Establishing an online presence is essential to every business. Whether you’re a small online bookstore, an established real estate company, or an independent creator, knowing how to build your own website will benefit you. In fact, there are many success stories of small businesses achieving big growth online. Having a website can help potential customers find you and your contact info online.
In this article, we have created a guide on how to build your own website from scratch, in which we also answer common questions about the process. You will learn how much it costs, the steps you need to take to build a website, and much more, below.
Why You Should Build Your Own Website
In this day and age, everything is on the Internet. When you don’t have your own website, you’re missing out on opportunities and, quite possibly, revenue. Business owners, freelancers, and even hobbyists can all reap benefits from establishing their own website and online presence.
When you successfully build your own website, it boosts your confidence and capabilities. It is an affirmation that you can build a website, which is a great skill. Building a website yourself will not only save your business money, but your online presence will also create more opportunities for your business as well.
How Hard Is It to Build Your Own Website?
The difficulty of building your own website depends on several factors such as its purpose, its layout, and its intended audience. In addition, websites such as a full-featured online store will need more complicated features than informational websites. Further, your skills, determination, and knowledge also come into the equation. With some basic skills in coding and the willingness to learn, building a website should be challenging but not frustrating.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?
Building a website from scratch can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months. The time it takes depends on several factors, such as the tools you use and the complexity of your website. You have to consider the time it takes to learn the skills you don’t have, as well. If you simply follow a set template design, the process can be quite quick but your website will have no advanced functionality.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Website?
When you build your own website, the only thing you really need to pay for is the web hosting provider and your domain name. Owning a website can cost anywhere from $1 to $150 per month or more, depending on your hosting plan and hosting provider.
If you choose to add premium tools, plugins, themes, or professional help, your expenses can range anywhere from $100 to $500 and above. However, these are the same costs involved in simply having a website, whether or not you’ve built it yourself.
How Much Cheaper Is It to Build Your Own Website?
Choosing to build your own website can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the type of website you want. Most of the good existing websites on marketplaces like Flippa cost thousands of dollars to buy, and they still come with limitations. Paying developers or an agency to build a website for you can quickly add up.
What Do You Need to Build Your Own Website?
To build your own website from scratch, you need various tools and components. You can utilize both free and paid tool options for most of these. Below are some of the tools you will need throughout your website-building journey.
- Code editor: To build your website from scratch, you need a code editor. It’s the most important tool to have complete control over your website’s functionality and layout. Some good code editors are Atom, Sublime Text, and Brackets.
- Graphic design software: Graphic design software will help you create graphic design features and icons for your website. It’s up to you whether you use paid software such as Adobe Photoshop or free but still fully functional ones such as GIMP.
- Web browsers and cross-browser testing tools: Your website is built to be shown and viewed on various web browsers. To test your website’s compatibility with these browsers, you’ll need a tool. Some notable cross-browser testing programs are Browsershots, LambdaTest, and CrossBrowserTesting.com.
- FTP program: Most hosting providers offer a file transfer method, but having your own FTP program ensures you encounter no problems. An FTP program will help you transfer your large website files over to web hosting providers. It can also help transfer your files to a content management system (CMS) if you choose to use one down the line.
- A web hosting provider: There are millions of websites on the Internet, and most of them use dedicated hosting services. Web hosting providers cater to both personal websites and business websites alike. With these services, you can choose a hosting plan best suited to your needs. There are many affordable plans available.
Building Your Website From Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you have the proper tools and skills, you can start creating your website from scratch. Your website should help you build an online presence, so be vigilant with how you build it. Below is the step-by-step process for building a website.
Identify Your Website’s Purpose and Audience
Identifying your website’s purpose, audience, and what it needs to succeed is the very first thing you should do. You can’t come up with fresh content or a relevant domain name without these foundational aspects. Did you build the website to advance an artistic career, to stay competitive in the real estate industry, or just for fun?
Plan Out Your Website’s Layout
Now you have to think about your website layout—the user interface. Be creative and practical. Integrate design with technical features like navigation menus. Plan out where to put information, such as contact details and other business info.
