Whether you need a website for your business or for your own personal brand, you can build your own website by following this tutorial.
This tutorial considers that you are an absolute beginner without any coding knowledge. With any DIY projects, it’s best to start with a checklist.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE
So where do you actually start?
Below is a checklist of what you need. Each requirement is defined, and we provide our recommendations on where to get it.
This serves as your website address. This tells the user’s browser where your website is located. It is recommended to include your business name or a specific niche – such as these samples www.yourbusiness.com or www.iofferthisservice.com
Domains ending in .com is normally used for commercial purposes, .org for non- profit. There are new domain extensions available for more specific purposes. These include .online .edu .club and many more. There are also extensions that allow to give users a sense of location such as .uk .us. au. You may want to explore these options.
It’s important to remember that your domain is simple and easy to remember. You don’t want your users to be confused or misspell your website’s URL. Any error may be an opportunity for other websites to receive your traffic instead.
If a domain is an address, then hosting is where your website is stored. Normally, you can purchase hosting services where you bought your domain. We recommend GoDaddy for its user-friendly interface and great customer support.
Select a hosting package that is Linux-based with cPanel. The cPanel is a user- friendly interface where you can configure other website-related things such as email accounts, file managers, domain settings and applications installer which you can utilize to install your CMS.
Once you have your domain and hosting setup, it’s time to select your CMS.
CMS (Content Management System)
CMS is what you’ll use to build your own website. And you can do this without any knowledge of coding. When you create a website, a CMS is useful so that you don’t need to build anything from scratch. It will allow you to customize your website according to your brand’s theme and content.
There are a number of CMS that you can use. WordPress being the most used worldwide. According to Search Engine Journal , 30% of the top 10 million websites are powered by WordPress.
It is free to install and a breeze to set up. The initial installation comes with prompts and clearly defined labels for you to fill in.
If your brand focus is more on ecommerce, the WooCommerce, a popular plugin, is used in combination with WordPress.
There are other promising website platforms that are gaining more popularity recently. One is Shopify, mainly for ecommerce websites. Another is SquareSpace for general purpose websites with beautifully created templates to customize specifically to your industry.
Compared to WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace provide its own hosting. They can be more expensive options. Both platforms let you build your own website with its website builders.
For this tutorial, we will focus on WordPress as it is the most popular and versatile.
Once you have your hosting, log in to your cPanel and go to the Installer section of the cPanel dashboard.
From here, it’s simple to install WordPress. Just click on ‘Install’ and complete the settings form. When choosing a username and password, it’s better to use more unique login details instead of the default ‘admin’.
Once WordPress is installed, you can login your WordPress Dashboard via two ways. One is via your cPanel account or add ‘/wp-admin’ to your domain. Example: www.yourbusiness.com/wp-admin. This will direct you on the login page and onto your Dashboard.
The first thing you need to do when you are on the Dashboard is – choose a WordPress theme. Consider the theme as a pre-built website so you won’t need to code anything.
To install this, select Appearance from the Dashboard of your WordPress. Select Theme.
By default, a simple blog theme called 2018 will be installed. There are over 3000+ free templates on WordPress. You can simply browse the collection. Or, use a premium theme such as from the Stunning Happy Themes store.
Most themes are highly customizable with the use of page builders such as Visual Composer. Aside from fix elements, a page builder let you manage the content you need to show on homepage and other pages. These elements can be managed using drag-and-drop.
What is a plugin, and do you need one?
A plugin adds to your website’s functionality. Think of it as add-on elements you can use to further customize your website. It depends on how you would like your website to function.
Themes are good for displaying content and providing the flow for your user’s experience when using the website. However, if your business website needs special functions such as booking or events management, a plugin is extremely helpful.
There are thousands of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. Some popular ones are Jetpack (helps on your SEO) or WooCommerece (for ecommerce function). Or, if you want to integrate marketing functions, a good set of marketing plugins such as Facebook chat and popups are available here.
We recommend installing plugins that are kept up-to-date and with good reviews.
Congratulations! You are almost done with your website building.
When you create a website, you should pay attention to what content you should publish, and how you would present that content.
There are two types of content you can post using the WordPress Dashboard.
One is Page content and second is Post content. Page content is the webpages you can customize including the homepage. While the Post content appears on the Blog section of the website.
You need to first understand what kind of structure your webpage needs.
Will it be a 5-page informational website? Or, will it be an ecommerce website with multiple subpages for its product categories.
It’s good to first layout your pages before publishing content.
As a guide for layout, here are some points you need to take care of.
Many website disregard this major design factor.
Colors can make or break the aesthetic quality of your website. A common misuse is that the colors used are not cohesive with your brand and your message to your users. If your brand is fun and vibrant, it doesn’t make sense to use black or brown colors.
A cool guide for a color theme is this one from Google’s Material Design.
Of course, a website will be useless without any information for the user. Standard content typically includes an
- About Us page,
- Contact Us,
- Services or
- Products page and
How do we give text importance over the others? And how do we make it easier for users to read through your content?
First, be conscientious on selecting your typeface. Themes have pre-sets of typefaces with it and sizes. The font-sizes are also pre-set from Header 1 to Header 6, from larger fonts to smaller sizes respectively. Utilize the font sizes by setting main topics of your text content to Header 1 and subtopics to Header 2.
Photos are great elements for emphasis on how you would like your site to ‘feel’ like. If your brand promotes the active lifestyle, then it’s best to showcase images that have sporty vibes to it.
Either shoot the photos yourself, or you can head to unsplash.com for high-quality stock photos available for commercial use. If you want to add more filters or text to your photos, you can also use canva.com for photo editing.
By following these steps, you will be able to build your own website and start growing your brand’s online presence.