Running and managing a successful business typically requires establishing some sort of online presence, and having a website is a common initiative for most business owners. A website can provide stability for a growing business. The process of how to build a website is more complicated and missteps can have a catastrophic impact.
Building websites doesn't have to be complex, and when broken down step-by-step, seems pretty easy. Fact is, a quality website that provides the basic needs for a business and even some extras can take less than 30-days.
This article will guide you on how to build a website and celebrate its success in 30 days or less. We provide sound advice, resources, tips, and a process to follow to make your website project a success. Let's dig in!
How hard is it to make a website?
Building your own website is a necessity for any business whether it is on a small or large scale. Having an online presence is a critical element of your business growth. It contributes to your overall brand success and is a key factor in any business valuation.
It is an absolute fact that if you want good results or in this scenario to build an effective and productive website then hard work is the key. Building your own website is not as hard as building a navigation system or a rocket. With the best website builder, you can build or online store or your business website in a few hours.
You have to be efficient to learn things such as SEO optimization, the technicality of website building, designing, and other stuff. But if you are someone who is in a hurry or does not want to get into the technical part, then you can simply hire someone to build the website which you will run.
The digital world is very progressive and updated. Everything is much simpler than ever, which defines that what was complex is now much easier. Likewise, building websites is not as hard as it was in a previous time. Now, you just need to focus on building a good website by investing your time, skill, and effort.
8-steps to Building a Website and Celebrating its Success
Whether you're starting a new business or wanting to create a website for an existing one, the process of building a website can seem overwhelming. There are so many design choices, functions to consider and tech terms to learn. It's easy to become bogged down in the process and give up before you even start.
But don't worry, we're here to help. In this post, we'll walk you through the basics of creating a website and show you how to celebrate its success in 30 days (or less).
Now, to celebrate your website’s success in 30 days or less you first have to make sure that you choose the right method to create your website. The core part on which the success of your own website depends is how you compose it and pursue it from there. Here are some basic steps that you need to follow to build a website to yield the best results.
Days 1-3: Planning (page count, messaging, value prop, timeline, resources, cost)
The first and foremost step for building your own website is planning and taking an overview of every detail closely. You cannot start building a website without doing research, planning, and designing drafts so that when you start the procedure you know exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it. Here are six factors that you should account for while planning your website.
It is a necessary feature of your website. Typically, if you are building a small to medium business website then starting with 10 to 30 pages is enough. However, if you are building a massive eCommerce website then a web page count of 50 to 100 or more is likely necessary. Statistical research has shown that an eCommerce site that has a web page count of about 40 to 100 pages gains 48% more traffic than other websites.
It is a feature that most website owners neglect while building a website. Messaging is one of the most critical components for a website to ensure it speaks to the audience in the tone and voice they use. It needs to convey what your business is, what it offers, and what the value proposition is for the user.
It is one of the most important things when it comes to the look, feel, and tone of the website. One of the first things that you want people to read on your website is the value proposition. The value proposition sets the tone for the audience and is the first element meant to engage new visitors.
A timeline is essential to ensure the production of the website is occurring as planned. A timeline for completion is something any web developer or website builder should be able to supply you. If you do not receive a timeline specific to your project and requirements, you'll want to find a new website partner.
Resources include what process you will choose for building and maintaining the website, and what apps and tools you will choose for editing themes, layouts, fonts, and media such as images, and videos. This will help you to plan how you will process all the details to compose the website.
Lastly, the cost is the most obvious and crucial thing for a website. Now, first of all, you do not have to pay a ton of money to complete a website, except in cases where you are hiring a professional designer or have unique and specific requirements that go outside the norm.
Many times, and with modern website builder tools, you can compose a website for little to no money. The initial costs will be the hosting, domain name purchase, and subscription fees for the website builder. The second cost is your maintenance expenditures to keep the website up to date.
Days 4-6: Domain and hosting (registration & setup)
The next step is to choose a domain name and web hosting plan for your website. These are essentials when you go to make a website. Most companies now offer both domain and web hosting services. Make a list of the best web hosts and go through their pricing plans. Choose the best website host that meets all your demands.
