How to create a website for beginners 2020

September 4, 2020 in Website Building

A person pointing at a laptop discussing how to create a website

Building a website sounds daunting as it requires technical expertise. The good news is that it is straightforward and does not require much technical knowledge. Various services offer a perfectly reasonable solution. Depending on your need, you could even build a website with marginal costs. There are just eight steps to be followed to create a fantastic website.

1. The domain name and Branding:

Business name

Decide a name for your business. The name creates branding and an identity for your products. Furthermore, it lets you search the database to check the availability of a domain name.

Things to look out for:

  • Check for trademark issues.
  • Check the domain name’s history for blacklisting.
  • Select a reputable domain registrar.
  • Inspection if the name is available on social media platforms.
  • Prefer common TLD names (like .com, .org, ) or country-based TLD.

Many reputable websites help identify an available domain name. Few are listed here, Domain.com, Nameboy, Bluehost, and GoDaddy.

Create a website logo and a slogan, it grabs the visitor’s attention and makes a strong first impression. It creates a brand identity as the business flourishes. A logo provides an easy visual representation that will be remembered and separates your brand from the competition.

2. Web Hosting.

Once the domain name is acquired, you should procure a web hosting server. It is an absolute essential to set up a website. Web hosting is a service provided to organisations, business, and individuals to post and maintain a website or a webpage on the internet. It is the place where the files of the website are stored (servers). If you are using a website builder, web hosting is mostly provided by the service.

When a user enters the domain name or web address the DNS connects to the web hosting server to retrieve required files. The web host provides features such as a company e-mail account (me@company.com), and FTP access to upload files to the website.

Get a reputable web hosting service, do not cut costs here. Excellent hosting service provides quality server space, bandwidth, privacy, and security. Cutting costs will affect sites performance and experiences.

There are two types of web hosting. You could decide on a shared web hosting where the hosting is shared with other websites or buy a dedicated hosting server where you get a private server. In the case of a private server complete control is provided along with guaranteed space and bandwidth. A dedicated host costs significantly higher. 

If you choose to build a website with the help of a website builder chances are the web hosting is already provided.

Linking domain name to Hosting service

In most cases, you would have bought the domain name and web hosting from the same business. If so, there would be no issues with linking them both. If not, the domain name must point to the hosting server.

Log in to your web hosting provider account and search for nameservers in the control panel. Usually, there are two nameservers available, copy them. Now open the domain name provider account and enter the copied name servers under the appropriate tab. This process varies from provider to provider. In case you are unable to figure it out, contact your hosting provider for assistance.

3. Explore your website building options.

A flow chart illustrating different ways to create a website

There are multiple ways to create a website for non-coders. Before you get into building a website, list out the features that you think are key to your website (must-have features). If you are not sure where to start you could look into website types and its essentials.

The first step in creating a website is to decide if you want to build and manage the website on your own (using available platforms and not coding it). If you’re up for the task, the most common choice is between a website builder and a content management system (CMS).

Website Builder

Website builders are easy to use but less flexible. On the other hand, CMS is powerful but has a learning curve. Choosing amongst them is purely based on the websites needs and your comfort zone.

Don’t panic just yet, we are here to help you understand, just bear with us a bit longer.

Website builders is a visual editor that helps create a website in a fun and easy manner. It has an interactive drag and drop user interface. Plugin options are limited in comparison to CMS. Website builders provide web hosting making life easy but, if you decide to change hosts, it is not possible. You would be required to rebuild your website from scratch. Commonly used website builders are

Content Management System

A CMS creates powerful websites but has a learning curve. The time duration to get the hang of it depends on the individual. Moreover, CMS is a form editor. The form is abstracted from the page, as a result, the final page will not look like the form. Therefore, it could be overwhelming until you get the knack for it.

A CMS provides base layout and themes that need to be worked upon. Occasionally the code might need tweaks to get a plugin or theme to work (not common). There is more flexibility as a massive range of plugins are available.

