3 Best Ways to Make a Website in 2023: Free & Paid Options
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The best way to make a website in 2023 is by using a website builder (extremely easy, and low cost), hiring a web designer (less hands-on, but much more expensive), or creating a free site (the cheapest choice, if you can take the limitations and drawbacks).
If you're short on time, the easiest way to create a website is by using a website builder – they are low-cost, adaptable tools and there are plenty of beginner-friendly builders to choose from. What's more, with lots of builders integrating AI into their products, creating a site yourself has become quicker and easier than ever before.
Our top recommendations for tools to make a website with are: Wix – best overall website builder Squarespace – best for growing businesses Shopify – best for selling online
If you need help choosing, you can find the best builder to suit your needs by taking our 1-minute web builder quiz , backed by hundreds of hours of product research and testing.
On this page, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to create a professional website. And we’ll even teach you how to do it in five quick easy steps.
In this guide:
3 Easiest Ways to Create a Website
- Using a Website Builder
- Finding a Website Designer
- Best Free Website Templates
How to Create a Website in 5 Simple Steps
How much it costs to create a website, how do we test and rate website builders.
- Frequently Asked Questions
There are three easy ways to create a website:
- Use a website builder – Quick, easy and cheap, this is the best do-it-yourself solution, and can give you a professional-looking result
- Pay a web designer – Perfect if you've got more money than time – or want something completely unique
- Create a free website – While this is definitely possible, you'll get a substandard site
In the guide below, we'll walk you through each of these main ways to create a website, and explain why we feel that a website builder is the smartest choice .
Website builders like Squarespace and Wix now provide detailed SEO guides, native keyword support and SEO best practice prompts, which means you'll be able to optimize your site for Google even if you have no prior experience or knowledge to draw from.
Take our quick website builder quiz to find a suitable solution. It only takes a minute!
1) Create a Website Yourself with a Website Builder
The easiest way to create a website is by using a website builder, with our top recommendation being Wix (but do use our quiz for a personalized recommendation).
These are interactive, browser-based tools that will let you create a website using one of their off-the-shelf templates.
Just because the templates are ‘ready-made’ however it doesn’t mean you’ll be left with a cookie-cutter site. We built 12 websites to see how the top website builders compared, and were amazed at how professional-looking the templates turned out to be, especially Squarespace and Wix.
What we found is that while they all had room for customization, Wix is our easiest-to-use provider and scores 4.4/5 for ease of use , a score only equaled by Squarespace when we recently tested the providers.
Wix's innovative design and Wix ADI editor (a separate editor specifically designed for beginners) ensure it remains a market leader when it comes to making website building accessible for all, and is one of the easiest ways to build a website with AI (although there are other AI website builders out there too).
Even better, you can get 10% off Wix plans by using the code GET10! at checkout.
Curious about how much this option may cost you? We break down the price of building your own website here . Alternatively, check out our guide on how long it takes to build a website to find out how much time you can save taking the do-it-yourself route.
Pros of using a website builder
- A lot more affordable that outsourcing
- Excellent design and customizability options
- Very low learning curve
Cons of using a website builder
- Potential site migration issues
- Drag-and-drop builders may feel limited to experienced designers
- Less capable of building a completely unique site
The Best Website Builders for a Business Website
There are some big names offering website builder tools, from GoDaddy to Squarespace, and even Hostinger. But, our favorite overall website builder is Wix, which scores 4.8/5 according to our 2023 testing criteria. Here's a small breakdown of what you can expect from our top-rated website builder:
- Wix – best overall website builder (Use code GET10! for 10% off)
- Squarespace – best for growing businesses (Use code TECHCO10 for 10% off)
- GoDaddy – best for setting up a website quickly
- Shopify – best for selling online
- Hostinger – best for uptime reliability
From a cost standpoint, these website builders won't ruin your budget. In most cases, you can create and publish a site using a website builder with costs starting from under $100 per year.
- Friendly onboarding experience
- Advanced business functionality like AI and CRM
- A top choice for ecommerce solutions
- DEAL: Get 10% off with GET10! at checkout
- Can't change site design after publishing
- Slower server response time than some competitors
From our thorough testing, Wix emerged as the best website builder platform you can choose. We invited first-time users of website builders, plus more experienced users, to try various platforms, and feed back on how they found each one. We also appraised the features, plug-ins, apps and help & support available when forming our recommendations.
Still, Wix isn't the only game in town, and there are lots of other high quality website builders you can choose. We pick out some of the top brands, below:
How do website builders work?
Website builders give you the basic building blocks to begin constructing a site. Typically, you pick a template design for your website, to which you then add your own text and images to create a uniquely designed site for your blog, online store or business site. With most website builders you’ll be able to:
- Choose from a range of templates, which will help you build the site you want
- Edit the style and design language of these templates to match your business branding (or simply look great)
- Add tools and apps which will augment the usefulness of your website – these might be contact forms, appointment or reservation booking systems, or analytics software
The first step to creating a website is to pick a template. Rather than acting like restrictive training wheels, these templates form the rough outline of a site, which you're free to change as you see fit.
Website builders make editing your site straightforward, even for beginners, by using simple drag-and-drop editing tools, and easy to install apps and plugins. Most website builders use a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor , making them super easy to use. The clue is in the name – when you use the editor, what you see is, well, exactly what you’ll get when you publish your site.
This style of website creation differs from more technical website builders that rely more heavily on coding, for example. These require a level of technical expertise that very few possess. However, a WYSIWYG editor makes the process of building a site accessible to everyone, with clear, easily-navigable menus and straightforward controls.
In many ways, using a website builder is no more complex than using Microsoft PowerPoint. They also take care of the most complex parts of owning a site, such as domain hosting and HMTL coding.
After you’ve finished constructing your site (which shouldn't take long at all) you’ll be able to dip back in and change anything, at any time. This gives website builders a big advantage over using a web designer to create a site – you’re in complete control, all of the time, and you won’t have to be waiting around for them to make any updates you request.
It also means that you won’t need to keep paying an expensive retainer fee to the web designer, which can always increase if you need new features or a lengthy piece of maintenance. Instead, you’ll be paying a flat, predictable, and affordable fee which can be billed monthly, annually, or biennially.
2) Find a Website Designer
If you don't wish to take on the task of building a site yourself, then you can contact a design professional to do it for you. In fact, you can request free, non-committal quotes from highly rated web design agencies using our web design quote comparison tool – it only takes one minute to do – easy!
Web designers can be a fantastic choice for small or medium-sized businesses. You’ll get a completely unique website and you won’t lose any of your time building the site itself. It can also be handy to hire a web designer if you need bespoke features.
Instead of creating the site yourself from a template, you’ll brief the designer on exactly what you want your site to look like, and the features you need it to have. They’ll get on with creating draft versions of your site, while you can get on with running your business.
Pros of using a web designer
- You can get a completely bespoke site
- Saves you time and effort
- You benefit from create expertise
Cons of using a web designer
- Much more expensive than using a website builder
- You might be locked into a long contract
- Risk of dependency on the same designer for all future updates
The cost of website designers
However, with a web designer, it can feel slightly unclear exactly how much it’ll cost to get the site you want. We’ve researched web designer fees, though, and this is what you can expect for your money:
- $250- 650 : Brochure style website with 1-5 pages including a landing page and a contact page. This budget suits someone who is not looking to regularly update their site.
- $650-1,300 : As well as the above, you get a content management system, integrated social media pages, Google My Business and Google Maps integrations, built-in analytics
- $1,300-3,250 : All the above, plus ecommerce functions
- $3,250-13,000 : A database driven website with advanced functionality for local or regional audiences – great for sites with password-restricted user areas
- $13k+ : A database driven site for huge audiences, or completely bespoke functionality.
Of course, these are guideline prices for website designer fees. If you're after a more precise estimate you can use Tech.co's web design quote tool .
Before commissioning a web designer, however, it’s worth having a good understanding of exactly what you need from your site. And, to find out exactly what you need from your site, you’ll need to understand who your website’s users will be.
Our guide to what makes a good website will help you understand the fundamentals of a good website and how to make it work.
3) Make a Website for Free
There are various ways of publishing a website for free, including using a website builder platform. However, the downsides mean you'll have to accept a lot of limitations.
Yes, you can publish an entire website for free, without paying a dime. And sure, this may sound great, but you’ll end up with a substandard website because of all the compromises you’ll have to make.
In fact, we'd go as far as to say that you should never create a website for free .
Pros of making a website for free
- Free website publishing is, of course, absolutely free
Cons of making a website for free
- Your site will be hard to find
- You won't get a professional URL
- You'll have to put up with adverts (that don't make you money)
- Limited bandwidth will curb your success
- Your site will look unprofessional
The pitfalls of free website builders, continued…
If you’re running a business, you might even lose customers due to the limitations of free website publishing. That small saving upfront could cost you in the long run.
Your site will be covered in adverts, and you won’t be able to get a custom domain name – leaving you with something generic and ugly. Here’s an example of the domain name you’ll get with a free website:
What about making a Facebook page?
Building a Facebook page for your business is definitely a good idea, as long as you keep it up to date and use it to engage with customers quickly.
However, using a Facebook page in place of a proper website will make your business look a little amateurish and unprofessional. It also won’t give you access to features that are easy to implement on a website builder, and are highly valued by users. If you run a restaurant, for example, you won’t be able to add a food menu.
Moreover, being restricted to a Facebook page means that you won’t be able to build your brand, and you’re less likely to appear at the top of Google rankings when someone searches for businesses like yours.There are no benefits in the long or short term to be had from trying to create a website for free. You’ll lack advanced features, look amateurish and users will have a hard time even finding your site or Facebook page.
When building your own website or hiring a website designer are both affordable and quick options, there’s no reason not to have your own site in 2023.
The days of expert coding, setting up servers and IP addresses are, thankfully, gone. Website builders make creating a website so easy that even a complete beginner could build a website in minutes. In fact, the most complicated thing you’ll have to do is remember the password for your website builder account.
If you’ve been putting off creating a website because you think it’s too hard or too time-consuming, now’s the time to prove yourself pleasantly wrong. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps along the way to creating your website.
Five Easy Steps to Create Your Own Website:
- Step 1: Choose The Best Website Builder
- Step 2: Choose a Website Template
- Step 3: Editing Your Website
- Step 4: Create a Domain
- Step 5: Publish Your Website
Step 1: Choose the best website builder
First things first: You can’t build a website without a website builder. Website builders are software programs designed to make the process of creating a website fast and easy. When using one, you'll be able to control the content and design of a website without contracting out to a high-priced web developer to hardcode the website.
Anyone can use a website builder: They're aimed at complete beginners. You won't need design skills or coding degree, just a laptop with an internet connection.
There are loads of website builders out there, and at Tech.Co, we've meticulously reviewed the top performers, judging them on features, ease of use, help and support options, and more. Squarespace is one of the best, thanks to its vast suite of useful templates, and Shopify is a strong contender too with excellent ecommerce features. but our top-rated website builder overall is Wix , with a 4.8/5 overall score and a test-high features score (also 4.8/5 ).
When using a website builder, you'll be able to control the content and design of a website without contracting out to a high-priced web developer to hardcode the website.
Step 2: Select a website template
We’re going to be using Wix as an example here, as it's our top choice. While it might not be exactly the same with every website builder, the experience isn’t that different.
