You’ve decided it’s high time you had your own website, but you’d prefer to develop it yourself. Can you produce a professional-looking website without having much, if anything, in the way of website design skills and experience? The answer is a qualified “yes.” Follow these tips to get the results you’re looking for and craft your own, professional-looking website.
Developing a website from scratch requires coding skills. But you can create a very attractive site using a no-code website builder. A review of Australian website builders points towards the most popular options. Using one of these DIY options, select a template and customize it using your own content. Figuring out the user interface isn’t too hard, and you don’t need any special skills to get the job done. In general, the task of designing your website is free. Your only investment is time.
Theoretically, you don’t have to pay for your own domain name. You can just let the website building platform use their default. However, if you really want to look professional, you should have your own, personal domain. Securing one always costs something, but your website builder should offer you the opportunity to get your own domain name in exchange for an affordable subscription fee.
Websites are sources of information, but they must be well-presented. That means eye candy. While you might think your mobile phone takes pretty good pictures, they’re a world away from professional work and it will show. Unless you’re really good at photography and image editing, you will either have to hire a photographer, or else use professional stock images. Shutterstock is a popular source of images, and Pixabay offers free options. but be aware that if you use the lower-cost options, other websites will be using the same photos.
Content is very important in your search rankings. So, if you want people to find your website from organic search queries, you will need to show the bots and crawlers that determine your search rankings that your website has relevance. Develop a consistent theme and keep your content accurate, grammatically correct, and easy-to-read.
Fresh content shows that you’re active, and that boosts rankings too, so you will need to add new items on a fairly regular basis. Think about how and where you will present this when designing your website and develop a calendar in which you outline your plans for adding new content.
When developing your own website, always put the people who are visiting it first. The first time they find it, they won’t know anything about you or your website. If you don’t create the right impression in seconds, they will “bounce” to another site without exploring further. In other words, nobody who visits your site should have to spend as much as a second wondering what it is about and what its purpose is. One glance should give them the answers and make them eager for more.
This feeds into every aspect of your website development project. The layout you choose, your banner text, even the colors you select – all of these should be visual cues that tell your visitors they’ve come to the right place.
You’ve followed all the guidelines so far, and you’re happy with the results. But don’t launch yet! Now’s the time to get input from people who weren’t involved in the website development process itself. Ask them to check your text, comment on the overall impression your design creates, and test out how easy it is to navigate. Tell them that you’re looking for constructive criticism, and be ready to make adjustments based on the feedback you receive.
Launching your new website is a big event. Make the most of it. Start creating a buzz on social networks. Post a few teasers to whet your audience’s curiosity. Consider paying for a little extra promotion. In short, get as many people as possible excited about the coming launch before you make the big announcement that you’re up and running.
While you will definitely celebrate the launch of your very own website, your job has only just begun. Use analytics to see how it’s doing, what draws people to it, and whether they stayed to take a look around.
Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Try to figure out the reasons why people spend more time in certain areas of your website than others, and so on. In doing so, you’ll gain valuable insights that you can use to make your site even more successful – and you’ll keep doing that for as long as you own and run your site. Stay focused and succeed!
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