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:
- Background colors, images or videos
- Page-wide or specific changes
- Color and layout remembrance
- Filterable settings and search
- Email opt-in provider support
- 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.