Why is a website important?
Understanding how to create your website is important for sales. This cannot be overstated. Having an online presence through your website enables you to reach more consumers.
The more consumers you reach online, the more opportunities you have to make a sale. With a website, you can sell your products and services around the clock.
So, creating your own website is not as hard as it seems. The hard part is understanding the UX.
What is website UX?
Okay, so you might be asking, what is your website user experience?
Well, UX stands for “User Experience”, this is one of the most important aspects of a good website, it’s what will set your website apart from your competitors, and other websites on the web.
When I started building my own website, I had no idea what UX was, it did not bother me much, as I thought if my website looked cool, people would come and use it, and buy from me.
Was I wrong!!
Before I dive into website UX, and a couple of other things, let’s get down to business:
Let’s start building your website…
Here are my 7 steps to help you create your own website, on a shoe-string budget:
Step 1: Setting up your website’s domain
Your first step in how to create your website is the most important one, you will need to decide what your domain will be. Your domain is your address for your website, for example, https://rasdigitalmarketing.com this domain name is very important, as changing it later, will damage your online ranking, and break your whole website’s URL structure.
I recommend using Afrihost Xneelo or GoDaddy, they are based in South Africa and have an amazing customer support desk. As well as hosting packages that are very well-priced. I have added a link below for you to use in getting started with them. Another option is WordPress itself.
Click here to access Xneelo’s pricing packages: https://xneelo.co.za/
I would recommend starting with their cheapest packages, and if later, you want to upgrade to a larger package, it will be really easy to do.
So, go ahead and do that first step, come back after you have done so, and you will be ready for my next step!
Step 2: Installing WordPress for your website
Now that you have secured your domain, it’s time to install WordPress on your website.
Doing it yourself is really not that hard. Access your c-panel, and scroll down to your installations tab, or it might say plugins, it all depends on what “host”, you have selected. Each host panel could look a bit different from the others.
Find the WordPress app, and follow the installation process, this installation should not take more than 5 min to complete.
Below is an image of what it could look like:
Step 3: Picking the right theme for your website
Okay, now that we have some of the boring stuff out of the way, it’s time to start having some fun.
Now that your WordPress has been installed, you are going to need a theme. WordPress comes with a couple of out-the-box free themes, that really aren’t all that bad, but I would recommend investing a little money and buying a proper theme.
I started my first website using a “free theme”, it never really looked as good as I wanted and building it was very frustrating, as I had no editing tool and had to rely on the basic WordPress (WP) editing tools. This was ok to use, but when you are someone like me, who wants “total freedom to do what I want to do”, a proper theme is a must!
So, do yourself a favour, and go buy a “Jupiter” theme. The theme built by Jupiter has amazed me from day one, not just with the amazing selection of tools that come with this theme, but their theme is extremely stable, with almost no bugs in the code. Trust me, that’s a massive bonus!
Here is a link to their theme, go and check it out. I highly recommend this theme, as the theme can be used to build almost any website https://themeforest.net/item/jupiter-multipurpose-responsive-theme/5177775
Step 4: Designing your wireframe AKA user experience
You are moving with great speed, in how to create your website, if you keep this up you should have your website up and running in no time.
Now, let’s talk about some UX. This is one of my favourite topics when it comes to web design.
UX is the way a customer experiences your website, it’s very important that your customer finds what they are looking for as quickly as they can, without getting lost, or worse, even leaving your website.
Your website should not be a treasure hunt!
I can really talk about this for days. But I know that you need to get your website up and running as soon as you can, so I will just cover some basics here.
If you are looking to really take your website to the next level, come check out my Web Design Program. There I cover UX in-depth and will show you how to make sure the traffic you get to your website, is an enjoyable experience for your customers so much so that they buy from you.
Getting back to UX, the most common mistake most people make when designing their own websites is…
Below I have inserted images of what you should do, and what you should not do when creating your own website:
A badly designed website
As you can see, the first problem with the website, look at the top…… Oh my, it’s very busy, and I, as a user, have no idea if I even am on the right page for what I am looking for.
There is also no clear CTA, or “call to action”. The person who designed the website has left me as the user, to find my own way, just like a never-ending treasure hunt.
The problem with this page is, it goes on, and on…. like boiled spaghetti, with no beginning, and no end.
A very good, designed website
Now, this website you see at the top has a very well-designed layout. I, as the user, have a clear path of where to go.
The CTA is right in the middle, showing me what my next step is to try it for free.
Simplicity is always going to win!
Unfortunately, UX is such a large thing to cover that I can’t give you all the details of this in one blog post. But the basics which I have listed above will help you get the basic structure in place for your website.
I recommend using pen and paper to design your own UX flow, or something like Microsoft PowerPoint also works just fine, to sketch out your UX.
