Getting Your Website Online: The Complete Beginner’s Guide
Creating a website is a process that takes some planning and organization. Templates give a great basis to building your own site, while leaving much room for your imagination to run wild. Since templates are fully customizable, you can make many creative adjustments to fit your style and needs. In this post, we’d like to take you through the full step-by-step of creating your own website, from plan to implementation. Follow these tips for getting your own amazing website:
Get Your Agenda and Priorities in Order
Before anything else, get your target and goals set. For this part, just an ordinary notepad and a pen will do. Ask yourself all the important questions, even if they seem obvious. You’ll find that asking questions like “what is my site meant to achieve?”, helps to clarify matters and build a plan. The answers will accompany you as you make the finer selections for your site and help you focus as you move along.
What are the goals for my website?
Don’t just state the apparent “get more business”. Go one layer deeper and be specific. Goals vary from site to site. If you’re building a website for your business, what is the main thing you want to see happen when visitors come to your home page? Do you want them to fill out a contact form? Call you right away? Order a product?
Here’s an example of a list of goals of a photography business website:
Have people sign up to get a newsletter
Have people contact me by phone and invite me to photograph their event
Have people share my site on their Twitter/Facebook
Get people to purchase my photography artworks
Make sure you distinguish between means and goals. For example, you definitely want more people to see your awesome photography portfolio, but this is not a goal in itself, it’s a means to have people contact you. After you have detailed all the main things you want to achieve, prioritize. Having people call to order your services is probably more important than having them Like your Facebook page.
Setting this order is important since it will make a difference in the way you organize your homepage and how you order the elements on your website. If a main goal is to have people click to like your Facebook page, you probably want to make sure the Facebook button stands out on the page.
Who is my target audience?
Now that you’ve gotten your priorities straight, you’re ready to ask the next question: Who is my target audience? Think about your existing customers and your potential customers. How old are they? What are they like? What impresses them? How do they get to your site? What do they look for when they come?
Try to think on the level of an individual client. It may feel strange at first, but getting into the mind of an individual site visitor can really help to understand what their needs are and will make a difference as you create your site.
Plan Your Website Pages
Now we’re getting to the fun part – planning the content. What kind of pages do you want to have on your site? Will your homepage be mostly textual or do you want to dazzle visitors with beautiful visuals? Typically, the basic pages of every site are the Homepage, About page, Contact page. If you have a music site, you could showcase your music on a designated page. If you sell baked goods and you’d like to display images of your delicious cupcakes, you can open an additional page as a picture gallery.
Write your site’s text first. Since you know which template you’ll use and the pages you plan to have, you are ready to start working on the content of your site. Write the text for each page separately; make sure the length of it makes sense in terms of the size of space you have on each page. Creating your website with SEO in mind will help your site’s ranking on search engines!
Crop all the images. Gather all the images you’d like to show and crop them to the right size. If your site’s template displays images on a slider, check what size the images need to be and crop them accordingly. Working on all your images in one session will save you lots of time later.
Work page by page. Ready to start placing your content into the Website editor editor? Keep it one page at a time. Select a page, place the text, images and other elements you want there and don’t move on to the next page until you are completely done.