A CMS requires you to typically have your host. Moving hosts is an option available. You do not have to reconstruct the website. If you need technical assistance, hire a freelancing web developer or have a dedicated web developer provided that CMS is in their comfort zone.

Common CMS websites are:

Web developer and Freelancer

If you decide to build a custom website, four components require attention. The four elements are UI and UX design, front-end, back-end, and the admin panel.

UI design

            UI design stands for user interface design, is the graphical layout of a website. It includes text, GIF, sliders, images buttons, and other interactive functions. Furthermore, it consists of the visuals used while transitioning between pages. A UI design is all about aesthetics and sense of the website.

UX design

            UX design stands for user experience design. A good UX design ensures a smooth and natural website flow. If the website is confusing to navigate, or if the aesthetics include entirely new features that are not common, consider changing it. An easy to navigate website is the highest priority for UX developers.  

Front-end development

            Front-end is often confused with UI and UX. A front-end development also referred to as client-side development, is not associated with aesthetics or ease of website navigation. Instead, it is responsible for the smooth functioning of the website. The developer ensures UI and UX are well integrated into the website code, ensuring a bug-free website. Click here to know more about the difference between UI/UX design and front-end.

Back-end developer

            Back-end development also referred to as the server-side development, is associated with the part of the website a user does not see. It is responsible for storing data and ensures the smooth functioning of front-end. The back-end is where functionalities of a website are located.

In order to know more about the difference between front-end vs back-end click here.

Admin Panel

            Commonly referred to as the control panel provides an easy interface for the admin to edit, create, and manage the content of the website. Without an admin panel, you must approach the web developer for every small edit, in case you are not familiar with codes.

If you decide on hiring a freelance web developer to create a website there are multiple things to keep in mind. This blog explains in details the steps to be followed.

Outsourcing

If you are not comfortable with hiring a web developer, services are available that help you manage your website needs. Consider opting for one to ensure maximum efficiency with minimum hassle.

4. There is an easy option

Workik-logo

Workik is an upcoming SAAS based service that handles all your website needs. It is another option worth considering. We at Workik would love to work with you. Why Workik over the rest?

Workik offers affordable package deals where you can choose and customise your website. We provide technical expertise to meet your complex website needs. We also maintain and manage the constructed website.

Similarly, we provide boilerplate applications that can easily integrate with a simple website. The technical help and support required are also provided. This cuts down the time necessary to build a complicated website to less than a week.

Get a fully functional website coupled with integrations and technical support. Transform your website into a platform with minimum downtime. Contact us at workik.com/contact-us/

5. Essentials for a smart website.

Every website should have a few basic pages. The website should offer features and options to convert visitors into customers. Everything on a website matters from the layout to trust builders (like certifications). Here are easy steps to increase traffic and sales.

  • Easy navigation: keep it simple. You do not want visitors to get lost on the website.
  • The website must have a home, services, contact and about us pages, do not forget to create these pages.
  • Have effective, meaningful headlines. First impression matters.
  • Have an obvious call to action but do not let it get in the way of the content.
  • Humanise the page by sharing your story. This aids in connecting with visitors. Establish credibility, reliability, and trust.
  • Use videos, as it breaks the monotonous reading and gives the visitor a break. Visitors are more likely to stay on your page for longer.
  • Publish customer testimonial because it creates a connection and validates your service.
  • If applicable, add certifications, partner logos and badges.
  • Offer a guarantee. As a new business, it is hard to build trust. Offer a guarantee and/or warranty to demonstrate a safe and trustworthy website.
  • Lead generation. Make most of your website visitors. Collect visitor’s information and curate it. An easy way is to ask for an email address in exchange for newsletters, weekly tips, etc. This is a great approach to pitch to potential customers while adding value.
  • Integrate with social media. Create social media pages on multiple platforms, run campaign and build brand awareness. While doing so provide useful information that adds value (being witty and funny adds bonus points). This pleases the viewer and is more likely to subscribe, like or follow your brand.

