In today’s times, having a website is essential for individuals and businesses alike. Whether you want to showcase your portfolio, run an online store, or promote your brand, a website offers a powerful platform to connect with your audience.
But how do you get one? Where do you start? What are the costs involved? Don’t worry, these aren’t silly questions and we are here to help.
We decided to create this foolproof guide to help all our non-tech savvy friends out there to gain confidence in understanding their website journey. Let’s jump right in.
Step 1: Define Your Purpose and Goals
Before diving into your website design journey, take a moment to clarify the purpose and goals of your website. Are you starting a blog, launching an e-commerce venture, or building a professional portfolio? Understanding your objectives will help you decide your requirements.
Step 2: Choose & Register a Domain Name
Your domain name is your website’s address, so choose it wisely. Most people use their business name if it’s available, for example, your web address would be businessname.co.za or businessname.com, etc. Make it concise, easy to remember, and relevant to your content or brand.
You can use domain lookup tools, such as the one on our website, to search for available domain names and register the one that suits you best. Once you’ve got your domain name, it’s time to claim it by registering it. You do have to pay for a domain name registration, so look around at various prices to find what suits your budget.
Pro Tip: It’s better to have your domain name registered and hosted by the same company so everything is in one place under one management.
Step 3: Select a Web Hosting Provider
Web hosting is required to have your website accessible online. Think of web hosting as land rental for your website home. You pay a monthly fee for your website files to be hosted on the interweb. Research various hosting providers to find the one that meets your needs and budget. Look for factors like server performance, uptime guarantees, security features, and customer support.
Pro Tip: We offer fast and affordable domain registration & hosting!
Step 4: Decide on a Website Building Method
It’s up to you if you want to build your website yourself, or hire a professional to do it. There are different ways to create a website, depending on your technical expertise and requirements:
- Website Builders: If you’re a beginner, website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify (for e-commerce) offer intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces with pre-designed templates. These platforms are user-friendly and require little to no coding knowledge. However, keep in mind that free versions of these have limitations and you’d need to pay for certain access to get a full, professional looking website.
- Content Management Systems (CMS): If you prefer more control and flexibility, consider using CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. These systems allow you to customize your website’s design and functionality. While they require some technical know-how, numerous online resources and communities can help you get started.
- Custom Development: If you have web development skills or want a completely unique website, building it from scratch using HTML, CSS, and other programming languages is an option. However, this approach demands significant time and expertise.
If you’d prefer to have an expert handle the design and development, remember to provide a detailed brief of your requirements. The more information we have, the smoother the web design experience will be.
Step 5: Design and Content Creation
Regardless of the method you choose, focus on creating a visually appealing design that aligns with your brand and objectives. Use high-quality images, engaging content, and a user-friendly layout. Remember that simplicity often works best, ensuring a smooth experience for your visitors.
Pro Tip: Optimize and compress your images and video files before uploading to your website. You want your images and video file sizes to be as small as possible. Big files slow down site load speed and that’s not good for user experience or SEO.
Step 6: Test Your Website
Before launching your site, thoroughly test it across different browsers, devices, and screen sizes to ensure it displays correctly and functions as intended. Check for broken links, loading times, and overall user experience. A flawless website is essential to leave a positive impression on your audience.
Step 7: Launch Your Website
With everything good to go, it’s time to launch your site. Depending on your chosen website-building method, publishing your site could be as simple as clicking a “Publish” button or transferring your custom code to the hosting server.
If you’re working with a web design company, they will provide a guide for you to show you how to access your website backend, make changes or updates, and all the necessities you need to know about managing your website.
Step 8: Promote Your Website
Congratulations, your website is live! However, the journey doesn’t end there. To attract visitors and achieve your goals, you must actively promote your website. Utilize social media, SEO techniques, content marketing, and other digital marketing strategies to increase visibility and drive traffic to your site.
Getting a website up and running is an exciting endeavor that allows you to establish a powerful online presence. By defining your purpose, choosing the right domain, hosting provider, and website-building method, and focusing on design and content, you can create a successful website that effectively communicates your message to the world.
When choosing a web design company, they’ll let you know what they need from you and when. You should also receive regular updates on the progress of your website design, and an expected lead time.
With dedication and continuous efforts to promote your site, your online venture is well on its way to success.