A website is a great way to develop an online presence. It is a place to share your interests or hobbies. It can act as a showcase for your talents and skills hobbies. Alternatively, as a small business owner it can be a way to advertise and sell goods or services beyond your immediate local area. A website provides a direct connection between you and other internet users.
Many bloggers and small business owners rely heavily on social media platforms to promote their personal brand, product or service. While you may have carefully curated this online space for yourself, it is important to bear in mind that this corner of the internet does not belong to you. Any changes or algorithm updates that occur on these platforms can affect your presence and reach. That is why it is still important to have a website of your own, an individual and unique platform just for you or your brand.
Starting your own website can appear a daunting task but with a little research, preparation and effort it can be fairly straightforward. Here are six steps to setting up your own website.
- Define goals
Firstly, decide what it is you want to achieve from the website. Will its purpose be to advertise your skills for prospective employers? Is it a means to sell your goods? Or will it be just a hobby and a space to share your interests? What information will you be providing and what will the desired result be? By understanding the goal of the website, you will be more aware of the information and features necessary when developing the site.
- Choose domain name
Choose a name that is easy for internet users to remember and spell, short names usually work best. Ensure that it aligns with your other platforms to avoid any confusion. A .com domain is the most common and is often considered the most reputable.
- Choose web host
A web host is a service which enables you to publish your website on the internet. They will provide the technology and services required to operate your website. Some things to consider when choosing a web host include; server reliability, speed, ability to handle a large volume of site traffic, the customer service and support the host offer.
- Site layout
Two important aspects of web design come into action here: user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). UI refers to all of the visual features of the website; layout, colours, font and graphics. A site should be visually appealing with great quality photos for interest and to provide further information. Keep layout and font clear and simple.
UX refers to the site structure and as the name suggests to the experience the user has while using the site. The site should be easy to navigate and information should be clearly labelled and divided into sections. The content provided should be informative and useful therefore fulfilling the need of the user.
If you plan to own your own website then it would be advisable to learn about search engine optimization or SEO. SEO refers to the ease of which your site can be found in an organic search through a search engine.
Ensuring you know the keywords internet users are searching for within your niche is vital. You can then place these keywords throughout your content, making page titles, sub heading and the content. These actions paired with internally linking will make your content more SEO friendly.
Furthermore, you can employ the expertise of a link building agency Linkbuilderitalia.com to assist in building external links from other sources through the use of guests posts on news sites or industry relevant blogs and sponsorships and collaborations through social media. The greater the number and quality of referrals to your website, the more authoritative a search engine will view your site; therefore, it’s ranking in organic searches will increase.
- Growth and development
A website is always a work in progress and requires ongoing maintenance in order to grow and develop. Make sure to keep it up to date and relevant. Analyse what people are searching for in search engines. Check what pages on your site perform well and of interest to the public and the pages that are being ignored. This information can be used to adapt your content accordingly.
It can be help to pair the development of website with the use of social media channels as there is already and audience available there to tap into. This will help to build awareness and direct traffic to your website.