For you to register a domain name, you first have to search for a domain registrar. Then, you have to select a domain name that is unique and suitable for your business. After, finalizing your domain name, you will decide on a domain extension. The most productive and sought-after is .com as it typically attracts more traffic.
Next, purchase your domain from the registrar. The purchase cost of a domain name is very low, roughly $10-$20 annually, so you do not have to worry about spending a ton of money. Sometimes you can also get a free domain name depending on your web hosting plan.
For web hosting, you'll either choose to go with the same company you purchased the domain from or a separate hosting provider that offers a specific plan that meets your requirements.
Days 7-10: Website platform (selection & setup)
Days 7-10 are for selecting the best platform to build your website on. This may sound like an easy task but your decision here has far-reaching implications both short- and long-term on the overall costs of having a website and how easy or difficult it will be to maintain and scale it over time.
WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all strong open-source content management systems. Zyro, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly offer good website builders. WordPress is the content management system that most businesses choose to build their websites, as it provides the most features and capabilities with the least cost and learning curve.
If you have unique requirements or want an eCommerce site, your options might change. You'll always want to do your due diligence during this phase to ensure there are limited surprises later on.
From this point, we're going to assume you have a standard website and you've chosen WordPress as your content management system CMS. You're not alone, over 65% of all websites use WordPress.
Days 11-14: Theme, plugins, and widgets (sourcing, installing, setup, styling)
This is the fun and creative step in the process of building a website with WordPress. Now you will decide what your website will look like and how others will see it. First, find a suitable theme that provides the basics for the overall look, style, and feel of your website. You'll also want to ensure the theme works for the type of website you need and isn't going to restrict you from accomplishing your vision. Then there are plugins and widgets.
A plugin is a part of the software that adds new and updated features or extends functionality on the website. Plugins are very useful for a WordPress site. Categories of plugins you might need are forms, security, SEO, analytics or tracking, and social media.
A widget works similarly to a plugin and the functionality or feature of a widget might be supplied by a plugin and then shortcoded into the website. You'll want to ensure you have your site built to accept any widgets you might want to add. Widgets could be social media streams, weather displays, popular articles, calculators, etc.
Sometimes people try to experiment, and they end up with a chaotic WordPress website with widgets and plug-ins that only create confusion for the viewer. That is why it is important for you to maintain, and organize your WordPress website so that the viewer gets a solid user experience throughout.
Days 15-19: Navigation, IA, UX, and customizations
It is important to have navigation on your website as it includes an organized list of links to other web pages that are typically internal. A final sitemap is typically the deliverable from IA work done during the creation of the site. IA refers to information architecture, the organizing and labeling of content to make the website usable and understandable for the user. This sitemap is what the site pages will be built against.
UX stands for user experience and intersects the design with the plan for increasing user interaction with your content across a user-friendly interface. The IA will need to inform the UX in part and the overall design of the site visually as well as the content, will inform the rest.
Lastly, you will want to bring the IA, UX, design and content together to figure out if everything the theme and plugins provide you meets the requirements or if you'll need some customizations made to ensure your vision becomes the completed product. Here you may choose to mold or reshape parts of the theme, navigation, and other features of the website to make it relatable to your content.
This is an area where a project can bog down considerably. To prevent this, it is important to have your content scripted and ready for delivery so you can see if everything flows appropriately or if changes need to be made in the content, the design, the IA, or the UX.
Days 20-26: Final content creation and authoring into CMS
Once your WordPress website is structured and the design is largely coming into place, you'll want to ensure all of your content is ready to be authored into WordPress. Depending on your theme, page builder, or other tools, you'll want to start copying and pasting your content into the relevant pages or page sections to see how it looks from the user's perspective.
In this phase, you'll likely need to create content for bespoke scenarios that you didn't plan for when originally scripting your content. Areas that typically fall into this phase are:
- Contact forms – NAP (Name, Address, Phone and contact form and fields)
- Terms and conditions
- Legal (if needed for your industry)
- Careers – specifically job postings
- Sub-nav sentences – if applicable
- Brand snippets – taglines, value proposition, mission, vision, etc.
