The Ultimate Guide To Create Your Own Website (For Beginners)



You’re ready to make this happen. You’ve got your thinking cap on, your mind is laser-focused, and your dream website is going to finally leave your brain and make its debut online. Here is your ultimate guide to create your own website from scratch - no technical knowledge or professional designer required. It’s never been easier to create a website that rocks.

THE IDEA

1. Define your site’s purpose

If your website is not here yet, why should it be? If it is here, who are you trying to serve and why? What is its purpose?

You need to come up with the one main reason why your website should exist. Why are you waking up each day and putting in the work? What are you trying to achieve?

Think a little, beyond the generic ‘If I don’t have a website, I am doomed forever and ever’. What do you want it to do for you? Get e-mail subscribers? Make bookings and sales? Teach something? Inform visitors about an event or your services?

That is its purpose. That is what will trigger action. That is the impact it will make in the world.

2. Get inspiration

Now that you know why you’re creating a website, you need to come up with ideas of what that site is going to look like.

Go get inspired! Search for websites of other players in your niche. Search for websites that you think look cool. Search for websites that have a clear path to follow, and write down everything you notice, everything you like and everything you dislike.

Write down the kinds of words and phrases they use, the fonts that mesh well, their colors and branding, and how everything plays together. You can even create a Pinterest board to put your ideas together.

3. Create a site map

This is where you will add a logical structure to all of the ideas you came up with in the previous step.

Will your website be one, long, scrolling page or will it have various pages? What are those pages and what’s included in each of them? Get a piece of paper and make sketches of where certain links and sections go.

As you start getting more and more ideas, and putting them together in a cohesive way, you will ultimately come up with a site map. That map will be your starting point. It will serve as your plan of attack, so you won’t be staring at a blank page with no direction.

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4. Choose your website creation platform

There are so many website creation platforms out there, that it’s easy to get stuck in this step. Let me take out all of the guesswork and tell you that you should use Wix to create your own website.

Why? Wix is easy-to-use even for a total beginner, affordable, has tons of gorgeous templates, looks professional, doesn’t require coding knowledge, has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, great customer service, and every last detail is 100% customizable.

Convinced? Good. Click here and go create your Wix account.

Not convinced? Check out this blog post in which I lay out the 3 main reasons why Wix is my website creation platform of choice.

5. Choose your Wix plan

Wix offers five plans that range from $4.50 to $24.50 per month on an annual plan, and even includes a free version.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you will probably want to choose the Unlimited plan, which has features carved out for those just like you (that’s the one I use as well!). The cost? A completely manageable $12.50 per month. You can always upgrade your plan in the future as needed.

Just as a sidenote, if you are planning on selling digital or physical products, you should go with the eCommerce plan or higher, since those offer online store capabilities.

6. Fill out the preferences of your Wix site and choose a template

When you create a new site, Wix will prompt you with a number of questions and tasks to best suit your site’s needs.

These include: ‘What kind of website do you want to create?’, ‘Do you want to create your website with Wix ADI or with the Wix Editor?’ (choose the latter), and ‘Pick the template you love’.

Wix will automatically lead you to the templates that are best equipped for the kind of website you want to create (e.g. business, online store, restaurants & food, beauty & wellness, etc.), though you can choose a template from any of the categories (there are literally hundreds of templates that you can choose from).

You can search the templates by category, or view by new, most popular, and blank template options. I created Yes To Tech’s website by using the ‘One Page Layout’ blank template.

Make sure that you choose a template that best fits with your branding and design. Once you have made your choice, and started creating your website with it, you can’t go back and change it. The good thing is that although that’s the case, all templates are seriously easy to customize, no matter which one you choose.

As I had mentioned, all elements are purely drag-and-drop, so you just have to click on add image, that bam, it appears on your screen. No need to know design or coding to create a beautiful and professional-looking website!

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7. Purchase and connect your domain

You can purchase your site’s domain with Wix, but, as I like keeping my eggs in different baskets, I purchased mine on a third party provider, GoDaddy.

Your domain should reflect your business’ or blog’s name. On GoDaddy, where it says ‘Find your perfect domain name’, write down the domain that you wish to purchase.

Some things to take into consideration are: length (make it short and easy to remember), spelling (make sure a 5th grader could spell it), choice of words (pay attention to how the words look when combined without spaces), the name itself (choose something that relates to your topic and brand, but that is not too specific), and availability (brainstorm a few options since your first choice may not be available).

Once you have found a domain that is available, follow the instructions to purchase it. This shouldn’t cost you more than $20.

SITE CONSTRUCTION

8. Create a ‘coming soon’ page

While you’re building your website behind the scenes, it’s important to let your audience know that something awesome is soon coming their way.

Create a page with no header and footer, with a captivating call to action, and a place for your visitors to add their e-mail address to get future updates once the site is live (you can do this by inserting an html box with the code provided by your e-mail marketing provider, or use Wix’s own integrated e-mail marketing service).

Publish that page, and make sure that it has no links to the website that you are creating that is under construction. You only want your visitors to have access to the coming soon page.

