Have you been thinking about building a website? Maybe you have a company that needs an online presence, maybe you’re a public figure, or maybe you simply want to showcase your achievements and resume as part of a job search. Your website can serve as the foundation of your web presence, and it’s especially important to have a web presence if you’re running a business or embarking on a professional career of some kind.
If you don’t know how to code a website, don’t worry. There are lots of free and low-cost website builder tools that you can use to put together a professional-looking website, and you don’t need any coding skills. Follow these steps to build your own website today.
Choose a Website Builder Tool
The first step towards building a website is to choose the website builder tool or content management system (CMS) you want to use. One of the most popular CMS tools is WordPress, which powers a lot of websites you know and love, like Variety and The New York Times. You might need some intermediate web coding skills in order to work with WordPress, but it’s pretty user-friendly. There are also lots of free and paid WordPress themes and widgets that you can use to build your website. If you don’t have any coding skills at all and need a more WYSIWYG solution that allows you to see your page elements as they will appear to your users while you are building a website, choose an even simpler website builder, like SquareSpace. If you mainly want to showcase your creative content, choose a blogging tool like Google Blogger, or Tumblr.
Choose Your Domain Name
Once you have chosen a website builder, it’s time to choose a domain name. Your domain name is what appears in the URL, so it will look something like www.yourwebsitename.com (or .org, .net, or .co). Your domain name should be short – no more than six to 14 characters, ideally. If possible, it should incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) keywords to help drive search traffic towards your website. You’ll want to begin optimizing your website for search as soon as you start building it, and that’s going to include a lot more than shoehorning keywords into your page content. SEO keywords need to go into titles and subheads, and they need to appear in metadata. Your website also needs to offer quality content for users. If you’re going to be relying on your website to bring you business or boost your reputation, it’s a good idea to work with a Minneapolis SEO agency to optimize your site for search from the beginning.
You can buy your domain name before you choose a website builder, but most website builders these days offer a one-stop shop for domain names and server hosting. It’s easiest to choose a domain name and hosting package offered by WordPress, SquareSpace, or whatever website builder tool you decide to use.
Build Your Website’s Pages
Now that you’ve bought your domain name and hosting services, it’s time to get down to the business of building a website itself. Your website should include well-written, informative content, as well as images like infographics and charts. Video content will also help draw in a lot of traffic and is very shareable. You can upload or drag-and-drop photos, videos, and other content and widgets to your website in your builder tool’s dashboard.
Set up a home page, which includes basic information about you or your services. An About Me/Us page can include more detailed information about your professional history or the history of your company, and a Contact page should tell users how to get in touch with you, whether via email, phone, or physical address. You should also set up a blog page, which you will keep updated with fresh new content regularly. You might want to add other pages, as well – if you’re an artist, for example, you might want to include a portfolio page. If you’re running a company, a Meet the Staff page might be in order. It’s up to you which and how many pages you add to your website.
Start Your Blog
Every website should have a blog, because that’s one of the primary ways you can draw in new traffic. High-quality, well-written, and informative blog posts offer the opportunity to add more SEO keywords to your page and create value for your users, two things that can really improve your site’s Google PageRank. Make your blog relevant to your industry and update it regularly with new content to keep users coming back and keep your rankings high.
Once you have all your pages set up the way you want them, just click “Publish”. Congratulations – you have launched your website!