Days 27-29: QA, analytics setup, SEO optimization & deployment
The last days of the project should be spent tying up loose ends and catching up on anything that hasn't quite been completed on schedule. It is in these final days that you will also want to set up analytics for your website. This is typically done through Google Analytics or another free measurement platform; so that you can view and analyze the behavior of website visitors on the website.
Search engine optimization is one of the most critical things you'll want to invest in for your website as it is what helps your website rank higher on search engine result pages. You should optimize the content on your site for better results. This involves adding metadata, which includes title tags and descriptions, focus keywords, internal links, and editing the content to align with the aforementioned elements.
Your website will rank based on your content and the alignment of your content to the user's search query on a search engine. The more relevant and relatable you make your content, the more opportunity you have to outrank a competitor.
Adding blog posts to a WordPress site is one of the best ways to add value from a content marketing perspective. The more authoritative you make your content, the better performance you'll have when it comes to gaining organic traffic.
Users who find and read your blog posts may eventually traverse from a blog post to another site page to learn more about your brand and eventually might land on a page that converts them from a blog reader to a customer.
Google Analytics will help to keep track of the traffic visiting each individual post so you can learn more about how your audience is engaging with your content and your website as a whole.
The last step in making your website live is called deployment. This is where you actually do the work under the hood to align the domain to the hosting servers and push the website live. There are several methods to doing this so we won't go into specifics. Rest assured, when done correctly, your site will propagate across servers globally and finally show up live at your domain.
Day 30: Final review and adjustments
The final step is to review the live site. Almost all websites get pushed live with small bugs or issues that are not considered showstoppers. Once live, you have to make sure everything looks as desired and works as expected.
When you do a final review of your website you are reviewing it as a member of your target audience and not the person who created it. This helps you see things that you otherwise might not and ensure that they make it onto a post-launch adjustments list.
There are a few post-launch items that you'll want to tackle right after the site goes live. Here are some of those items. Keep in mind, that there typically are tools to help you accomplish many of these tasks.
- Test your contact forms to ensure the submissions are getting delivered and handled appropriately in all systems
- Test your page-to-page links to ensure you don't have any broken links
- Ensure Google Analytics is tracking correctly
- Setup Google Search Console and integrate your website with the tool
- Test the security on your website and have your web host run a security scan
Once you've completed the list above, take a deep breath and release as you've successfully launched your website in 30 days. If everything worked out correctly, you can now use your website for your business.
For those of you who think 30 days is too long, we've compiled a scaled down number of steps to take to make a website in less time. Read on!
Building a website in less time
The following steps include information you can use for building a productive and solid website for your business in less than 30 days should you need to. Follow the steps below adjusting them according to what type of website you are creating.
Time is very precious when it comes to running a business. So, it is an obvious requirement that you want to build a website or an online store and start posting your content or products as fast as you can.
Building a website can require immense development and technical skills. But if you do not know where to start, what to choose, or how to start, you need to find a better and more simple way to get your website live, and fast.
With the guidance of a website builder, you can create a website from scratch in record time. This process is faster than a WordPress website and is your best solution when you want the fastest way to get it done.
The website builders of today provide you with all the essential tools, plus act as your web hosting provider and even your domain registrar. Additionally, they are chock full of functionality, and features, and offer capabilities to grow and scale over time.
When you hire a professional website designer, the process is quite long and detailed as the expert goes through every step of the process to create the best end result. This just doesn't work when you have tight budgets or little time.
The best thing about a website builder is that you will be able to build your website using a step-by-step process, guided by the platform. Additionally, these platforms will also make suggestions to improve your website based on the type of website you are creating.
Select a domain name
Your chosen website builder will likely offer a free domain name with the purchase of a plan or allow you to host the domain with them. This makes the process of registering a domain name and finding a web host much more streamlined.
Choose your website builder tool
When it comes to website builders, you have a lot of options. Those that are proprietary software like Zyro, Weebly, Squarespace and Wix and those that are open source. If you want your website completed in under 30 days, you'll likely want to go for a proprietary website builder.
