You may not think you need to have a website, but this is fact alone can be scary. Did you know that 75% of people admit to judging a company’s credibility based on their website. That means that 3 out of 4 readers who visit your site are judging it based on how it looks.
And when you’re not sure if what you’re doing on your website is right, (Or how to even get started), it can be a scary and overwhelming thought.
But you know what?
It’s totally possible to have a website and feel confident about it. And the fact of how many people there are who judge a business based on their website, make it even more important to have one.
But, to get started with a website we need to have a good understanding of the essential parts of to have a website. So let’s talk websites 101.
Not to get ahead of myself, but if you’re working on your website you’ll want to grab my Ultimate Guide. It’s the perfect thing to help you do your website pages the right way.
But, to put that guide to use, you’ll need to have a website, somewhere to put it.
Why You Need to Have a Website
If that percentage didn’t freak you out enough to know you need a website. Then let me share this thought with you.
“For customers, a website is an ‘always open’ workplace of your business.”
– Amit Kalantri
Now re-read that and really think about it for a minute. Your website is like that place customers can come to your business, any time, day or night.
It can answer questions for them (which means less emails for you to answer), help them make a decision, and best of all… help you grow your business.
That right there sounds like a pretty good reason to have a website to me.
Your Domain aka URL
Your website URL is where people go on the internet to find you. Think of it like this, they put in an address (your URL) and your website pops up.
A URL is in the format of a www.YourWebsite.com type address. And that’s how people find you. Typically the URL is going to be your business name. Or your name if you’re a personal brand.
It’s always best to have a url that closely matches your business name. If it’s taken there’s always things you can do, but you run the risk of confusion.
Let’s use a made up business name for example. If your business name were Social Matters (a social media management business), and you wanted your website to be www.SocialMatters.com but that was taken. You could have www.Social-Matters.com as your site. Or you could even choose a .net option as well. The hard part is that inevitably, someone will end up on the URL that you don’t know.
It’s best to choose carefully when you have picked your domain so you can avoid any headache down the line.
When purchasing your domain, it’s easiest to purchase it from the same place you purchase hosting from. This makes things run a little smoother and are easier to work with.
You're Hosting - No, It's Not a Party
Your website has a URL, and this URL is like the address of where your house is.
But that house needs a piece of land to sit on. And that piece of land is like your hosting.
It’s the place online that your actual website sits. So your hosting company will put your website on their server. That server is where all the files for your website live, and where that URL takes your viewers.
There are plenty of hosting companies to pick from with pros and cons to both. And everyone has their own unique experience with hosting companies.
Some of the most popular hosting companies are Bluehost, Site Ground, and GoDaddy.
Personally, I use and recommend Bluehost for my hosting. But, you’re welcome to pick any host that you’d like.
Such as WordPress, Wix, & SquareSpace.
There are many ways you can build your website. A platform is what your site is built on.
For example, you could build your site with Wix.
Or, you could build your website on WordPress.
WordPress is my preferred option. While it does have a learning curve, it’s well worth it to learn. If you plan to grow your business, have some more unique visions for your business, or want a little bit more freedom with what you can do… then WordPress is for you.
I could go into a lengthy talk all about what makes WordPress great, but that would be another blog post. (Note to self, make a blog post about that.)
WordPress is a great place to start with, because it can grow with your business as the demands of your website grow. The last thing you want to have to do down the line is to figure out how to redo your website on WordPress because you started with something else that can’t keep up anymore.
If you choose to go with WordPress, you’ll need hosting. But, if you go the route of Wix or other platforms, look into their options. Some of them will charge you a monthly fee and host your site for you. Everyone is different, so be sure to see if you need hosting with that platform you choose.
What Material to Build with
Your website can be built with a number of materials. And what you pick is up to you. But, I’ll walk you through some options below and let you know which one is my preferred method.
I’ll be talking about options when using WordPress here since that’s what I do, WordPress website design.
When it comes to WordPress you have options. And options are good, but not all are created equal.
One very common option is to use a theme. Every WordPress site has a theme. Everyone needs one.
But if you use just the theme and nothing else, then what that theme looks like will dictate what your site looks like.
Related Reading: Click here to find out what the issue is with premade WordPress themes.
You can find a variety of free and paid themes for WordPress.
Another option is a Page Builder tool. There’s a few out there and again, these aren’t all created equal.
Among the top few are Divi, Elementor, and Beaver Builder.
I’ve worked with Divi in the past and was left with a bad taste in my mouth. That’s a long story for yet another post idea. I basically lost my entire site trying to move away from Divi. And had I not known it was going to happen when I made the move, I would have lost everything I had written on my website too.
I can’t speak for Beaver Builder, I haven’t used it to be honest.
When I moved from Divi, and after extensive research into all of the top options I chose Elementor.
Elementor is my preferred option for building a website, and when you use it for yours, it will be all you need to build the perfect site! With an unlimited ability to customize it.
Elementor can help you have that gorgeous custom website, without having to pay a designer. You won’t be limited to what that WordPress theme you bought looks like and trying to make your brand fit that mold.
Every business is unique and what works for you may not work for the next. But, with a little research we can feel more confident that we’re making the right decisions with our websites.
Keep in mind that what you chose to use for your website now isn’t permanent, but will require work to switch down the line.
Well that’s it for websites 101. We went through everything you need to get started. From domains and hosting, to platforms and ways to build it. But what do you put on that page?
It can be overwhelming to put together a website. But, start with a plan for your pages and what they’ll do. You can do this with the Ultimate Guide To Do Your Website Pages the Right Way. So go download your copy now.