Designing a website may seem like a daunting task, requiring a mix of creativity and technical know-how. In the past, the options were limited: either learn web design yourself or hire a professional. But now, thanks to technological advancements, there’s an exciting solution that puts you in control and keeps costs in check—you can design your own website! This step-by-step guide will empower you to create a stunning website from scratch, even if you have no prior experience.
Preliminary Questions: Setting the Foundation for Your Website Design
✅ What is the goal of your website?
Are you creating a website for personal expression, showcasing your work, or promoting your business? Understanding the purpose of your website will shape its overall design and functionality.
✅ Where will your website be hosted?
To make your website accessible online, it needs to be hosted on a web server. You can choose to host it yourself or rely on a web hosting company to handle this for you.
✅ Who is your target audience?
Identifying your target audience is crucial for tailoring your website to their preferences and needs. Consider their demographics, interests, and location when designing your site.
✅ Why do you need a website?
Determining the reasons behind your website creation will guide your design choices. Whether it’s to sell products, share knowledge, or connect with others, knowing your objectives will shape the features and layout.
✅ How complex should your website be?
Decide on the level of complexity you want for your website. A simple one-page site requires less design and development effort compared to a large-scale e-commerce platform.
Answering these foundational questions provides a clear direction for designing your website.
Now, let’s delve into the design process, keeping the following considerations in mind:
☑️ Defining your Website’s Purpose and Strategy
Before diving into the design process, it’s crucial to clearly define the purpose of your website and develop a strategic plan. Taking the time to understand your goals and how your website will support your business objectives is essential for a successful design.
☑️ Researching Your Competition
To gain insights and inspiration, it’s valuable to research what your competitors are doing with their websites. This analysis will help you identify common features in your industry and discover opportunities to stand out with unique elements. Designing a website should be a combination of the designer’s expertise and the research findings that align with your website’s purpose.
☑️ Setting Goals
Now that you have a good understanding of what your competition is doing, it’s time to start thinking about what you want your website to achieve. Some common goals for business websites include:
- Generating leads
- Increasing sales
- Improving customer service
- Building brand awareness
☑️ Choosing the Right Platform
Fortunately, there are user-friendly online tools available that enable you to create and design your website without coding knowledge. These Do-It-Yourself (DIY) platforms offer various capabilities, which we will discuss further in this article. Selecting a Content Management System (CMS) platform, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or Magento, is crucial for managing and publishing your website’s content effectively.
☑️ Selecting a Template/Theme
Once you’ve chosen your preferred platform, it’s time to browse through a range of templates or themes. DIY website platforms provide a wide selection of both free and paid options. The template serves as the foundation or structure of your website, upon which you can customize and design it to suit your brand.
☑️ Adding and Optimizing Content
With a design in place, it’s time to focus on adding compelling content to your website. This is where many DIYers face challenges. To overcome this hurdle, consider your target audience and their needs. Create content that is informative, helpful, and encourages visitors to take action.
By following these steps and carefully considering your website’s purpose, goals, and design choices, you’ll be well on your way to creating a professional and effective website on your own.
How To Design a Website: Step by Step Guide
Now that you have the over steps in mind. Lets discuss how you can make the actual website. Here are the following steps:
Step1️⃣: Choose the Right Website Builder
A huge number of people use various website builders to design their websites. When it comes to designing a website, popular brands like Wix and Squarespace report 100 million and 3.79 million subscribers, respectively. Finding the right one for you depends on a number of factors:
- Ease of use: If you’re not familiar with website design or coding, you’ll want a platform that is easy to use and doesn’t require any technical skills. With the help of drag-and-drop interfaces, you can focus completely on the design and layout without worrying about the technical details.
- Budget: Choosing a plan that suits your needs and is favorable for your wallet takes a bit of searching. There are many platforms with various subscription plans.
- Design Flexibility: If you want complete creative control over your website’s design, you’ll need a platform that gives you the ability to customize every element on your site. This includes colors, fonts, layouts, and more.
- Features: Determine what features you need and make sure the platform you choose offers them. Some common features include e-commerce, contact forms, blog posts, and social media integration.
- Help & Support: When you encounter an issue with your website, you’ll want to know that there’s someone to help you solve it. Look for a platform with comprehensive help and support resources, such as a knowledge base, FAQs, community forums, and live chat.
- Customer score and reviews: Checking out what other customers have to say about a platform can give you valuable insights into its features, ease of use, customer support, and more.
Based on the above factors: Here are a few popular choices:
Wix is a popular website builder with a user-friendly platform, extensive features, and helpful customer support. With over 200m users, Wix is the biggest website builder out there. The key fact that most users like about Wix is its flexibility – you can create any kind of website with it– and its choice of themes– there are over 500 templates to choose from– for freelancers and small businesses.
The pricing options are varied:
- For a basic working website, it is absolutely free to build a website.
- For an ad-free website with a custom domain, there is Wix Combo option (Rs 125/month).
- Finally, for more details on pricing, you can visit the Wix website.
Wix is not the cheapest website builder. Therefore, you need to be aware for your budget while using Wix. Additionally, it is not ideal for larger websites (excess of 30 pages).
