Create a Website with these 7 Critical Tips

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Let’s Build A Website From Scratch

How do I create a website? It can be overwhelming if you need to create a website from scratch, whether it is going to be a personal or company website. There are several things to consider, like having a good domain name, reliable hosting and a secure POS if you intend to provide e-Commerce solutions. In this guide, we’ll cover how to create a website for business, how much does it cost to create a website (generally speaking) and what to look out for in your website design and advice from experts in the website development field!

Before we start, if you are wondering how to create a website free of cost, we recommend checking out Google’s service, however, you will need to migrate over to a more comprehensive solution if you need to incorporate e-Commerce and high-volume scaling later down the road. Plus, you still need to buy the domain. Unfortunately, there is no free lunch when you create a website.

The Investment Required To Create A Website

Making your professional website secure, efficient and accessible everywhere on the web is a full-time job itself. It is difficult for growing business owners to spend time learning this process and setting up a robust solution. Additionally, new website owners may feel trapped in hosting contracts with a high monthly bill and limited room for expansion later down the road.

With that being said, you should only pay for features and services you will need at this time. However, you should also have room to grow into these features should your budget and requirements permit later down the road.

Finally, you should also have a team ready to respond to any hiccups your website may encounter, like technical issues or security breaches. Staying on top of your website’s security and performance will ultimately help you to rank better and establish trust with your growing audience.

In this guide, we’ll go over some aspects of website development you should consider, as well as some of your options.

1. Professional Business Website Design

Have a goal for your website

Building a website starts with the identity of the site. What is your goal with this website? E-commerce websites emphasize visually appealing product images, secure payment processing and automated inventory management. If you need to schedule appointments with clients and accept payments, you would need to opt for a calendar extension, but you would not need to worry about inventory.

A clear goal for your website will dramatically impact the way your website development team operates. It is crucial to establish this before considering your options for hosting, content management, etc. because it will limit what services you can use to accomplish your goal. It’s not to say a builder site like Wix or Squarespace cannot accomplish your goal, rather, you may end up paying a lot more money to use one service over another.

Prepare your company or brand graphics to go on the website

Your logo is one of the most important aspects of your graphic design. In order to communicate your brand or business to your audience, they must know that the website they are looking at belongs to you. This includes having your logo clearly visible on the landing page, a favicon in the top corner of the browser tab and a domain name that is close or identical to your business name.

NOTE

Most clients expect a .com domain name. These are commercial domains that usually cost 15-20 dollars a year to have registered to you or your business.

Keeping a consistent coloring palette is another consideration, especially when you are reinforcing a brand image on your website. Consider using your brand’s color palette in the logo or designing a similar palette for the website. If you need or want more colors that match your current palette, Coolors.co is a great free tool you can use to generate additional colors to your palette. You can also generate new palettes from scratch with this tool too.

Images stored in PNG or JPG tend to do really well on web pages. These image formats store the layout for each pixel in the photo. With that in mind, it is important to scale your images before hand as you create a website page with your editor so you do not need to waste time scaling them every time you serve the page. Speaking of performance speed, using video streaming services like YouTube or Vimeo will help boost page speeds instead of loading an entire video that could easily push 100 MB.

Basic Services For Your Company Website

Now that we have an idea of what our website is going to do, let’s go over some of the basic components every website will need in order to work.

2. Domain Name

Your domain name is what users will type into the search engine to find you. This should match your company’s name as closely as possible and company websites should have a .com ending. When you build a website with a domain name, you can also use this for custom email addresses, like jacob@ testing.com if your domain name is testing. com.

You can purchase a domain name from a wide variety of services, however, you should purchase your domain name through your hosting provider if possible. Otherwise, we can recommend Google as a credible domain name provider. There are several other credible services out there, but we have personal experience with this Google service.

3. SSL Certificate

The lock box on your website is a critical component to every modern website. It is mandatory for any website that takes user information like billing. Secure Socket Layer encryption is a protocol that allows your website to serve HTTPS requests (the secure version of HTTP that serves web pages).

SSL Certificate Importance
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It is important to have SSL figured out as you create a website with your selected software. Many website builders and website development services should automatically include this on your website. If for some reason this isn’t or if you create a website entirely from scratch, you should consider using Let’s Encrypt for a free SSL configuration. This will boost your security and search rankings, however, you still need to configure other secure elements before your site is robust.

4. Hosting Services

One of the largest expenses to consider for your website development is hosting. Hosting services will provide you access to one of their dedicated servers to host your website online. These servers run 24/7 in undisclosed locations to keep your website visitors happy. If you plan to build your website by yourself, consider hosting services from companies with an outstanding track record, amazing customer service and near 0 down-time.

