Creating your website is easier than you might think. Even if you don’t have a business, having your website can be very useful. Naturally, people want to discover and invent something new and exciting according to their approach. You may have your expert profile at Facebook and Linkedin so, why not have your website with your domain name?
You should be curious about and have learning potentials. Every beginner has thousands of questions in his mind just like you have right now. Few answers to your questions regarding building website are as follows:
Do I have programming skills to build a website?
You can build a website by using a website builder. If you can handle Word, Facebook or PowerPoint, you can also learn to work with these types of tools without any problems. These online website builder tools are easy-to-use and offer a visual editor, hosting and the possibility to reserve a domain name: everything you need through one provider.
The three most popular ways to create a website
There are many popular ways to build a website or a blog ranging from simple as making an egg, and some are quite complicated.
Create a website with a Website Builder Software
Let’s start with the most straightforward option: a website Builder. This option is a complete package: one provider usually offers the templates (the design), the editor, hosting, the domain name, and email address and support. The website maker does all the complex tasks for you.
This option is not only useful for beginners, but it also depends on the type of website. Why make it difficult when it is too easy? Almost all website builder offers a free basic trail package with which you can test the tool extensively despite paying a significant amount to make you familiar with their system.
The price of the premium plan starts at $ 12.50 per month, but this includes all necessities. If you don’t necessarily need an email address, it’s even cheaper.
You should worth visit Wix.com to get an idea of how these website builders work.
- Standalone website builder software is easy to use.
- You do not need a separate set-up.
- You do not need enough programming knowledge.
- You can start building your website on the very first day.
- The website maker arranges updates and security.
- Use a website design template with ready-made designs that you can customize yourself.
- It is not always possible to add extra functions (depending on the website maker).
- These have limited functions provided by the vendor.
- A website builder is useless when it comes to building a complicated website that requires a database (for example, a job site or house site).
Other examples of website makers are WordPress, Blogger and Altervista. You will find even more website builders in our comparison. Wix.com is the best marketplace to try your creative skills as a website builder.
Build a website or a blog with Content Management
A content management system (CMS) works the same as a website maker but is much more complicated to use.
The most top benefit of CMS is that you can also design your website, whereas, in the website builder, you can only add you photos and contents. But, in CMS, you are stick with few numbers of design templates from the vendor.
WordPress as a content management system more potent to others, but there are also a lot of other methods, such as Joomla!, Drupal and Typo3. Thanks to hosting companies that offer the possibility to install WordPress with one click, setting up is not difficult.
You can also easily install and adjust templates using design options. But: if there is something in it that you are not satisfied with, you (or your programmer) will probably have to adjust the CSS or HTML code.
Hosting, the domain name, email addresses, installation and the amount of support you need depend on how much you want to spend and how much technical knowledge you have. If you do it yourself, it can be quite cheap.
One of the advantages, especially of WordPress, is that there are thousands of plug-ins available with which you can add particular functions to your website that are not offered by default. A typical example of this is WooCommerce, a plug-in with which you can add a complete web store to your site.
WordPress is standard available in one language, but there are plug-ins such as WPML that you can use to translate your pages. I am also very enthusiastic about the Dutch plug-in Yoast SEO, with which you can adjust the settings for search engines (for example Google).
In our introduction video, we show you what you should keep in mind if you are considering using WordPress. The video is in English, but the WordPress interface is also available in Dutch.
- You can choose your hosting company yourself.
- Multiple language selection is ideal for a website.
- Technically flexible: you have access to all source code (if you know how to handle it).
- You can add functions using plug-ins.
- No personal technical support.
- The creative freedom depends on the template that you have chosen.
- You have to pay for some plug-ins.
- You probably need a programmer for even the smallest changes to the design.
Other examples of content management systems are Joomla! And Drupal, but these are much more complex than WordPress so that we won’t go into that here.
Program a website yourself
Programming is the last option: open an editor and start writing code yourself. If you want total freedom, this is the best option. You need patience, and for beginners, this is usually too much to ask (and too frustrating).
On websites such as Codecademy, Mozilla or W3Schools, you will find step-by-step tutorials for beginners. But keep in mind that it can take a long time before your website is finally ready.
We cannot give an idea of the costs, because this is very dependent on the website. Of course, it becomes even more expensive if you have to hire a programmer: around $ 6.50 to $ 10 per month for a website maker is always cheaper than what a designer or agency charges for an hour’s work.
- If you can program, the possibilities are endless.
- Cheap hosting.
- Maximum flexibility.
- No support.
- The learning curve is very steep.
- The costs are difficult to estimate.
- You need a lot of time to learn and implement.
What about domain names?
A free domain name usually doesn’t look professional, because it contains the name of another company. If you do not want to use a free domain name, you must, therefore, purchase your domain. Your domain name then looks like www.mycompanyname.com. Well, you should prefer .com. In most cases, it is best to opt for the .com extension, unless you are only active in one country, for example, in the USA (.us) or UK (.uk).