Select a theme
You need to have a website that functions properly, looks good, and works well for your type of business. The theme you will choose is what sets the bar for how your site will work, evolve, and grow over time. The good news here is that most website builders have amazing, professionally designed themes that are built to support websites in almost every industry.
Build and customize
Building your website is made much easier with a drag and drop editor, which most website builders employ. These allow you to simply drag and drop a design feature, widget, element or piece of the website from a menu onto your canvas. When it comes to building small business websites, it doesn't get much easier.
Make any final adjustments
The final review is very important as it helps you find any missing pieces or errors. Most website builders enable a preview during the website building process and before publishing the site, which allows you to review it and make any last-minute edits.
You should look for any grammar mistakes, formatting errors, broken links, or images and test the navigation of the website.
The last step is to publish your website and see it live on the web. You can still make changes as needed within the website builder using the drag and drop tools but if you don't see anything major, perhaps wait a few days and then take a fresh look at it.
This is the entire process of website creation using a short, easy, and quick plan of attack. A website builder can shorten your project to less than 30 days as long as you are determined and organized.
You can use this website for as long as needed or until you have more time to go through a longer process with a professional website builder or designer. If you're determined to get a WordPress website, you can always opt to start at WordPress.com, with their hosted version, and move to a WordPress website that is self-hosted later on.
How Do Small Businesses Create a Professional Website?
Any business, large or small, can build a website using the tips and steps in this article. Whether it is a WordPress site or using a top-rated website builder tool, the path to creating a professional-looking website is the easiest it has ever been.
Some business owners have this misconception that big companies and big brands need to have expensive websites. That's simply not the case. Many businesses run in total or in part on the platforms outlined in this article.
A website for any business is meant to help them create brand awareness and reach prospective customers. If we take this to heart, any company can benefit from a website, whether it is a WordPress site, a drag-and-drop website builder site, or one that is custom-coded.
Priorities vary for different businesses, which is why making a website should be goal and target focused. The process of building a website for small businesses doesn't waiver when you view it from this perspective.
The Cost of Building and Maintaining a Website
Maintaining a website is a vital part of a cost-benefit breakdown. The cost to maintain your website should never exceed what your business can afford. The cost of maintenance depends upon different factors. The primary is the platform you choose for your website.
If we remove the domain name purchase price from the equation, you have the platform, the hosting for that platform, and all associated fees related to both. Below is a general breakdown of fees for building a website for the needs of a small business.
Hosting Plan Purchase
This can vary based on the type of website you need and the platform you build it on. For example, a WordPress website can use either shared hosting or managed hosting services. It can also require a virtual private or dedicated server as it grows and resources need to scale with increased traffic.
Shared Hosting: ranges from $5-$25/month
Managed Hosting: ranges from $25-$600/month
The price of the platform varies greatly as some are free and others cost quite a lot month to month. For example, a WordPress site uses a free, open-source content management system that doesn't add cost until you need support to help build it or to pay for additional features or functionality in the form of plugins, themes, etc.
Hosted Website Builder: ranges from $8-$35/month
Open Source CMS: ranges from $0-$300/month
.Net CMS: ranges from $0-$2000/month
Hiring a Designer/Developer
You can certainly hire a design firm, a development firm, or one that performs both services. You can also look for freelancers who might be able to offer you similar quality of service for less cost.
Design/Develop Firm: $150-$350/hr. (varies by location and personnel)
Freelancers: $75-$150/hr. (depends on offshore, onshore, and experience level)
As you can see, the pricing varies greatly depending on the chosen host, platform or whether to outsource or not. These prices are general and there are many alternatives to consider. You can find a relatively all-inclusive list here: https://www.capterra.com/content-management-software/pricing-guide
Tips for Selecting Your Build-out Options
Choosing the right method of building your website is important. The important aspects for consideration are the budget and what your priorities are for your website. Using a website builder is relatively cheap and easy, but you do not have much control. You get to build within the confines of the builder tool's capabilities.
On WordPress, you have increased flexibility but you have to put in extra effort and time. Hiring a professional is expensive but it takes the technical stress off of your shoulders.