Pick the type of site
You’ll be asked to choose what your website is going to be for – will it host an online store, are you going to run a blog, is it going to be for a restaurant or a business? There’s also an “other” option which will take you straight through to the template editor – more on that later.
You’ll then be presented with a filtered list based on the selection you’ve just made. Some of the categories are filtered even further – if you pick “Restaurants & Food,” for example, the templates are then filtered by what type of business: Catering & Chef, Cafe & Baker, Bar & Club, etc.
Once you’ve picked your template – and don’t worry, they’re all pretty darn good – you can go straight into editing your site.
If you don’t fancy any of these templates, though, you can always pick a blank one – although it will be a bit more work.
If you're wondering why you haven’t even picked a name for your website yet, fear not, we’ll come to that later.
Wix has all the tools you need to build a fantastic new website in less than a day and for significantly less than a web developer.
Step 3: Edit your website
So now you've picked your template, we're onto the actual website-development-y part of the process. The template will be pre-loaded with stock words and images which you can chop and change to your liking.
Want to see just how easy it can be? Click on the image below to see a website editor in action!
Uploading an image is as easy as it is when uploading one to Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t have any to include, most website builders give users access to stock image galleries as well.
Changing the text is, again, pretty straightforward – all you have to do is click on the bit of text you’d like to change and you’ll be able to type straight into the text box. You can also adjust the size and style of each bit of text, but it’s worth remembering that each font will generally be consistent with the template, so making radical changes might make it look a bit odd.
Drag and drop
Most website builders use a grid-based, drag-and-drop system for page editing. This makes it straightforward to keep each element on your page in line and when you want to add a new text box, image, or any other type of element, you’ll be able to see, at a glance, how to fit it onto your page.
If you're looking for granular levels of control, Squarespace's Fluid Engine lets you customize the design of your site down to the pixel – making it a great choice for businesses with a very specific vision in mind.
Extra tools and functions
You’ll also be able to add elements beyond text boxes and images with Wix and other website builders. These might include, for example, restaurant menus, contact forms, or social media feeds.
Again, you’ll be able to drop these onto the page and line them up using the gridlines. You might find that some apps and functionality are reserved for paid-for plans but typically this is for ecommerce functions such as stock tracking and shipping costs.
Step 4: Create a domain
When we talk about a website’s domain, we’re basically talking about the website’s address. For example, Tech.Co is the name of our website, and the domain is https://tech.co.
You’ll typically want your website’s domain to correspond with the name of your business, blog or whatever purpose you’re running it for – just so you don’t confuse people. Try writing up a list of possibilities and pick the best.
Most website builders will give you a free domain to get started with – but they’ll often have the name of the website builder shoehorned in. My imaginatively named cupcake restaurant, Cupcakes, would have the domain https://tomfogden.wixsite.com/cupcakes. It’s not exactly catchy , and you probably wouldn’t want to have your Wix username at the front of it.
In order to remove this paraphernalia from your domain name – yep, you guessed – you’ll have to pay. Fortunately, with most website builders, including Wix, this comes as part of the cheapest plan.
Should you already be the proud owner of a domain, you’ll be pleased to know that you can connect a pre-existing domain to the website builder . You’ll find the option to do this on the site settings page.
While you can connect an existing domain with Wix, this feature isn’t universal for website builders, so it’s worth investigating beforehand. Don’t get started with a website builder only to find out later there’s an additional fee for connecting an existing domain, or that it’s not possible at all.
Step 5: Publish your website
That’s it, with all your content loaded up and the design perfected, a registered domain and a completed sign-up for the perfect payment plan – you’re ready to publish.
Before you do, though, it’s probably worth getting someone you trust to take a look over the site, as an errant spelling mistake might be the difference between a sale, a booking or a commission!
The fun isn’t over, though. You’ll be able to – and you should – go in and update your website in case anything changes, or you just fancy changing some of the content. This will keep your site looking and feeling fresh for anyone who visits.
Most website builders will let you create and run a simple website for between $2-20 per month , but you might want a larger website or greater functionality. More advanced sites will cost another $5- 30 per month , but this will vary depending on your individual business' needs.
If you’re just starting out though, it’s always worth investigating whether the website builder package you’re after offers a free trial or a free version. What free versions are good for is giving you a bit of leeway to get your site right before publishing it — otherwise, you might worry you’re throwing money down the drain.
Take a look at our guide to the cheapest website builders .
To work out the best website builders to recommend, we do extensive independent testing . Our research team has invested hundreds of hours into testing every feature, and they have developed a metric covering the six most important areas to consider for this software. These are:
- Features : Includes SEO, blogging, and assistance tools
- Design functionalities : Includes themes, mobile editors, and general flexibility
- Value for money : Includes plan costs and features offered with each plan
- Help and support : Includes type of support and support hours
- Customer score : Includes customer and user testing feedback
- Ease of use : Includes design and simplicity of the software itself
We include user testing, with a panel of users of mixed expertise trying out the website builders and feeding back. That way, we can give real-world recommendations to help you decide. All the while, we remain unbiased.
Create your site now with the Best Website Builders for Beginners
Verdict: The Best Way to Make a Website
If you follow these five steps, creating a website is incredibly straightforward — especially with a great website builder such as Wix .
Whether you need a blog, business site, or an online store, the easy, drag-and-drop editing tools and attractive pricing packages make it the perfect place to start.
Of course, it's not the only website builder out there — check out our round-up of the best website builders for beginners for more options.
Which website builder is best?
How do i build my website for free, what is the cheapest website builder, what is the best free website builder, what is the easiest website builder for beginners, how much does it cost to design a website, how much does a website cost per month.
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How to Make a Website
A free, step-by-step guide for making a website in an hour or less.
Before your start, read this
Last update: September 3, 2023
Thinking of creating a website from scratch? This step-by-step guide walks you through every step you need to take to create a website for your business or yourself in an hour or less without using any expensive tools.
It won’t take long, and if you do it this way, you’ll actually be able to save some money in the long run (more on that later).
Table of Contents
- Choose a domain name (.www)
- Get a web hosting account
- Set up your website
- Design your website
- Add pages and further customization
Don’t know any code?
No problem — you don’t need to.
We wrote this guide specifically for beginners. However, if you have an interest in learning code (HTML and CSS), read this technical guide instead (not recommended for beginners, though).
And if you do things right, you’ll be able to create your own website without all the limitations and expensive transaction fees you get with website builders.
Scared of making a mistake?
We have covered people’s most common mistakes when building a website so you can recognize and avoid them.
If you ever get stuck setting up your website, our guides come with free help , and we offer free 30-min site reviews for new websites.
Worried it’s a waste of time and money?
Most websites only need a domain name and website hosting to work and serve visitors. That shouldn’t cost you more than $10 a month in total.
The average time to set up a website using this guide is approximately one hour — most manage to build a strong foundation within that time.
Ready to build your website today? Grab a coffee or a tea, and let’s get started!
Step 1 : Choose a domain name (.www)
First things first: every website needs a name.
Without a name (also known as a domain name), your website simply cannot function. Think of it as a street address for a house, where the address is the domain name and the house is your website.
When choosing a domain name , there are a few rules you should keep in mind:
- If you’re setting up a business website , your domain name should match your company name.
- If you plan on making a personal website or a personal blog for yourself, then using your full name as the domain name is a good option.
- Try to get the .com version if possible.
Be aware that there are over 100 million active domain names, so all the best ones might be taken. But don’t dwell on it too much — you can always buy another domain name (if needed). If you don’t have a domain, don’t buy it just yet. You can get one for free in step #2.
Domain names usually end with .com , .net , .org , .co.uk , .ca , or .de (among others). If you want your domain name ending aimed at the global population, try registering a .com version. If you want to target local visitors from Canada or Germany, choose the .ca or .de extension.
You can use this tool to check if your desired domain name is available:
Check Domain Availability
Step 2 : get a web hosting account.
(This guide is reader-supported. If you click on our links, we may earn a commission.)
In addition to a domain name, you will also need web (website) hosting.
Web hosting is a service — similar to website builders — that allows you to register a domain name and set up a website (we recommend Hostinger to everyone who is just starting out).
By choosing the right option for your web hosting, you can maximize flexibility and, ultimately, access a wide variety of monetization options.
When using a website builder, you are locked with one product — whether it’s Wix, Squarespace or any other website builder.
But if you use web hosting, you can set up a website(s) using different free website-building tools like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. That gives you a lot of flexibility while building your website.
Choosing the right web host has many important benefits for you and your website, especially if you plan on making money from your site.
It also means you won’t be limited in what you can do or how you can charge customers. After all, many website builders take a big cut of your sales. So, if you plan on running a business through your site, be sure to go with a reliable web host.
Web hosting also hosts your website files so your website is online 24/7 for visitors.
While it might seem like all web hosts are basically the same, there are huge differences in speed and reliability. The last thing you want is to lose customers or fans just because your web host isn’t running properly.
Where to find a web hosting provider
One of the cheapest and most reliable providers we’ve found after monitoring over 20 web hosting companies over several years is Hostinger .
Together with a domain name (if you choose the Premium plan), the first year will be only $36 . Renewal fees are higher, but not by much if you opt in for longer.
We have also negotiated a promo code for our readers ( WEBSITESETUP ) to get 7% off any plan that is at least 12 months or longer.
Alternatively, you can pay month-to-month and cancel anytime. Just make sure there are always enough funds available on your payment method because your site will go down if hosting has not been paid for.
Furthermore, unlike many other web hosting providers, Hostinger offers 90+ free website-building tools to be set up through their dashboard . That’s more than any other web hosting we’ve tested to date — incredible flexibility and ease of use.
If you want to set up a website (and register a domain name), simply go to www.Hostinger.com (or any other web hosting provider) and sign up.
Choose your web hosting plan
Hostinger offers three main hosting plans. In this guide, we’ve opted for the “Single Web Hosting” 12-month hosting plan. It does not come with a 1-year free domain, but renewal prices are the most affordable.
Note: You can always upgrade/downgrade your plan if needed.
Create your account and pay
After selecting your plan, you’ll get an overview of it and the available payment methods. You can also remove all the pre-ticked features as you don’t really need them right now. Overall, you should be able to get a one-year web hosting for less than $40.
Next, fill out all the required information, such as your first and last name, address, email, and so on.
Before you enter your payment information, double-check all the above criteria, and if everything is correct, click “Submit.”
Claim your free domain for one year (Premium Plan)
After completing the purchase, the next stage is to connect your new domain name with Hostinger or register a free domain name (for the first year) directly with them.
You’ll be prompted with three different options to name your website during the hosting setup process. If you’re not sure about the domain name yet, there’s an option to skip this step.
You can otherwise claim your free domain (free for 1 year). If you skipped the option or missed the chance to claim your free domain, don’t worry — you can access the option later through the members area .
Step 3 : Set up your website
Congratulations! By now, you should have a domain name and web hosting.
Now it’s time to set up a website.
In this example, we will be using WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular free website builder, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. You can find different statistics from ( here , here , and here ). WordPress is pretty straightforward and doesn’t come with a huge learning curve.
Since you already have a domain name and web hosting, you can set up WordPress completely free through Hostinger or any other web hosting provider that has one-click installs for free website builders.
