build website

In the old days of the internet, building a professional-looking website was something only a few people with adequate coding/design skills could do. Luckily, today, thanks to the wide range of tools and services available, designing a website is easier than ever. And in this post, you will find a step-by-step guide to do just that!

So, without further ado, here’s how you build a website in 2023:

Why Should You Have a Website?

Before actually starting, this question needs to be answered. First of all, if you own a business by any means, you don’t have another option than having a proper, working, helpful website. Why? Because all your competitors are out there promoting their products and services on the internet, and your audience is surely searching for them. So, if you wish to be found by more people, you have got to have an online presence as well.

And, what if you don’t have a business? There are plenty of reasons why you should create your own website, some of which are:

  • You can use it as a portfolio (depending on your profession of course),
  • It can be a great hobby,
  • You can earn money with it,
  • It can be a self-improvement tool, as you will be learning a lot about design, digital marketing, etc.

What You Should Know Before Starting a Website?

In order for your website to serve your needs, you need to know a few things before starting:

  • What’s your main purpose for starting a website? – Do you wish to make money online? Or just want a hobby? Do you want to sell products/promote your business? Decide what you really want from your website, and that will take you to the next step.
  • What type of website is the best for you? – There are a lot of different website types. Knowing your expectations will help you choose which one will suit you the best. Check out our article on popular website types to get more information on this one.
  • What’s your budget? – When it comes to designing a website, there are countless tools, and with almost everything else, there are paid, and free versions. Although you usually have to pay for premium services to get the most out of everything, you can still get a pretty decent website with a lot of free tools if you are on a budget. So, set a budget, get your priorities straight, and know how much you are going to spend on what. And remember you can always start small, and then grow in time.

4 Easy Steps to Build a Website

If you know what you really want, let’s take a look at the 4 main steps of building a website:

1- Get a Domain Name

Of course, different websites may have different needs, but one thing’s for certain: every website needs a name. And that is what a domain name means; it is the unique name of your website, that people put in their web browser’s address bar so that they can reach you. Domain names consist of an actual name -such as Google– and an extension -such as .com or .net– and they basically exist to make things easier for us, as without them we would have to remember the IP address of every website!

There are a lot of domain name providers out there, so first thing’s first; you need to find a name for your website -it must be an available name, of course- and get it from a domain provider.

To learn more about the subject, check out our detailed article on domain names, where we also provide valuable tips on how to choose a domain name too!

2- Find a Hosting Provider

OK, now that you have registered your website’s name, the next stop is having a “place” where you can publish it. In simplest terms, that’s what web hosting does for you- it gives you a space on a server, where you can store your website’s files, so that people -after typing the domain name you have registered and hitting Enter– can reach it.

As is the case with domain names, there are a lot of hosting providers as well -and quite a price range- and most of the time domains and hosting services are offered together by provider companies to make things easier for people.

To get detailed information on hosting, and to learn about different types of hosting services for different website/business needs, you can read our article on web hosting.

3- Decide on a CMS (Content Management System)

If you’ve got your domain name and hosting provider and everything’s up and running, then congratulations, you now -technically- have a website! But, unless you are a web programmer, you will need a bit more than that; for design, functionality, and of course, management.

This is where content management systems step in. They let users easily customize their websites, and they require zero to very little experience to operate. (at least as a start) With a CMS, you can change your website’s layout, add/edit content, change certain settings, add new functionality- basically you can do whatever you want with just a few clicks and drag & drop actions.

4- Find a Web Template

If you are not a web designer -and we doubt that you are, if you are here reading this post- web templates are your best bet at having a beautiful, professional-looking website. Basically, they are pre-designed webpage layouts with certain functionalities coded in, that you can easily apply to your website with just a few clicks. They are built using web programming languages -such as HTML and CSS- and they mainly consist of page layout, font types, colors, and of course, basic functionality.

Website templates work with content management systems, so whatever CMS you choose, you will be able to browse through countless website themes, both free and paid.

Read our detailed article to learn more about web templates.

Website Builders

Website builders are another popular option when it comes to creating a website. Simply, they are all-in-one type of platforms that streamline the process of designing a website for beginners, by simple click, drag & drop actions. In this sense -as the careful readers may have already noticed- they are not so much different from content management systems, but there are some key differences: website builders usually host the sites themselves, while with CMSs users can choose whatever hosting provider they wish. Also, websites designed/managed with content management systems can be expanded using third-party extensions -and the options are basically unlimited- while website builders are somewhat more conservative when it comes to that- they mostly want to manage everything inside. So, if you want a website that can be heavily customized when needed, CMSs may be a better option for you.

Having said that, going for a website builder is certainly a great way to start a website for beginners. To learn more on this, you can check out our detailed post about website builders.

Building Your First Website – FAQ

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about building a website:

Q: Can I build a website for free?

A: Yes! You can certainly build a website for free, but, as you would expect, the design and functionality options will be very limited, and you won’t be having the custom domain name you wish. (usually free website names include the provider’s name.) While it is certainly an option for first-timers, we advise people who are on a budget to check out some cheap hosting and domain solutions as well. If you want to know in general, how much does it cost to build a website, you can check our article.

Q: I don’t have any experience with design or coding/web technologies. Can I still build a website from zero?

A: Yes! Obviously, if you have some design and/or coding experience, it will come in handy, but if you just follow the steps we have provided above, it should be easy enough for you to get your first website going. And if you have any problems during the process, you can always contact the support team of your provider(s).

Q: How long will it take to build my first website?

A: It depends, but after activating your domain and hosting, just to set up your website and get it going should not take you more than a few hours. Of course, making the necessary design touches and adding the desired functionality might take more time, depending on what your end goal is.

Q: How often should I update my website?

A: It really depends on what type of website you are running and what your goals are. If you are running a blog, you should update it at least once a week with new posts, but if you have a corporate site, you really don’t need to update it all that much -save for technical & security updates when needed.

Conclusion & Some of the Next Steps…

Now you know the main steps to building your own website. It might look intimidating at first, but once you start, you will see for yourself that it is much easier than it looks, with all the helpful tools available out there. To get more information on the important steps such as domains, hosting, and templates, we strongly advise you to check out our individual pages, so that you can learn all you need to know. And once your website is up and running, you might want to check out our following guides on how to make it better:

How to rank higher in Google search results? – SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

How to create engaging content? – Tips for High-Quality Website Content