Are you creating your own website? I have a few amazing tips to help you create something absolutely amazing. These are tips straight from Website Bootcamp, where in the space of three weeks I teach you everything you need to know to create your own website from scratch. But, enough about that! Let’s get going!
20 Super Useful Tips For Creating Your Website
1. You need a brand before you can create your website
A brand is your logo, 1 to 3 fonts, your color palette and also possible things like icons, elements and patterns. It’s what makes your business recognisable, and having all these things before you start creating your website will make the process go a whole lot smoother as you have a clearer image of how your website will look.
2. Your website is part of a sales funnel. Unless you put in the effort to get it out there no one will be able to find it.
A sales funnel is the path your customers follow in order to buy (or even just subscribe!) from you. This is a big one and one not many people fully realise as they start creating their website, leading to a website that’s not optimised for the goal they’re trying to reach. Create your sales funnel before you start on your website. Really think about the path your customer takes as they buy from you. Where does your website fit in? And how?
3. Create a blueprint of your website by drawing it out
In the web design world we call these blueprints wireframes. Wireframes are drawings of your website that help you figure out how it’s going to look and what content you have to create for each page. A wireframe can help the creation process go much smoother, which is always helpful.
4. Make sure every page on your website has a goal
This goal can be anything: from providing entertainment, to informing people, to converting them to customers or email subscribers. For every page you create think of the biggest goal that page has and then build your page around that.
5. Put an under construction page up as you’re building your website
There are a bunch of plugins that allow you to do this, but you can also just create a normal page and make it your static front page. Just make sure that however you do it you add a sign up form (preferably with a cool freebie attached!) to the page so you can start collecting emails even when you’re not ready to show your website to the world.
6. You don’t need to know how to code in order to create a beautiful website
I don’t know how to code (not yet at least! I’m learning, though.) and yet I’m a web designer. How does that work? Thanks to the Divi theme by Elegant Themes I don’t need to know how to code in order to create something unique and beautiful for my clients. This theme is pretty much completely drag and drop, with so many customisation features your website will always be you. No code needed! So, if anyone ever tells you that in order to have a great website you need to know how to code tell them to suck it. Because you really, really don’t!
7. It’s fine if some of your pages have a lot of text (or only a little!)
This is a big fear for a lot of people. What if your page is too long? What if it’s too short? What if… I’m here to tell you that every page has different acceptable text lengths. An about page, for example, needs a lot of text, while a contact page doesn’t. Just go with what feels right for you and ask around with your people if you’re unsure.
8. Your hosting is a lot like the foundation of your house. If you hire the wrong contractor to fix it everything could come down
It’s super easy to go with a hosting company that offers “super cheap hosting” for only $3 a month (with a 3 year contract!). But, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s good. Companies like Bluehost (watch out for any EIG owned hosting company!), Godaddy and more aren’t worth your hard earned money, especially not with all the grief they might cost you. I recommend you go for Namecheap instead. They offer hosting for up to 3 websites for $9.88 for the first year and $19.88 for each year after. Their customer service is one of the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been a happy customer of them for over three years.
9. Building your website is harder than you think! Get an accountability partner to support you!
Building a website is haaaard. And that’s coming from someone who loves creating website and does it for a living. Getting a website up and running is a lot of hard work, but you can make it a little easier on yourself by getting an accountability partner. This is someone, like your partner, a friend or even someone else who is also building a website who supports you and gives you a kick in the ass when you need it. Need an accountability partner? Try Facebook groups or ask around! Find you perfect accountability partner.
10. Make it easy for people to contact you
You do this by adding a clear link to your contact page in your menu and/or footer. People want to talk to you, but if you don’t make it easy on them they click away just as fast!
11. Before you launch your website make sure to get feedback!
I recommend getting feedback from at least five people, preferably those who aren’t your friend and/or family and are in your target audience. You can find people like these in Facebook groups!
12. Write 4 to 8 blog posts before you launch
Launching your website is difficult enough as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself by having to create new blog posts immediately after. Plus, having something on your website from day one will help people stick around longer when they visit.
13. Add a favicon to your website. You just look a little more professional if you have one!
A favicon is the little image you see on the tabs of your website. It’s a tiny part of your branding, but one a lot of people remember you by. Having one makes you look a bit more professional and that can never hurt.
14. SEO is important! Optimise your website for search engines so you turn up in search results
I get it. SEO or search engine optimisation is difficult and confusing. You still need to get at least a moderate understanding of how it works and how you can make sure your website follows the rules. Search engines can become a great way for you to generate visitors, but not without a little effort from you first.
15. You don’t need photoshop in order to create a beautiful website
Photoshop and other adobe products might be the industry standard, but when you’re not really that tech savvy and need something that’s drag and drop? They might not be what you’re looking for. Try Canva and Picmonkey instead. Both these amazing websites are free and allow you to create gorgeous graphics for your website.
16. Accept failure is part of creating a website
There’s always something that goes wrong when you launch a website. It’s just part of it, and accepting that as fact will help you be more flexible and adjust faster if something does goes wrong. It’s better than beating yourself up over it!
17. Use high quality pictures on your website
Whether those are pictures you took yourself or stock photos you bought/found online: quality matters in these things and can help when someone takes that one second decision between staying and going through more of your content or leaving and never coming back. If you don’t have great photography skills I recommend places like Unsplash (free) and Adobe Stock (paid). Both these places offer absolutely amazing stock photos that will sure help you make your website beautiful.
18. Check every single link before you launch
I’m going to be honest here. I skip this sometimes. This results in a few broken links here and there, which really… aren’t that great. That’s why I recommend that just before you launch you check every link and every page for any mistakes or things that aren’t exactly right. Better safe than sorry!
19. Get your website out there before it’s completely perfect
You know what the number one thing is that keeps people from launching their website into the world? Their perfectionism. It’s okay if your website isn’t completely perfect (it likely will never be exactly as you imagined it anyway). Bring it out into the world. It’s okay.
20. Celebrate when your website is finished!
Creating your own website is a difficult thing to do. You deserve to celebrate that!
That’s it! What was your favourite tip? Or do you have a tip of your own? Share it below in the comments!
Ps. Are you creating your own website, but stuck in the process? Website Bootcamp might be the perfect thing for you!