Step 1: Log in to your web hosting account.
If you are using Hostinger, go to https://hostinger.com/cpanel-login/
Step 2: Install WordPress
In Hostinger, installing applications automatically is very straightforward. Simply navigate to Websites → Manage . Search for the Auto Installer on the left sidebar and click on it.
If you are using other hosting providers, search for “WordPress” within their dashboard.
Next, you will need to add some basic information about your site, which you can change later on, such as website title, email address, username, and password. If you get stuck installing WordPress on Hostinger, read this guide .
Step 4: Design your website
Once you set up your WordPress website, you can log in from yourdomain.com/ wp-admin .
After logging in, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and select “Appearance” from the left-hand menu.
Here, you can tweak your website’s theme, layout, colors, and fonts.
Essentially, every visual change you want to make on your website can be done through the “Appearance” tab.
Once you choose the right theme, simply click “Install” and then “Activate.” To help you choose, we’ve put together a list of the best free themes on WordPress.
Take your time to find the right theme for your website. Don’t worry if you choose something that you don’t like — you can always change it back.
Step 5: Create website structure and add pages
Once you have chosen a template, you need to create a structure and add the most important pages.
These are usually:
- Contact page — here, you can add your social links (Facebook page, Twitter, etc.)
- Our services/products
Do some brainstorming to determine which pages you need the most, and start from there. Make sure you include those important pages in your header and footer so visitors can access them easily site-wide.
If you’re unsure what your website should include, read this article about the 12 critical elements every site needs.
Adding pages and publishing content
A blank website without any pages or content isn’t of much use to anybody, so in order to make the website accessible and interesting, we need to add some pages and blog posts.
To add pages to your WordPress site, navigate the left-hand menu to “Pages , ” and from there, click the button “Add New.”
That will take you to the WordPress block editor.
If it’s your first time visiting this, it will display a quick step-by-step tutorial on how it works and where certain functions are located.
It’s quite easy to work; everything is block-based, which means if you want to add something to your page, you simply need to choose the correct “block” from the menu and fill it in. You can learn more about the block editor in our guide .
On the left, in the content block section, there are multiple content options to choose from. Each serves a different purpose and adds a different visual element to the page.
Alternatively, the right-hand menu allows you to change some page-wide settings, like the author, the page’s permalink (URL), the featured image, and more.
On the top of the right-hand menu, you can click on the “Block” tab and customize the settings for each block you’ve selected on the page.
Once you’re happy with the page, you can make it public or private. The former will make the content visible to any visitor, while the latter means that it is only visible to you via your website dashboard — this is a useful option to use when still working on a particular page.
There’s also an option to preview the changes you’ve made or to schedule a date and time for the page to be published.
Creating a structure and navigation
Now that you’ve created the pages, you need to add them to the navigation (menu) bar.
That is the menu located throughout your website that provides visitors with access to the rest of the content.
In WordPress, you can customize your navigation system by clicking the “Appearance” tab on the left-hand column followed by “Menus . “ After you’ve created the menu, you can start adding and organizing the pages there.
You can also create sub-items, meaning that pages will be revealed when users hover their mouse over them.
Step 6: Add a logo and a favicon
At this point, your website has content and structure, meaning you’re almost across the finish line. To wrap things up, you need to include a logo and favicon. Both of these can be added through the “Site Identity” menu.
To access it, go to “Appearance” on the left-hand menu and click “ Customize , ” followed by the “Site Identity” option. Under the “Logo” section, click “Select Logo” and choose your logo file from your images or upload it. Once you’ve done that, your logo will automatically appear on your website.
If you want your logo to appear next to your website’s name in the URL bar, you do that by adding a favicon. You can upload your favicon in the “Site Identity” menu under the “Site Icon” section.
You can create a favicon by using any of these free favicon generators . They can convert your logo into the right shape and size image for a favicon.
Congratulations, your site is live!
If you get stuck or need help setting up your website, feel free to reach out .
Last, but not least, connect your website to Google Search Console. Google Search Console (GSC) allows you to track visitors to your website from the search engine and gives you a better idea of the most popular content.
GSC also gives you an overview of your website’s health. It’s a helpful, free tool for gaining insight into your website.
Setting up the tool shouldn’t take more than ~10 minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide for that .
Congratulations! By now, you should have a fully working website. If you have any questions about this guide, don’t hesitate to contact us .
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How to Create a Website in 9 Simple Steps
Want to just get started? Click here to sign up for Bluehost and create a website today .
You can create a website in less than 20 minutes. You don’t need to be a tech wizard either.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for business or pleasure. You don’t need a fancy designer or an expensive developer. Just follow the simple steps below and you’ll be online in no time at all.
Quick Start Checklist To Create A Website
Want to just get your website running as quickly as possible? Follow these two steps to get your own piece of internet real estate up and running in 15 minutes or less.
1. Sign up for Bluehost . Select their Basic Shared Web Hosting plan for just $2.95 per month. It’s an amazing deal and you get a free domain name, too . Follow the steps to create an account and purchase the plan.
- Best deal for hosting
- Perfect for WordPress sites
- Free domain registration
- Starts at $2.95/month
2. Install WordPress. 43% of the web is built on WordPress , and you can install WordPress as your content management system (CMS) with just one click from your Bluehost control panel. You’ll use your CMS to control the look and feel of your website. It’s also how you’ll upload all your content.
Voila! In less time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, you can have your new website live.
If you want to create a website that builds an audience and makes you money the right way, there is a bit more to do. But don’t worry! Everything you need to know is covered in the rest of this post.
The Best Web Hosting Services
- Bluehost – Best overall
- HostGator – Best website hosting for affordable scalability
- Web.com – Best website builder for beginners
- Hostinger – Best long-term pricing
- DreamHost – Best WordPress hosting
- SiteGround – Best ecommerce hosting
- ScalaHosting – Best customer service
- GreenGeeks – Best eco-friendly web hosting
- WP Engine – Best managed WordPress hosting
- A2 Hosting – Best shared hosting for site speed
- InMotion Hosting – Best for technical users
Want to learn more about the best web hosting services? Read our detailed reviews for more information.
9 Steps to Create a Website
Here’s a summary of the steps to build your website:
- Choose the perfect domain
- Get web hosting and free domain registration with Bluehost
- Claim your free domain with Bluehost
- Install WordPress with Bluehost
- Access WordPress in the Bluehost dashboard
- Design your website with a customizable theme
- Build your website’s architecture
- Connect your web pages with menus
- Create compelling content for your website
Feel free to use these links to jump around to the section you need as you create your website.
Step 1: Choose the Perfect Domain
Choosing a domain is the most important decision you can make for your site. It literally says how you want to be represented to the world. It’s the address for your site and the way people will remember who you are.
While many of the best domains are taken, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a perfect domain for your brand.
When brainstorming good domain names, consider the following elements:
- Easy to say and spell. Potential visitors should be able to say your domain name out loud to someone without them having to ask twice how to spell or say it.
- Short and sweet. We recommend no more than 14 characters. You don’t want an overly long domain name that’s hard to remember and say.
- Go with .com, .org, or .net. While there are plenty of domain name systems out there, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true. You want people to be able to remember it, after all.
- Use your name. A particularly great choice for a personal blog, website, or portfolio.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens. This just makes it look weird in the URL. Plus it makes it harder for people to say your URL to others.
Come up with a few potential domain names in case your top choice is already taken. The Bluehost Domain Checker is free, and it will let you know if the domain name you want is available.
Type your desired name into the search bar. If it’s available, fantastic. If not, Bluehost will automatically provide a few recommendations that are close to what you are looking for.
Maybe one of the recommendations works for you. Maybe you have to try a different approach.
We recommend you brainstorm ideas and search until you find an available domain you like, rather than taking something that isn’t quite right just because it is available. If you get stuck, you can always try one of many other free domain name generators to kickstart your creative flow.
It’s possible to buy a domain that’s already taken—but we don’t recommend doing that because it’s very expensive. In fact, quality domains typically cost a few thousand dollars at a minimum. They can even go as high as six or seven figures for a domain.
Our advice is to get scrappy, get creative, and be flexible. You will be able to find one that’s available at a reasonable price.
Don’t add the domain to your cart at this time –you can get a domain for free by signing up for their Premium Shared Hosting service, which is what we recommend.
We’ll walk you through that process next.
Step 2: Get Web Hosting and Free Domain Registration With Bluehost
A website needs just two things to go live: A domain name and a web host.
You just came up with your domain name. Now it’s time to put it to use with a good web host.
We highly recommend you use Bluehost for your website’s host. They offer fast and reliable web hosting. Bluehost also allows you to register your domain free of charge.
You can get Bluehost today for just $2.95/month using our discount link. It’ll give you all you need to get your website up and running.
Head over to Bluehost’s website to claim your deal.
Navigate to the Hosting menu and select Web Hosting from the drop-down list.
Bluehost offers four different options that are suitable for beginners—Basic, Choice Plus, Online Store, and Pro.
The Basic plan is fine for most beginners. But Choice Plus is the best option if you’re looking for something that’s feature-packed while still providing a great value.
As the name implies, the Online Store plan is built for those of you who plan to sell products or services online through an ecommerce site. The Pro plan is built for high-traffic sites, and comes with extra storage.
You can’t really go wrong with Basic if you’re just starting out, and you can always upgrade down the road as your needs change.
$2.95 per month is phenomenal price, especially when you consider that many other hosting providers charge extra for things like SSL certificates, website builders, and other critical features that Bluehost bundles in for free.
After selecting the length of your hosting agreement, complete the rest of the information on the page.
- Register an account with Bluehost . You need to provide a valid email address that you check regularly, as this is how Bluehost will communicate with you about any issues that come up.
- Enter payment details . Bluehost accepts all major credit cards. You can also pay through PayPal.
- Click “Submit” . Once you submit your payment, you have 30 days to try Bluehost risk-free. If you are not happy with your service, cancel within the first month for a refund.
Once your payment goes through, and you confirm your email address, you’ll be able to begin setting up your site.
Other web hosts offer similar promotions, but Bluehost is definitely our top pick. You can check out our complete Bluehost review to learn more about this provider.
If you need managed WordPress hosting , WPEngine is a fantastic option. As a managed host, WP Engine professionally maintains speed and security at the server level, so you don’t have to do anything.
For more hosting options, you can read our full reviews of the best web hosting providers here .
Step 3: Claim Your Free Domain
Bluehost prompts you to set up your domain during the signup process. If you’ve already purchased a domain elsewhere, you can enter that now.
But for most you, you’ll be registering a new domain—which is free for one year with any new hosting plan from Bluehost.
Your domain is only free for one year, and it will automatically renew at a higher rate. This is common practice for every web hosting provider that offers free domains.
Just keep an eye on the renewal price as you’re completing this step to avoid any surprises down the road.
If you’re connecting an existing domain and want to change the domain name to something new , now is a good time to do that, too.
Step 4: Install WordPress with Bluehost
Now it’s time to choose your CMS (content management system), and WordPress is our top recommendation.
You’ll have other options to choose from through Bluehost. But unless you have a niche-specific reason to do so, WordPress is the best option for the vast majority of new websites. It’s simple, affordable, and gives you complete control over your site creation.
To install WordPress, go to your Bluehost account management dashboard and click the Hosting menu on the left side of the screen. Then click Add Site and Install WordPress .
