Google now processes 40,000 search queries every second. That’s a daily 3.5 billion, or a yearly 1.2 trillion searches.
As a business owner, that’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss. You want your business to be part of the search results Google delivers to its users.
But before you can appear on these results, you need a website. After all, it serves as your main online identity. It’s important to have social media accounts, but a website makes you more credible.
No need to worry even if you have no idea how to build a website from scratch. We’ll show you not only the basics but also how to do it without breaking the bank. So, keep reading!
In the second quarter of 2018, there were 339.8 million domain name registrations. That’s the most recent global count.
In Ireland, the latest report showed that 20,255 new registrations took place in the first half of 2017. That translates to 112 registrations every day within that span of time.
These figures should already prompt you to think of a killer domain name for your Irish business. That’s why we’ve listed this as the first step to building a website from scratch. In the world of domain names, every second counts.
This said, you should come up with a domain name and register it ASAP. Not sure what goes into a domain name? Here are a few ideas:
In essence, your domain name is your online name. It’s your online identity, and how people would likely refer to or call you. It’s hard to beat “Google”, but you at least should ensure your domain name is relevant to your site’s content.
If you’ve got a brand, that’s a good place to start. You can use that as is or as part of the domain name. If it has something to do with bamboo furniture, try to incorporate “bamboo” or “furniture” in the name.
Keep your domain name short and sweet. 20 characters are too many to remember and too much a hassle to type.
Unless it’s part of your brand name, it’s best to stick to letters for your domain. Extra numbers will only make it harder for people to remember your website’s name.
The bottom line is, your domain name is key to making your website identifiable online. So, make every bit of it count.
Every passing second you put off registering a domain name, there’s a risk someone else can take it. Especially if the name you want to claim for your own has popular or common words like “insurance”, “car”, or “hotels”.
FYI, they’re also some of the most expensive domains, with insurance.com valued at US $35.6 million in 2010. Today, that equates to more than 31 million Euros!
Going back to the topic, once you’re 100% sure of your chosen domain, register it. There are various ways to do this, with some website builders and web hosts offering to do it for you.
Note that registration costs also depend on which top level domain you choose. TLD is the suffix – like the .ie you see in our host.ie domain name. Some site-building and hosting packages may already include these costs though.
Your web host will serve as the location of everything your website will contain. That means all its web pages and the content of each page. From text to images to videos – your chosen web host will store them all for you.
If you’re in Ireland, consider partnering with an Ireland-based web host. This is also a good idea if your business caters to Irish customers.
Another consideration is the level of hosting you need. For very simple websites, shared hosting may be enough. But if it’s your business on the line, it’s best to stick to speedier and more reliable options, like cloud hosting.
A virtual private server (VPS) is also a great option for websites that need a dedicated server and more ram. If you need a lot of SSD storage space for your site’s huge files, VPS is the way to go.
Keep in mind that your choice in a web host will determine your site’s uptime. It’ll also affect page loading speeds. FYI, super slow loading time can mean losing half of your site’s visitors.
There are three main site building tools you can choose from. These include website builders, content management systems (CMS), and frameworks. Your choice depends on how tech-savvy you are, as CMS and frameworks need coding knowledge.
We’ll focus on website builders, since it’s the easiest way to build a website from scratch. But we’d still like to give you a brief background on CMS and frameworks.
CMS are powerful website design programs that come loaded with site building tools. Difficulty level isn’t that extreme, but you still need to have some coding knowledge.
Frameworks are more powerful and robust than CMS, but are more complex. That’s why most of their users are web design experts.
Website builders are the simplest tools of the three. That makes them ideal for those who don’t have any coding or designing background. They’re safe to use, and offer the quickest way to having a website up and running in the least time possible.
In fact, many website building tools cater to non-pros. As such, they have easy-to-digest how-tos and tutorials that further simplify the process.
We understand that many of those who ask how to make a website from scratch don’t have any coding know-how. So, we’ll focus on the simplest way – using a website builder.
Note that not all website builders offer top-notch services though. So, you still need to do your homework on the best ones.
As a first-timer in creating a website, you’d want to ensure your site builder is easy to use. Like mentioned above, there should be adequate guides and tutorials. Video how-tos are better than simple text, as the latter explains things in a much clearer way.
Granted, website builders are the easiest-to-use site building programs. But that doesn’t mean creating your site with one of them should look like a third-grader did it. That’s why you should take the time to look at how flexible their available designs are.
Not only should they be cool and awesome-looking. They should also be appropriate to your (AKA your brand’s) specific industry. There should be a wide range of template options that are easy to customise.
Let’s say you want to build an e-commerce site. These sites have features specific to them, like carts and currency converters. They should also have large gallery spaces and the safest payment options.
Now, check the website builder you’re interested in choosing for your site creation. Does it have these features? What other capabilities does it have that will help you make an outstanding website?
Remember, the more robust the builder is, the greater the potential of your website.
The templates a website builder lets you use only serve as a framework for your site’s structure. But because it’s a template, you need to customise it to make it stand out.
Think of a template as a recipe, and website creation as making a special dinner for your loved ones. You want to follow the basics of the recipe. At the same time, you also want to give it a personal touch not only to “own” it, but to make it superb.
Customising templates allow you to alter it based on how you want your website to look and feel. You can add new pages and name them based on their content, such as “About Us”, “Blog”, “FAQ”, and “Contact Us”. You can also edit buttons and controls, including their font, colour, and size.
Don’t forget to embed or link your social media accounts! This’ll make it easier for potential site visitors to remember you. Plus, if you have great content, people are more likely to share you via their own social media accounts.
Don’t hit the publish button just yet. Test your website first before you launch it to the public. This way, you can make certain everything is ready to go live and that every button works.
Aside from button functionality, look out for typos (and grammatical errors!) in your content. You should have at least optimised the content for local searches too. Don’t forget to test the loading speed of each page, and ensure they load in less than three seconds.
Done with all seven steps on how to build a website from scratch? Then congratulations! All that’s left to do is to publish it.
From there, stand proud and make the announcement that your site is live! Start with your own circles and social media, and then wherever else you can. But don’t forget to keep monitoring and updating your site as needed.
Need to clarify a few things about web hosting services? Then please feel free to ring us up and ask away.