Squarespace is the second most popular website builder. It is a little bit more expensive than Wix, but it makes up for it in terms of design options. Squarespace has a limited but select number of themes– each one is absolutely gorgeous and can be used for any type of website.
The pricing starts at Rs 144/month. There is a 14-day free trial option that most users try.
Squarespace users need to invest a bit of time to get a great result. Additionally, it is not ideal for larger websites.
Weebly is the third most popular website builder. It has a very user-friendly interface and offers a lot of features for free.
The Weebly pricing starts at Rs 90/month, making it the most affordable website builder on this list. The free plan includes a Weebly subdomain, 500MB storage, and basic eCommerce features.
Weebly is a good option if you are on a budget and are looking for an easy to use website builder. Although if you want a website builder that looks a bit more modern or is frequently updated, your are better off going for Wix.
Step2️⃣: Choose a Unique and Relevant Domain Name
The first step is to choose a domain name for your website. Your domain name should be reflective of your business or personal brand.
If you are a business, try to include keywords in your domain name that describe what you do. For example, if you are a plumbing company, you could include the word “plumbing” in your domain name.
If you are a personal brand, try to use your name as your domain name. For example, if your name is John Smith, you could use “JohnSmith.com” as your domain name.
If the domain name you want is already taken, you could try adding a dash in between words or using a different extension (such as .net or .co).
Step3️⃣: Picking a Design Template You Love
The next step is to find a design template that you love and that reflects the style of your business or personal brand.
You can browse through the designs on your chosen website platform or look for inspiration elsewhere online. Once you’ve found a design you like, it’s time to start customizing it to make it your own.
Step4️⃣: Customize Your Template
Now it’s time to add your own personal touch to your website. Depending on the platform you chose in step 1, this might involve editing the HTML or CSS code, or simply changing some colors and fonts in the built-in editor.
If you’re not comfortable working with code, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to customize your site.
You can upload your own logo, change the background image or color, and add your own photos and videos. Most website platforms also let you choose from a selection of pre-made themes, or even install third-party themes created by other designers.
Customization includes the following:
- Adding new pages to your navigation
- Changing size, colours, and font of buttons
- Adding new elements like contact forms and menus
- Editing the images on your homepage gallery
- Choosing a different colour palette
- Linking/embedding social media channels
Step5️⃣: Add Your Content
Now it’s time to start adding your own content to the website. This is the fun part!
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to write all the content for your website. This includes the text for your pages as well as any images or videos you want to include.
If you’re using a template, you can simply replace the existing content with your own. Most templates will already have placeholder text and images that you can easily replace.
When writing your content, keep the following in mind:
- Write for your audience: Always keep your target audience in mind when writing content for your website. Write in a style and tone that appeals to them.
- Keep it short and sweet: No one likes to read huge blocks of text. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and to the point.
- Use headlines and subheadings: Breaking up your content with headlines and subheadings makes it easier to read. It also gives you a chance to highlight important information that you want to emphasize.
Step6️⃣: Choose and Download Apps
There are a number of different apps that you can add to your website to make it more interactive and user-friendly. Here are a few popular ones:
- Content Management System (CMS): A CMS is an app that helps you manage your website content. It makes it easy to add, delete, and edit your content. There are a number of different CMS options available, including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
- E-commerce: If you want to sell products or services on your website, you’ll need an e-commerce app. Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows you to set up an online store quickly and easily.
- Form Builder: A form builder app lets you create forms to gather information from your website visitors. You can then use this information to contact leads or customers, or even generate sales.
- Analytics: Analytics apps help you track your website’s traffic and performance. This information can be useful for understanding how well your website is doing, and for making changes to improve your results.
Step7️⃣: Mobile Responsive
Make sure that your website is mobile responsive because a large portion of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Ensuring the responsiveness of your website across a range of device sizes is crucial element of designing your website. There are multiple ways to make a website mobile responsive, but the most common method is to use CSS media queries.
Step8️⃣: Preview and Test your Website
Now that you’ve added all of your content and design elements, it’s time to preview and test your website. This will help you make sure everything looks and works the way you want it to before you launch your site.
To preview your website, click the “Preview” button in the upper right-hand corner of the editor. This will open your website in a new tab, where you can scroll through all of the pages and click on all of the links to test them.
If you find any problems, go back to the editor and make the necessary changes. Once you’re happy with how everything looks and works, you can move on to the next step.
Step9️⃣: Publish Your Website
Now that your website is complete, it’s time to publish it so the world can see it! To do this, click on the “Publish” button in the upper right-hand corner of the editor.
While this may seem like a lot of work, once you get the hang of it, designing a website becomes much easier and more fun. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your creativity and learn new skills. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and design your very own website!
While designing a website by yourself is an exciting prospect, it’s important to acknowledge that achieving a professional and polished result may require extensive experience. That’s where top-rated web development companies like Pixel Street come in. With their team of dedicated designers and skilled web developers, they have the expertise to bring your website vision to life using various platforms. Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance and create an extraordinary website that stands out from the crowd.