Click Continue and wait follow the prompts on the screen. You’ll be asked to name your site and create new login credentials for WordPress. This is separate from your Bluehost login.
Once installed, it’s time to select a theme.
The theme is essentially the layout of your site—controlling the way it looks and feels.
Don’t overthink this too much right now. You can always change your theme and customize the layout later on. We’ll cover those steps in greater detail shortly.
But for now, just confirm that your information is correct to proceed.
Double-check everything closely to confirm everything looks right. The setup process will take about five minutes to complete.
Congrats! You now own a piece of the internet!
Step 5: Access WordPress in Bluehost Dashboard
Bluehost offers a very convenient dashboard for you to manage your site. It’s very welcoming to new users, as far as website control panels go.
You’ll be prompted to use WordPress to create your site. If you miss the prompts or skip them for any reason, you can always log in to WordPress from your Bluehost account.
Click on My Sites on the left side of the screen. Then click Log into WordPress in the upper right corner of the page.
Enter your WordPress login credentials, and you’re in.
Step 6: Design Your Website with Customizable Themes
You already selected a WordPress theme to build your site, and if you are happy with the way it looks, great!
If you want to see what else is out there, you can explore tens of thousands of themes on WordPress.org. A lot of them are free. There are also some you need to pay for.
Pro tip : Don’t worry too much about this section. It’s easy to get caught up with perfectionism and think that you need to get your theme right the first time. That’s not true.
The most important thing you can do is choose a basic theme and go with it. You can always change your theme later.
Go to your WordPress website’s administration dashboard. You can do this through the Bluehost dashboard, or you can use the URL [your website name].com/wp-admin. Then simply use the username and password you got in the previous step.
Once you’re in the admin dashboard, go to your sidebar and click Appearance>Themes>Add New Theme.
This will allow you to add any theme you want from WordPress’s library. Choose one now.
For this article, we’ll be using OceanWP . This is a free theme that’s very flexible. Whether you need a blog, ecommerce store, or whatever else, OceanWP can get it done.
Search for the theme using the search bar. Once you find it, click Install.
Once it’s finished installing, click on the Activate button. This will implement the theme onto your website.
You can now customize the theme to your liking by clicking on the Customize button.
You’ll now be able to change any aspect of your website you want. This includes things like your website’s colors, menu options, header images, and more.
After clicking on customize, you’ll see a look at your website as you customize it as well as a left sidebar with different customization options.
Each theme offers different options, but there’s a lot of overlap between themes. We’re going to go into more detail about what each option does—and whether or not it’s vital:
- Site Identity. Important. This area will allow you to change your site’s title as well as a sub-head or tagline. In most instances, you’ll also be able to upload a site icon as well. This is the image that appears in new browser tabs when people are on your website.
- Colors. Optional. Change your website’s color palette. For OceanWP, this section only allows you to change the color of the title text.
- Menus. Very important. It allows you to create a navigation menu for your website. Your reader will use this menu to discover and navigate to specific pages of your website. You’ll also be able to choose where the menu appears (e.g. top, footer, sidebar).
- Widgets. Optional. These are different tools you can place throughout your website such as archives, calendars, search bars, and more. Completely optional, but can be helpful depending on what website you have.
- Homepage Settings. Optional. This controls whether or not you have a static homepage, or if your website automatically shows your latest blog posts. Again, this is completely optional and dependent on your website’s needs.
- Additional CSS. Optional. This is where you can add further customization options using CSS code. This can be incredibly powerful if you have the right resources and knowledge to change your website.
- General Options. Important. This section allows you to customize a ton of different aspects of your website. It includes things like the size of your header, the icons you can use, the titles of your pages, the layouts, and more.
- Typography. Important . This is where you can customize all things font related. That includes the size of the font, what type of font you want to use, and where those fonts will appear. For example, you might want to go with Helvetica for your H2 headers, but you might want to go with Comic Sans for your title (please, don’t actually do this; it is just an example).
- Top Bar. Optional. This edits the top area of your website. You can add social links here, buttons to other pages, and more.
- Header. Important. Allows you to fully customize the header area of your website. Add images or logos, change the font and colors, or whatever else you want to do to make the website yours.
- Blog. Optional. This allows you to change the layout of your blog as well as which posts appear on your website’s main page.
- Sidebar. Optional. You can add a sidebar to your website. This is completely optional since your readers can just use the top navigation bar to get around your site.
- Footer widgets. Optional. Add tools and customize your footer.
- Footer Bottom. Optional. This is the part of the website with the copyright and contact information. It’s potentially important–especially if you’re running a business.
Now, customize your website to your heart’s desire. Once you’re finished, click Publish, and voila! Your website will update automatically to reflect your changes.
Your website’s still going to look a little sparse. We need to create some pages for it.
Step 7: Build Your Website’s Architecture
If your website is a house, it’s currently an empty lot. It has a solid foundation and it’s connected to essential utilities—but it needs the walls and rooms.
To build those, you need to create web pages. These are documents on the internet that readers access through your website.
But you should think of them as the rooms of your house. These are the areas visitors will see and get to know you and your website.
While there are a lot of different types of web pages that exist, the most essential ones are:
- Homepage. This is the main page for your website. It’s what readers see first, so it’s very important.
- Contact page. This page shows how your users can contact you. This can be vitally important, depending on your business.
- About page. This page tells new visitors all about your website and/or business. Typically, businesses will put their “brand story” here about how they came to be.
- Online store. This is where your readers can purchase products and services from you. An online store can also be vitally important depending on your business.
- Blog page. Blog page. This page is where all of your blog posts go. If you plan on publishing articles for readers to read (which you should— 61% of buyers make purchase decisions based on blog content), this will be a very important part of your website.
Creating pages on WordPress just takes a few clicks. Let’s jump into how you can create the most important page now for your website.
How to Create a Homepage
OceanWP gives you two different ways to create a homepage:
- Your latest posts. Your homepage showcases your latest blog posts.
- A static page. You create a page to become your home page.
The first option is straightforward: Create blog posts and the homepage will automatically show all your latest blog posts.
That’s why we want to walk you through creating a static page for your website. This can be especially useful for companies that just want a branded page to introduce their audience to the website.
It’s also much more customizable than a page showing your latest blog posts.
First, head back to your WordPress website dashboard and click on Pages>Add New.
Now, you’ll be in WordPress’s page editor mode. This area allows you to create a page by adding text, images, videos, memes, or whatever else you want to showcase on your homepage (or any other page for that matter).
In the Add title box you can create the — you guessed it — title for your home page. This will display a big piece of text at the top. Below that is the content box where you can add text or media.
On the top left, you can click on the + button to add new content blocks.
This is a very important area that allows you to easily add media, quotes, pull quotes, new paragraphs, headings, and more.
On the top right, you’ll see five buttons:
- Save Draft. This allows you to save your progress as you edit your homepage.
- Preview. This gives you a look at what your page will look like once you publish it.
- Publish. This actually publishes the draft.
- Settings (Gear Icon). This area allows you to do a number of things including editing the font size for each block (under the Block section). You’ll also be able to set the visibility for your homepage, schedule a time to publish the page, change the URL, set the featured image, and allow for comments (under the Page section).
- Extra tools (Three Dots). This menu includes a number of extra tools you can use to change the visualization of your page editor.
Create a basic homepage now by adding a title and content. It doesn’t need to be fancy. We’re just doing this as a test run. You can always change it later.
Once you’ve done that, click Publish in the top right. The website will now be live!
But that doesn’t mean it’s your homepage yet. Go to Appearance>Customize on the sidebar.
Then go to Homepage Settings. You can now click on A static page underneath your homepage displaying settings. This will allow you to select the homepage you just created in the dropdown menu underneath Homepage.
Select that page, then click on Publish at the top.
Congrats!! You just created your very first homepage.
How to Create New Landing Pages
Creating any other page for your website will consist mostly of the same steps as your homepage.
And in the page editor create the page you want to create. It’s really as simple as that.
If you’re not sure what types of pages to create, here’s some inspiration to get the ball rolling:
- Customer Stories
There are hundreds of different options. The right landing pages for you will largely depend on the type of site you’re creating. For example, if you’re not selling anything, then you won’t need a product page. If you don’t have any customers or case studies, then you won’t need a customer stories page.
Don’t worry about building every single page for your site right now. You can always add more later. Start with three or four, and then come back to this stage another time.
Step 8: Connect Your Web Pages with Menus
Creating menus is going to vary from theme to theme. However, in OceanWP it’s fairly simple.
From your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance>Customize.
Then click on Menu>Create New Menu.
Here you’ll be able to give your menu a name and choose where you’d like it to appear.
For now, we’re going to go with the very creative name “New Menu” and choose Top Bar for the menu location. You can always change this later. Then click Next.
Now it’s time to add some links. Click on + Add Items to start building your menu.
From here you can add pages via the pages that you have already created, custom links to different websites, blog posts, categories, tags, and more.
For now, we’re going to add our Home, Contact, and About pages (which we created in the previous parts) onto the menu.
Click on the pages under the Pages section to do so.
They will now appear in the top bar menu of your main website.
One thing to note is that you can create drop-down menus for bigger categories you can think of.
For example, let’s say we want to add our Contact page to our About section. You can do so by dragging the Contact menu underneath the About section when customizing the menu (see below).
Your About menu will now include a dropdown where visitors can access your Contact page.
Once you’re finished making the menus, click on Publish at the top.
And you’re done! You just created your very first website.
Check out your new website in all its glory:
Okay, we admit: It’s a little underwhelming right now—but that’s because you haven’t gone about branding it or adding any real content yet!
We showed you how to get your website up and running. Now it’s YOUR turn to make it with content.
Step 9: Create Compelling Content for Your Website
What you ultimately choose to include in your website for content is entirely up to you.
However, there are two areas that we’ve found to be the most important when it comes to successful websites: design and content.
Below are our best resources for leveling up both:
Designing Your Website
- 10 Trending 2019 Website Color Schemes
- The Best Website Fonts That Go Together in 2019
- 13 Website Design Best Practices
- Website Usability
- Website Mobile Friendliness
- 5 Easy Steps to Creating a Sitemap For a Website
Writing On Your Website
- 10 Contact Page Techniques That Make People Contact You
- Everything About Copywriting
- Complete Guide to Copywriting
- 19 Copywriting Strategies to Persuade Your Readers
- How to Combine Copy and Design for Optimal Results
- How to Close the Deal with Your Copy
Creating a Website: Your Top Questions Answered
You can create your own website for free using a free website builder. These platforms come with everything you need to design and launch a site without any money. Just be aware that if you want to go live, your site will have a free subdomain that you don’t actually own. So it’s better to pay if you want to create a website that’s designed for real traffic. Check out our reviews of the best free website builders to pick a platform that aligns with what you’re looking for.
It’s not hard at all to build a website from scratch. With the help of a website builder, you can build and launch a new website without writing a single line of code. Simply select a professionally designed template as a starting point, and then customize it with your own content and branding materials. You can use drag-and-drop website builders to design your site and manage everything without having to hire a developer.
It takes less than two hours to create a website. With Bluehost, you can get your domain and hosting from a single provider, which helps speed up and simplify the process. Then install WordPress with just one click, and you’ll be able to create your website from there. While getting your site ready to go live only takes a couple of hours, it will likely take several days or even weeks to fully build out all of your pages.
