How to make a website
Follow these steps to give you some guidance & understanding on how to make a website!
This guide on “how to make a website” can be used whether you are making your own website or hiring a web developer to make a website for you.
Here’s our quick guide on how to make a website!
- Think of an idea or use your current business
- Document your ideas and write a business plan
- Purchase your domain name and web hosting
- Plan the layout and design
- Do keyword research
- Write your copy/text
- Choose and edit images
- Add content
- Add lots of keyword enriched articles that relate to your level of expertise
- Write articles that relate to your business
- Add social media
- Add a blog
- Test your website
- Go live
Document your website requirements
- When creating a website there needs to be some basic research into the elements that make up your website:
- Who is your target market?
- What should the website look like in terms of layout and design?
- Sketch up your ideas on paper
- Will you pay someone to make your website or will you make your own website?
- What software will you use if you make your own?
- WordPress is a great option because it’s free, user friendly and Google loves WordPress!
- What is your budget for the website?
- What content will you add to each page?
- Who will write your copy or text?
- What keywords will you choose for each page?
- What images to use and where to get them from?
Think about the design of your website including;
- Simple, uncomplicated layouts
- Usability – user friendly, clear navigation, not cluttered and confusing
- Readable content – no spelling mistakes, correct grammar, suitable font size and colours
- Aesthetically pleasing – a balance of text and images, colours, font types, videos, logos, headings
- Will the website appeal to your target market
- Will there be any functionality e.g. a contact form, member login, newsletter etc.
Documenting your ideas can give you a clearer vision of your website and its requirements. Show your ideas to friends or colleagues and get some feedback. Feedback can be very useful, as people may suggest ideas and strategies for your website that you may not have thought of!
Decide on the domain name for your website
Check the availability of your domain name. Purchase your domain name or ask your web developer to purchase it for you. If you purchase it yourself, the web developer will need to know the login details you receive when you purchase the domain name. If you are making your own website then you will need to make sure your web hosting is either from the same company or point the domain name servers to the hosting. Click here to view how to point your domain name
Buy your web hosting
If you are getting a web developer to make your website then they will do this for you! If you are making your own website, then you will need to purchase your hosting yourself. Click here for more information about buying your hosting
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is where you pay someone a monthly or yearly fee to store your website files on a remote server so these files can be accessible by the Internet. Your domain name points to this hosting space.
Whether your website is for business or pleasure, the main reason for having a website is; for others to find you and to be able to read, interact, buy or respond to the information you present.
Research Keywords and keywords phrases
Researching keywords for your website is an imperative part of making a website successful. You need to research what keywords you will place into the content and other areas of your website thoroughly. Without keyword research your website may never be found by the right visitors. You need to dedicate some time into researching and discovering the best keywords for your website.
The basic premise of keyword research involves finding keywords that have:
- A reasonable amount of searches per month for your chosen keyword
- A reasonably low amount of competition on the Internet for that specific keyword
Without proper search engine optimisation and marketing your site may never be found by prospective clients.
Once you have found the keywords you are ready to start writing content.
Building the website
If you are making your own website you will have to consider the following:
- What is my budget for the website?
- What software should I use?
- Can I make a website with no web design skills?
- Will I be able to make updates myself?
If you are hiring a web developer think about the following:
- What is my budget?
- Will there be ongoing costs?
- How will I find the right web developer?
- Will I be able to update the website myself?
Whether you build your own website or getting someone to make a website for you, the biggest factor to consider will be cost and ongoing costs. The great thing about building your own website, is it can be a quick cost effective way to get some online web presence. Start with baby steps, creating a few pages with compelling keyword enriched content about the product or service you want people to know about. Get your brand out there, start earning some money from your website, then maybe hire a web developer to take you to the next level.
Once you have decided how you will build your website, the next step will be adding all the content.
Add content to the website
Whether you make your own website or get a developer to do it, you will need to provide well written copy or text. Make sure you write keyword enriched copy or text that is relevant to the topic of your website, grammatically correct, checked for spelling mistakes and makes sense to your visitors!
Content may also include:
- Copy or text
All images need to be optimised (reduced in quality size) so you pages load quickly
- Functionality – a search facility, a blog, a feedback form or contact form
Once all your content is added you need to start testing your website to make sure it all works and looks the way it was designed to be.
Testing your website
You don’t want to “go live” with a broken website. It is good practice to check your website in all major web browsers for e.g. Internet explorer 6 and 7, FireFox, Safari, Chrome and Opera. Do usability checks on your website for e.g. ask people to navigate around your website, is it easy for them to use, test the links work also check the website on different computers screens. Check that all functionality is working properly.
The process of making a website can be a daunting process and may continue to be an ongoing learning experience.
Once your website is live, try some basic search engine techniques and get other websites that are similar to yours to link back to your website. After a few months, test some keyword phrases out in Google to see where your website shows up in the results. If the results are a bit ordinary or non-existent then onward to Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation.
Click here for more information on Search Engine Optimisation.
Original content written by Jodi Allbon 2013
Web Designer/Trainer – Adv Dip, Dip, TAE
Jodi is a qualified WordPress Trainer and Designer with an Advanced Diploma in Digital Media (2D And 3D Animation, Web Development) and a Diploma in Web Development. She has been a Website Trainer at the Northern Beaches Community College since 2008 and a WordPress Tutor for NSW TAFE since 2016.
Jodi has developed several web design courses including, a WordPress Beginners Course and Build your own WordPress Website for small businesses. These courses will teach you how to update and manage your website ongoing. Giving website owners more control over their website, thus helping to keep costs down.
View Jodi’s credentials here.