Get Your Website Code and Files Ready
This is the part where you start coding and creating your website files. This step may consume more time, depending on advanced features and how complex your website is. Take your time with the creation process because rushing things never results in a good product. However, this step will be much simpler if you are using an affordable website builder. In this case, you will not need to write your own code.
Choose Your Hosting Provider and Hosting Plan
For this step, you must carefully decide based on your preference and your website’s needs and purpose. The cheapest plan may be enough for your website, but it will not always be the best plan. There are many providers to choose from, such as GoDaddy or Bluehost, so look through their plans carefully.
Register a Good, Relevant Domain Name
Registering a relevant domain name is vital for your website’s success. Your custom domain name is what catches eyes in the address bar and what travels by word of mouth. You can register a domain to do this manually through domain registrars, or your web hosting plan may already include a free custom domain name.
Decide Whether or Not You Need a CMS
A content management system (CMS) can be very useful, especially when your website becomes big or undergoes constant changes. If you need it in the future, that means it can also help you build and improve your website right now. You don’t have to get a CMS early on, but you may need one at some point.
Test Your Website on Different Web Browsers
This step is where your web browsers and cross-browser testing tools come in. Most cross-browser testing programs do not require you to download each browser in order to check your website’s accessibility. However, you can also test your website on each web browser manually, but it takes more time and effort.
Test Your Website on Different Devices
Aside from compatibility with browsers, you must also test out your website’s compatibility with various devices. Your website must be mobile-friendly in addition to PC-friendly. This is important because certain design features may be distorted on specific devices. Most cross-browser tools also offer cross-device testing.
Upload Your Website Files to Your Web Hosting Provider
After doing all the previous steps, it is time to upload your website to your web-hosting company. Hosting providers often have a file transfer system and support file transfer protocol (FTP) programs. After that, you should be able to visit your website, assuming you have also pointed your custom domain name to your hosting provider.
Watch Out for Growth Opportunities
As your website and audience grow, you will encounter various opportunities and ways to expand your website. Adjust your website accordingly, and never keep it static. The online world is constantly growing and changing, and you must keep up to keep your website relevant.
How to Monetize Your Website
To monetize a website, you must first build an audience. Even if you have the best ecommerce website, revenue won’t come without visitors. Make sure to build your online presence and pay attention to your website’s statistics through programs like Google Analytics.
You can also use various search engine optimization tools to make your website appear higher in search results. Taking advantage of the search engine will get you more visitors and, hopefully, more clients or sales. Once you have the audience, you can sell products, generate ad clicks, and more to monetize your website.
Do You Need Coding Skills to Create a Website?
You can create a website without coding skills. To do this, you can take advantage of an all-in-one website builder, commonly used for personal websites. However, if you want to build a website from scratch with complete control over its functionality and design, you need coding skills. Coding skills are also helpful for adding complex, additional features.
Can You Learn to Build a Website in a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you can learn to build a website in a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are intensive study programs designed to equip you with the best coding skills possible in a short time frame. Bootcamps are a good option if you want to learn specific coding skills quickly with less time and costs compared to a degree.
Gather Feedback, Reflect, and Iterate
Creating your own website helps you get more opportunities, connections, and clients. It’s also a great way to get involved in various social networks. However, your website can only be as good as you make it. Therefore, you should capitalize on what makes your website stand out to continue having success in the online world.
Furthermore, now that you already know how to build your own website from scratch, it is time to level up your skills and learn more. There are many resources, such as bootcamps, where you can get online training to enhance your skills. It is also important that your website goes through user testing to make sure that it functions properly and fulfills its purpose.
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How to Build Your Own Website FAQ
Some of the best website builder tools are Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, and Weebly. Go for a builder plan that lets you create your own website without any coding skills required, though you will sacrifice some customization options. If you’re only creating a website for fun, a drag-and-drop builder or something similar is enough to get the job done.
Yes, there are premium builder themes available for free. There are free premium WordPress themes that you can choose from to make your website look like a premium quality site.
You can utilize YouTube tutorials to check different templates and see reviews of their usability. If you really want to take the easy route, the drag-and-drop interface is your best choice.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.