Do It Yourself Web Design Done Right

 

Building a website on your own can be a daunting task to say the least. Many people have tried, and, where some Do it Yourself Webfind success through hard work and perseverance, others fail in the face of confusion and web jargon. Terms like SEO, CMS, HTML, web domains and hosting services can make green small business owners and other do-it-yourselfers red in the face before they’ve even thought about launching.

Well, rest easy, because we’re here to simplifying things as much as we can. DIY web design isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be in years past. Why’s that?

It’s simple. These days, you need only do a little research, find yourself a trustworthy free website builder, and viola! You’ll be well on your way to designing your own website before you know it.

The best part? You won’t have to spend one red cent!

Why Build a Website From Scratch?

Ultimately, the reason for building a website will vary greatly from person to person. Some people simply want a public place to house their blog articles or pictures, while some are looking to launch an entire ecommerce web store.

There are DIYers out there who just want to make it easy for people to RSVP to their life event (think wedding, golden birthday, etc.), and some are merely looking to create an online portfolio of their work.

Needless to say, the amount of work you will need to put into building your website in the beginning will depend heavily on the reason you have decided to build it in the first place.

But regardless of what exactly you intend to do with your website once it’s built, here are the hard facts about how to do it right.

The RIGHT Way to Build Your Own Website

  • First things first. Start thinking about your domain name (the URL you want to use for your site). Depending on which website builder you choose to use (there are many out there) you may not have to worry about a domain name until a bit later in the process. But be careful! Some domains are more expensive than others. Note: this should be the only part of the process you will have to pay for.
  • If you’re smart and you’re looking for an attractive but relatively simple website, you should look around to find a web builder that provides free hosting services. They’re out there, and they’re great. Just imagine, working with only one company for all your different website needs. Sounds too good to be true—except, it’s not!
  • Now we get down to the good stuff: web design. This is where many DIYers tend to get a bit frustrated, and understandably so. If you’re looking at it from a freelance writer’s standpoint, for example, designing a website may seem akin to translating a book into a language you’ve never heard of. Picking colors and shapes is no problem, but making that come to life online? Um. Help. PLEASE. Make sure you find a website builder with a good selection of unique and beautiful web design templates that you can choose from. That way, you can pick one that suits you perfectly.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it,” right? WRONG! Not in terms of your website editor. When it comes to editing your own website, the easier the better—TRUST ME. Choose a website editor that’s simple to use and gets you the results you want.
  • Whether you’re familiar with reputable SEO practices or not, finding a website builder that incorporates the latest web technology while also helping you implement appropriate SEO tactics with your website is a must-have in today’s day and age.

Consider Your Audience

Another important thing to consider with DIY website building is whether you want a site that reads like an infographic (one long page that provides all the information up front) or whether you’d rather build a site that has multiple pages dedicated to different features.

Obviously, you’ll need to ask yourself whether what you’re building your site for requires more than one page. An ecommerce website, for example, would never be able to get away with only one page to house the content, products, blog, and everything else that comes with that.

But, you’ll also need to consider the customer, your friends or relatives, or your potential clients: whoever your target audience is who you want to visit your site. Will they want to read one long text-filled page of information in order to figure out who you are?

Or, would they rather see images that relate your brand’s story? Perhaps a little of column A AND a little of column B will work best for you. However, you’ll never know until you get started.

Image courtesy of Flickr user SEOPlanter.

Limiting Pages on a Website

Limiting Pages on a Website

It used to be popular to put as many pages as possible on a website. When the Internet was fairly new, people felt that more expansive websites were simply more impressive. They looked professional. If it was complicated, people would be awed by it, both by the design itself and by the sheer amount of information that was being presented. This went a long way toward building a successful brand that people would trust because they were more prone to trust a company that they felt was very advanced. The issues that this brought about, such as long loading times and difficult navigation, were largely ignored.

However, this is something that has seriously changed over the years. People now use the Internet on such a consistent basis that they know what to expect and they know what they want. They are no longer awed by a site that is very large, that contains a lot of information that they do not need and a ton of extra pages. They just find it annoying. They hate navigating through all of the various links, and they may even decide not to use the site if it seems like it is just too much work.

It is important to keep all of this in mind when you use an ecommerce website builder because you do not want to accidentally build a site that is going to push people away with its very design. You are working far too hard, through advertising and SEO, to get those people to come to your site in the first place. You need the site to then do the rest of the work, selling itself and selling your products, so that you can get a high conversion rate. Once you get people there, you need to keep them there.

What this means is that you should try to limit pages as much as possible. Only give people information that is valuable, that they are actually looking for. Put as much of the information that is popular near the front so that they do not have to search for it. Use simple site structures that guide people naturally from one page to the next. In fact, many companies are starting to use single-page sites where you do not have to do anything but scroll down to find what you are looking for, with hyperlinks on the side for faster access.