Step 1 – Why do you want a website?
Is it a hobby, small business, large business, personal, wedding? All these sites would be addressed differently and have different structures, look over three sites from other people in your interest area and see what pages they have on their site.
Step 2 – Develop a Sitemap, Develop Navigation
Don’t skip this step! Do you drive to new destination with no idea how to get there? Ok bad example – don’t ask my wife that question. But seriously this will save so much trouble later. A sitemap serves 2 purposes it helps you organize your thoughts and focus your vision, it will also help you write the content you need for your pages. It also develops your navigation for you. See the sample site map below
Step 3 – Write the content for all pages!
This is the hardest and most critical part. Use your site map and using Word, Google Docs, even Notepad write the content for each of your web pages, while you are doing that think about how the page looks in you mind. Add notes for pictures where you think you might need them – if you need them. Don’t get caught up with trying to find the right picture now. You can always change things later. That’s one of the great things about the internet it’s not set in stone.
Step 4 – Develop search engine stuff.
This step is important for the search engines to find you. If your site is a hobby or family website then it doesn’t matter so much. Also this is search engine optimization at it’s most basic but I can’t tell you how many sites are doing it wrong! Somewhere in your content documents from above you’ll want to decide on a title for you page make it descriptive you’ve got about 60 characters to do it in don’t use Home, about etc. use something like “my business services my location” this will help associate your domain ( web address ) with those terms try to make each page a little different.
Next would be Keywords, try to think of about short phrases or single words that describe your business. If you do dog grooming – keyword samples would be “dog grooming, dog trimming, dog washing, dog brushing, dog deodorizing…, your physical location, surrounding towns etc.”
Next Description – A SHORT description of the main point of your site/ page The Best dog grooming in the tri-county area of NY” it could be longer than that but get your main point in first thent fill in the rest.
Step 5 – Get web hosting – the last step before we put it all together
Most Large web hosting companies are now very reasonably priced and hey also have some form of website builder software so if you don’t want either of these choose a host that offers a site builder plan. Generally you can pick either Linux or ms windows hosting I would probably go with Linux hosting or any hosting that allows PHP and MySQL only because of the component availability. I mean, if you want to add more functions to you website later – like e-commerce, email lists etc you can usually find those components written in PHP a programming language for free.
Step 6 – Use the website builder
Usually the host will allow you to use their Website builder plan included in the hosting cost. Anyway they’ll offer you a couple of different ways to build the site either with a wizard or on your own, if you do it on your own it will be a bit more complicated not too much more complicated though. The first thing you’ll do is choose your design it’s generally broken out per industry so just pick your business category and pick out a design you like.
A lot of people will say that using templates is BAD and it makes you look like everyone else. Well there is some truth to that, but we’re talking building a website without a developer and on a budget. So what kind of design would you be able to afford and then you have to put it together yourself, not a real easy task trust me. So keep your chin up at least you’ll have a website to start with, most get caught up in what they want it to look like and never actually put it up. So you’ll be a step ahead of everyone there.
From this point forward you’ll be pasting in your content that you took the time to write ahead of time. Most site builders are a lot different from each other so I won’t be going into depth about them in this article. Maybe later if I need to…
Step 7 – Add Your content.
There are a lot of buttons and areas of almost all the online website builder pages, try not to get caught up in figuring them all out stick with doing only what you need to do. Most of these builders also have pretty decent documentation too. So go ahead and fool around get all your pages the way you want them or as close as you can for the time being. You can ALWAYS come back and change things, including your template, if you want. This is one of the things I really like about this type of site building. Also don’t be afraid to use the preview button it will allow you to view the site before it goes live so you check the placement of your page elements. Somewhere there will be a page button you click on a page and a properties tab that is where you can put in your search engine optimization from Step 4. Site builder may have already asked you this but in case it didn’t – depends on the type of software, you’ll have an idea of where to look.
Even if you make a critical mistake and delete a page or mangle something so bad you can’t get it back to looking good you can delete your whole site and start over. Which is why I had you write your content and save it in a separate file. If I had a dollar for every time someone deleted a page they shouldn’t have I could probably retire right now.
Step 8 – Publish your site
The final step in how to make a website is the easiest at least in theory – Publish it. Most sitebuilders will have a publish button. When you click it it’ll ask you if you want to put your site online, you say yes and wham you’re done. You’ve got an Internet presence. Take a few minutes to enjoy the moment. You’re done! I hope this article will help you in your quest in how to make a website.