How To Create A Website
Whether you’re building your website or looking to make updates to your existing site, you need to know what’s behind the scenes. This guide will help you understand how websites are made and what you need to know.
To create a great website, you need to start with a clear vision of who you want to reach with your site.
What Platform To Use
Before building a website the first question you need to ask yourself is which platform works best for your desired website.
What is a “platform”?
A website platform is a piece of software that allows you to build your website, from scratch, without having to know how to code. It takes care of the tedious parts for you so that you can focus on your business instead of on building websites. 15 years from now building a website required you to have extensive coding and design knowledge, however, now with the help of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress have simplified the process of building a website.
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for content management system. It helps you edit the content of the website without any programming knowledge. It helps to write, edit, manage and publish your content online in an easier way.
Popular Site Building Platforms
In 2021, you have tons of options to choose from to build your website. However, some of these platforms are not free or require some knowledge of coding. Some of the most popular platforms are:
Among these website-building platforms, nearly 50% of websites on the internet are using WordPress as their CMS or platform. You must be wondering why WordPress is widely used.
Why Choose WordPress?
1. Free to use
WordPress is an open-source CMS build using PHP and backend with MySQL database. As WordPress is open-source, it is free to use and build your website upon.
2. Customisable and user-friendly
Using WordPress is as easy as using Google Docs. The main reason why WordPress is widely used is that it is very easy to scale your website – from small business websites to e-commerce sites. You can create multiple pages, contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries, and many more features.
60% of people use their phone to browse the internet therefore, it is very important for your website to be responsive. WordPress makes it easy for you, your website will instantly be responsive.
4. Easy to find help
With so many people using WordPress as their website platforms, it is very easy to find help when you need it. You can get free help using forums in various WordPress communities or you can hire one of our website developers to help you out.
Any Other Good Alternative for WordPress?
There are many but we would still recommend using WordPress.
- Wix is another leading platform used by many small businesses. It is an easy-to-use website building that lets you build a website with just some clicks, drag and drop. However, Wix can fall into the higher end in terms of cost for large sites and migrating your website out is impossible.
- Squarespace is very similar to Wix with a similar interface and it makes creating amazing websites easy but the monthly cost is higher and just like Wix it doesn’t have the functionality to migrate your website.
- Joomla is similar to WordPress and is an amazing tool for building your website, the downside is that you will require to know some basic coding knowledge for your website to work.
- Drupal is a very powerful platform that is most popular among experienced developers and programmers. Therefore, it’s not the best option for beginners.
Find a Domain Name and Hosting
How to Find a Perfect Domain Name
When choosing a domain name for your business always ask yourself these questions; is it brandable? it is memorable? and is it catchy? We all want to build a brand, build a legacy in the industry that we specialise in. The first thing that we need to do is look for a brandable name, this will show your customer that your brand is scaleable and can always look after their need Whether the job is small or big.
Your domain name must be clear, punchy and short if possible. This will help the user to easily remember your domain name which will eventually turn into your loyal customers. Your domain name should convey a message or describe to the visitor what your website or business is about.
What Hosting to Choose
Looking for hosting can be a hassle, there are tons of options you can choose from. Every website and every business has different needs, it is best to consult with someone professional who can understand the needs of your website and direct you to the best path. If you’re stuck with which hosting provider to go with you can consult our developers and they can direct you to the right solution for your business.
Set-up WordPress and Start Building
1. One-Click Installation:
Most hosting providers give you the feature to install WordPress with just one click. Get a hosting, link your domain with the hosting, install WordPress and you’re ready to build your website.
2. Choosing Theme for Your Website:
When choosing a theme for your website you have two options to choose from, you can either use free WordPress themes or purchase a Premium Theme from theme markets available online.
You can browse free themes from your WordPress Dashboard itself, simply look for Appearance > Themes on the left-hand side of your dashboard and click on the + sign that states Add New Theme.
You can search the desired theme using the search bar on the top right.
You can next click on the theme which catches your eye, after clicking it will show you a preview of how the theme looks and if you’re happy with it you can click on the install button
After clicking the install button, the button will change to Activate. If you’re not happy with this theme you can always go with some premium themes which are available on the theme marketplace.
Add Content, Pages and Posts
Before customising the theme, we need to add some pages, content and later on create some posts onto the website which in everyday terms is called blog.
Every website needs to have these four pages,
- Home page
- About us
- Contact us
- and Blog page
You can add more pages as per your needs but these 4 pages are a must for any website. These are the key pages which most people look at when visiting a website.
To create a new page on WordPress, navigate to WordPress Dashboard > Pages > Add New.
Once you create a new page you can then start adding content and media onto the page.
After adding the content you can either save the page as a draft or preview and publish the page using the three blue buttons on top. You can repeat the same process to add more pages to your website.
Organising Your Website Navigation
A well-organised website is what it takes to hook a visitor and it’ll make it easy for visitors to navigate through your website.
