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Building a website is an exciting and lucrative venture, but figuring out where to start can be challenging. Custom-made websites are now easier to make than ever, especially with the use of front-end developers.
These platforms make it easy for anyone to design a site.
In this complete guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to build your website. We’ll start with the basics and move into an overview of some of the most popular web-building platforms and finally get into the nitty-gritty of getting your site off the ground.
Before you know it, you’ll be right where you want to be – in front of your target audience.
While businesses used to hand these tasks off to those who’d gone through extensive training, it’s now easier than ever before to do it all yourself.
With so many website builders available, many people are creating their own websites without the help of professional developers and without ever writing lines of code. You don’t have to have any coding skills or CSS skills.
With a site idea and a vision of how it will look, it’s relatively easy to make an eye-catching website.
Whether you’re a small business or an individual looking to build a business, you must have a professional, well-designed website.
However, you no longer need custom-made websites.
Why a Website Is So Important
Websites used to be a novelty for businesses, but now they’re a necessity. Customers often judge your business’s credibility based on web design. If your website doesn’t look professional, they’ll assume your business isn’t professional.
While a custom website can look great, it’s not necessary. You can create your own website using one of the website builders we’ll discuss later, and it can look just as professional.
Image Source https://spotify.design/
There are plenty of customization options that’ll help you give your site a custom feel without the need to hire a front-end developer.
Even a simple custom website can cost you a lot. If you go with an agency, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000-30,000 depending on the size and complexity of your site.
You may also have to pay your designer a retainer to perform maintenance. If you build your own site, you’ll only have around $200 in upfront costs.
DIY Has Many Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of building your own site is that you’ll have complete control over every aspect of the site.
Website work isn’t over the moment your site launches. You’ll still have maintenance and more content to add. If you build the site yourself, you won’t have to hire someone to maintain it. Tools such as CSS Framework make it even easier for you to regularly update and revamp your website to keep it looking fresh.
Quick Pros and Cons of Creating Your Own Site
Below is a quick comparison of the pros and cons of building your own niche site.
You likely already have a mission for your business. When creating your own website, you’ll be able to have complete control over the look and feel of your site. You’re the best person to bring your vision to life and keep it aligned with your business’s main principles.
How to Find Your Niche
Niche websites have exploded in the past few years. It seems that everyone has a site on every topic under the sun. Curating a unique online presence isn’t easy, but it is doable. You need a unique niche or at least a unique angle to help you create fresh content and find a loyal target audience.
Choosing a niche is a fine art, and every site developer has a slightly different method. Some are even secretive about finding a successful niche because they want to reduce competition. However, there are a few simple steps you can follow to find your niche.
Quick Tips for Finding Your Niche
Make a list of subjects, hobbies, and activities you enjoy
Figure out a problem or pain point
Research to see if it’s possible
Make a List
Start with all of your interests. Try to think of interests where you or others will spend money. For example, if you’re a home theater enthusiast, you know that there’s a lot of equipment you have to buy. Cross out any interests that probably won’t generate income, such as reading poetry.
You should also create a list of problems and pain points. What are the issues people need to solve, such as getting out of debt? Or what do people hate to do, like spending hours each week cooking dinner?
These problems can lead to a helpful niche website.
The next step is to research. While a niche idea may seem perfect, you need to do some digging to see if it will be profitable. You should start by seeing what’s already out there about your niche.
If there are a bunch of high authority websites, then it may be difficult for your site to take off.
You want a niche that is gaining traction but isn’t yet saturated. You may want to start in a smaller part of a larger niche, such as focusing on camping gear before doing a large site dedicated to the outdoors. It can also be helpful if you have something to add to a particular niche.
Finally, do your keyword research. What are people searching for in your niche? Can you find some good keywords that aren’t so competitive? You need some keywords that you can land on the first page of Google.
Gaining a Following
There are quite a few ways to gain a following on your website.
You want to use those keywords to get on the first page of Google. You’ll get organic visitors this way. You can also do paid search to get yourself near the top of Google.
Social media is another promising avenue. Create accounts for your site on the social media platforms where you’ll be most likely to find your audience. You may need to create sponsored content to help you get in front of the right people.
You want to keep your target audience on your site once they get there, so think of incentives. Make sure you have a visually pleasing site that’s easy to use.
Provide great content that’s easy to read. Use pictures and videos whenever possible. You may even want to offer something for free, such as a download. Try to collect emails so you can send out a newsletter.
Monetizing Your Site
Now that you have an incredible site, it’s time to make money. There are many different ways you can monetize a site.
If you get enough visitors, you can use ads to make money. You can go through Google Ads, and you can eventually use platforms like Mediavine that require you to have a certain number of visitors.
Affiliate marketing is another popular method, especially if you consider the current affiliate marketing trends.
You recommend products, and if your audience chooses to make a purchase, you’ll get a commission from the brand. Affiliate marketing can be particularly lucrative if you’re in a niche with lots of products.
As your site grows, you can create and sell your own product, either physical or digital. You can also offer exclusive content to a paying audience.
Tracking users who visit your website is yet another way to monetize your website. Data is a valuable resource and people are willing to pay for it. Just make sure you collect it in ethical ways.
Best Website Builders 2021
When you’re ready to build your website, you’ll need to choose a website builder and content management system. These platforms will guide you through the website-building process.
Below we’ll review some of the most popular website builders, giving you some of their main features and advantages, so you can choose the right one for your skill level and niche site.