Whatever method you choose, you'll want to ensure you are as knowledgeable as possible entering into the project to ensure the outcome meets your needs. Here are a few tips that you should consider before starting to make a website.
Always start small, making mistakes is a sure thing when you do something new. Before making your website, it is much safer to practice with less expensive or free options. Starting small will limit potential damage and reduce the chances of a catastrophe befalling you.
It is important for you to be aware that building a website is complex. Set realistic expectations for your first iteration if you are flying solo in the design and build process. While determining how high to set your website goals you must consider three things, your budget, your time, and your tech skills.
Ask and answer the following questions before you being.
- What is my budget?
- How will I manage the website?
- What features must I have?
- How will I handle the technical aspects?
- What can I afford for monthly maintenance?
Building a website does not always mean paying a high price. Getting value from a website project means ensuring the level of website you ultimately build meets your needs for a business website whether it's an online store or a simple blog page.
Website maintenance costs can vary significantly depending on different factors such as complexity, size, type, features and structure. Your website maintenance can range anywhere from $35 to $2500 or more per month and depend on whether you run a personal website, professional blog, small business, corporate website, web application, custom business website, or e-commerce website.
For example, a small business website might cost around $35 to $100 per month while an enterprise class website can cost anywhere from $1500 to $3500 monthly. If you're going to outsource your website maintenance, it is important to understand what you will get from a provider.
If you purchase a package without looking at what it delivers, you may end up wasting money on things you don't need and also be trapped in the wrong service contract. When evaluating your website management cost, consider the following six factors (displayed as monthly fees):
- A domain name costs around $1 to $3.
- Web hosting costs between $2 to $650.
- SSL certificates cost around $0 to $60.
- General website updates cost around $100 to $1500.
- Tech support costs around $500 to $3500.
- Plug-in updates, new security upgrades, etc. around $25 to $100.
These are the main factors that round up your monthly website maintenance cost. They vary largely depending upon the type of website. Monthly maintenance cost is a necessary evil for running any type of website.
Tips to Grow Your Website to Yield Profitable Results
Building a website is a critical step to running a business online. However, your work is not finished there. Launching a website is truly just a starting point. You have to market and promote your website so that you can get traffic to it. Building traffic for your website is significant as only then you will be able to grow and expand.
Businesses struggle with implementing strategies and tactics to increase website traffic. There is a lot of misinformation that can result in chaotic strategies or poor implementation, which typically equates to little or no results. Selecting the right tactics to grow your website traffic can be a difficult task.
We've compiled eight proven strategies to help drive traffic to your website. These are pillars of a strong and stable website in any industry and will earn you positive results.
Create great content
The web runs on content. A blog page, a contact form, or an e-commerce store must have quality content to earn value. Your content is what the audience wants to see, and it is what keeps them coming back.
Just posting content is not enough, you have to create quality, informational, and unique content to reach more of your audience and get them back to your site. Find your sweet spot depending on the type of website you have and the goals you have for your website.
Collectively, you want to deliver good content to the audience, produce high-quality content, post regularly, and give people what they want to see to earn traffic.
SEO optimization is an essential part of almost any type of website. When you publish content, you need to include optimization around keywords that are valuable and relevant to the content. This strategy will help your website rank higher on google and other search engines.
Always include relevant and natural keywords in your website content. It is important to use keywords that flow with your content and use them throughout to create relevance across the entire website.
Perform keyword research on what your competitors are using, and how much people are searching for those terms in order to get the most productive results for your website.
Social media profiles
Social media platforms are the best way to establish your brand and attract an audience to your website. Creating a profile on various social media platforms that your audience tends to use will expand your reach.
Post content, and be highly active on your chosen platforms. Use relevant hashtags to get a higher search presence. Interact with the audience as much as you can through replies, tagging, and reposting their content so that you build a strong relationship.
Update your social networks when you post new website content to ensure your followers are receiving updates on their preferred communication channels. Social networks can provide you with traffic and influence with your audience.