Step 5: Applying your wireframe to your website
It’s time to install your theme!
I suggest following the instructions of your Host or ISP on how to install WordPress.
They will either have a video or clear instructions on how to go about doing it.
Step 6: Installing the needed plugins
It’s time for some plugin fun!
Plugins are programmed software that is created by independent people, or businesses. These little nifty tools can make your website do almost anything you need it to!
Plugins will give your website the ability to sell something, help you create contact forms, and add your social media icons to your website. They can even help you track where your customers come from on the web, as well as many other little tricks.
As amazing as plugins are, they are going to be the reason why your websites break down at times too!!!!!
YES!!!! Picking plugins that work well with your website is a must. Unfortunately, that is a lot easier said than done, as there are millions of different plugins out there.
I am going to start you off with some basic plugins at first. You can later install other plugins, which you find meets your needs. Just a little helpful tip: “Try not to install too many plugins on your website, as you will increase the risk of having your website breakdown”. I have been there and can share many scary experiences.
Trust me, it’s a “battlefield” of plugins out there!
Below, I have listed some of the plugins that your website needs. These plugins are mostly a “must-have”. Follow the installation steps in the images below, also, click on the plugin links to read more about them before installing them. Understanding what the plugin will do before installing it will help you greatly in the setup of the plugin.
- Ninja Forms (Click here to read more)
- Woocommerce (Click here to read more)
- Jetpack (Click here to read more)
- Akismet (Click here to read more)
- Yoast SEO (Click here to read more)
- User Registration (Click here to read more)
- W3 Total Cache (Click here to read more)
- WP Smush – Image Optimization (Click here to read more)
- Wordfence (Click here to read more)
- Social Icons (Click here to read more)
Okay, so I hope that you have now installed the needed plugins, so we can move on to the next step. If you later see any other plugins that you need, you can follow the same steps I have shown you above, in the images, and get creative with your website.
Just take note that some plugins might make your website slow down, or worse, break the site. If this happens just uninstall the plugin and refresh your page. Then see if it fixes the problem. This problem mostly happens when a developer, created a plugin that does not work well with other plugins, or your theme.
Step 7: How to launch your new website
If you have reached this step, then congratulations! You have just created your own website and, are also, saving yourself a lot of money in the process.
But not so fast, you have a really nice website, but no one knows about it yet!
It’s time for a little, marketing now!
I am going to give you a quick run-down of how to “bring some free traffic to your site”. Later, after you have made some improvements to your site, after getting feedback from your customers, we can focus on some paid marketing methods.
So, first things first – getting people to come to you!
I want you to post a link on your Business Facebook page, regarding your website. Tell people what you have created, then invite them to come to view your site. A great idea is to offer them a small discount if they come to your site and sign up for your mailing list.
Social media pages
Now, do the same process on all of the other social media channels that you have.
Another great place to get free traffic is commenting on other people’s blogs. Please don’t go and comment on what you sell and insert a link. Many people do this. If you are looking to have your name banned from their website immediately, then you should do that!
Otherwise, don’t do that!
I recommend doing this when it comes to commenting…
Find comments where people are talking about a problem they have, and it relates to what you offer, then, as I told you, don’t sell, just comment with a helpful tip. Helping them out first, then as the online conversation gets going, you will find people asking you what you recommend, and whether or not you have a solution for them. This is your cue, now you can add your link to the comment. You have built up a bit of trust with that community, and they are starting to see you as an expert in your field.
If you have followed all my steps above, then you should have a basic, well-designed website. You are now able to start telling people about your site and driving traffic to it.
Knowing how to build a basic website is a great start. You will start experimenting with other plugins and build more pages to grow your online presence.
Don’t forget that if you need any more help, my Web Design Program will cover all the steps in great detail.
Design a user-friendly website that effectively showcases your business’s products or services, with the goal of converting website visitors into new customers. Follow the fundamental guidelines below to ensure your website meets the expectations of your target audience:
- Simple and Clear Navigation: Your website should have a clear and easy-to-use navigation menu, allowing users to easily find the information they are looking for.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Your website should be mobile-responsive and optimized for all screen sizes, including smartphones and tablets.
- Speed: Your website should load quickly, with minimal delays, to keep users engaged and prevent them from leaving.
- Consistent Branding: Your website should reflect your business’s branding, including logos, colours, and fonts.
- Engaging Visuals: Use high-quality, relevant visuals to engage and retain users.
- Clear and Concise Content: Your website content should be easy to read and understand, conveying your message clearly and effectively.
- Call-to-Action: Each page of your website should have a clear and prominent call-to-action, encouraging users to take the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase or filling out a contact form.
After creating your website, test it with real users to identify any issues or areas for improvement. Incorporate user feedback and make necessary adjustments to ensure your website provides a seamless user experience, resulting in increased conversions and business growth.
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