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In this digital era, having your own website is essential for most small businesses. They can amplify your brand, help you connect with old customers, and allow you to reach new customers.
In fact, not having a website can make your business look archaic and out of touch.
The good news is that establishing your online presence is easier than ever before. In this step-by-step guide, we cover everything you need to know about how to make a new website.
Here’s a quick beginner’s guide on how to create a website.
First decide what you want to accomplish digitally.
A few use cases for websites include:
It’s important to map out your goals because the amount it costs to make a website can vary depending on your needs. For example, you may be able to use a free service if your only goal is to collect emails.
Next, choose a website builder or platform. These services allow you to create your website using drag-and-drop interfaces, which means you don’t have to code anything by yourself. Simply create an account, then start customizing the look and feel of your site.
Here are a few of the top website providers.
And of course, there’s always the option to code your own site from scratch or hire a web developer.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, lock down a domain name for your website. Domain names are the address users will enter to go to your website, like nav.com or wikipedia.org.
Most website providers now offer the ability to buy a domain name within the platform, but you can also browse domain registrars like namecheap.com and domains.google if you prefer to get yours through a third party. Note that domains no longer have to end in “.com” or “.org.” There is a sizable list of other options, including “.co,” “.finance,” “.us,” and “.biz.” To see the full list of what’s available, just enter a keyword on your domain provider’s site.
Domain names can range from as little as $12 a year to as much as seven figures. Longer domains tend to be cheaper, while one-word ideas are often much more expensive.
“Hosting” is a technical term that translates to “renting storage space for your website’s files.” Your site needs somewhere to store its data, and web hosting providers provide the digital real estate.
Popular hosting companies include Bluehost, HostGator, and Hostinger. Pricing for a basic hosting plan can start at as little as $2.75 per month, and scales up according to your needs.
You only need to follow this step if you’re building your site on WordPress or coding your own. Other platforms come with hosting services built in.
If you’ve made it to this step, you’re ready to start designing your website and attracting visitors. While you design, make sure you’re accounting for these important features.
There are a few free website builders that allow you to create a fully functioning business website for free.
If you’re looking for a standard site with basic functions like the ability to host a home page, contact page, navigation menu, and blog, consider using WordPress. There are two versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
The .com version is as plug-and-play as it gets, and is a great choice if you’re designing your first website. Create a free account and start building immediately. The .org version comes with a slightly higher learning curve. It requires setting up hosting and a domain name before you can start building. If your goals include SEO optimization and html and css customizability, choose the .org option.
If you need an ecommerce website with capabilities like the ability to process payments and create product pages with shopping cart functions, you’ll either need to buy paid WordPress themes and apps, code your own WordPress site, or hire a website designer.
Another platform that allows you to create a free website is Mailchimp. Mailchimp’s landing pages are great if your only purpose is to collect email addresses or other contact information. Keep in mind that the free plan only supports domains with Mailchimp branding. To create a free-standing site with your own domain, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Finally, most platforms allow you to build the foundations of your website for free. You’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to make your website live, but Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and other similar sites all allow you to poke around and design a rough draft for free.
Online business has grown at an incredible rate in the last few years, and website providers have scaled with the industry. There’s no shortage of choices for website providers, which can be overwhelming.
One way to find the best platform for you is to use Nav. Our platform curates the leading website making services and regularly updates our selection as new options become available.
With that said, here are a few high-quality options we recommend. This short list is optimized for reliability, customizability, and affordability. Some of the world’s biggest businesses use these sites, and their long-standing reputations make them trustworthy.
This article was originally written on May 19, 2022.
This article currently has 3 ratings with an average of 5 stars.
Digital Marketing Copywriter
Matt Tsai helps make complicated financing concepts simple. In his free time, he takes short hikes in mountainous areas and long walks in suburban neighborhoods. He hopes to adopt a dog in the near future.
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