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Comprehensive guide: Building a website from scratch.

Comprehensive guide: building a website from scratch

A MacBook Air with Google's homepage open so the person can research how to build a website and has a pad and pen to make notes

There may not have been a time in history when having a web presence for your company was more crucial than it is in today’s data-driven and digital-first business market. A website is a fast and simple tool for a company to broaden its customer base, cultivate its brand, and keep up with the speed of its rivals. But building a website for a new company can seem like an overwhelming task. Especially to individuals who do not have previous experience in the field. Fortunately, all you need is some forethought and planning, and you’ll be able to construct an easy website for your company all by yourself.

This blog post will provide an overview of how to build a website from the ground up. But, before beginning to read. It’s crucial to understand that although this tutorial is designed for novices in general, it will explore specific processes. So these may require intermediate or advanced knowledge of web design.

Step-by-step guide to building a website

Even though it is time-consuming, developing a website from scratch is a fantastic approach to ensure that your site accurately reflects the objectives of your business. Doing so enables you to incorporate your one-of-a-kind vision from the early stages of the site’s development. This then allows you to tailor features such as aesthetics, navigation, and overall usability accordingly.

Our web design agency in Swansea recommends the following nine stages that must be taken while building a website.

1. Develop and improve your relevant skills

It is essential that, before beginning the process of conceptualising your new website, you assess your relevant skills. Specifically those that are needed for web design such as content writing, branding, layout and structure design etc. These kinds of abilities can be quite useful when it comes to the production of a do-it-yourself website. This is because they enable you to build the different phases on your own. Which can lead to a more streamlined development process and easier creative control.

Once you know what you’re good at and maybe, more importantly, what you’re not so good at you can begin to think about what platform you want to build on. Over 40% of the websites on the internet are built on WordPress and it’s what we recommend too. But for a more in-depth breakdown of two of the most popular website builders, check out our other blog post on the options available. Now that you know your skill set and what platform you can see where you can manage the work yourself and where you’re going to need help.

2. Set out what you want to achieve

After you have ensured that you have aligned your required skills, the following stage is to determine a general aim for your new website. So consider the following: What is the long-term goal that this website aims to accomplish? Is it to make money off of product sales? To express and expand the identity of your brand? What kind of an experience for the user are you hoping to deliver? Which user metrics are you planning to track while they are using the site?

Do you have the answers to all of the previous questions? Now you should find that it is much simpler to sketch out the interface, aesthetics, prospective pages, and other things that are directly rooted in your objectives for the website. For instance, if you intend to utilise the website to increase awareness of your brand and enable digital transactions, you might design a home page that provides simple access to both highlighted online products and corporate updates. This is in addition to identity-based information (such as an extensive “About Us” section). Make sure that your goals are as distinct and specific as they can be, regardless of the kind of vision you have.

3. Select a web hosting service

The selection of a hosting company is a very straightforward but critically important step in the process of building a website. This procedure has been simplified by a number of the industry’s most prominent hosting platforms. Some of them are HostGator and Bluehost, which now frequently provide first-time registrants free domain registration, cheap website construction tools, and several other benefits.

This step’s selection, like the one before it, should be based on your requirements and objectives for the website. Particularly those that pertain to the organisation of the website and its accessibility. For instance, is the purpose of the website to showcase image galleries and other forms of multimedia? Then you will probably want to select a platform that provides sufficient room for larger files. All while still providing a suitable level of performance. You will be able to restrict your selections down to a few potential providers by using such criteria. Then you will be able to assess which of those providers will be the most cost-effective, reliable, and in touch with the objectives of your company.

4. Pick your website's domain

In principle, choosing a website domain may be a quick and easy process. Nevertheless, as pointed out by GoDaddy, the decision is analogous to selecting a name for a company. Because of the significant role that your domain name will play in determining your online persona, giving this some serious thought and consideration is essential. An efficient domain name can make your website more discoverable within keyword searches. It can also make it simpler to promote your website through digital marketing efforts. Both of these benefits can have a positive impact on your site’s SEO.

