About 70%-80% of all potential customers look up a business online before visiting the store or making a purchase.
With this information, you can no longer afford to overlook the importance of an online presence. A website is arguably the most powerful communication tool you can wield.
It’s understandable if, as a small business, you have no budget allocation for a professional website designer. However, times have changed, and establishing an online presence is now easier than ever.
Let’s take a closer look at this step-by-step guide on how to build a website from scratch, even without any technical skills.
The Most Vital Decisions You Need to Make First
The first thing you need to know about building a website from scratch is that there are two ways to go about it. You can either do it with the website builder or a content management system (CMS). The former is the most suitable option for beginners because the latter requires a bit of coding knowledge.
While both are excellent options, the setup differs slightly, and you’ll have to follow different steps for each one.
Now before you start building your website from scratch, it’s vital for you to go through a planning phase. This includes: determining the main purpose of your website, identifying your target audience, and conducting competitor research.
It’s also essential for you to figure out what type of website you want to build, depending on your type of business or your overall purpose for creating a website.
There are many types of websites, which include e-commerce websites, blogs, forums, membership websites, static business websites, among others. The type of website you choose will determine the overall outcome of the website you create.
That said, let’s start the process of showing you how to build a website from scratch.
Choosing Between a Website Builder and WordPress
Before you make your decision, understand the fundamental differences that come with both.
To begin with, both will give you excellent results. However, the skills and expertise required to build a website from scratch will be different.
Website builders are the easiest to use because they don’t require any coding knowledge. These are like out-of-the-box solutions that feature templates to choose from and both hosting and security.
WordPress, on the other hand, is an open-source platform. Even though you may need some code to create your website, the creative possibilities will be limitless, and you have the possibility of completely personalizing your website.
Learn more about choosing between a website builder and WordPress to make an informed decision.
How to Create a Website From Scratch
If you choose to use a website builder, the first thing you have to do is choose the right one.
There are many website builders such as Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, Site123, and Weebly, and your choice will depend on your business model. Conduct in-depth research on all options, then make an informed decision.
Sign up for a Plan
If you choose to use WordPress, the first thing you have to do is find the right website hosting plan. There are many website hosting providers that you can choose such as Bluehost, or go with economy linux hosting with cpanel.
There are several types of hosting to choose from, starting with shared hosting, virtual private server, dedicated hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.
All plans come with different price tags and their own pros and cons, so make a decision based on your needs. If you choose a website builder, you’ll have to choose a plan depending on your budget. Compare all the features offered on all plans, then make the most suitable decision based on your needs and budget.
Some website builders have free accounts, but they are usually quite limited, have few features, and don’t allow using custom domains. If you’re still unsure of your needs, use the cheapest option, then upgrade later.
Choose a Relevant Domain Name
You can choose a domain name through your website builder.
A domain name is like a URL that identifies your web page, so you need to make it relevant, short, and memorable. Avoid using numbers, as they may look unprofessional and be hard for people to remember, and make sure the domain name doesn’t exist already.
Domain names vary in price, and the value is usually set by the market. You can get one for as cheap as $12 a year, although if you find a really unique one, you may pay millions of dollars for it.
For instance, in 2010, Facebook bought fb.com for $8.5 million, and the purchase of lasvegas.com in 2005 cost a staggering $90 million.
Choose a Design Template and Download Apps
Choosing a design template is easy with a website builder because they provide an extensive selection of templates to choose from.
The higher your plan, the more choices you’ll get, and you can customize your own template design using your own images and content. If you’re using a website builder, you should also choose what apps to download on your builders’ app store.
Publish the Website on the Internet
If you choose the website builder, it’s time for you to preview and test your website so you can publish it on the internet. Check to see that all of the buttons on your menu work, your formatting is consistent, your site loads fast, and ensure it functions both on desktop and mobile devices.
Hit the preview button to see what your overall design looks like and choose to make any changes that are relevant before you can finally publish it. Once you’re done, hit the publish button, and you’re done.
Install the WordPress Website
If you choose to use WordPress, setting up will be as easy as one click.
From here, you can choose the theme of your choice for your website design. While a website builder will have templates, WordPress has themes, and you will find both free and paid themes that you can change as often as you want.
Once you have chosen a theme, you also need to create and customize your content and pages, then choose and install the most valuable plugins.
WordPress has thousands of plugins to choose from, both free and paid for, so choose the most suitable ones for your business. Once you’re done choosing all these relevant functionalities for your website, it’s time to make the final checks and publish the website.
How to Build a Website From Scratch
Building a website, as you can see, is quite easier than you may have thought. Now that you know how to build a website from scratch, it’s time for you to put this into practice and finally create your own website. Designing a website may have seemed like a daunting task, but with the steps above, it’ll be a walk in the park.
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