Image Source https://wordpress.org/
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders. In fact, over 40% of the websites online were created with WordPress. Developers like WordPress because it’s easy to make a highly customized website without extensive coding knowledge.
For those who are skilled, there are many advanced features.
WordPress is a popular content management system because it’s open-source. All code is available to everyone, making it relatively easy to change just about anything you want.
The main drawback with WordPress is that some customizations will require pretty advanced coding skills.
There are many themes you can use with WordPress, both from the company or from third-party developers. If you have the know-how, you can even build your theme from scratch.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
It’s important to note that there are two different forms of WordPress. The dot.com version lets you build a site using the WordPress software.
It allows you to build and host websites for free, like Squarespace or Wix, and offers more options with the purchase of a paid plan.
The dot.org version is the actual software and offers much more customization. Unlike the dot.com version, you’ll need to purchase a domain name and web hosting from a third-party company. While the dot.org is free to download, you’ll have to pay for a domain and hosting.
Image Source https://webflow.com/
WebFlow is an excellent platform for custom-made websites. It’s a great option for those who aren’t quite ready for the complexity of WordPress but who want more options than with other basic site builders.
WebFlow starts with hundreds of templates that you can customize to your liking. WebFlow differs because it allows for multiple skill levels. Its site builder lets you move things around at will while the code is written in the background. You can hone your site design to exactly what you want.
It also combines design with a CMS so that you can customize your site for specific visitors.
WebFlow offers cheap hosting plans, so you don’t have to look elsewhere. The editor feature lets you change the content of your website without messing with any of the design components.
Image Source https://ghost.org/
Ghost is an interesting site builder geared toward bloggers and other creators. The company sells itself as an online publishing platform, and the template options favor a minimalist style.
It’s a great option for those new to site-building as the learning curve is relatively low, and you aren’t required to know a lot of programming languages.
Don’t let the ease-of-use fool you, though.
Ghost offers thousands of plugins, themes, and a bunch of custom features to help you make your site feel like your own. You can also create a membership section of your site and launch a newsletter, two business tools to help you grow in your niche.
There are two versions of Ghost: Open-Source and Pro.
Like WordPress, the Open-Source version lets you use the software but requires you to obtain your own domain name registration and hosting. Pro offers hosting services.
Image Source https://www.wix.com/
Wix is one of the most popular website builders. It offers options for beginners to skilled developers. It’s great for those just starting, as it has all of the essential features you’ll need. It also offers free and paid hosting solutions.
Wix has templates ready for customization, such as action buttons that’ll make even a novice site look professional. If you want something even more custom, you can start a page from scratch using HTML or CSS.
One of Wix’s best features is an SEO tool to optimize your content for Google.
Image Source https://www.squarespace.com/
Squarespace is a fantastic option to build an eye-catching website with customizable themes. It’s both a website builder and a hosting solution, with premium plans that have even more features.
You can get a custom domain name without having to go through third-party domain registrars. Squarespace also offers business tools like an SEO tool and analytics tools. Its eCommerce abilities make it easy to set up a store and start an eCommerce business.
How to Create Your Own Website From Scratch
Are you ready to create your own website? Read on for a step-by-step guide on the development process to get your site up and running.
Custom Domain and Hosting Plan
You’ll need a custom domain if you want to look professional. If you don’t have a name for your site, try to think of something original, short, and easy to spell. It should have some connection with your niche.
You’ll need to go through a domain registrar to purchase your domain.
The cost will depend on the popularity of the term. You should try to go with a dot-com name, but as those are increasingly unavailable, you may have to choose another extension like dot-co.
Next, find a hosting plan. You’ll usually pay by the month but can sometimes save with an annual plan. You will need to choose a plan based on your site’s size and how many visitors you anticipate.
If you’re just starting, it’s best to start with the smallest plan and increase as your needs grow.
Choose a Template
Unless you want to design your site entirely from scratch, you’ll need to choose a template for an eye-catching website. The templates follow the best visual hierarchy practices that result in a pleasing to the eye layout.
Most website builders offer these design solutions, and you can build custom-made websites with relative ease. Use the template to sketch out the framework of your site.
Enable Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You want your site to show up for specific keywords on Google.
You can optimize business websites to have a better chance of ranking high for particular search terms.
If you’ve chosen a website builder with an SEO tool, you should enable it from the beginning. It can give you valuable advice as to whether you’re optimizing your site as you go.
The next step in the building process is setting up navigation menus. Almost all custom websites have navigation menus, which connect all of the pages on your site.
Image Source https://wovenmagazine.com/
Menus are usually on the top or side of each page on your site.
These menus allow your visitors to easily find their way around your site. They usually include a link to the home page, contact page, and about us page and links to different broader categories in your niche.
If you plan on selling a product, you’ll need to set up an online store and shopping cart. Some platforms come with these business tools, while others require you to download plugins or connect with other platforms.
Contact Forms/Email Lists
A contact form makes it easy for visitors to get in touch with you. They don’t have to go through the steps of copying your contact address into their own email and are more likely to contact you.
You should also have an email list signup in a prominent place.
You want your visitors to join your email list so that you can send them a regular newsletter. Newsletters are essential to getting people back to your site.
Offer valuable information, and they’ll keep coming back.
A niche site is an essential tool in building an online presence. You can build a following and even monetize your site, making it a business.
Niche websites will continue to grow in the coming years, especially as people want more custom content.
Google’s algorithm changes will force development projects to release high-quality content.
Ready to start your niche site? Check out some advice on finding your target audience (use Google). If you’re prepared to take your site to the next level, learning about some advanced features can help.
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