Starting your own website: 10 vital steps
A beginner’s guide to ensure you cover the key bases before diving in with your website creation
Building a website for the first time? It can be a pretty daunting experience, which is why we’ve pulled together this Beginner’s 101 guide telling you all you need to know before diving in.
1. Establish the aim of your website
Are you looking to sell online? Showcase your work? Or are you simply looking to inform people that your business exists and encourage them to get in touch? Having a clear aim will help you as well as your visitors.
2. Research, research and research some more
Have a look at other websites in your field, in a broad range of areas, and take note of things you like and can emulate. What is it about their layout and design that works? How do they talk to their visitors?
3. Know your target market
Make sure you clarify this early on as it will affect your theme, design, content, usability, networking efforts and search engine optimisation (we’ll come to this later). In short, everything revolves around your target market.
4. Choose your website-building platform
There’s a huge range of platforms to choose from out there. With Moonfruit it’s super easy. Simply pick a template and customise as much as you like (or you can design from scratch if you like), then use our drag-and-drop site editor (you literally drag and drop things as you do in PowerPoint) and customise away to your heart’s content.
It’s also a big bonus that everything is included, from web hosting and templates to the shop and add-on features such as video widgets. Oh, and it’s free too, unless you decide to beef things up a bit with a premium package, or want one of our professional teams to build it for you.
5. Think about design and layout
Having done your research, you’ll hopefully already have an inkling of the design style you want to go for. Try creating a mood board with screen grabs from sites you like. For layout try sketching out how you want things to look.
6. Prep your content
What do you want to tell visitors? What’s going to get them excited about your work and keep them on your site? How many pages do you need to do this? Plan all this in advance and keep it snappy.
7. Get SEO savvy
Search Engine Optimisation will play a big part in bringing people to your site. Google Adwords is a great tool for researching keywords in your subject area, but don’t just ram them into your copy, use them as a guide to what you should write to attract people looking for what you do.
8. Line up your images
Cropping, brightening, resizing… doing all this in advance will make things a breeze when it comes to creating your site.
9. Create your logo
Whether you create a brand new logo or customise the one featured in your website template, having a logo that reflects your brand is vital. If you’re looking to create your own, try your hand at software such as Adobe, Karbon, or Gimp.
10. Set yourself a deadline
Web design can take yonks if you don’t manage your time properly. Set yourself daily or weekly targets of having certain areas of your site done – this way you won’t get bogged down doing too much at once.
For more advice, tips and inspiration on starting a website as a small business, visit the Moonfruit Blog where you’ll find heaps of case studies, interviews, how-to guides and more.