You don’t need to be a web designer to build your own website. Anyone can now set up a place on the web at a low cost. Of course, knowing a few tips and tricks can help to make sure your site is effective. Here’s a brief DIY guide to making and maintaining a successful site.
Come up with a suitable domain name
Your website name has to be memorable and suit its purpose. It’s alright to go a little wacky and random if your website’s purpose is something fun – just look at Moonpig and PigeonsandPlanes (the first is an online card shop, the second is a music blog). For sites that have a more serious edge – particularly B2B purposes - a more serious domain name may be suitable. Check your site’s name hasn’t already been taken. Even if it has, you may still be able to add a variation to make it work (adding ‘official’ on the end, or ‘the’ at the beginning).
Choose a hosting provider
To buy your domain name you’ll have to use a hosting provider. These will ask that you pay a small price to rent out your domain name or buy it permanently. Some providers such as eHost also allow you to cut out the coding by setting you up with a choice of web platforms. Even if you have no knowledge of programming, you can use web platforms like Wordpress with set themes and easily customisable options.
Design your website
Your website needs to look impressive in order to attract return visitors. You can stick to standard templates on Wordpress, but you may want to embrace some of these web design tricks in order to better stand out. Get family and friends to test your website to check that its navigable – they may be able to hint you any improvements. You can also pay specialist reviewers to privately critique your website and tell what improvements may need doing.
Build your web presence
Once your website is up and running you need to ensure that people know about it. If you’re a business, ensure that any branded items such as t-shirts, business cards, leaflets and pens also have your website on. You can pay certain companies to improve your search engine rankings or design PPC ads, or you can try and grow your presence naturally by promoting through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Explore other ways of promoting your website too such as posting on forums, blogging and vlogging.
Keep your website active
New content will keep your website fresh and engaging. Whether you’re a business or a hobbyist, you need to keep blogging, ideally on a weekly basis. Keep on top of current trends and seasonal occasions and post updates on your website on Facebook and Twitter. Add new features and pages to freshen up your site from time to time. Just make sure all content is relevant so that your website maintains a strong identity.
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