing page. You can add text, images, sections, forms, and much more from the “Edit modules” area.
4. Create other pages on your own website.
When you’re pleased with your landing page and want to move on, go back to your dashboard and click “Content” at the top of your screen, and then “Website Pages. ”
Here, you’ll click the orange colored “Create website page” button and name your web page, just like your landing page. Then, you’ll be taken through a similar process of choosing a template plus adding content. If you want a more in-depth tutorial, check out a quick tour of website pages.
5. Integrate social media accounts.
If you want to incorporate your social media accounts, click on “Social” on your dashboard. You are able to monitor all your social media accounts and also publish tweets, Facebook statuses and comments, Instagram pictures, and other content from your HubSpot dashboard.
6. Look at analytics.
If you want to check out your site analytics, go to “Reports” then “Analytics Tools”. You’ll need to install the tracking program code, which is easy to do within the HubSpot platform by clicking the orange “Install the tracking code” button. If you’re still unsure, check out learn how to install the HubSpot monitoring code.
7. Add blogs to your site.
If you want to write blogs, go to “Content” > “Blog” on your dashboard to create, submit, and monitor your website’s blog posts.
This is a fairly broad and general overview to get you started building a website with HubSpot, yet there are plenty of more in-depth functions and tools you might want to discover with a HubSpot specialist, or by checking out some articles on academy. hubspot. com.
Ensuring a Smooth Launch
As soon as you’re done building a internet site via the CMS Hub, you have to check that you’re not missing any kind of crucial elements or heading live with any glaring mistakes. Once you’ve gone through this listing above and feel like most likely close to a website launch, learn this blog post for a detailed list of things to check prior to your go live.
And don’t forget to check out our CMS Hub, as mentioned above. It will help you accomplish most of the issues on your website launch insights without you even knowing you.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.