How to Create A Website

The best way to create a website and publish it on the web quickly

The best way to create a website is to find a web host that has all the services your website needs, and that offers a website building application that will create the type of site you want. This way, your site will be up and running quickly. Even though these website builders do a lot of the work, you’ll need a good plan, an efficient design, and engaging content before you create your website and publish it on the web.

food blogger using laptop and working from home to create a website
wundervisuals / Getty Images 

Create a Website from Scratch: Start With Purpose

How do you plan to use the website? Will it be a portfolio site that showcases your experience and past projects? Will it sell products you produce? Do you want a blog where you can share your ideas? Whatever the reason for starting a website, every website needs a purpose so that you can reach your goals.

Before you develop your website plan, do some research and collect some information:

  • Identify your target audience: These are the people you think would benefit from the information in your site. Get to know them and what they want and expect from you.
  • Find a solution: Why should someone visit your site? Make of list of the services you plan to provide on the site and how those services benefit visitors. If your visitors have a specific need or problem, address how you can solve that problem.
  • Research your competitors: Identify websites that are like your website. Analyze how they approach their sites and audience. Look for ways that you have an advantage and can improve your approach.

Make a Website Plan

Successful projects start with a plan, and a website project is no different. Take some time to write down the tasks you need to perform to create your website.

Here are some ideas to help you decide how your website will look and the type of content it will include:

  • Brainstorm for ideas: Look at other websites, especially at websites that have the same purpose or sell an identical product, to get inspired and gather ideas for your website.
  • Select page elements: Decide what distinctive elements you want to include in the site. Do you want a contact form to make it easy for visitors to ask questions or get more information? Will you need a shopping cart for visitors to make purchases? Do you want a unique way to showcase pictures?
  • Create a content strategy: The content on your website must be useful, usable, and relevant to your target audience. Also, that content must be continuously added to and updated. If you need ideas for content, look around you. There are plenty of events and trends you can write about on your website that have the potential to go viral.
  • Determine which devices your target audience uses: Find out if people use mostly mobile devices or if they prefer to visit sites like yours using a PC. The devices your audience uses determine the type of site you choose.

Design the Site

A well-designed website has easy-to-follow navigation elements and working links. One way to create an effective website design is to create a site map.

A site map is a visual overview of how a website is organized. It shows the different sections of the website and how pages are presented in those sections. The site map will help you plan a navigational structure for the site.

As you create the site map, consider how people will use your site and work out a navigation flow that is easy for these visitors. Find the most logical way for visitors to go from one page to another.

Collect Content for the Site

A website is a collection of many types of content. Your website can contain a collection of content including blog posts, product descriptions, images that highlight your product, explainer videos that tell your story, and contact information. These different types of content have one thing in common. Each piece of content has seconds to capture the attention of your audience.

Follow your content strategy while you come up with ideas for articles, videos, infographics, and podcasts that will enhance your website and attract visitors.

As you develop your content ideas, and begin creating the content, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be actionable: Tell visitors why a topic is important, show them how it will benefit them, and give them step-by-step directions. The introduction to each piece of content should be an accurate overview of what the visitor will learn.
  • Be credible: Add facts, figures, and other data to your content to make your claims valid. Moreover, use sources that are known to provide accurate and unbiased information.
  • Be real: Find your unique voice and your individual way to express your ideas. Don’t be a copycat. Let your unique personality shine through your content.
  • Be thought-provoking: Leave your visitors with something to think about. You’ll create interest and intrigue in your website that will have visitors coming back for more.
  • Be easy on the eyes: Your content should be well-written, easy to scan, and visually appealing. Make sure every word is spelled right, that you use headings to break up sections, and is at a sixth-grade reading level to reach the widest audience.

Find a Web Host and Register a Domain

Your website needs a place to live on the web, and the quickest way to reserve your web address is to find a web host. There are a variety of cheap web hosting providers, and each one has a specialty. Look for a web host that offers a price that fits your budget, has the web tools you need to create your envisioned website, and provides support when you need help or have problems.

Many web hosts offer domain services where you can register a domain name. Buying a domain name from your web host is more accessible than buying a domain elsewhere then transferring that domain to your web host.

Before you choose a domain name for your website, create a list of keywords, then check the availability of obvious domain names.

Choose a Website Builder and Theme

A website builder is a quick and efficient way to create a website. Most website builders require a bit of a learning curve. However, many site builders have extra tools that make this job easier and don’t require any technical knowledge of HTML or CSS.

Most web hosting services offer either a custom drag-and-drop website builder or a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. These website builders provide a variety of themes (these may also be called templates or styles) that give a website a uniform look and a professional design.

When you choose a theme or template, find one that matches the look you envision for your site. Some templates are designed for specific types of businesses and interests such as photography, food, restaurants, consultants, writers, automotive, and more.

Each theme or template may also contain several designs that apply different looks or styles to the template. These designs may be minimal, contemporary, professional, or another style. When choosing a design, select a template that is responsive and adapts to all sizes of device screens.

Create and Test Your Website

After you choose a website builder and a theme, take some time to learn how to use and customize these tools. Once you feel comfortable, start making changes. Some easy changes to start with are to add your name, logo, and contact details. Then, change the text font and color, add image galleries, background pictures, banners, and other site enhancements. 

After you have the basic site set up, add links to your social media accounts, a subscription form so visitors are notified when you publish something new on your website, a scheduling form if you provide consulting services, a shopping cart if you sell products online, and a map if you have a physical store.

Finally, create web pages for the content you collected for the site and add the web page parts such as images, videos, headlines, and text. If a template includes pages that you don’t need, either delete those pages or save the pages as drafts. If you save the pages as drafts, you’ll have access to them in the future. There are a few essential pages that you should consider adding:

  • About page: This is an excellent place to tell visitors about you and your website.
  • Contact page: Use this page to provide an address, phone number, or email address. This page is also a good place to add a contact form so visitors can email you without using their email address.
  • Hire Me page: Add this page to showcase your talents and business. Use this space to convince people why you are the best person for the job.

Many web hosts, such as GoDaddy, provide a staging area where you can experiment with your website before publishing it on the web. A staging area is a safe place to try out themes and templates, check the placement of images and other elements on the page, and test forms and shopping carts.

Publish Your Website

When you’re satisfied with the way the site looks and with how the content is displayed, find the Publish button and take your site live on the web. However, your job is not done. Keep your site relevant by adding new content regularly and keeping older content updated.