A Complete Guide to Building a Website
Websites have become a vital tool in our modern world. They are utilized to share knowledge whether it is for formal purposes, such as business, or informal such as social.
When the Internet first came about, websites were mainly preserved for the few prominent companies or organizations that could afford the costs associated with owning and running a website. The trends have greatly changed today, however, and the process of starting a personal website is constantly becoming simpler and economically feasible. Almost anyone can get a website up and running at a small cost, which has made the web a new frontier for everyone wishing to share information with a large audience.
Website building used to be exclusively for experts. Just in the same way you would require a plumber to install your bathtub, you would require a coder to set up your website. Now imagine if today your bathtub connected the pipes and drains itself with a few clicks of a button? We’re not quite there yet, but one can only hope… Website building, however, has been streamlined with ease so that even people with very basic technical knowledge of computers can build a site from existing templates that are available free online. Many web hosting companies offer packages that include free website design besides the hosting plans. It is important to know where to find the necessary resources and tools.
Important Steps Towards Building a Website
1. Domain Name
The first thing to consider when building a website is the domain name. This is the online address that will identify your website uniquely over the World Wide Web. Your domain name is essentially the first impression your readers or potential customers will get from you and therefore, it is advisable to choose a relevant domain name that can give visitors a hint as to what product or service the website will offer. This kind of domain name will also boost your search engine ranking and increases your chance of visibility among search engines. If the domain name is easy to memorize and reflective of the nature of use for the website, it is more optimized to market to potential and existing targeted traffic.
2. Hosting Plan
The next thing to consider once you’ve determined a domain name is the hosting plan. Hosting plans can come in many packages. It is important to consider what amount of bandwidth they will require to run the website and to enhance its up-time throughout the year. Furthermore, you must also consider the storage capacity and optimization of the website. The volumes of data expected o n the site will be a major determining factor for the storage capacity.
3. Install a CMS
A CMS is a content management system. It serves a dashboard (an installed application on the server) where you do the main setups, create pages and post, setup widgets, etc. The main kinds of CMS are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Before you decide which CMS you want to use, research how they compare to each other.
4. Web Design
While the domain name gives a identity reference to your site, the design will give the first visual first impression. Therefore, this will be a very important aspect of your site. Do you want it to be clean and simple or whimsical and eclectic? What do you want your site to say? Having a good strategz to attract the relevant audience for the website is very important. For those who may not have any knowledge on web design, it is a good idea to find a reliable firm that can offer the web design services necessary. Or, if you use WordPress there are plenty of free and premium options available. Important to consider is that choosing a SEO friendly and responsive template is essential.
Search Engine Optimization is key for increased visibility and the potential growth of your website. Having a website optimized geographically and for specific keywords to reach targeted groups is very important. Certain tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, Keyword Tool and Buzzsumo can be very helpful for doing keyword research. Natural keyword integration is very important. It is a good idea to add in keywords to the title of your page, and to the various photos on your site. You should make sure that keywords, both primary and related, are also present throughout the content in moderation. Furthermore, WordPress, a relatively optimized site on its own, also has plugins such as Yoast the help to optimize your WordPress SEO, built around one core WordPress SEO plugin.
You should also specify Meta description. A good description is very important to allow the search engine to understand what your page or site is about. Ideally, you want the description to be no longer than 155 characters (including spaces), as well as well written. If Google’s algorithm decides that the description is badly written it will replace it with its own. A good description can also persuade people to visit your site as well as could possibly help with site rankings.
Also important to consider is the document structure. Document structure (H1, H2, H3 tags) provides information on the structural format of the page. You should not skip levels (for example going from H1 to H3, because it can cause problems to convert the page to other forms.
Picture optimization is also very important for SEO. Search engines cannot understand the pictures themselves but there are various ways to help the search engine so that your images can generate more traffic. Alt text allows the search engine to understand what the image is about. Inserting “alt=”this is your alt text“ is all that is necessary. Also, ensure that images are as small as possible so that the loading time of your page is quick. A descriptive file name for the image will also help rank your image in the category you would like it to. Captions can also help to reduce your bounce rate because they are frequently read. Reducing your bounce rate will help to increase your search engine rankings.
6. Interactive website
Ensuring the website is interactive enough is essential. For a business website, integrating an instant messaging platform, or live chat, for potential customers who have questions or concerns can help to increase the convenience associated with your website as well as encourage potential customers to revisit the site because they know they will get good customer service. Because they feel they are getting good customer service, they are more likely to buy from you.