9. Create each of your site’s pages

Take out your site map sketches, and start putting together each of your site’s pages, at the basic, overarching level.

Usually, a website includes a homepage, an about me page, a services page, a blog, and a contact page. You can use this as a framework, or add more or less pages depending on your needs.

You can even require a password to access any of your pages, if you wish to protect certain resources or tools from the general public, and grant access to them just to your VIP clients or e-mail list.

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10. Personalize your pages

Click on the panel in Wix on the left-hand side of the screen to add images, strips, galleries, slideshows, buttons, videos, lists, social icons, and more. You are creating a framework to later add your site’s copy and design elements.

Preview the result, and edit it so that it is responsive on mobile devices as well (just click on the editor view switcher in the top, right-hand corner).

11. Add widgets for further needs

Wix has an in-house app market that you can use to take your website one step further. Some of the apps are free, others are paid, and range from business tools to chat to social and more.

You can add an app to display your restaurant’s menu, one to take bookings directly from your site, and even include a forum for your site’s visitors to hang out in.

Search existing apps by category (business, online store, photography, music, designer, restaurants, accommodation, events, blog, portfolio & CV, and other), must-have apps, free apps, newest apps, all apps, and made by Wix.

CUSTOMIZATION

12. Develop your brand and write copy for each of the pages

This is one of the most time-consuming steps, and involves working on each of the page’s copy and design.

Play around with different sizes, colors, styles and fonts, until you make your site uniquely yours. If you don’t have one already, create a logo for your website. Although most of us lack professional design skills, there is an easy, and cheap, way to do this. Just check out this blog post where I explain step-by step how to create a logo for free - even if you don’t know anything about design.

When you were in Step 2 getting inspiration, you were also indirectly copy stalking i.e. seeing the words and phrases that other players in your niche use to feed their sites. Use that as a starting point to write copy for your own site.

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13. Optimize your site for SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it's the process of getting found online. In other words, it’s what makes your website show up on search engines like Google.

Not many people know this, but Wix has an excellent built-in feature, called Wix SEO Wiz, that tailor-makes a personalized SEO plan for your own website, with special keywords and best practices to get your site to rank #1 on Google.

It's super easy to use - even for a total beginner! For more information on how to use the Wix SEO Wiz, stay tuned for a blog post coming out in a few weeks where you'll find a step-by-step video tutorial to take you by the hand through the entire process.

14. Connect your site with an e-mail marketing platform (like MailChimp or ConvertKit)

If it’s not already, growing your e-mail list should be your #1 priority. It’s the ultimate way to convert visitors into subscribers into sales.

Every page on your website is an entry point, even your about me page. Just as you added a place for your visitors to add their e-mail address in your coming soon page (see Step 8), you should do so on your actual site.

Create an opt-in frenzy by offering something in exchange for your visitors’ e-mail address. This can be a checklist, a worksheet, a video series, an e-mail course or even an e-book.

To connect your site with an e-mail marketing platform, all you have to do is click ‘add’ on the left panel in Wix, ‘more’, click on ‘html code’, and paste the lines of code that your e-mail marketing platform provides. Resize the html box to fit in with your website, and that’s it!

NEXT STEPS

15. Promote your new site

Now that your site is ready, you clicked published, and took down your coming soon page, it’s time to spread the word.

Promote it EVERYWHERE. Tweet it, share it on Facebook, pin it, add it to StumbleUpon, tell your family and friends, and send a broadcast to your entire e-mail list.

You can even offer an incentive for people to share your website (see Step 14). You can bribe them with a limited-edition checklist or a preview copy of your brand new e-book. Make it enticing, and hard for them to say no.

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16. Ask for and use testimonials

Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing. I trust my friends and loved ones much more than strangers, and am much more likely to purchase something they endorse. That’s the power of a testimonial.

Testimonials increase your site’s and your service’s worth and credibility. If you have them, make sure you showcase them front-and-center, preferably on your homepage or next to one of your paid (or even free) offers.

If you don’t have testimonials yet, make sure to reach out to those who have worked with you before, so you can add them to your site in the near future.

17. Analyze your site’s traffic with Google Analytics

Create an account in Google Analytics so that you can better understand and serve your audience.

You can see when your users visit, what traffic channel they come from, where in the world they are located, how your active users are trending over time, how well you retain your users, what devices your users use to access your site, what pages your users visit, and much, much more.

This way you can tweak your content and SEO to combine what your users are looking for, and what you offering them.

And that’s it! CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! You created your own website, and can now showcase it to the world!

Once your website’s live, I’d love to see it! Send a screenshot of it to marina@yestotech.com or tweet it @MarinaLotaif. If you ever have any questions or need advice on website creation, feel free to reach out or leave a comment below!

To help you even further, I have created the Complete Website Creation Guide that you can print out and leave on your desk for when you’re creating your own website. It’s a step-by-step, list version of this post, so that you can keep on track and remember everything you need to get your site online. Just fill out the form below to download it right now (p.s. It’s FREE)!

Get instant access to the FREE Complete Website Creation Guide by filling out the form below now:

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