After creating multiple pages it’s now time to create a navigation menu to make them visible on your website to the visitors you can do that under Appearance > Menus.
First you give a name to your navigation menu, then click create menu.
Under Add menu items you can choose what you would like to add to your navigation menu and click on Add to Menu.
You can change the order of the menu items by drag and drop, and to create a sub-menu you will need to move menu items underneath others. Once you’re happy with the navigation and it is well-organised, the next step is to choose where the menu will be positioned in this case we select the Primary menu.
Now you can save the menu and go to your site’s front and double-check it.
Customising Website – Additional Options
You can customize the appearance more by going to Appearance > Customize. The interface offers a lot more options to make changes to your website when you look around. For instance, you can modify your site’s navigation and its content, as well as:
- Title and tagline
- Background image
As well as making adjustments to your homepage, blog page, and adding custom code, you can add custom code in the code section. Your theme will determine what options will be available to you in the code section.
Themes for WordPress can be customized, but there are many plugins, both free and paid. Plugins include hundreds of different features and functionality that can be added to your site. There are around 60,000 plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. Additional plugins can be found at third-party marketplaces.
Browse to Plugins > Add New to install new plugins.
Plugins that are currently popular will be listed for you. If you are looking for something else, simply type it into the search field.
Plugins can be installed on your site by clicking the Install Now button. After the download is complete, click the Activate button. In the plugins section of the WordPress main menu, you will find all plugins installed on your site, along with the ability to activate, deactivate, and delete them.
If you are considering which plugins to install, consider the following:
- Yoast SEO – An SEO plugin that integrates on-page optimization prompts with WordPress posts and pages, as well as the option to customise OpenGraph social media tags.
- Jetpack – contains several features to speed up and optimise your website, integrate social media, manage your digital marketing, and manage your contact forms.
- Smush – Compress images uploaded to WordPress, saving you storage space, along with speeding up your site.
- You can easily set up an online store using WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin, which is the most popular e-commerce store plugin. We’ll discuss it below.
- MonsterInsights – When enabled, this plugin combines Google Analytics into your WordPress dashboard.
You can install a page builder plugin to have even more control over the appearance of your website. You can build entire web designs with drag-and-drop functionality enabled by the plugins – not just individual posts and pages. There are a few popular plugins to choose from:
- Elementor – Using Elementor, you can create a visual website editor, enjoy fast load times, and choose from a variety of templates.
- Divi – By using Divi, you can further customize a website using Elegant Themes’ themes.
- Beaver Builder – This plugin is an easy-to-use page builder that allows you to build a website much faster.
Adding Blog and Changing Store Front
There is no need for a blog on every website. However, creating one for your website may be beneficial for publishing fresh content consistently, displaying your expertise, and providing additional value for your visitors.
WordPress requires that you select a blog page before you can add a blog. In the previous section, you learned how to configure your homepage so it displays your new posts automatically. Nevertheless, if you prefer to keep your homepage static and create a separate blog, you need to do this first.
You simply need to set up a new page (Pages > Add New), rename it to Blog (or whatever you wish, but Blog makes sense since it will automatically create the yoursite.com/blog address), and publish it. Alternatively, you can choose it under Appearance > Customize > Homepage Settings or under Settings > Reading as your Posts Page.
To add a post, navigate to Posts > Add New.
Your content editor will be the same as before. Enter a title and some content for your post. Including images, headings, lists, and any other content the document requires. Besides selecting categories and tags, you can also enter an excerpt and set a featured image in the right sidebar.
After adding all content, now you can either save your post as a draft or publish it live.
Turning Website To Online Store
Ecommerce stores are not required for every website. For details about how to create an online store and include it in a website, continue reading.
For this purpose, WooCommerce is the most popular plugin.
There is no learning curve, you can set it up quickly, and it offers many payment options. There are also many optimised themes to choose from. It can also be customised to suit a variety of purposes and is available with an array of extensions.
Congratulations! You’ve Done It!
No matter how detailed a guide is that helps you along the way, learning how to make a website is no easy feat.
On the other hand, it can also be very satisfying when you acquire a new skill and start to see the results of your efforts.
But don’t stop here. In order to benefit from the website, you will need a website that looks attractive, converts visitors to leads, and eventually plays a major role in growing your business to a higher level.
Creating a website will take you ages because you first need to understand how everything works and then start building and if unfortunately, you get stuck with something that will demotivate you.
It is always better to hire a professional and experienced Website Design or Developer to build you a website like our developers and designers first sit with you for long hours and understand what your needs and expectations are. They go through the functionality, design, and also marketing side as well, with help of our SEO partner, it enables them to build a website that is responsive, fast, modern-looking, and converting.
If you’re looking to get a website for your business, our developers and designers are here to help you. Get your free consultation with them today, call (02) 9064 2866.