6. Customize

Phew, don’t worry the most challenging part is done! Now for the fun bit. You have finally chosen your method to create the website, customise your website based on your needs.

Choose an appropriate theme and templates to set the right tone. A theme structures the entire website, whereas templates structure pages and posts. Most of the time, the terms theme and template are used interchangeably.

Most templates are categorised based on the type of business. Choose a template that best suits your online presence. Look for simple home page header design and menu bar design. These two help visitors navigate, keeping them relatively straightforward. 

  • Research the template/theme providers track record. Not all template providers are going to be around in the long run.
  • Check the performance. No one wants to navigate a slow website.
  • Keep an eye out for customisation options. Not all templates provide the degree of customisation you might be after.
  • Integration flexibility. As the website evolves, many new plugins and application will be integrated. Make sure the option is available and is easy to handle.

Look for plugins or boilerplate applications to make life simple. In case your website offers online payment services choose a reputed payment portal.

7. Content

The foundations of the website are set, moving on to create content. Create an attractive landing page, because the visitor’s interest is not sparked otherwise. Pay attention to details like font and colour contrast. Good quality content will be underappreciated if it is hard to read. The visitor will lose interest as reading is an effort.

There are multiple ways to lay content out on a page. It is not just words anymore.

  • Use infographics to switch up the pace. This allows you to add a ton of information in an image format. Making it visually appealing and add digestible content.
  • Short videos catch the visitor’s attention and increase their curiosity.
  • Provide a little checklist of thing to look out for. This catches the visitors attention as well.
  • A well-placed meme can lighten the mood. This regains the visitor’s attention.
  • Mini quizzes and tests are a great ice breaker.
  • Use slide shows if applicable, it creates interactive content.
  • Incorporate lists at the top of the page to give an idea of the content available.
  • Create blogs to create product awareness and generate website traffic.

Search Engine Optimization And Readability

SEO optimise the blogs to increase traffic. A great blog will lose value if not many know about its existence.

To SEO optimise the contents of a blog find a relevant long tail and short tail keywords, a mix of both is excellent. Prefer choosing those keywords that have high search volume but medium to low competition. This gives your blog a head start in being found.

The best free tool is Google AdWords keyword planner. Another useful tool is ubersuggest.com.

A readability score is another factor that determines the quality of the blog. The more straightforward and accurate the language used, the higher the score. Do not go grammar Nazi on the blog, make it sound like a conversation rather than a research article (unless that is your intention).

8. Test and publish

A man tapping a microphone

Before the website goes live, it must be tested for a hand full of things to identify potential bugs and glitches that affect the functionality of a website

Functionality testing

It is conducted to verify if the website meets all the product needs. Verify all the links (URL), make sure they are not broken. Test cookies to ensure vital information is not stored. Workflow testing of the entire website is done to ensure the website is smooth to navigate and bug-free.

Database testing

Tests the smooth flow of data. It tests if data is displayed and stored appropriately on the webpage.

Security testing

This is very important, especially for e-commerce websites. Test if the user session gets killed when the user logs off or in the case of prolonged inactivity. Safeguards the user’s information and makes it inaccessible to an unauthorised user.

Graphical user interface testing

This tests the user interface of the website. It includes colour scheme, font, text alignment and more. Make sure the website is reader-friendly to visitors with disabilities as well, in order to cater to diversity.

Compatibility testing

Also called cross-browser testing, it tests the compatibility across multiple browsers and operating systems. It verifies the consistency of data and eliminates browser and OS related bugs.

Usability testing

Usability testing is performed to determine how easy it is to use the website from the perspective of the visitor. It involves feedback given by focus groups. These assessments are essential as visitors do not stay for long on websites unless and until it provides value and smooth user experience.

Performance testing

As the name suggests, it tests the performance of the website. It tests the response time during peak and non-peak traffic load. It accounts for the recovery time as well in case of a website crash. Google site performance is a good tool.