Keeping all of this in mind, you should set aside some time to consider a few potential domain names. After which you should do keyword research and other types of market analysis to zero in on a name that is clear, memorable, and illustrative of the service or product that you are offering. Your domain should be easy to remember and catchy while also representing the region of your target audience. For instance, you may think about incorporating your location directly in the domain name.

5. Select a site template or layout for your website

The layout of your website will play a critical role in enabling the user experience you wish to provide. So choosing a layout for your website should include careful preparation and extensive preceding research. You may begin by selecting a website builder that offers a wide variety of appropriate site templates. Then narrow your choices to those that feature styles and structures that are congruent with your objectives. One example of such a consideration is determining whether or whether your company need e-commerce features, appointment scheduling, or any other functionality that is fundamental to its operations. Then use the theme as a shell for larger developing concepts. Such as specialised plugins and widgets, colour schemes, and page order and hierarchy as long as the theme is changeable to your desire.

Someone creating a physical website layout so they can visualise how it will look online

6. Create relevant pages

The most successful websites often include several pages. Typically beginning with a home page and continuing with some supporting pages representing various aspects of the company. These pages serve as the fundamental building blocks of your website. So they should be organised and sorted in a manner that is consistent with the user journey you wish to facilitate. Additionally, they should be accessible and simple to navigate. If you are utilising a website builder, it will likely provide you with the flexibility to add, remove, and customise individual pages while maintaining the overall theme of your website. So make use of this functionality to develop pages that collectively encapsulate the objective and message that your website is trying to convey.

7. Conduct tests and make adjustments to your website

Now that the essential components of your website have been implemented. You will want to devote a considerable amount of time to testing and fine-tuning your final product. Your primary concerns should be your website’s user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX) that it conveys. This is because usability will continue to be one of the most important factors in determining the success of a website. These aspects can be evaluated by conducting user tests and technical audits on the front and back sides of the website, respectively. To evaluate the usability of your website, you should watch people as they use it. Then make a note of any communicated inadequacies, confusion, or other deficiencies you see along the route.

Carrying out a website audit

When conducting a technical audit, it is important to take stock of the following:

  • The site’s performance metrics such as page speed and multimedia playing.
  • The various search engine optimisation factors such as content optimisation, organic keyword mentions, and functional backlinks. 
  • Issues about the site’s mobile responsiveness.

We understand that this may be difficult to do if this is your first time building a website. In this case, we advise contacting a professional web designer in Swansea to conduct the audit for you.

8. Promote your website

After your website has been published online, it’s time to promote it to the people you want to visit it. The marketing of a website may be done digitally in many different and highly successful ways. Having accounts on social media platforms is a wonderful strategy for increasing site visibility. A good number of these platforms enable users to directly link site URLs, syndicate site material, and smoothly direct followers to various website pages. Numerous site layouts include the option to immediately include social links. Which can be advantageous from an SEO point of view for all linked entities. This is because organic linking can have a favourable impact on a website’s ranking authority.

Other methods include using Google’s advertising and business services. These can assist website owners in marketing their sites through the use of targeted advertisements. Also, if applicable, getting relevant brick-and-mortar locations listed on Google Maps (together with the website links that correlate to those places).

9. Keep your website updated

Make sure you continuously update your website, even after it has gained a following and been built up. Your users may eventually grow frustrated or disengaged with your site if it has content that is stale and outdated. You also need to maintain your site’s usability factors such as broken links and dysfunctional multimedia etc. As your website gains more experience online, your visitors may eventually become impatient or disengaged. As a result, maintaining the activity level of your website is essential. And this goes beyond simply uploading new content and blogging.

Good habits for keeping your site updated:

  • Make use of a content calendar to guarantee that the material on your website is up-to-date, relevant, and indicative of the most recent events and tendencies.
  • Repurpose and repost older content if you find that it still has value in the current setting. Perhaps linking back to the original content for search engine optimisation.
  • Carry out routine audits of the site to check for mentions of ideal keywords and design-related aspects.
  • Think about updating the site’s themes and layouts to make them more relevant to what’s going on in the world right now.