It costs less than $100 to create a website. Your domain name and hosting service are your only upfront costs. Bluehost gives you a free domain for one year with your hosting plan, which is a great way to lower the cost. You can also pay upfront for 12 months of hosting at a rate of $2.95 per month, which is less than $36 in total. Your hosting plan will renew at a higher rate after the promotional period ends. But by then, your site will be live for several years and likely make enough money to cover the marginal cost increase.
A drag-and-drop website builder is the easiest way to create a website. You can control all of the layout and design elements without having to write code. Just start with a template, add your content, and start customizing. This method of creating a website makes it possible to build and launch a new website in a matter of hours without any prior experience.
Signing up for a web hosting plan that includes a free website builder and a free domain is the cheapest way to set up a website. Bluehost starts at just $2.95 per month, and it includes everything you need to set up a website for cheap—including a free domain name, free SSL certificate, web hosting, and an easy-to-use website builder. Using bundled packages like this will always be the cheapest way to set up a website. If you tried to get all of these services and tools separately, it could easily cost upwards of $30 or more per month. But Bluehost gives you everything for just $2.95.
No, you do not need a developer to create a website. Website builders have eliminated the need for beginners to hire developers to create websites. They’re user-friendly and don’t require any coding knowledge. Website builders rely on templates and drag-and-drop technology. As you make changes on the front end, the appropriate code is automatically generated for you. Developers are only needed to create a website if you need something that’s highly customized or if you’re adding unique functionality. But the vast majority of new websites can get started without a developer.
No, you do not need a designer to create a website. Instead, you can just use a pre-designed theme or template that aligns with the look and feel of your brand. Bluehost has tons of fully customizable templates to choose from. All of the design elements are already built, and you just need to customize them with your own content, logos, and images. Hiring a web designer to create a website is only necessary if you want a truly unique design and you have a sizable budget. Just be aware that it can take weeks for a designer to create your design, as opposed to a template that takes minutes to customize.
You Just Made Your First Website! What’s Next?
Congrats on creating your first website! Seriously, you should pat yourself on the back.
Now that you’ve signed up for Bluehost and installed WordPress, there’s still some work to be done once your website is up and running—the journey has just begun.
You’ll still need to tweak and make adjustments to your site regularly to optimize its performance and ensure it’s meeting your audience’s needs. If you want to put your website to work for you and make some extra cash, check out these excellent resources on monetizing your site:
- How to Start a Blog That Makes Money (Lessons Learned)
- How to Make Money from a Website
- When to Use WordPress for Ecommerce and When to Avoid It
All of these guides are beginner-friendly and easy to follow. Enjoy and good luck!
- Berkeley Boot Camps
How to Create a Website From Scratch (Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide)
In today’s data-driven, digital-first business landscape, it has arguably never been more important for a business to have a web presence. A website is a quick and easy way for a business to expand its reach, develop its brand and keep pace with competitors.
For new businesses, building a website can seem daunting, and those lacking firsthand experience may feel lost. Luckily, with the right preparation, it’s possible to build a straightforward business website yourself.
In this article, we will outline how to build a website from scratch. Prior to reading, it is important to note that, while this guide is collectively intended for beginners, it will explore some processes that may require intermediate to advanced coding and web development skills.
How to Create a Website From Scratch in 10 Steps
Building a website from scratch, while intensive, is a great way to ensure your site is reflective of your company’s goals. In fact, doing so allows you to incorporate your unique vision from the site’s earliest stages, tailoring aspects like aesthetics, navigation and overall usability accordingly.
The following are ten crucial steps to building a site from scratch.
1. Hone and Align Relevant Skills
Prior to conceptualizing your new website, it is important to first audit your relevant prerequisite skills — namely, those rooted in web development and coding. Such skills can be instrumental in DIY site creation, as they can help you handle crucial technical phases autonomously which may allow for a smoother development process and easier creative control.
Front and back end web development skills are also very helpful, as they allow you to understand and effectively manage both client-facing usability matters and underlying site architecture at a comprehensive, technical level. To get started in web development, consider our guide on how to become a web developer .
2. Establish a Goal
With key skills aligned, your next step is to establish a broad goal for your new website. Ask yourself: What is this site’s intended long-term purpose? Is it to sell products? To express and expand your brand’s identity? What type of user experience do you hope to provide? What user metrics will you be tracking through the site?
Once you have answered all relevant questions, you should have an easier time blueprinting the site’s interface, aesthetics, potential pages and other aspects directly rooted in your goals. For instance, if you plan to use the site to build brand awareness and facilitate digital transactions, you might scheme a home page offering easy access to both featured online products and company updates as well as identity-based information (such as a comprehensive “About Us” section). Regardless of your vision, be sure to make your goals as clear and detailed as possible.
3. Choose a Hosting Provider
Choosing a hosting provider is a relatively easy, but crucial part of website creation. Many leading hosting platforms (such as Bluehost and HostGator ) have expedited this process, often providing complimentary domain registration, discounted website building tools and other perks for first-time registrations.
As in the previous step, this decision should be rooted in your needs and goals for the site — especially those related to site structure and usability. For example, if the site is intended to showcase image galleries and multimedia, you will likely want to pick a platform allowing space for larger files and adequate speed. Using such criteria, you’ll be able to narrow your options down to a few promising providers and determine which will be the most cost-effective, reliable and in tune with your company’s aspirations.
4. Choose a Domain Name
Selecting a website domain name may be quick and simple in theory, but as GoDaddy notes, the choice is comparable to that of a company name. It can require quite a bit of thought and consideration, as your domain name will play a large part in your online identity. From an SEO perspective, an effective domain name can make your site more discoverable within keyword searches and it can also make your site easier to promote via digital marketing campaigns.
With all of this in mind, take time to brainstorm a few domain options, conducting keyword research and other market analysis to pinpoint a name that is short, impactful and indicative of the service or product you are providing. Your domain should be memorable and catchy while reflecting your target audience or location (for instance, you may consider including your location directly in the domain name).
5. Choose a Site Template or Layout
Your website’s layout will be pivotal in facilitating your intended user experience, and it should be selected with meticulous planning and prior research. You might start by choosing a website builder with an array of applicable site templates, whittling your options down to those featuring styles and structures reflecting your vision. Such considerations may include whether you need e-commerce elements, appointment scheduling or other functionality intrinsic to your business. Assuming the theme is customizable to your liking, use it as a shell for bigger developmental ideas such as specific plugins and widgets, color schemes and page order and hierarchy.
6. Build Relevant Pages
Most effective websites feature numerous pages or sections — typically, a home page and several supporting pages representing different aspects of the company. As your site’s primary building blocks, these pages should be structured and ordered in a manner consistent with your intended user journey, and they should be both accessible and easy to navigate . If you are using a website builder, it will likely feature the option to add, remove and customize pages within your broad site theme. Use this functionality to create pages that collectively embody your site’s intended purpose and message.
For example, consider NASA’s official website , which consists of a multifaceted home page and is supported by easily accessible, logically themed sections dedicated to current missions and initiatives, company history and various downloads and related social media outlets. Such a model benefits NASA’s users by giving them all relevant information quickly and effectively. Regardless of your company’s identity or niche, it is crucial to follow a similar approach in designing your site — just focus on a sensical division of pages and avoid inundating users with too much information in a single space.
7. Establish a Payment System (If Applicable)
If your site is intended to provide online shopping, equip it with an appropriate storefront layout featuring your company’s products or services. Smooth digital transactions are usually viewed as a make-or-break feature for retail-oriented sites, so be sure to design your storefront accordingly. For starters, most successful digital storefronts support a variety of payment methods, from credit and debit to connected services like Google Pay and PayPal.
Additionally, your payment system should be predicated upon quick, seamless and secure payments that instill a sense of fluidity and trust. This functionality can benefit your site’s bounce rate and ensure more products or services are being considered for purchase. You may also make use of features like sticky header navigation, a type of header that remains static as users scroll, giving them constant access to searching and purchasing options. A positive, convenient user experience can contribute greatly to customer loyalty and trust, and the most effective digital storefronts are a microcosm of this notion.
8. Test and Fine-Tune Your Site
Now that the key pieces of your site are in place, you will want to dedicate a fair amount of time to testing and fine-tuning your final product. Since usability remains one of the greatest indicators of site success in 2021, your main considerations should be your site’s user interface (UI) and conveyed user experience (UX). These elements can be assessed via usability testing and technical auditing of the site’s front and back ends. To test usability, observe users navigating your site and take note of communicated weaknesses, confusion and other deficiencies observed along the way. Ask detailed questions to get equally in-depth feedback, which can lead to stronger solutions and a better overall user experience. As for technical auditing, take stock of site performance metrics (such as page speed and multimedia playback), various SEO factors (like content optimization, organic keyword mentions and functional backlinks) and matters related to the site’s underlying code.
9. Promote Your Site
After your site is live, it is time to get it in front of your intended audience. Luckily, there are numerous effective ways to digitally market a website. Social media accounts are a fantastic tool for building site awareness. Many of these outlets allow users to directly link site URLs, syndicate site content and seamlessly guide followers to different site pages. Many site templates feature opportunities to directly embed social links, which can benefit all linked entities from an SEO standpoint, as organic linking can positively impact ranking authority.
Other options include Google’s advertising and business features , which can help site owners market their properties via targeted ads and, if applicable, get related brick-and-mortar locations listed on Google Maps (with their corresponding website links). Webmasters may also make creative use of site multimedia to broaden their website’s reach into other social markets. For instance, a site-based video could be syndicated to social media with a link to the original content.
For more information on quick, cost-effective options for website marketing, consider this Ahrefs list of free ways to promote your website .
10. Keep Your Site Up To Date
Even after your site is built and has established a following, be sure to keep it updated. As your site builds tenure online, your users may eventually become impatient or disengaged with stale, outdated content and poorly managed site usability factors (broken links, dysfunctional multimedia, etc.). Therefore, it is key to keep your site active, and this goes beyond posting and blogging alone.
HostGator recommends adopting several key habits for keeping your site up to date. Among them:
- Create a content calendar to ensure your site’s content is consistent, fresh and reflective of current developments and trends.
- Repurpose and repost older content if it is relevant in a modern context (possibly linking back to the original content for SEO purposes).
- Perform regular audits of desirable site keyword mentions and design-related factors.
- Consider updates to site templates and layouts that may align better with current happenings.
Additionally, keep a close eye on user feedback that may inform a stronger site interface. You may, for instance, consider shoring up your site’s theme or layout if users report navigation issues through a mobile view. Be sure to communicate such changes to your users — perhaps through a social outlet post or in-site bulletin.
Most web development careers involve creating and developing powerful, beautiful modern websites, and this typically requires full stack development skills. Berkeley Coding Boot Camp is designed to teach these skills in 3-6 months, enabling aspiring developers to pursue exciting new career paths or fuel their entrepreneurial vision.
How to Learn to Create and Develop Modern Websites
Now that we have covered how to build a website from scratch, a crucial question remains: Where (and how) can you get started?
