Need a Website in SWLA? Here are 5 Easy DIY Steps.
Many of our clients in SWLA including Lake Charles and the surrounding communities often ask us about building websites. Although our core service is content marketing, we do build websites for clients. But in most cases, the sites are really so simple anyone can do it. So, we decided to put together a simple DIY post.
Building a website today is easy, provided you know the simple steps involved. The only real cost, if you do it yourself, is time. In this article, we will show you the five (5) simple steps to building a website along with the smaller sub-steps involved. If you can read and click a mouse, you can DIY your way to a new website today.
5 Simple Steps to a DIY Website
Building a new website these days can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Many marketing companies today like to build "custom" websites because they A) can charge more and B) force the client to be at their mercy.
Rather than make our customers have to rely on us, we teach them to do what they can do themselves, then provide ancillary services such as site and social media marketing, content develpment, Google Ads and more.
This way, our clients are not locked into us, but can grow their sites themselves. We help them get the ball rolling and if they WANT to outsource anything to us, they may. With that said, what are the 5 simple steps you can take to build a DIY website?
- Decide what type of site you need.
- Choose a website host
- Decide and purchase a domain name
- Decide which building platform to use
- Start building
Now let us look at each of these five simple website building steps more closely.
Decide what type of site you need
The first and most important thing you need to do is decide what kind of website you want. There are really only 3 basic types. These are:
- Listing, Brochure or Landing page site - this is a website designed with one or a few pages intended to be used as basic information to either obtain information or leads or to support a brick-and-mortar business using traditional advertising only.
- eCommerce website - an ecommerce website is developed for making sales online, directly from the website.
- Informational site - an informational website are all others, whether providing entertainment or education, info about a business or governing authority, or whatever. Training websites are also informational.
Most websites fall into the third category. In fact, most small businesses want this kind of website but are often tricked into buying the first. For instance, there is a prominent yellow pages listing company that will provide a "free" website to advertisers. But most who get the site quickly learn it is a single page which gets no traffic from search results.
Because most businesses know that they want their website ranking on Google so people can naturally find their services, the best option is to build a standard website with a blog. This will allow them to continue growing their website and with it, traffic and customers.
The rest of this article will deal with this type of site. If someone is interested in setting up an ecommerce site, the basics are the same, though doing this is a much more complicate process. If that is what you seek, get in touch using the form below and we will be happy to guide, assist or develop the site for you.
Choose a website host
The second step to a DIY website is choosing a host company. A website hosting company is one that owns servers on which the website will be housed or stored. Outside of owning your own server, a host is needed. There are serveral reputable hosting companies from which to choose, each with its own pros and cons. Following is a simple breakdown of options.
- Godaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator and similar - these host companies offer site hosting for reasonable rates, but lock you in for between 1 and 3 years. For anyone working on a budget, this can be costly because while they may advertise only $6.95 per month or something similar, to get the low advertised rate a plan of 3 years must be purchased, bringing the upfront cost to a few hundred dollars.
- 1&1 Ionos - this host is unique in that you can host your website on a month-to-month basis for a single low rate of just $8 per month for a single site or $15 per month for multiple sites. Learn more.
- Oakes Writing Website Services - we also offer month-to-month website hosting. Our basic plan is only $25 a month, but other plans include extras found nowhere else like weekly software and security updates, Google analytics, free 24/7 site building support and SSL. Learn more.
Decide and purchase a domain name
Once you decide on a host, research the domain names. The best domain names are simple and easy to remember. In most cases, it can be something as simple as the [name of your business].com. If the domain is available, buy it then register it.
One word of caution.
Many host companies will encourage you to use domain privacy. This is really only useful for businesses which do not want others to know who they are. In fact, most saavy internet users today use that as a parameter for conducting business.
We never do business with a company which hides ownership because more often than not, they are not reputable; and if there is a problem, how will it be resolved?
Just be sure that the email and phone number you use to register the domain is that used in your company. This way, your business is shown to be respectable and the information provides another way for customers to find and choose your company.
Decide which building platform to use
Once you have your domain, you will need to choose the building platform. This is simply the software that will allow you to create a beautiful website. Each host company offers several including WordPress, WIX, Weebly and more.
We recommend using WordPress, which is hands down the easiest to use and most flexible of them all. WordPress is so intuitive that the learning curve is better than half that of all others. And because it was created using open-source software, there is literally nothing you cannot add to your website.
There are tons of videos on YouTube for building in WordPress, though frankly, most people never need to watch them. Most WordPress installs today will offer a quick tutorial which, followed will have your website up in a matter of an hour. It is that simple.
So, you have your building platform installed. You start building. Add images and text. But also be sure to work on your blog as well. What is a blog?
The blog is the key way you will grow your presence in Google and other search results. The search engines index blogs at a rate of 10:1 over pages and far more quickly. Something you publish to your blog right now could appear in search results within 10 minutes or sooner in some cases.
5 Simple DIY Steps to Building a Website
Whether you live in Lake Charles, La or elsewhere, these five simple DIY steps to building a website will help you get started.
If you need help along the way, get in touch with us by calling 337.660.4774, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, by using the simple form below or using the chat feature on this page. Either way, we are here to help you build and grow your website.