Time and again, many of our readers have asked us about the things one should look at before making a website. Due to the ever increasing demand for well designed websites and heightened expectations of the users, website owners have been forced to consistently work on developing their website by giving it a facelift or even starting from scratch in some cases.
Here is a list of ‘must dos’ that will help you on your path to making an outstanding website.
Get to know your audience better
Start by understanding the most important factor of all; users or clients and their needs. Website owners mostly get stuck with wanting to say it all on their website. While you need to be able to display how good you are at what you do, it is far more important for the users / visitors / readers to know 'what is in it for me'. So, get in all the elements from a perspective of your visitors and that should help you in making a successful website.
What purpose will your site serve?
Simply making a website is way different than a website made with purpose. Do you intend to generate sales from your website or are you trying to position yourself / your company as experts of your field. How do you plan to market your website, will it be done mainly through email marketing or other means; the answers to these questions and more will help you make a website that is effective.
Does your website reflect your image correctly?
Your website is all about presenting you / your company to the world. So, it becomes very important that the website is made keeping that in mind. You should focus on picking a theme and set of images that reflect your brand firmly and honestly.
Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your competition?
A great way to develop a good web design strategy is to study the websites of your competition. Learn what is working / not working for them. Look at it from the visitor's eyes, do you like the font combination that they have used or the big image slider on their home page etc. Ask such relevant questions that would make it crystal clear as to what makes up for a good or bad design.
One of the most overlooked aspects of making a new website is copywriting. It is very important but that being said, telling a long story is not always a good idea as these days less is more for the most of us. So, use words with discretion as if each word was to cost you money. Then, you should be able to convey your message in the most effective manner.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization
One of the simplest ways of starting with SEO is to update your site regularly as that adds more value to your site and hence higher would be your search ranking on the internet. Use social media wisely to get the word out on every update and have your visitors, link to your site regularly.
Again, all these steps are part of a generic guideline however if you were to focus on these and take the necessary steps, you are bound to get better results with your newly made website, period.
A few years back, having your own website would have been an expensive luxury that most couldn’t afford. If you wanted a website for yourself, for any purpose that is, you would almost be forced to hire a professional web designer and end up spending thousands getting a website made. That’s the truth. However, those days are gone now.
Nowadays, you can make a website for yourself, completely on your own. All the tools such as a good website theme / template, the space needed to host your website pages and the domain name etc are all available for a very low and affordable price. One of the most used platforms these days to make good, efficient websites is WordPress and we will be discussing how you can use it to have a website made for yourself, all on your own.
Get a web host account
First thing to do is to get an account with a web host, we recommend BlueHost.com. Although, you can also get it for free with many free web building services out there however all of them come with one or the other set of limitations. A big downside to the free web making and hosting services is the large number of ads that you are bound to be stuck with on your website.
Make the web pages
Once you have a hosting account, you can install WordPress in it and start the process of making your website. It requires you to have no knowledge of HTML or CSS though if you know these languages it will certainly be an added advantage. It is also very easy to use and offers you greater flexibility over other CMS (Content Management Systems) available in the market today. The WordPress Dashboard or the control panel is also intuitively designed and is quite easy to get used to and offers you great control over the design and form your website.
Select a WordPress theme
WordPress gives you access to a host of modern and SEO optimized web designs that you can use to create your first website, all for free. If you want something more premium, you can buy one of the paid themes available in the huge market of premium WordPress themes. No matter what you choose, one thing is for sure and that is that you can design a professional looking website for yourself at a fraction of a cost as compared to hiring professionals to do the same. Marketing your website
Now, if you know anything about traffic generation on internet, you would know that making a website is only one of the first steps towards getting any online success. You will also have to focus on making your website easily available for the users out there. This is done through a variety of activities that would need a separate article altogether to explain. However, in a nutshell, you need to work on SEO, your social media presence etc for this.
Thankfully, WordPress is already designed to take care of this for you to a larger extent. It automatically takes care of the SEO for your website to some extent and broadcasts every change / addition made to your website over the internet. Also, WordPress is Google friendly, giving you an added advantage at all times.
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