Creating a website from scratch is relatively straightforward in theory, but it helps to have an established repertoire of applicable skills. Fortunately, there are several paths to learning the skills needed for modern website creation and development. These include bootcamp programs, traditional college degrees in an applicable field and independent learning options. Each of these options offers a unique take on learning website creation skills, and your choice will likely depend on your desired learning pace and curriculum structure.
Read on for a quick overview of each learning option.
Bootcamp programs are perhaps the strongest path for learning website creation skills — especially those rooted in web development and coding. These programs tailor their curricula to a variety of experience levels, offering a comprehensive overview of web development and coding fundamentals including a series of modules featuring hands-on, project-based learning opportunities.
Bootcamps are fast-paced and intensive, but they are also thorough and relatively flexible. New website developers are usually able to learn on their own schedule, gaining future-proof skills quickly and efficiently. Berkeley Coding Boot Camp , for instance, offers the chance to learn full stack web development skills in as little as 12 to 24 weeks (depending on each student’s availability and commitment).
What’s more, bootcamp graduates are being held in increasingly high regard within web development hiring, with nearly one in three hiring managers bringing on bootcamp graduates for developer roles in 2020, according to HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report . Around 72 percent of these managers felt that their hires were “ equally or better equipped for the job than other hires.”
Alternatively, aspiring website developers can learn applicable skills through a traditional college degree program. These options, while typically longer than most bootcamp programs, allow students to hone their website creation abilities while learning about the broader industries that encapsulate such skills. They also offer the chance to learn in a more gradual, communal setting that may take place on- or off-campus. Many leading institutions also offer individual courses in web development and coding online .
Relevant major programs for website development may include computer science, engineering or digital arts.
Independent learning options
For those interested in learning autonomously, there is also a variety of independent learning options teaching website creation skills. These options can take many forms, including free online courses, comprehensive instructional videos and educational apps. While less structured than the previous two pathways, independent learning provides the unique chance to learn on your schedule, at your own pace and through your desired medium — all while honing key soft skills like time management, personal accountability and project compartmentalization.
To get started with independent learning, consider our guide on learning to code online .
Why is it important for my business to have a website?
Today, nearly every successful company or initiative has a website, which often serves as a home base for company content, updates and links to other digital properties. Consumers have grown to expect such a presence from the companies with which they interact. Therefore, to keep your business competitive and relevant, it is imperative to establish and maintain a web presence.
What are some effective website builders?
Popular website builders include WordPress, Wix, HubSpot, and Gator — each with its version of the website creation experience. That said, it helps to explore multiple builders and narrow your options based on your unique goals and desired website features.
Where can I learn how to build a website from scratch?
Most aspiring website creators gain applicable skills through at least one of three different educational paths: web development or coding bootcamps, traditional degrees in an applicable field or independent learning options focused on website fundamentals. The time spent learning such skills will depend on the path taken; for instance, it usually takes three to six months to become a full stack developer in a bootcamp.
How can I keep my website up to date?
Effective website upkeep may include regular additions and updates to content, periodic audits of site usability and technical viability and updates to site aesthetics and layouts. These changes will likely depend on your business’s unique goals and target audience — as well as potential digital trends within your company’s industry.
What is search engine optimization?
Broadly speaking, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a digital entity so it can rank better within a search engine algorithm. This is commonly achieved through consistent content creation and syndication, strategic linking between digital properties and consistent technical auditing to ensure site functionality. Such efforts may make a site more discoverable to a wider audience.
What is the difference between UX and UI?
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are closely related, but separate terms in web development and are often confused with one another due to their numerous similarities. UX generally refers to the experience one has while engaging with a digital entity (which is typically referred to as the “user journey”). This may include how users feel about the product and whether or not their goals in using the site were met. Meanwhile, UI refers to the environment in which this journey takes place — the various aesthetics, structures and interactive features that help users find what they are looking for.
Do I have to know coding to create a website?
Coding, while technically not mandatory for website creation, is an immensely helpful skill for aspiring website developers. By learning even a few basic coding languages, you may enhance your ability to build your website from the ground up, tailoring it to your vision without the need for pre-made site layouts or additional staff members. Coding will also make it easier to update and maintain your site at a higher technical level — both in terms of front end UX/UI and back end functionality.
To get started with coding, consider our guide: What is Coding — 5 Key Advantages of Learning How to Code .
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How to build a website from scratch in 11 steps (for beginners)
- Allison Lee
- 23 min read
Get started by: Creating a website → | Getting a domain →
No matter what type of site you want to make, your website should represent you or your business in the best light possible. This is often easier said than done; it’s not uncommon to get burn out when building a website from scratch or using a website maker .
Fortunately, this guide will show you how to build a website from scratch while maintaining your sanity. Keep reading for expert tips on getting started, or check out our website launch checklist for additional steps on getting your site publish-ready.
Waste no time and create your site from start to finish with Wix's website builder .
How to make a website from scratch
Decide what type of website you want to make
Choose your website builder
Pick your template
Customize your template to your brand
Build your site structure
Add your pages
Fill your pages with engaging content
Find and purchase a domain name
Review and publish
Promote your website
Establish healthy site maintenance habits
01. Decide what type of website you want to make
Any website you create begins with a clear website goal and target audience. By identifying your niche and purpose, you can take steps towards building a site that not only looks pretty, but performs as you hope that it will.
Everything from your site layout to content should ladder up to your intended impact. For example, a portfolio website will naturally look different from an online store. A portfolio will include pages showcasing your work and a prominent “Contact Me” form—whereas an online store will have product pages, payment pages and maybe even print-on-demand integrations that are intended to monetize your website .
Depending on your goals, there are various elements that you may want to consider adding to your site:
Social media links
Note that one site may serve multiple purposes—in which case, you'll want to be very clear about the primary goal of your site. For example, Cleverchefs' catering company uses its site to share its brand story. While the site serves to attract new bookings, its main focus is to educate existing prospects on what sets Cleverchefs apart. Since their website represents the ethos of their company so well, it has become an incredibly helpful tool in closing clients who share similar values and appreciate what they do.
Expert tip from business owner Nick Collins, founder of Cleverchefs
When I ask my clients why they chose us over our competitors, they usually say it's because of our website. I think they can really feel our passion through the way we connect with them and stand out as a creative catering company.
02. Choose your website builder
A website builder is a popular and affordable solution that enables you to design, personalize, publish and manage a website without having to use code. The best platforms help you get a site launched quicker and without fuss—while also offering 24/7 support and built-in features that make scaling easier.
Expert tip from Esin D. Habif, product marketing lead (outbound) at Wix.com
What often gets forgotten when talking about choosing a website builder is the capabilities of the infrastructure that’s promised to you—the reliability of the hosting, the level of security that’s in order to protect your visitor’s data, and of course your site's speed. Even if infrastructure is not the first thought that comes to mind when it comes to making a website, if it’s not robust enough, it can cause large headaches for website owners when trying to scale a website later on.
With the right website builder, you won’t have to deal with the mountains of minutia that other DIY site owners may face (e.g., installing security features by hand, fixing bugs on your own, etc.). Low-code-no-code software takes care of web development for you, so you don't need to know how to code to customize your site. That said, while there are several solid players in this website-building industry, you’ll want to make sure that you do your due diligence before investing in one. Making the wrong choice could leave you with serious regrets down the road.
See our tools up close and sign up for Wix today.
Here are some key factors to consider so that you end up with a website builder you love:
Customizability: A good website builder should offer the customization you need to design your website according to your unique brand and vision. For example, do you envision creating a static website or a dynamic one? Look for builders that offer a range of layout options, as well as the flexibility to tweak the design and functionality to your liking. Wix, for instance, offers hundreds of designer-made templates in addition to AI-powered site creation that can be easily modified for your brand. Furthermore, its WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor lets you preview your changes in real time as you go.
Back-office tools/business capabilities: Beyond just website design, a website builder should provide the back-office tools that you need. This might include features like eCommerce functionality if you need to create your own eCommerce website , inventory management, appointment scheduling and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Create your list of must-haves and the tasks that need automating as you evaluate your options.
Third-party integrations: Chances are, you already have a favorite platform for emails, advertising or other functions—or perhaps you’re a retailer who wants to expand to new sales channels like Amazon. Seek website builders that integrate with your favorite tools and channels, or that offer sufficient alternatives. Explore your options in marketplaces like Wix’s App Market . (Note that you can also use Wix Headless to access Wix tools from any application.)
Security: Website security is paramount to protect your site and user data. A reliable website builder should offer security features like SSL certificates, regular backups and security monitoring to safeguard against cyber threats and data breaches.
Speed: Website loading speed significantly impacts user experience and SEO rankings. Choose a website builder known for fast-loading websites. Look for built-in capabilities like content delivery networks (CDNs) , which speed up content delivery; streamlined code; and image compression.
Reliability: A reliable website builder should provide consistent uptime and minimal downtime. Read reviews and check the builder's uptime statistics to give yourself peace of mind knowing that your website will be accessible to visitors around the clock.
Hosting: Many website builders offer web hosting services as part of their packages. Evaluate the hosting infrastructure, including server locations, scalability and performance, to ensure that it aligns with your website's needs.
Support: Most of us don’t realize how important support is until it’s dire. As you evaluate your options, you’ll want to check that customer care is accessible in your time zone and that you can resolve issues before they snowball. Look for website builders that offer various support channels, including a knowledge base and self-help resources. For example, Wix has a 24/7 support team as well as a robust library of how-to articles, YouTube videos and communities to help you find whatever answers you’re looking for.
As a creator or entrepreneur, you're often wearing multiple hats. You're designing the website, you're optimizing for SEO. This means you need a website builder that makes it easy and very learnable for you to do all of those things, on the same platform and still deliver as if working with experts in those fields.
03. Pick your template
The visual layout of your website is its most important element. You’ll want to take your time exploring your options before settling on the visual imagery and design. To get started, take a look at this database of professional website templates to see which one fits your vision best.
Whether you’re looking for portfolio templates , model portfolio examples or templates for an online store , there are dozens of customizable options to choose from. These range from simple website templates to more complex ones.
As you plan out your site, note what your competitor sites look like and check out other visual platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram. All of these examples will provide insight into what fonts, colors and web design styles and trends your audience gravitates towards. However, avoid copying what’s already been done. Rather, gain an understanding of the visual language you want to pursue and check that it resonates with your intended audience.
Expert tip from Anna Suntsov, blog and social team lead at Wix.com
The most important thing before building a website is good research. Know what you want to do and collect strong inspirations that will contribute to your design.
If the process of choosing and customizing a template feels daunting, or you simply don’t have the time, Wix’s artificial design intelligence can simplify your work even further. Just answer a few simple questions about your goals and Wix will create a custom-made, fully functioning site for you in minutes—bells, whistles and widgets included.
04. Customize your template to your brand
Your website is the face of your personal or business brand, and is often the first touchpoint that people have with you, so you’ll want to make sure that it's uniquely yours. Before you get lost in the details, establish clear branding guidelines to keep your anchored. These guidelines should shape your site design—as well as the nitty-gritty details like the tone of your microcopy, your logo placement and the color of your buttons.
A great way to get started is by creating a simple idea map with a pen and paper. In the center of your map, write down the type of site you plan to make. Think about the words and phrases that describe the vibe you’re going for. Write each phrase in separate circles stemming from your initial idea.
Once you’ve broken down your brand into individual components, it will be much easier to tackle larger tasks. Reflect on this map as you design your first logo or ruminate on the right types of imagery to include on your site.
