As a creative and entrepreneur, I've designed and developed websites for my clients, as well as for my business. For anyone who is just starting off and has the time to create their own website, I've made a simplified step-by-step guide to save you time, and money.
From conceptualizing the idea to finally hitting the launch button, creating your own website can be very exciting! It can also seem challenging, and overwhelming. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a hobbyist, or someone looking to create a personal space online, this guide will walk you through every step of building a website yourself. Let’s dive in!
The first step to creating a website is knowing why you're building it, and being clear on what goals you want to achieve. Are you looking to grow your online presence, market and sell a product or service, start a blog, or create a portfolio? Whatever your goals are will influence how you create your website and help you decided whether it's best to do it yourself, or hire an expert.
The next factor is to determine when you need to have this website by. Setting a clear deadline will help you prioritize the website, otherwise it's easy to put the project off. From my experience, even if creating a website is for a passion project, you'll feel a lot better by having a reasonable timeline you can follow.
Your domain (name of your website) is your online address. Ours is “www.upstreamlifestyle.com”. Typically your domain is your business name, personal name, or a unique name for your blog. Here’s how to pick one:
GoDaddy is the most popular domain provider, although there are many others like Namecheap that also provide a great service. Often times, your web builder may also provide domain and hosting as a package, however if you ever switch platforms, you'll have to transfer your domain to another service which is why it's common to use a domain provider, and simply connect it to your website.
Web hosting is where your website’s content lives online. Think of it as renting space on the internet. Most modern website builders will offer hosting as part of your website so it's important to know who your hosting provider is, but it will likely be your web builder, unless you create a fully custom website from scratch, or use Wordpress.
There are a ton of website builders out there so to save you some time, i've listed the most popular ones. Depending on your goals, features and integrations are important when choosing your website builder.
Do you already have a brand with visual guidelines that you'll want to follow, or are you starting from scratch? If you have a business but no brand, we recommend working with someone to set your brand up for success. If you're simply creating a blog, or portfolio, having a logo type (your name with a clean font) looks sleek and professional. Wherever you are, it's important to have an idea of the overall website aesthetic you'll want. This will help you in choosing your template. Pinterest is always a great resource for website inspiration.
Pick a template that aligns with your content's nature:
It's okay to spend hours choosing the right template. It should include a template for each of the pages that you'll have on your site. For example, if your site has a blog, or pricing page, the template must include that design. Templates are great because they save you from having to design the site, but if they don't include the page layout that you want, you'll either have to build it yourself, pick a new template, or hire someone to edit the template for you.
Search Engine Optimization ensures your site is found on search engines.
Building a website yourself might seem daunting initially, but with the right tools and a systematic approach, it becomes a rewarding experience. Remember, a website is dynamic. Continue updating, optimizing, and refreshing your content. Welcome to the digital world, and congratulations on your new site!
If you're thinking between making the site yourself or hiring a design studio, contact us and we'll give your our best recommendation.