Create your domain name
Choose a name for your website. It could be your company name, your name, or your blog name. It will usually end in .com, .org, or .net. Try to choose something short, simple and to the point.
Once you have your preferred domain name, it is time to register it online.
Find a web hosting service
Web hosting is not the same thing as web design. Web design is the page layout and development of the site. It dictates how the site looks and works.
A web host is the service that stores all the files and content from a site. It is simply the shelf that displays the website to visitors.
Every website needs a web host. That is what makes a website accessible to viewers.
Web hosting usually costs between $5.00 and $20.00 a month. Some servers offer a domain name for free through them, and others have an additional cost for registering an existing domain with them.
A good web host will be reliable, keep your site running as much as possible, have good customer service, and provide unlimited bandwidth so your site can handle the volume of traffic it receives.
Bluehost is a well-known and reliable web hosting service. Their service can be renewed monthly or annually, and they offer several packages. The basic plan could adequately service a new website with up to 10,000 monthly visitors.
Install a website building platform
There are several software programs available to help design a website for those who do not have coding or HTML skills. These platforms are called CMS, content management systems.
WordPress is one of the most common platforms. 35% of the websites functioning today are built with it. Because it is free installation, it is the best option for affordable website design. Some other web design layout platforms include Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
These platforms come with premade templates for a site. Many of the templates are free, and 1,000’s more can be purchased, with prices reaching up to $250 per theme. The themes allow modifications so the visual effects such as colors and fonts can be changed.
Use a page builder
One of the easiest ways to get a quality design is to use Elementor, a plugin for WordPress. This plugin is free although there is also a pro version that is $49 per year. It is simply a page builder that replaces the original WordPress editor. Whereas before the developer had to switch between editor mode and preview mode every time he wanted to view a change, Elementor allows frontend, or live, editing, which means the developer can see the changes as he makes them. The edits are made in a box on the left, and they appear instantly on the website in a window on the right.
Elementor divides the page into blocks which can all be customized. This blocked page layout makes for easy editing by selecting a block to work on with just a click.
Another page builder is Divi, which is only $89 per year. Divi also offers frontend editing, and it works with almost any theme. There are many templates to choose from, but pages can also be built from the ground up. It builds pages based on three elements: sections, rows and modules.
Sections are the largest part of the layout. They are the main components of the page, and they come in different sizes and widths. Rows are columns that are placed inside the sections. They can be customized as well. Finally, modules are the content elements within the columns, such as buttons, text, or images.
Divi offers these visual features and elements for any web page:
- Hover state styling
- Responsive editing
- Shape dividers
- Font styling
- Border options
- Advanced code editing
- Filters and effects
- Drop shadows
- Text shadows
- Background colors, images or videos
- Multi-select editing
- Page-wide or specific changes
- Color and layout remembrance
- Copy and paste styles
- Extendable styles
- Drag-and-drop uploading
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Filterable settings and search
- Email opt-in provider support
- Form building
- Pricing tables
- Social media buttons
- Autosave and browser backup
- Builder view mode options
- Header and footer builder
- Set user rules and permissions for users and clients
With so many free and affordable programs available, website setup and web design layout can be quite simple. It is definitely the most affordable option, and it can work well, especially as a temporary placeholder for a more permanent site.
However, it does take some time and some commitment to learning the processes. A website is a business’ or blog’s first impression online. It must be professional-looking, fast and easy-to-use if it is going to draw and retain customers. Achieving that level of design and usability can be difficult for a beginner, even with the DIY tools.
A few other reasons that DIY website building is not always the best choice are because SEO will be lacking in a personally-built website. SEO is search engine optimization, and it basically dictates where the website will fall in search engine results. If a website is on the second or third page of results, it will likely never get a visitor from an internet search. It is important to enhance a website’s SEO to keep it as near the top results as possible.
Mobile functionality is another crucial component of a successful website. Many DIY builders do not include ways to adapt a site to a mobile device. Only a portion of the traffic to a site will be from a desktop computer. As much as 53% – 63% of it will be from users on phones and tablets.
A DIY website developer will also be responsible for the security and stability of his site as well as all the updates. This can be a lot to handle especially as these are ongoing issues that consistently need to be dealt with, not a one-time deed.
If DIY web development is not the right choice for a business, there are still other affordable options.
There was a time when a web developer had to be hired locally. Now a web
developer can be hired from anywhere in the world. This option allows a person to be hired for a single job. They can be paid to design a website, set up social media pages, handle customer or technical support, or handle inventory management.
This option can be affordable depending on what job a person is being paid to do and how they are being paid. If they are paid based on time, it may not be the most affordable option as time zone differences can slow communication between the parties. It still often costs less than hiring a local web developer.
There could also be problems with language barriers and accountability to
consider before deciding on this alternative.
If overseas outsourcing does not work, there is a final solution to acquiring a
website that grows a business.
“A website is a business’ or blog’s first impression online.” – CalTech Web
HIRE A WEB DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
This option will cost the most, but it may be worth it. After all, while it would be nice to save money on website design, the website needs to work well enough to bring in revenue. In the end, a good website will pay itself off.
When looking for a web development company, make sure they meet the following criteria:
A proven portfolio
Look at websites they have designed and host to see what styles they offer and how usable their websites are. If they have created lively, working commerce sites, chances are they will be right for an e-commerce business. Are their clients happy? Do they have good reviews? Check on these things.
Coding and integration experts
They must have coding expertise and be fluent in a variety of skills in order to build the best websites. Will they be able to integrate third-party components, such as an email provider or computing service?
SEO and back-end expertise
Find out whether the company works hard to increase SEO on their sites. Do they not only have a great visual experience on the frontend of a website, but also great workability on the backend?
See how quickly they respond to your emails or answer your questions. Are they available all the time, or are they hard to get ahold of? A web development company will be a business partner, and if they are friendly and helpful, they can team up with your business for years to come. They must be easy to work with.
They are not too cheap
“You get what you pay for” is often true.
No long-term contracts
Make sure it will be easy to cancel their service if the need should arise. Do not be tricked into a long-term contract. Sometimes those companies will register your domain name in their registrar and not release it after a cancellation.
Remember, a good website needs to be good in all areas. It needs to be visually appealing, user-friendly, and have SEO. It needs to be secure, be updated, have constant uptime and load quickly.
Users will usually decide within the first 10 seconds on a web page whether it has what they are looking for or not. If a website can keep a user for up to 30 seconds, there is a good chance that the user has found value and will remain for at least a few minutes, which is valuable in web time.
The most affordable option to design a website is to do it yourself using a web publishing software to access designs and a page builder to customize them. The best thing about this option is being able to completely tailor the site as you see it in your mind’s eye. The downsides to this option are the time it takes and the skill required to make the website truly shine among competitors.
A second option is to outsource website needs overseas. Hiring a web developer in a different country is often less expensive than hiring one locally or hiring a company, but the downsides include time differences, language barriers, and overall production accountability.
There is also the option to hire a company to develop the website. This is not the most affordable option, but sometimes it will bring the best pay off. Web development companies are often the best choice for e-commerce sites. The downsides are having to sort through the many companies out there to find the right one, and, obviously the price.
Establish the needs of your business. Then choose the option that fits in the budget and best meets your specific needs.
“This is a time when online presence is more important than ever. For a business to have a better chance of success in this age, having an appealing, user-friendly website is of prime importance.” – CalTech Web