Remember, a well-designed website is visually appealing, easy to navigate and aligned with your brand identity. Taking the time to get this right can pay dividends in the long run.
From a more tactical perspective, here are several steps you’ll want to take when personalizing your site.
Craft a website color theme
The use of color is not only for making your site look nice. Your color palette should align with your brand identity. Color psychology is important to take into consideration, as colors have the power to affect and evoke specific emotions and behaviors.
For example, blue has become a common color used in branding corporations and businesses, particularly in the tech field—most likely because blue is associated with stability and reliability. However, blue can also reflect sadness, hence the term “feeling blue.” Orange, for example, is generally paired with feelings of freshness and vitality. Keep in mind that the feeling correlated with a color also depends on the shade and what other colors it’s paired with. These are both important points to consider when choosing your website color scheme .
To get started, consider your website goals. Think about the vibe you want to create and the emotions you want to convey, especially if you’re starting a business . The more aligned your web design is with your overall branding, the more people are going to connect with your company and your website. And the stronger the personal connection, the more time they’ll spend on your site. This will have enormous effects on conversion rates and overall interest and engagement with your brand.
Keep in mind, choosing your color theme doesn’t mean you’re stuck with that palette forever, so try out different options and see what speaks to you. With Wix, for example, you can adjust your site’s colors at any point by clicking on the Site Design icon on the left side of your editing screen. From there, you can choose your base colors, accent colors, text colors and more.
Pick the right web fonts
Just like colors, typography can also play a key role in evoking feelings. When choosing the best fonts for your website, there are a number of things to consider.
First, like all other elements on your site, your font choice should match your branding. Browse different typefaces to find one that reflects your unique personality, whether you’re youthful and contemporary or have a more traditional approach.
The three primary types of fonts include:
Serif: Fonts with a small line attached to the ends of each letter.
Sans serif: More standard, block-like typography without small lines at the ends of each character.
Script: Has a more elegant feel, with each letter connecting fluidly from one to the next.
You can also check out our article on the best fonts for websites for more detail on how to choose the best one for your site.
Whatever you go for, make sure that your font is readable on both desktop and pa devices. Remember to keep in mind Google safe fonts. Pro tip: When it comes to fonts, remember to stay consistent throughout your website. On Wix, you can easily accomplish this by going to the Site Design icon on your side panel and managing text through the Text Theme tab. That way, your content will appear in a uniform way across the site.
Add other branding elements
When it comes to creating a professional site that wows, the magic is often in the details. As you look to strengthen the branding on your site, don’t overlook these elements:
Logo: Place your logo prominently in your header and as needed across your site. Wix's logo maker simplifies the logo design process, allowing you to create a logo that represents your brand and perfectly matches the aesthetic of your site.
Favicon: A favicon is the small icon that appears in the browser tab to the left of your URL when someone visits your site. Adding a favicon to your Wix website is a simple process that adds another layer of professionalism to your user experience. Just go to your site editor, click on “Settings” in the top left of your screen and scroll down to “Favicon.” Here, you can upload, adjust and save your favicon image. Then, just publish your site and behold—your brand new favicon.
More tips: Learn the ins and outs of building a website using the Wix Editor with this online course.
05. Build your site structure
A pretty site means nothing if it’s clunky and difficult to navigate. Before releasing your site to the world, check that your site makes it easy for visitors to find the exact pages that they’re looking for. There are several main components to bear in mind, as listed below.
Create your sitemap
Your sitemap is the blueprint of your site’s architecture. It includes all the pages and content you plan to create, so web crawlers like Google can better find and understand your pages. A sitemap typically needs updating whenever you add pages or move pages around, but systems like Wix automatically create and update your sitemap for you.
Optimize your navigation menu
Your navigation menu guides your human visitors to the right pages on your site. It’s usually displayed as a horizontal or vertical bar on your site with links to several different pages. As a general rule of thumb, your site should be organized in a way that enables a visitor to move from one page to another in three clicks or less.
But your main menu does not—and should not have to—include all of your site pages. Link to the most important or popular pages from here, and provide an easy way for visitors to get back to where they started. (One of the best ways of achieving this is by adding a clickable logo at the top of your page that leads visitors back to the homepage.)
Check how your favorite sites design their navigation menus for inspiration. You may, for instance, want to include a mega menu that’s more visual in nature and allows users to hover over a main menu category to see subcategories of links.
Alternatively, if you’re creating a simple website with fewer pages, you can have a simple anchor menu at the top of your page that links to specific pages or specific sections on a page.
You’ll also want to spend time optimizing a mobile version of your menu to make sure everything translates clearly to phones and tablets.
To set up a menu in the Wix editor, just head to your side panel on the left side of the editor and click on “+” at the top of the panel to add an element. Then, select "Menu & Anchor" from the drop-down and choose your desired style.
Expert tip from Adi Huri, product manager at WOW for Wix.com
Keep in mind that the menu is the map of your website. By adding the right pages to your menu, in the right order, it can be the heart of your website’s success.
Don’t ignore your footer
While your navigation menu is the primary navigation tool visitors will use to traverse your site, you can use your footer strategically to provide additional links and information. Your footer offers prime real estate to reinforce important content or show other areas of your site that your main menu doesn’t cover (think: contact information and direct links to your social media profiles).
In the Wix editor, you can easily drag and drop widgets and other elements directly into the footer. You can also easily adjust its size by dragging the border up or down.
06. Add your pages
Once you’ve mapped out what pages you want on your site, it’s time to create them. Here’s a quick step-by-step of how to do it in the Wix editor.
Open Page Manager: Click the "Pages & Menu" icon in the left side panel to access the Page Manager.
Add page: Click the blue "+ Add Page" button to create a new page and click on whatever template suits your needs.
Name your page: Once the page is added to your site, the page name will be highlighted in the left side panel for you to edit.
Customize: Customize the newly created page by adding your content, adjusting the layout and refining the design.
Manage pages: Drag and drop pages in the side panel to rearrange them or click on the ellipsis icon to the right of each page title to duplicate, delete, rename, hide and more .
Subpages: Create dropdown menus by adding subpages to your main pages, enhancing site navigation.
Save and publish: Save your work regularly and, when ready, hit the "Publish" button to make your changes live on your website.
When designing web pages for your professional website , consider adding these pages:
An inviting homepage . This is the face of your website, which means that you have to make it beautiful, yet informational. You should strive to present all the crucial elements right from the get-go. This way, clients will instantly understand who you are and what you do.
A shop or gallery. This is the center of your site where visitors can browse through your products or services. Create product listings, manage inventory and process transactions all from one centralized dashboard. Dedicate time to write product descriptions that will grab potential customers’ attention. The same goes for your product photography to ensure that your items are displayed in their very best light.
A personable About page. Use this page as your online business card. It’s the spot where you can present who you are, what you stand for, your strengths, values and any other crucial information you think your visitors should know about your team and your business.
An easy-to-find contact section. Don’t leave your site visitors astray by making them search for your contact information. Dedicate a page to list contact numbers, email, social links and any other way users can get in touch with you. In addition, it’s a good practice to add your essential contact details on your website footer.
An engaging blog. By starting a blog , you’ll be able to continuously add regular and fresh content to your website. You’ll have the chance to establish yourself as an expert in your field, while giving your SEO efforts a well-deserved boost. Give our blog maker a go , when you're ready to start.
Expert tip from Allison Lee, editor-in-chief at Wix.com
Blogs don’t get enough credit for their long-term advantages. In the long run, a blog can serve as a huge traffic driver and a way to connect with future customers (case in point: our Wix Blog is the first touchpoint for millions of people who may have never stumbled onto our site otherwise). That said, a blog is a long-term commitment—it requires a well thought-out strategy and consistent maintenance.
An interactive membership area. Creating a membership area on your website serves the dual purpose of monetization and user engagement. Various membership models, like drip-feed, all-in and fixed-term, can be employed to monetize your content. You can also offer premium content, online services or downloadable materials as incentives for users to subscribe.
Easy-to-access online courses. The growing popularity of virtual classes presents an opportunity to generate income by launching a paid online course. This approach allows you to monetize your existing website traffic. Design courses that align with your expertise and cater to your audience's needs. Ensure the content is relevant and unique.
An informative FAQ page. Save yourself and your clients some time (and frustration) by including an FAQ page to provide answers to questions that may naturally come up as visitors browse your site.
An online booking system . Allow customers to schedule and pay for appointments or classes directly from your site. This way, you can spend less time playing phone tag and more time growing your empire.
A testimonials page. This provides you with the perfect place in which previous, satisfied customers can sing your praises. Nothing is more impressive to a potential client or buyer than positive, unbiased reviews.
07. Fill your pages with engaging content
As people interact with your website, you'll want to make sure you're grabbing their attention and keeping it. The best way to do this is by optimizing and diversifying how you relay information.
Start by thinking about the various types of content you can host on your website. There's text, photography, videos, animation and so much more. Once you have a grasp on all of your options, it’s time to decide how to organize it.
Consider your content hierarchy
In order for your visitors to feel comfortable and at home while browsing, it’s important to keep your site as organized as possible. Think about hierarchy here: you’ll want your most eye-catching and important content to be placed above the fold (in other words, the area that’s visible on your website without visitors having to scroll).
Expert top tip from Amanda Weiner, CRO expert at Wix.com
Site hierarchy and the information you provide your visitors with is more than just how your site looks. This will also directly impact how many visitors ultimately buy your products. You’ll want to be clear about your offerings through your content, your visuals and your buttons right from the get go to ensure visitors recognize your value right away.
Furthermore, take note that some of your readers are only skimming your content. To make their lives easier and to make your content stand out, consider how you can optimize your design so your audience can get the most out of your content.
To do so, consider which written information can be made more digestible and visual with the use of media features (videos, images and animations, infographics for example). Make certain headers and other important bits of information stand out more than others by opting for a larger font or a bright color that contrasts with the background.
Looking to create content for your website? Consider using AI tools to speed up the process for you. Read all about Wix's next steps on AI text generation for websites and AI website creation. Or, get started by understanding more about creating a website with AI from these best AI website builders .
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of optimizing your site so your pages can rank higher on search engine result pages. When launching a new website from scratch, it’s vital to set your site up for success so it can be found by Google. The more exposure you get, the more likely it is for prospective clients to find your site and book your services, buy your products or read your blog.
Expert tip from Mordy Oberstein, head of SEO branding at Wix.com
Leveraging SEO and integrating it into the website creation process is vital. Various studies have shown that organic search is the single greatest provider of traffic to websites - with that being even more pronounced within the B2B context. To that, traffic from organic search, when done correctly is essentially built to last (with proper maintenance over time, of course) and forms a crucial part of a site’s long-term growth.
Enhancing your website's visibility on search engines like Google is essential for driving organic traffic to your pages. Fortunately, every Wix site starts out with a solid infrastructure that already exceeds the needs of search engines, giving you a strong SEO foundation in organic search. From there, Wix SEO tools make it easy for you to optimize your reach even further. Capabilities include:
SEO Assistant: Every Wix site comes with an SEO Assistant. Just put in your focus keywords for the page you’re working on, and your SEO Assistant will tell you if there’s anything you can do to further optimize it.
