Curious about how to make a website?
Think of a website as a first impression. You want make your website approachable, memorable and true to your personal or company brand. Style is important. From layout and colour schemes to the overall look and feel, the design of a website is meant to seamlessly guide visitors to your most valuable content while making an impact that encourages them to return.
On the tech side, your website needs to be user-friendly when visited from a computer as well as from a smart phone.
Since visitors will be coming from countless shapes and sizes of mobile devices, “responsive design” is important. Research shows that three out of four Canadians own a smart phone, which means chances are they’re going to find your site through from their mobile. Remember, what looks good on a desktop computer may not look good on a mobile device. Make that first impression count.
How to make a website in 5 steps
There’s a lot to consider when figuring out how to make a website and at first, it may seem daunting. Here are five easy steps to starting a beautiful, user-friendly site.
Step 1: Secure your domain name
It may sound cliché, but it’s all in the name. If you’re using the site as a home for your services or products, chances are you’re going to use the domain name in other marketing materials. From sponsored Facebook ads to printed handouts, your domain name (URL) becomes an integral part of your identity. Embrace it!
It should have a direct connection to your brand or location and be relatively easy to remember for word-of-mouth referrals. Avoid dashes, numbers (unless those digits are central to your brand) and unnecessary abbreviations as these make URLs tricky and forgettable.
To check the availability of your desired domain name, visit godaddy.ca and type your domain request into the search bar.
The great thing about this function, is that it gives you options to consider. If your initial request is already in use, GoDaddy automatically helps you troubleshoot by providing thoughtful suggestions which may be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re the world’s leading domain registrar for a reason and have more than 17 million customers.
Step 2: Select a web host
Every website has a web host. This means the site lives or is stored on a server so it can be accessed via the internet. When someone wants to look up your website, they search for the name or type the URL into the address bar (commonly referred to as the location bar or URL bar) at the top of their browser. Once the browser connects with the server, the website is displayed.
We don’t really think about how a simple search produces a website or what backend pieces are required to make it all happen. We just search and expect immediate results. This is why it’s key to have a reliable host.
GoDaddy offers a number of web hosting packages tailored to your needs – be it for one website or multiple websites. Each package includes what you need and they offer 24/7 support. There’s also the option of adding Search Engine Visibility (SEV). This assists with improving your search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo!, Bing) ranking and increases visitors and sales. With so many websites offering similar services, you don’t want your site to get buried. SEV can help bring your site to the surface.
Step 3: Choose a website builder
You don’t need to be a proficient coder or well-versed in programming lingo if you’re thinking about how to make a website. If the site you evision having is pretty straightforward and you want to do it yourself (DIY), consider trying GoDaddy’s Website Builder, which comes with a free trial. Think of the free trial like taking a car for a test drive. You’re poised behind the wheel, getting comfortable with the dashboard and the interior design. You’re adjusting the layout and making it unique to you.
(It takes less than an hour to create your site with GoDaddy’s Website Builder.) And unlike test driving a car, where you have to immediately return it, GoDaddy lets you try it out for a full month.
If you’re not looking for the DIY method, WordPress is a great alternative. GoDaddy will host your WordPress site and you can choose from a pre-built templates. (GoDaddy also presents you with the option of hiring a web design professional to do the work for you, if you prefer.)
Step 4: Choose your plan
As a rule of thumb, I always go for a package that’s one step above my needs. You never know how fast growth will happen and by applying big-picture thinking, you’re already starting to envision what’s next for your website. Here’s some questions you need to ask yourself when you’re considering a plan:
- Is my site for personal use or for business?
- Does it need PayPal integration, Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) or security (SSL)?
- Will I require email marketing, social media integration or a built-in shopping cart?
As you start to think about those questions and build out your answers, you can dig a little bit deeper into your plan. If the plan you’ve committed to no longer sustains the growth of your website, you can upgrade to a different plan that may offer what you need.
Step 5: Define your style with themes
Be it through GoDaddy’s Website Builder or through WordPress themes, you will be able to access themes which assist in the look and feel of your site. You can tailor the colours to match your brand and identify the most important features you’d like your site to have. If you’re thinking about how to make a website for your business, there should be consistency across your website, your social media channels, and your other marketing collateral.
When you’ve worked your way through those steps, and you’re ready to launch your site,
announce it to the world! Submit your website to Google and share it across your social channels!
Happy website building!