Here are enough companies that sell domain names. WIx.com is one example. Here you pay around 12.50 USD per year.
Include domain name in your package while you select a website builder tool. With JouwWeb, your domain name included in their paid package, for example. At Wix and Jimdo you pay nothing for your domain name in the first year. In the following years, you pay slightly more than, for example at One.com, but it is handy if you have placed everything with one company.
If you use WordPress.org or build a website yourself, you must also arrange your own storage space. You can buy this from the same company as your domain name. But if you are starting, you don’t have to worry too much about that.
Design and plan your website
Cooking without a prescription is not always handy, especially if you have no experience. The following also applies to a website: improvising is not a good idea. By planning you can decide in advance which parts you want, which content works best, and what your website layout should be.
It is useful to start with a mind map with ideas about what should be on your website. The most important parts of this mind map can form the basis of your navigation.
Tips for planning your website:
- Use paper and pen and write everything you want on your website. Brainstorming and a mind map are perfect ways to organize your ideas.
- View the design and content of other exciting websites. Write down what you like and what you don’t.
- Once you have a draft of what you want on your website, you can ask good friends for feedback. This way, you will get a good idea of what your website should look.
- Make a list (for example in Excel) of all pages of your website. For each page, write down the title, content type, keywords, purpose, page type, and importance of the page.
- Extra: if you want your website to score well in search engines, you now have to find out which keyword fits best with each page and note this in step 4.
What about web design?
Creating a beautiful graphic design for your website is not easy. I even think that there are more examples of evil designs online than good ones. Make sure your website is not one of them!
Jeans with flared legs were downright trendy in the seventies, but in the eighties and nineties, you didn’t see anyone with it anymore. You can also see trends of this kind in website design. So remember that what was five years ago may now be seen as old-fashioned.
These simple tips not intended for professional designers, but usually, work:
- Preferably choose a light (or white) background.
- Choose attractive colours that match. Use Adobe Color if you need help with this.
- Choose a bright, simple design and leave enough white space between the various elements.
- Do not use too many different fonts: one font for the titles and a second font for the text is usually sufficient.
- Make sure the style is consistent: all your pages should look the same. Don’t make it a Frankenstein monster.
- Your website must also work correctly on mobile devices.
- Use only professional photos and images. Do not upload a selfie that you have taken quickly in the bathroom. Nowadays you can even make good photos with your smartphone, so take the time for a great result.
- Less is more. If in doubt, choose less.
Which parts does a good website have?
Your logo and the images you choose are essential for a professional-looking website. Nowadays, there are enough free stock photos on the internet. For example, look at Creative Commons.
Make sure you understand the different formats for images: .gif, .jpg and .png are the most important. You also need to optimize the dimensions and quality of the photos for the standard web browser.
An editing program to edit or enlarge or reduce your images can also be useful. Gimp is free and professional, but quite complicated to use. Another alternative to Photoshop is Affinity Photo. It costs much less than the original, and you do not have to take out a subscription for it.
Remember that the navigation of your website is essential to guide your visitors through your website. Pay a lot of attention to it and choose logical shipping. For example, if you want your visitors to contact you via a contact form, make sure there is a link to the way in your menu or the footer of each page.
And don’t forget to test your contact form before you put your website online!
Essential Steps to Create a Website or a Blog
Essential steps you need to follow to create a website:
- Plan your website and put your ideas in a mind map.
- Decide what content you want on your website.
- Buy your domain name, for example via One.com (but you can also buy your domain name later).
- Choose the best website maker.
- Create the content (text and images) for each page.
- Add the content to your website and optimize your site for search engines (SEO).
- Put everything online and promote your website.
Your website is online. What to do next?
Once you have put your website online, you can start promoting and optimizing to get more visitors and improve the website.
- Updating your website: a website is not a book. Even if your website is already online, you can still make changes. Make sure you create new and relevant content as often as possible and that your website is regularly updated. Take, for example, the site of a restaurant: if the menu changes, the new list must be on the website as soon as possible.
- Online positioning: to attract as many visitors as possible, you must optimize your website for search engines through SEO. That is not very complicated, but you have to put some time and effort into it.
- Web analysis: online positioning (see above) makes no sense if you do not know who visits your website. Visitor information helps you determine if your online positioning works. The most popular web analytics tool is Google Analytics. And it’s also free!
As soon as your website is online, you must, of course, register with Google Search Console to let Google know that your website exists and can retrieve the correct information. Send at least the URL (address) of your website to Google so that your website is indexed.
- Email marketing: Another strategy, which is mainly used by companies, is to keep in regular contact with your visitors via email. E is especially useful for web stores, small businesses and bloggers. Email marketing is an art in itself.
- Social media: most websites also have profiles on social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) to also keep in contact with their (potential) visitors outside the website. Email marketing works exceptionally well for professionals with visual professions, such as designers, jewellers and photographers.
I hope this short guide provides you with enough information to plan, create and publish your website.
Do you have any questions about how you can best start? Leave a comment below, and we will try to help you.