Wondering “how to make my own website?” Building a professional, quality website was once a task best left to graphic designers and HTML programmers. However, over the past several years it has become much easier to build a solid website without hiring anyone to help. Website design tools and templates make it much easier to get a website up and running without the need for programming prowess.
However, even with the do-it-yourself tools available, there are still key elements that every website must have. While available tools and templates can certainly help you get your website launched quickly, there are important aspects of your website that these tools aren’t designed to address.
How To Make My Own Website – Key Features
Before you can answer “how to make my own website?” you first need to assess your target audience. Understanding your customers is an important first step when building your own website. Your customers’ tastes and interests will guide you in your website design and in the content you have on your site.
The Importance of Quality Content
Regardless of your target audience, your website must have quality content and this content must be written with your customers in mind. A professional website design is important to catch the immediate interest of your customers but it’s your content (text, photographs, images, etc) that will keep them coming back.
To help stress the importance of quality content, here are a few tips to remember:
- Always proofread your content and then proofread it again. Nothing will turn your customers away more quickly than content on your site that has spelling or grammatical errors. To help spot obvious errors, just copy and paste your content into Microsoft Word and run a grammar and spelling check. Your content must have a “voice” and resonate with your visitors. This is why it’s so important to understand your target audience. If your customers are conservative then you will write your content accordingly. For a younger demographic your content might be much more relaxed and include certain buzzwords. Your content connects you with your audience. You content must add value. Product descriptions must be accurate and clearly describe your products. Articles you write must be relevant and add value to the visitor experience. Terms and conditions must be clearly written and easy to understand. Photographs must be clear and professional. Amateur-looking photographs will quickly turn away business. If you’re not able to take your own quality product photographs, hire someone to help or take classes to learn how.
The Importance Of Keywords
Another key aspect to consider with your question, “how to make my own website,” is the keywords you use in your content. Keywords are words and phrases in your website content that help your customers and search engines find your site. For example, if your business sells dog toys, then the content on your website must include related terms. These keywords could be phrases such as dog toys, dog rope toys, puppy toys, squeaky dog toys, dog Frisbee toys, etc.
By including relevant keyword terms in your website content, you help search engines understand what your site is all about. The search engines will then hopefully rank your site well. Top search engine rankings are important so that customers can find your site online.
Popular Website Builders
With your understanding of the importance of quality, targeted content, now you can go out and evaluate some of the several website design tools that will help you build your own website. While there are quite a few design tools available, we’ve briefly reviewed a couple of the more popular below:
GoDaddy has long been a leader in website domain name registration and do-it-yourself website builders. Their product WebSite Tonight is a drag-and-drop tool that allows you to build your website without the need for extensive technical know-how. WebSite Tonight includes several thousand templates that you can use to get started. It’s also pretty easy to integrate a shopping cart if you plan to sell anything on your site.
While some find the GoDaddy commercials a turn-off, they do offer quality products and their customer support has improved considerably over the past few years. GoDaddy’s pricing structure is also quite competitive.
We personally love the SiteSell program because of the fact it’s so much more than just a website builder. SiteSell is a complete methodology for building your business online. The SiteSell program does a great job of holding your hand through each step of the process. Starting with keyword selection and content creation, you’ll learn not only “how to make my own website” but also how to connect with your visitors and grow your online business over time.
The only drawback we’ve found with SiteSell is that the visual aspect of their website templates can look a little amateurish. We tried the product several years ago, however, so the folks at SiteSell may have improved these features.
Owned by popular financial software maker Intuit, Homestead offers more than 2,000 different website designs that are ready for you to customize using their drag-and-drop interface. Like GoDaddy, this website builder requires no HTML knowledge. You can try out Homestead for a month for free, including hosting.
We’ve personally not used Homestead for any projects but have heard from others that they like the tools and feel good knowing that a company like Intuit is behind the product.
Next Steps For Making Your Own Website
Tools can help you make your own website quickly. However, it’s still up to you to create compelling content that grabs and holds your visitors’ attention. Combining a quality website design with engaging content is the best way to stand apart from your competition and also helps answer your question, “how to make my own website.“