Building a Website from Scratch (When you are Not a Developer nor a Designer!)
In this digital era we live in, your website is the cornerstone of your business. With more than 80% of users stating they conduct online research before making a final purchase decision, it is obvious you need a quality website that will place you on the first page of search results because... well, most people don't scroll to the second one.
Still, it's understandable that when you're at the very beginning of your entrepreneurial career, you cannot really count on a big budget that will allow you to hire a professional designer and developer. No, it's highly likely you'll have to do it on your own, and this article will teach you how.
Define your angle
First and foremost, you need to decide how you want to present yourself to your target customers. The best way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions: what's the main product/service I have to offer to my clients and what's the one thing my clients will care about regarding my product/services?
Create the first draft
Based on these answers, you'll start creating a website copy that will appeal to your audience – the text should highlight the main solution you have to offer for their everyday problems. Agan, start by answering several crucial questions:do they know something about me already, what do I want them to know, what was my initial angle and how am I going to present this information?
Overall, your copy needs to state clearly who you are and what kind of products or services you're offering. The content needs to present you as the authoritative figure in your line of business, meaning you will need a blog section to publish articles that will showcase your expertise. Finally, it's essential that you organize this information in a clear way – be professional, but not overly pretentious. In general, semi-formal tone is the best choice, but there are some copy-writing formulas you might want to check out.
Define the categories
Regardless of the industry you are in, your clients will want a clean, user-friendly website layout that includes your webpages, content and navigation. If you've gone through the previous steps, you should have a rough idea of the exact pages you'll need. Some you should not miss out on are Homepage, About page, Services, Blog, Testimonials, Product showcase and FAQ page.
Next, you can take advantage of Keynote, or a similar tool, to make a custom size document – click on "document", choose "slide size" and select "custom". Something like 3000x1500 should provide enough space for your website. For your navigation bar and pages, choose "shape" and insert navigational tabs with content blocks underneath to present your webpages. This is the best way to see whether certain pages will have to be merged, removed or added, and as you get to a more final page of your layout, you can start working on your copy.
Choosing website template, domain name and hosting service
For newbies, it's advisable to opt for a hosting service which provides them with all the tools they need during the creation process, and preferably a support team. For instance, iPage web hosting comes with a multitude of mobile-friendly templates, easy-to-use drag and drop website builder, SEO tools and flexibility to create a blog, store or website – it's basically everything you need, in one place.
When choosing the ideal domain name, you'll have to follow certain guidelines that will help you come up with the one that will not only fit your business, but will also be easy to find and promote. In short, it should not be complex, can include keywords relevant for your business and should be memorable. Furthermore, avoid a domain name with numbers and hyphens, since it's more likely for a user to misspell it. Finally, chose the extension carefully – the one that will work for your business.
Are you ready to swim in the web design waters? Feel free to share the details of your web project with us in the comment section!