Advertising your website content using paid media is a great way to increase traffic. There are three mechanisms to accomplish that; paid searches, social media campaigns, and display ads.
Ad buys are essentially a way to pay for placement at the top of the search results or on websites your audience frequents. However, you need to set a budget and establish goals before investing as you'll want to minimize risk and prevent major monetary losses.
Establishing relationships with influencers can enable you to gain a larger audience. Essentially, you are paying the influencer to expose your site, products, or services to their followers in order to expand your brand reach and essentially have their followers become your followers.
This is done through paid sponsorships using their social media presence or product promotion through their blog or other means of communication.
You'll need to choose influencers that align with your audience and specific type of website or product. Influencer relationships, when done correctly, can be very powerful for instant traffic boosts and audience expansion, but they can also be quite risky and costly so you must do your due diligence before diving in.
Promoting your website through an email newsletter is a great way to increase your website traffic. Add valuable information about your products or services in the email. Insert links that will enable the subscriber to reach your website.
Make the email visually attractive and align it to your brand and content. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly as most people open their emails on their phones. When used correctly, email has the highest level of engagement and is very effective for growing traffic.
When building or running a website it is necessary to ensure the site has the functionality and features your audience needs. For example, you wouldn't want to have an eCommerce store that doesn't offer a way for the user to get a shipping quote. You wouldn't have a content-based website that doesn't allow someone to subscribe to updates.
It is necessary to produce the features that your audience wants. Striving for too much is certainly an issue of many websites but not providing enough is also detrimental. Find out what is essential for your user and make sure you provide that to build a loyal audience.
Guest posting is another tactic that will help gain exposure for your brand and website. Guest posting on other websites is an effective way to gain backlinks, increase visibility within search engines, and increase traffic.
Before guest posting you need to ensure the site you are posting on is high-quality and that the posting terms meet your needs. For example, a blog that offers you a high-quality backlink that is dofollow is better than one that is nofollow. Check the domain authority, their guest posting terms and conditions, and finally, whether they will promote the content on social media.
Benefits of Building a Website for Your Business
Below are the top benefits of having a website for your business.
It improves your business credibility
A website allows you to build credibility more quickly with your users than any other medium. And it allows you to control the message you provide to your audience. Customers tend to relate reliability and dependability with brands that have a strong website and overall web presence.
It enhances your online presence
People search for almost everything online, and a website is one mechanism to ensure you stay in front of your audience and expand your visibility to new audiences. Other channels can work but not as well or completely as a website.
It enables you to build a strong relationship with your audience
Brands are ranked and heavily critiqued online. Everyone seems to want to voice their opinions in a public setting and many use their networks to accomplish this. A website will allow you to control the relationship better and drive the messaging from your site rather than from other less controllable channels.
It enables you to showcase your work
The best way to highlight any content, creative assets, self-promotion, awards, etc., is through a website. You certainly can leverage social networks and other channels but having a website to showcase your talent adds credibility and legitimacy.
It will be your best tool to generate sales for your brand
The logic is pretty simple, through a well-suited website you can increase your audience, drive engagement, and convert visitors into customers. It is on 24/7/365 and is ultimately the best sales asset for your brand.
It centralizes marketing campaigns for your business
Having a website provides a centralized location for executing marketing campaigns. A website allows for expanded marketing efforts that would otherwise be impossible. For example, running a paid advertising campaign through Google requires at minimum a domain name and landing page. Without these, you won't be able to leverage this channel in your marketing.
It allows you to showcase what is new
When you have a website, you can use it consistently to showcase new content, new imagery, new videos, and other updates for your brand that can provide added value to your audience in a way that you get to control.
How to Build a Website Wrap-up
Building a website is an essential element for your business to grow and consistently engage an audience. The success of your website depends ultimately on the effectiveness of your content but the key elements of how you create a website play a pivotal role in whether users will engage and convert.
The good news is that you don't need a web developer to create a website. With today's website builders, content management systems, and tutorials, creating web pages or an entire web presence is relatively straightforward.
So grab your domain name, get your hosting account, choose your website builder tools, and get started. There's never been an easier time to create and display your own content on your own website.