A lot has changed since the creation of the first-ever website in 1989. Now, there are around 547,200 new websites every single day. That’s a lot of competition!
If you want to create a portfolio or business website, you need to know how to build websites that will last and stand out. Modern websites need to be fast, beautiful, intuitive and outrank competitors.
Building them on a solid foundation means they will be easier to update and adapt over the years. You will spend less time troubleshooting issues and more time focusing on your revenue!
The following guide has tons of business website building tips and shows you how to build websites that will stand the test of time.
Step 1: Decide on a Domain Name
You may already have a domain name for your website because it will be your business’s name. But if you have not nailed one down, now is the time so you do not hold up progress later.
Make it memorable, snappy, and future-proof. Think about your business or venture in the long term.
Do not buy a domain like “minneapoliscoffee.com” if you plan to expand your coffee shops outside of Minneapolis, for example.
When you have a name, check it is available on social media too. After that, you are ready to buy a domain name!
Step 2: Choose a Content Management System or Website Builder
There are so many options for how to build websites in the 21st century. You could either choose a self-hosted website on a Content Management System (CMS) or with a website builder.
Examples of website builders are:
- Site 123
They handle your hosting and give you design options without the need to code anything. Website builders can be free, but they will display their own ads and it will not look professional.
This may be a problem if you have concerns about how to make a good business website.
The most popular option for most businesses and individuals is to use WordPress.org CMS and self-host. It gives you more freedom to do what you want with your website and does not have to be expensive. Domain and hosting costs should be around $200 per year at the most.
WordPress is also easy to use. There is little to no coding required and there are lots of tutorials to help you learn.
Step 3: Sign up for a Hosting Service
If you have decided to use a CMS, you will need to sign up for a hosting service. There are dozens to choose from, so do your research.
In 2021, having a great hosting service is paramount. Speed is an important ranking factor in Google search so your host needs to process website requests faster than lightning.
Your host’s location is also important. Pick a website host that is in a close location to your potential website visitors. Again, if you have a coffee shop in Minneapolis for example, choose a hosting company with servers in the US.
If you are running an international eCommerce store, use your best judgment. You can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare to help reach customers all over the world faster.
Step 4: Hire a Designer or Pick a Theme
This is the creative part! Design your website! You can hire a website design team for $$$ but for most individuals and small businesses, a customizable website theme is more than fine.
Head to a theme catalog service like ThemeForest and pick one. Make sure it has the following features:
- Great speed scores
- Desktop and mobile-friendly design
- Regular updates
- Customer service
- Fantastic reviews
Great themes, used by six-figure companies, are available for $60 or less. Yes, for real. If you want to know the real trick for how to build websites in 2021, it should be affordable.
Step 5: Customize Your Website Design
Next, install your website’s theme and play around with it. Add Plugins to improve user experience and make sure it looks great on a mobile device.
You also want to include your business’s logo or create one. If you already have branding, make sure your website follows your brand guidelines and uses the same fonts and colors.
Designing your website for mobile devices is so important for websites in 2021. Google only indexes the mobile versions of sites and fewer people are using desktops to browse the web.
Speaking of Google, now is the time to sync your website to Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These programs will track your rankings and website visitors.
Consider any extra website updates you need for your business like newsletter sign-up forms or a chatbot service. If you are not sure whether your business needs chatbot software, read more here.
Step 6: Add Pages
So, now you have built the foundation of your website. It is fast, you have made it look beautiful, and you have customized the menus, logos, and features.
All that is missing is the content!
Start with your website’s pages. These are the pages on your website that provide information on you and your business, for example:
- About the business
- Meet the team
- Contact Us
- …And so on.
Think about the layout of these pages and include lots of attractive, high-quality photographs. Spend a lot of time on pages as they are the face of your business.
But do not think you can create these pages and forget about them. You also need to learn when and how to update a website. As your business or personal information develops, your website needs to change too.
Step 7: Add Content
Last but not least, you need to figure out how to draw traffic to a website in 2021. For most businesses and individuals, a blog and/or eCommerce store is the best option.
But aren’t blogs so 2008? Nope, they are very relevant in 2021. They keep your website updated and they help create more pages for Google to index.
Companies with blogs still get over 60% more leads each month than companies without blogs.
So, get a pen and paper or pull up your notes app. Jot down some blog post ideas and start creating! Plan a content calendar so you have ideas sorted for at least the next quarter.
If you have a marketing plan, add a blog to that plan as well.
This Is How to Build Websites in 2021
Learning how to build websites is a lifelong lesson. As the internet updates, your skills will need to update with it. As long as you do not neglect your website and keep creating fantastic new content, you will keep attracting new visitors and customers.
Like this article? Check out our other tech posts for more tips and advice!