There are a plethora of service providers that can handle your website, but you must consider how you will build, maintain and expand your website before you purchase a plan. Some of the builder websites will charge extra for e-Commerce packages and extended storage for videos and media. Be sure you read the fine print in these hosting packages beforehand.

Putting The Backend All Together

One of the factors that is worth mentioning here is the support Content Management Systems your hosting will provide. cPanel hosting often allows you to have software like WordPress to build your website, whereas website builders will have a proprietary builder you can use. Of course, you can always spin up an Amazon EC2 instance and code your website from scratch, however, there are no supported CMS plugins included by default.

The tradeoff between builders and software like WordPress comes to cost over time investment. Website builders tend to cost more up front if you intend to have a lot of features. On the other hand, it can take some time to learn WordPress and set up your site with all the features your business needs. Alternatively, you can invest more resources into a professional web development service to handle the backend of your website and skip this step.

How to Develop a Website for Business

While you haven’t built your website yet, there are a couple of things you should consider for the future of your personal or business website. As you scale up to serve more people simultaneously online, switching to a different service provider will require your website to temporarily go offline as you migrate over. You will also need to test functionality and security if you move from a website builder to an entirely different system like WordPress or a custom tech-stack like MERN or MEAN.

Before you purchase a hosting plan, consider these factors for later down the road. When you get a large user base, will the current platform provide you with an affordable and efficient way to improve your web presence in the long run? Of course, your budget will hopefully increase at this time, but you should still be getting a good deal on your business website hosting.

5. Room To Grow; Scaling Your Platform

Plugins and extensions allow you to expand your website when the right time comes, however, they typically come at an increased hosting cost. The same penalty occurs whenever you need to scale up your company website to meet the increasing demands of your large audience. To increase your performance with many users, you will need to have more resources from the server(s) hosting your website. Be sure your hosting plan allows you to seamlessly acquire more resources.

Additionally, you may need to extend the capability of your website with plugins, themes and extensions. Website builder sites will have proprietary options you must purchase in order to scale up. These are usually well optimized, however, you are at the mercy of the developers if you want to make changes to the functionality of these plugins.

For CMS sites like WordPress, there are a plethora of free and paid plugins to craft your website into a custom solution. There are significantly more plugins available at the beginning stages of website development, however, you can always upgrade to premium plugins when the time comes. Premium plugins can become expensive depending on your website goal.

Dedicated WordPress design teams like ours can mitigate this cost by allowing subleasing their licenses to you. Not only will this save you time and money, but you do not need to inspect the credibility and reliability of the plugins these teams use on a daily basis.

6. Security

In the age of emerging cyber threats, it is important to consider digital security for your website. While you do not need to be a programming expert, you should keep up to date with emerging threats or pay for a service to do this for you.

If you opt for a website builder platform, you will rely on the security provided by the platform. While most of these platforms have a great track record, you do not have much wiggle room to update your security protocols should new threats emerge. It is important to select a service that will keep up to date with new attacks.

If you build your own website, you will need to follow the best practices for secure website development. This includes firewall installation, CAPTCHA protected forms, robust user passwords and many more features. There are plugins that handle security for WordPress quite well, however, some will be at a premium. Regardless, it is a necessary investment to protect your clients and company.

7. Search Engine Optimization

Regardless of what platform you host your website on, the most important tools for increasing your exposure is SEO. SEO will help boost your web pages in search engine rankings. Having tools that help you create content that stick out, get views and clicks will make or break your online marketing strategy.

Boosting traffic for any website follows the same formula, however, each platform typically has a proprietary tool that will guide your content creation process. The included tool in the page editor is more convenient to use, however, you may find yourself using other services to boost your performance later down the road if the SEO tool is no longer up to the job.

Putting The Pieces Together

You should definitely build a website! Whether you are building a professional website for yourself or business, website development is an exciting opportunity to convey your message, service or product online. This expands the opportunity to meet new clients and service a global user base.

When you create a website, you should consider how your website will be built, maintained and grown in the long run. Invest the time to expand your knowledge as you create a website that best fits your company’s needs and select services that will complement the goal of your business website. Whatever your goal is, our team can help you build a website that will stand out!

FAQ

How can I create my own website?

There are a variety of options out there, but we recommend you identify your website goals first before you build your website.

Which is the best site to create a website?

There are several great site builders like Wix and Squarespace, however, there are many great web development solutions that can provide you a customized approach.

How long does it take to build a website?

Website builder sites have preconfigured themes and features, making the time to create a website down to a few days. Website development teams will need more time to create a customized solution.

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