Keyword research: Wix provides keyword research tools to help you discover relevant keywords for your content.
On-page SEO: Easily optimize your meta titles, descriptions and headers to improve your on-page SEO.
Image SEO: Optimize your images with alt tags and compress them to improve page loading times.
Sitemap generation: Wix generates XML sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index your site effectively.
Mobile optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly for better search rankings.
Local SEO: If you have a local business, use Wix's local SEO tools to improve your visibility in local searches.
SEO analytics: Monitor your website's SEO performance with built-in analytics and reports.
Rich results: Implement rich snippets and schema markup to make your search results stand out.
Backlink tracking: Keep an eye on your backlink profile to improve your site's authority.
You’ll also have the ability to utilize additional SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush .
Consider the mobile experience
As you build your site, keep in mind that a significant amount of consumers will be visiting your site from their smartphone. In fact, as of April 2021, over 50% of internet use comes from cell phones and tablets. It’s because of this that Google established mobile-first indexing , a system in which the search engine predominantly determines website ranking based on mobile websites, not desktop.
As mobile web surfing becomes even more entrenched in our culture, it’s essential to invest time in mobile features as well as design to provide a smooth, intuitive user experience for those smaller screens. Whatever website creation platform you choose, make sure it has a mobile editor and the ability to adjust elements for mobile without it affecting the desktop version. You’ll also want a website builder that prioritizes performance and site speed. For example, Wix deploys performance friendly website infrastructure, such as cache and lazy loading , to ensure faster sites.
Once you're done with your site and happy with it, you may want to consider making your website an app as well .
08. Find and purchase a domain name
Now comes one of the most exciting parts of making a website—choosing a domain name .
Your domain is like your website’s address and permanent home on the web. When an internet user enters your domain name, or website URL into a web browser, it connects with a web server who identifies your domain by its IP address and then delivers your site to the user. This process is also referred to as a Domain Name System .
Choosing a domain name doesn’t need to be too complex. While your name needs to be memorable and unique, domains (top-level domains) and subdomains typically include the name of your website and/or the name of your business followed by an extension like .com or .org. If you are struggling to come up with the perfect name for your business, try a website name generator to help get the ball rolling.
All domain names must be registered with a domain name registrar or registry, where the owners of any domain name can be searched and found.
Website builders like Wix offer free domain names, but you can also pay for a personalized one. This is advantageous because it will improve your website’s credibility to both people and search engines. It will show visitors that you’re a professional, trusted brand and allows people to find you more easily online.
After choosing a domain name, you'll next need to consider your web hosting service options. From shared hosting, to cloud hosting there are a number of different hosted services to choose from. Wix sites all come with reliable and secure hosting for high uptime on all user sites.
Learn more: Website name ideas
09. Review and publish
Building a website from scratch can be an exciting journey, but rushing through the process is a common pitfall. In an eagerness to go live, many often overlook critical elements, potentially harming their website's performance and user experience. Avoid this situation. Make sure to dot your Is and cross your Ts before publishing. Here are some key tips to help you out:
Resist the urge to skimp on planning. A well-thought-out website strategy is the foundation for success. Take the time to clearly define your website's purpose, target audience and content strategy. Mapping out your site structure and creating a content calendar will help you stay organized. Rushing into design and content creation without a plan can lead to a disjointed website that confuses visitors.
Take advantage of features like Wix’s “Site Preview” mode , which allows you to view and navigate your site as a user. This enables you to experience the user journey of navigating your site and flag issues a user might encounter. Make sure to test all pages, links and embedded media in addition to spell-checking content. Do this on desktop and mobile view.
Get a fresh pair of eyes to review your work. Ask a friend or colleague to take a look at your website and give you notes on initial impressions, user experience, clarity of content and effectiveness of design. This step is imperative as someone less familiar with your content will be a much better barometer for how a new visitor would navigate your website.
Don’t forget about SEO. Rushing through SEO or ignoring it altogether can hinder your website's discoverability. Research relevant keywords for your niche, optimize meta titles and descriptions and regularly create fresh, valuable content. Ignoring SEO or rushing through it can result in your site not ranking well on search engine results pages, which can significantly hamper its visibility and, consequently, its success.
10. Promote your website
Once your website is live, you need to let people know about it. You can promote your website through social media, email marketing, guest blogging or outreach marketing. Effective promotion ensures that your website reaches the right people and delivers the desired outcomes—whether you’re aiming to increase traffic, engagement or sales.
Expert tip from Lilach Goldis, social media marketing manager at Wix.com
Identify the social media platforms your audience is active on the most and get an in-depth understanding of what it takes to rank in them. For example, converting your Instagram carousel posts into a Reel can capture attention more effectively and boost your content's impact, ultimately leading people to visit your site.
Here are some ways Wix can help you get your site out there:
SEO: In case we haven’t said it enough, SEO is imperative. For those less familiar with SEO, SEO is basically the practice of optimizing your site to help it rank better on Google and other search engines, which, in turn, bring you more web traffic. This is a crucial step in ensuring your site's success once it’s published. Although SEO is very technical and nuanced, using the right website builder can streamline the entire process. You can get an automatically optimized site with a solid infrastructure that exceeds search engine standards, alongside a suite of SEO tools. For example, Wix’s SEO Assistant gives you a personalized SEO setup plan for your site. It can make suggestions on how to tweak your content and provide explanations as to how these changes may help your rankings. For the more advanced user, Wix offers other SEO tools including a robots.txt editor, dynamic XML sitemaps and customizable canonical tags (among others). Keep in mind, however, that it takes time (and regular investment) to see the results of SEO, and your site may not rank well immediately.
Email marketing: Whether you're an eCommerce business, a blogger or an entrepreneur, it’s essential to build and maintain strong customer relationships. Email marketing tools enable you to create and send professional email campaigns to your subscribers and drive traffic to your site. Send newsletters, promote new products, create trigger emails and share exciting updates with your audience.
Blogs: Blogging is a powerful content marketing strategy. With SEO-rich blogging capabilities, you can create and publish engaging blog posts that not only captivate your audience but also rank well in search engine results. When selecting your website builder, look for built-in SEO features to ensure your blogs are optimized for maximum visibility.
Advertising: Unlike SEO that takes time to yield results, ads can help drive immediate attention to your site. It’s worth experimenting with Google Ads, Facebook Ads and others—but avoid spreading yourself too thin. Use the tools at your disposal in your website builder, and test different targeting and campaign types. For example, you could use Instagram ads to retarget website visitors, in addition to Google search ads to engage new visitors who are searching for sites like yours.
11. Establish healthy site maintenance habits
Much like a work of art, a website is never truly "finished." It's an ever-evolving entity that demands regular attention to maintain peak performance.
One of the primary advantages of using a website builder to create your site is that you can easily make additions and changes as needed in real time. By following these best practices, you can maintain a site that not only survives—but thrives—in the competitive digital landscape.
Keep your website updated. Your website can quickly become outdated over time, from its design to your keyword targeting and overall SEO strategy. Often, website designers find that they need to provide easier navigation with better bounce rate and other important site metrics. This is particularly important if you have found that sales on your online store are decreasing. Update your website as part of your website management strategy by adding new content on a regular basis and make sure that your existing content is up-to-date.
Monitor your website traffic . Every published Wix website has Wix Analytics included in the Dashboard, which gives you actionable information about your website. Learn which content is working best and how your visitors behave, then use these insights to act. This information can help you improve your website and make it more user-friendly.
Secure your website. It's important to keep your website secure from hackers and malware. You can do this by installing security software and by keeping your website's software up to date. It's also crucial to use a platform that thoroughly incorporates website security such as Wix, which provides a safe foundation for your website and gathers real-time insights to detect any threats.
Back up your website. It's always a good idea to back up your website regularly. This way, if something happens to your website, you can restore it from a backup. Wix has a feature called Site History , which automatically creates site revisions every time you save or publish. This means that you can go back to a previous version of your site any time you want. You can also duplicate your site at any time to create a manual backup in your Wix account. Be aware that the duplicated site is not automatically updated when you update your original site.
How to make a website with AI
Making or designing a website with AI involves using artificial intelligence tools and services (like an AI website builder ) to enhance different aspects of your site, such as design, content creation or user interaction.
Take Wix ADI , for example. Launched back in 2016 it gives every Wix user the option of creating a website in mere minutes by simply providing some upfront information about what your site should include. "Wix ADI offers smarter AI tools deeper down in the journey, like personal recommendations and business growth tools,” says Yarden Geffen, a product marketing manager at Wix.
Building on this Wix soon be launching the Wix AI Site Generator, an even more powerful way to create a site that’s tailor-made for you. Learn more about Wix's ever-evolving AI capabilities in this letter from our CEO, Avishai Abrahami .
Be inspired by these websites made with AI via Wix ADI:
Molloy Fletcher Racing
Bowden Scott Barnhart
Create a website from scratch FAQ
Can anyone create a website from scratch.
If you choose a website builder that essentially provides the infrastructure of your site, yes. You don't have to know coding in order to make a website, you just have to use the right website platform. With Wix, your entire site infrastructure is taken care of, including advanced levels of security, including public key certification via TLS, so you can focus on what matters: your design and content.
How much does it cost to make a website from scratch?
This varies depending on which website builder you choose, and if you opt to rely on their infrastructure or to hire a web developer to code your website into being, for you. With Wix you can create a website for free, or opt for a premium plan that can cost from $16 a month, depending on the type and exact features. This plan will include a custom domain, 24/7 customer support and hosting services.
Why is it important for my business to have a website?
A website is an essential part of any business's marketing strategy. It provides a way for potential customers to learn more about your business, your products or services, and how to contact you. You can also use a website to manage and run your business, from attracting clients, to using your site to manage bookings or to sell products and services and accept payments.
How can I keep my website up to date?
There are a few things you can do to keep your website up to date:
Update your content regularly. This includes adding new blog posts, articles and other content to your website.
Fix any errors or bugs. If you find any errors or bugs on your website, fix them as soon as possible.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet, so it is important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Promote your website. Let people know about your website by promoting it on social media, in your email newsletter and in other ways.
How can I create a website for free?
With a website builder, such as Wix, you can choose to create a website for free. This will include access to templates, hosting and advanced security features. You can also upgrade to a premium plan to register a domain name and benefit from 24/7 customer support.
How long does it take to make a website?
In general, anywhere from one to six months depending on the type of website you make and how you choose to create it. If you do it yourself, with a website builder you can set your own time frame and work reasonably fast. If you choose to work with a web designer and/or developer, it make longer. Learn more about how long it takes to build a website.
Do I need technical or coding knowledge to build a website?
If you use a website builder, like Wix, so no. You can choose from a number of customizable templates for every type of website, and use its intuitive drag-and-drop features and editor to make a website from scratch.
What are the most effective ways to monetize a website?
Popular ways to monetize a website include affiliate marketing, display ads with Google Adsense, sponsored content or subscription content. The strategy you choose to make money from your website will depend very much on your target audience. It's also best practice to test different strategies and diversify how you monetize your site.
How to make a website for your business?
When it comes to making a business website, choosing the right website builder is crucial. Whether you want to make your own website with a drag-and-drop builder from templates, or have your site built by a web developer and designer, choose a website builder, like Wix. Enterprise grade hosting and security make it a good choice for any type or size of business website.
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