With so many easy to use web development platforms in existence, building a website is easier than ever before. Since many web platforms offer more drag and drop features and e-commerce options for one price, many creatives and business owners have chosen these platforms for the sake of time and convenience.
However, when determining your website’s goals, it is important to consider that not every web development platform is created equally.
For instance, providers like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com (different from WordPress.org) may not be as ideal depending on your goals. For established businesses and brands, web ranking may not be as significant as an objective, but if you’re looking to generate traffic this way, you may want to reconsider.
If time is on your side and you’re looking to grow your traffic, here is a simple strategy to build your own website to increase your creative control, SEO, all while decreasing your spending.
Consider implementing your own domain and hosting strategy
More often than not, we are drawn towards an all-inclusive option that provides the domain, hosting, blog plugin, template, and many of the essential features of a website. Otherwise, we invest large amounts of capital into hiring a web developer and spend a fortune relying on them to update a website.
Both of these alternatives leave us without an understanding of how our website actually functions.
If you have the time, it’s worth it to buy a domain from a website like GoDaddy, and update the DNS, or domain name server, settings to send it to separate hosting – something that can also be done through GoDaddy. In my experience, they’re the easier provider to work with and will even set up your WordPress admin account if you call customer service.
Create a plan
Begin to write or type out the plan for your website.
What pages will you need? How do you want your site to appear? What type of theme or brand should it convey? Do some research, and write out your own sitemap and structure to ensure it includes all you’ll need. Look at other personal blogs, businesses, influencers, and consultants for examples.
Write out your content
Instead of writing your content while designing your website, do this beforehand so you aren’t developing directed attention fatigue (or exhausting yourself doing multiple tasks – in this case, tasks which are very different). Research content that will increase your SEO ranking, and explore other responsive websites that implement content features you enjoy.
Choose a responsive theme for desktop and mobile
Build your site
Once you have everything in place, begin putting each piece together. If you’re using WordPress, you can install different drag and drop plugins that simplify the process for you and customize your website.
Include calls to action
An important rule of thumb to follow is ensuring each page and piece of content has a goal. That goal should include the call to action, or action step, you desire your target audience take. Whether it’s clicking a button, reading a blog post, learning more, or making a sale, always ensure that your website is calling your audience to do something.
Add the bells and whistles
Now that your website is almost complete, incorporate additional features such as analytics, shopping carts, and lead magnets. These tools will take your website to the next level, enabling you to gauge your traffic and generate more revenue over time.
Though this process may seem tedious, remember it will not only save additional revenue in the long run but also give you complete creative control and authority over your website.
Always, always, always have the technical side of your website created first before you design. This means hooking up your domain and hosting before you design.