We will show you the first 9 steps to follow to create your website. You only have to let yourself be guided :).
The purpose of this checklist is to get to the basics and give an overview of the first steps to follow to create your website. For more details on each of these stages, we refer you to the dedicated articles on Websites Are Us.
One of the first things you need is having a domain name. This is the web address that people will go to. The Fabrique du Net domain name is www.lafabriquedunet.fr for example.
To find out if the domain name you want is already taken, you can go to GoDaddy or NameCheap. You will also know how much it will cost you per year (between 10 and 20 euros on average). Some website creation solutions (like Wix) offer you a domain name for free when you register (for the first year).
If your website is the showcase of your business, you will also need an email address to contact. Having a gmail or even clubinternet address does not give a very professional image. You must have an address with the domain name of your website, of your company.
It is better to spend 5 euros per month to gain real credibility with your customers and prospects. After purchasing your domain name, all you have to do is go to Google GSuite to create it. You will then be the proud owner of the address [email protected]
To create your site, you will need to go through online software. The best known are WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. All of them allow you to develop a site very easily.
Here are some guidelines to help you make your choice:
- Wix : the most complete platform with the most features and tools. It allows you to easily add a shopping module, a video in the background, or even to create an online store.
- Squarespace : the most focused platform on design. The templates are very worked and allow you to customize your site as you wish. Ideal for creating an artist site.
- Weebly : the simplest platform to use, with Wix. Even if you have limited skills, you will be able to develop a completely correct site.
- WordPress : the most flexible platform, but because of this it is not easy to handle by the less experienced. Not recommended for beginners who do not have the money to hire the services of a professional (freelance or agency).
To make your site work, you need to host it somewhere. The type of accommodation you choose depends on the number of visitors. The more you have, the higher the rates will be.
There are 4 types of accommodation:
- The shared servers : You share a server with other sites. These are the cheapest paid offers, but also the most limited.
- The virtual servers (VPS): You also share space with other sites, but you can accommodate more visitors. You have control over the configuration of your virtual server and its modules. They therefore offer better flexibility.
- The dedicated servers : you have your own server. You are therefore entirely free to configure the server according to your needs and manage maintenance. Ideal for high traffic sites.
- The free servers : they are offered by the website creation sites listed above. So: if you choose a website builder (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly), you don’t have to worry about hosting. This section only applies to you if you want to create a site using a CMS like WordPress.
To start, it is better to start with a shared server. Once you know what your traffic is, you can go to a virtual server and so on depending on the number of visitors.
The template you choose will determine the visual appearance of your website. You don’t need to hire a web designer to get started. You will need to get feedback from your visitors before you know what to improve.
If you choose WordPress, you will find very good templates on WooThemes or Mojo Marketplace. If you choose another platform, you will have the choice from a large selection of designs.
- Wix has the largest library of templates (over 500, all responsive design).
- Squarespace has the most aesthetic and original templates.
- Weebly provides code access to customize your theme, but its template library is less rich than that of its competitors.
Website creation – Personalized price estimation
Websites Are Us has developed a recommendation engine which allows you to obtain a free detailed price estimate as well as a selection of software and providers adapted to your website creation needs.
Your logo is very important. It has to match your DNA. It must be in your colors.
There are two ways to create a logo:
- You hire a professional. Several sites offer to put you in touch with designers. This is the case of 99designs for example. You post your project and they then contact you with proposals. You only pay if you are satisfied with the offer. A simple solution if you don’t want to do it yourself, but more expensive.
- You are using a logo generator. Even if you don’t have graphic skills, they are simple to use. A good option if you want to create a logo right now and don’t have a budget. The two best known are Wix Logo Maker (free) and Tailor Brands (paid).
Check out our full article on the cost of creating a logo.
The visual aspect of a website is important. So to illustrate it, it’s better to use beautiful, high-quality images. If you have a gift for photography, feel free to use yours. Otherwise, there are several image banks:
Discover 200+ free graphic resources: image banks, icons, etc.
Having beautiful images is good, but they still have to be the right size, color, etc. If you have a regular and quite advanced use of image editing, you probably already have Photoshop. If not, no need to invest in such expensive software.
There are several free software programs, which of course do not come close to Photoshop, but which can be practical for fairly basic uses:
- BeFunky: a very intuitive tool with the many features of a PicMonkey and a Pixlr, less complexity.
- Pixlr: the closest tool to Photoshop. If you have more specific needs, then it’s perfect. On the other hand, it is more difficult to master.
- PicMonkey: it has fewer features than the other two, but it is the easiest to use.
If you have ambition for your website, you need to know its traffic in order to increase the number of visitors. And that goes through Google Analytics. The Google tool gives you all the information relating to the interactions of Internet users with your site: how many people consult it in real time, which page they visit the most, how long do they stay, etc.
This data gives you insights that will help you improve your performance.
Discover 6 tips for using Google Analytics like a pro.
You are finally ready to join the community of 1.60 billion websites worldwide. To create a non-commercial site, these 9 steps are enough. And if you then want to get started in creating an e-commerce site, go here to follow our advice.