Want to know how to develop a website?
You might have been procrastinating website development for a while. But now you have finally decided to develop a fully-fledged, responsive website without any further delay. But, before you start building a website, let us take a step back to learn how to create a better website. A website that impresses your site visitors encouraging them to give you a call/purchase products from your online store would rank higher on Google. Suppose that, you have planned to build your own dream house. And the next thing you do is spare time to drop some blueprints. Right? So, website development is somewhat analogous to building your house. Lack of systematic planning can have some pretty scary results.
Let us now walk you through the step-by-step procedure to build a great website. Let us start:
Before you start building your new website, make yourself sure of what is the main goal that you want your site to achieve. And, this goal would be your call-to-action. Your call to action is what you want your site visitors to do on your website. Do you want them to call you, sign up for your mailing list, shop on your online store, look at your gallery?
As you build your website, ensure that the images and wordings throughout your website encourage the reader to take their action. Later, you can use your call-to-action to gauge your success. Is your site achieving what you want it to? If not, what changes can you make to encourage your visitors to take a specific action? If you are trying to impress everyone with your new website, then it is not going to work. So, make sure that you impress the right target audience. Before building your new website, the first thing to figure out is who you’re building it for. This is called your target audience.
Website design & Layout
Make sure about who you want to visit your website, how old are they, what are their interests, what benefits can you offer them. Imagine you sell surfboards. Your target market should be pretty clear. Your customers are people who surf or want to learn how to surf. So, consider your potential customers as you build your site. Read your content, choose images, fonts, colours and organize the layout of your site.
In addition to your home page and contact page, other pages include testimonial services and pricing. Decide the order you want your pages to appear on the menu and how you want your users to click from page to page. Keep in mind that, visitors usually start clicking on the left side of the screen and navigate to the right.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
Another part of the planning phase that is often overlooked is Search Engine Optimization(SEO). SEO has to do with how high your site will show up in Google results. To give your website the best shot at success, you should start thinking about Google before you start building your site. Search engines rank websites based on keywords and phrases. The more relevant key phrases that you use on your website, the more likely your target customers will find you. Let us say, you own a bakery in New York City. Relevant keywords that customers might use to search for you include gluten-free bread Chelsea, best bakery in New York or chocolate cake Manhattan & so on. Pick a few key phrases to focus on and use them throughout your website. Google will use these words to learn what your site is about and then place in relevant search results.
Now, that you have determined your target audience and created your sitemap, it’s time to gather everything that you need to build your website. The process will go much more smoothly if you already have what you need. You don’t want to be a scramble to find things while you are deep in the design process. Before you start working on your site, make sure you have the following:
Use a high-resolution version of your logo. This will help you look professional and legitimate. A good logo should be memorable and simple.
Write all the content for your website and organize it according to your site menu. Break up large blocks of text with helpful headlines, so that visitors can easily find the information they need. An average visitor will only read 28% of the text on your website.
You might want to use high-quality images on your site. Whenever possible work with authentic photos rather than stock images. This is one phase that it is well worth investing in hiring a photographer especially if you are selling online. If you want to include videos on your website, make sure you have a link to them.
For customer testimonials, don’t hesitate to reach out to some of your favourite past clients. Ask them to send over a few kind words about your business. Request them that they be specific and share what it was that they enjoyed about working with you.
Now, it’s time to start working on your site. But, like most things in life, building a website will require just a little bit of bureaucracy.
Domain Name & Website Hosting
In order to make your website live on the world wide web, you will need to purchase a domain, find hosting and choose a platform that helps you build the site. A domain is like your address on the internet. It is what people type on their browser to get straight to your website. Most domains cost about fifteen dollars a year. If possible, choose a domain that includes your business name. It is also better to go with a domain that is simple to spell and easy to remember.
If the domain is your address, then hosting is your rent. This is the place where all the information on your website is present. Based on where you build your website, hosting may be included. If not, you can choose from a variety of services that might cost anywhere from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a year.
Optimum Programming Language
Finally, you’ll have to decide which software to use to build your site. A few years back, you were required to know how to code for creating a professional attractive website. Today, there are website building platforms that make it easy for nearly anyone to build a great site.
Now it’s time for the fun part of further building your website.
As with most website builders, the first step is to choose your template. Whether you are a musician, a lawyer or the owner of a fitness centre, you are pretty much guaranteed to find a template containing all the elements you need on your site. Try to choose a template that matches the site map you made. Else, if you have a vision for design, you can create your site from scratch.
Once you have selected a template, it’s time to start working on your home page. Your home page is the most important page of your site, both for visitors and for search engines. In just a few seconds, visitors will decide if your site has the content what they are looking for. If they can’t find it, then they’ll move on. So, to get visitors to stick around, you need a home page that looks legitimate, is up-to-date and clearly explains what the website is about. As you design the home page, be sure to keep your call-to-action in mind. It should be clearly displayed so that your visitor knows exactly where to click and what to do on your site.
Not sure if your home page is up to par?
Look for these:
- your business name and logo
- an obvious call for action
- a clear explanation of your business, and
- of course, your contact information
In addition to including all of these elements on your home page, make sure of your website’s look and feel. Have a significant effect on your website’s tone. Once the home page is done right, it’s time to move on to other pages. You can edit the other pages on your website to match your site map. Remember that, all content that you gathered earlier should be organized and pretty simple to add it to your site, page by page.
Add in text, images & videos that you want on your site. Once you have the content in place, adjust the layout and alignment to make it look neat and attractive.
Consider both aesthetics as well as the user’s experience. Constantly ask yourself, how easy will it be for a site visitor to find what they are looking for. Show the website to a few friends to get their feedback. You also can include internal links on your website to make it easy for visitors to navigate to different pages and find the information they need.
In addition to making your website more user-friendly, internal links are also good for Google. Once your content is in place on your site, your website is almost ready to go live. But, before you click on the publish button, take a bit of time to make sure your website is optimized for Google.
Ensure that the key phrases you chose earlier are used throughout your website, for text in headlines and in alt text for every image/graphic. Use them frequently, but, don’t go crazy!!!!! If you start to use too many keywords, Google may penalize you for keyword stuffing. Make sure that all text on your website sounds natural. Next, write an SEO title and meta description for each page using your keywords.
Your SEO title should be up to 55 characters long and your meta-description should be up to 155. Your homepage title is a very strong factor in how you will rank on Google.
Finally, connect your site to Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, that lets you track about who visited your website, how they found it and which pages they are visiting. It is a great way to evaluate your success and to learn how you can tweak your site better to achieve your goals. And, now your beautiful, unique website is complete.
But, how does it look on mobile? Back in 2015, mobile browsing officially suppressed desktop browsing. This means that you need a website that looks great and is easy to navigate on mobile. Google penalizes websites that are not mobile optimized. When visitors are looking at mobile websites, they expect to find important details as quickly as possible. So, ensure that the most important details plus your contact number, address and email id are present.
At this stage of website development, your new website looks fantastic on any device. We are pretty sure that your customers are going to be impressed.