Nowadays, you do not need to spend a fortune on a website design and development team to create a sleek, stylish, and engaging site. While it may seem daunting to build your website, anyone can do it…I promise!
Below, we’ll take you through the different steps to follow to design a website that impresses viewers and helps you achieve your goals.
Define the purpose of your website
There is only one place to begin with, a guide on website design, and this is by putting pen to paper and doing some planning. You would be surprised by how many people dive right in and start creating a website with little thought on why they are making the site and what they are hoping to achieve. Start by asking these relevant questions:
- What is your unique selling point?
- How do you want to come across to others?
- What are you hoping to achieve from your website?
- What sort of people are you going to be targeting?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself when determining what sort of website you will create.
The aim is to come across as authentic and to engage with your viewers. Of course, your website will play a massive role in this, as it directly reflects your brand.
Outline your objectives
Once you have established why you are creating a website, you need to start thinking about your specific goals. For example, what sort of action do you want viewers to take when they land on your website?
Some examples include the following:
- Attract members to sign-up for your newsletters
- Convince consumers to buy your products or services
- Inform and educate viewers about your business
When developing your landing page, there should be one focus and a clear call to action to go with it. This is why it is critical to think about your objectives from the beginning.
Research the current web design market to understand well-performing trends. Before you start the building process, educating yourself on what works and what doesn’t makes a lot of sense.
Trends come and go in all industries, so you need to think about what has staying power. For example, one trend that is not going anywhere is the popularity of mobile Internet use, and so this is something you will need to consider when designing your website.
You must make sure your website is optimized for mobile use. It needs to look great on a smaller screen and be quick and easy to use. This may mean tweaking the design and getting rid of some of the PC elements.
At the moment, there is also a clear trend for minimalistic designs, and storytelling is also highly popular. But, of course, there’s no telling what will be popular in a few years from now, so this is something you will need to monitor and adapt to accordingly continually.
Pick a domain name
You have probably gathered from this guide on how to design a website is that you need to put in a little bit of groundwork before you get started on the design part.
Another element that you need to consider is what domain name you are going to choose. So, what is a domain name?
A domain name is essentially the website address that people type in the URL to visit your site. For example, “www.google.com” is Google’s domain name.
Choosing a domain name is not easy, and this will be stuck with you for life (unless you undergo a complete rebrand), so it is critical to choose with care. At present, over 350 million domain names have been registered, with thousands of new ones being added per day.
This means that there is a high chance someone else will already have your first choice of the domain name.
So, how do you choose a domain name that makes sense for you? Well, I have put together a few tips to give you a helping hand:
- Do not use hyphens or numbers
- Make the domain name easy to spell and pronounce
- Do not go for anything too long; it needs to be easy to remember
- Choose a .com domain name if possible, as they are easier to promote
If you are struggling to choose a domain name, WP has a free AI-powered business name generator tool that can help you develop a good company name. You can quickly check if the domain name is available when considering different business names using this tool.
Decide on the right website platform
Now, it is time to start thinking about the build process. Many people assume that they are going to need to enlist the help of an expensive web designer and developer. But this could not be further from the truth.
There are a lot of great website-building platforms that make it easy for even beginners to create their websites.
With these solutions, you can have the basis of a great website ready within just one day. In addition, many of these tools work via a drag and drop builder, making them very easy and enjoyable to use.
But with so many different website building platforms to select from, you may be feeling at a bit of a loss when it comes to deciding on the right one for you.
I’ll talk you through some of my favorite options out there to give you a helping hand:
There is only one place to begin when it comes to the world of website building, and that is Wix.
Wix boasts an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and it is incredibly flexible. For example, you can create a website from scratch using one of the templates or get the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature to create a website for you.
One of the best things about Wix is the sheer number of different available features. There are hundreds of website apps for you to make the most of, as well as plenty of different templates and site add-ons. The customization options are off the chart!
You can scale your website with ease too, and Wix genuinely does cater to users of all skill levels, which is why so many people decide to go down this route when creating their website.
If Wix is not the website builder for you, perhaps Squarespace will be! Squarespace has an excellent reputation in the industry, with almost 2 million websites using this platform. That is rather impressive when you consider that there is no free plan available.
You may assume that a lack of a free plan is a bummer, but I would never recommend using a free program unless the site you are creating is purely for your consumption. Free plans are minimal and tend to be plastered with the site builder’s branding rather than your own.
Squarespace is an excellent option for those looking to sell products online. There are two eCommerce plans available – eCommerce Basic and eCommerce Advanced. You can expect deep selling capabilities with these options. Plus, you do not need to pay the three percent transaction fee if you go for one of the selling plans.
Another website builder with an excellent reputation is Weebly. I would not recommend Weebly for international websites. You would be better off going for one of the former two options. However, there are a lot of benefits when creating a website for a domestic audience.
All of the themes available on Weebly are responsive, so you can be sure that you will create that all-important mobile optimization box that I mentioned earlier.
What I like about Weebly personally is that I feel there is an excellent selection of tools available. You can make the most of a whole host of SEO tools, and creating a membership website is a breeze. For small businesses especially, the site builder is easy to use, and there is everything you need to build an impactful online presence.
The final website builder that I would consider is Site123. I would say that Site123 is better suited to beginners who don’t require a lot of creative freedom or flexibility. There are a few limitations in terms of design that may be a bit frustrating for those looking for something unique and visually impressive.
There are a lot of great things about Site123, though – which is why I recommend it! All of the templates are mobile responsive, and you can display your website in many different languages with ease.
Other benefits include the fact that you can have multiple websites under one account, no sales commission is taken if you run an online store, and the support is excellent. Plus, the app market is easy to use, and there are a lot of plug-ins, which can be integrated with ease.