In today’s day and age that seems dominated by mobile phones and apps, websites have lost their value in the eyes of consumers. Unfortunately, websites remain just as important as ever, especially when it comes to drumming up new business. In fact, with the right website redesign checklist, you have the potential to revolutionize your business simply by taking the time to build a website that actually converts.

Doing our part to help web developers find the tools and expertise they need for success, we have put together a quick 5-step guide on how to do just that. By choosing to build a website and do so well, you are deciding to take the fate of your business into your own hands. It is our hope that we can offer the guidance you need to take this challenge head on. Let’s get started.

build a website

Why build a website?

Although websites obviously are important, without the proper context you may still be wondering “Why build a website?” For one thing, web development is one of the simplest ways to enhance your brands online presence. While social media and other destinations are important, having an online ‘home base’ is the best step you can take to increase your reach.

That being said, building a website doesn’t have to be about earning new business. You can build a website to promote a product, educate your customers, or facilitate community growth. Our hope is that, by following our guide, you can end up learning how to build a website that does all of this and more. Now that you understand the ‘why,’ let’s get into the ‘how.’

Step 1: Find the right platform

The first step you will take to build a website is to find the right platform for your needs. While different development companies have a variety of offerings, the real choice boils down to only 2-3 options. For many, WordPress is the obvious choice. Not only does WordPress account for more than half of all sites on the web, but it is full of apps and plugins that you can use to create a great user experience.

The other two main options are Joomla and Drupal. While both of these have their own benefits and drawbacks, they usually are reserved for those with more experience in web design and development. If you are just getting started with web development or this is your first time to build a website, WordPress is probably your best bet.

Step 2: Secure your domain and web hosting

Next on the ‘build a website’ list is securing your domain name and web hosting service. Having your very own domain is an essential part of promoting a professional look for your business and creating an easy place for customers to find you. Typically you will want your site to simply be your company name, but if you are interested in simply earning more leads, a keyword-rich domain name is another acceptable option.

When it comes to web hosting, WordPress and other web design tools typically offer web hosting along with their other services, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. All that you should look for is a business that is reliable so that you won’t lose service when you need it most.

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Step 3: Lay the groundwork of your site

Your next step when vamping up your website will be to set the groundwork for your site. This will look different for everyone, but some basics include choosing a design template, creating a UI flow, and laying out each page of the website. Once you have this framework completed, filling it with content will be much easier.

Far too often people looking to build a website will start by creating content as they go. However, we recommend that you set up the groundwork of your site first and then build upon that. By having a good foundation and understanding how the site will work before it is running, you will be better equipped to meet your web development goals.

Step 4: Install relevant plug-ins

Once you have laid the foundation, you are almost ready to fill in the cracks with content, but something else should come first: installing relevant plug-ins. As we mentioned earlier, WordPress has thousands of plug-ins for different business solutions. Everything from online forms to ecommerce apps can be downloaded and installed in your site.

In the same way that we recommend laying a groundwork first before filling it, you should install plug-ins first to see how they affect your site before investing time into creating content for them. In order to build a website that converts, each of these steps needs to be taken early so that your SEO and site don’t suffer. If you are looking for ideas on what plug-ins to include, check out this list of must-haves.

Step 5: Create content to fill your site with

The final step in how to build a website is what we have been alluding to the whole process: creating content. Now that the groundwork has been laid and everything is ready to go, you are now prepared to fill it up with relevant content. The important part here is the word ‘relevant,’ and this might require some research beforehand.

Start by picturing what kind of customers you want to find your site and what action you want them to take. Then, reverse the process and imagine what keywords they would type in to find your services. From there, you can look on Google’s adwords tool to see what other keywords you should be targeting that are similar to your product offering. Finally, by creating content around these keywords, you will be more easily found and able to convert relevant end-users.

how to build a website

Ongoing SEO maintenance

As you finalize the content on your site and begin to see traffic, you may feel as if you deserve a rest. While this may be true, unfortunately your job is far from over. Ongoing SEO maintenance is an important part of your attempt to build a website. If you simply build it and then leave it alone, you won’t achieve the goals you are expecting.

Instead, follow your metrics and see how your audience is reacting. From there, you will need to tweak your site to fit SEO requirements and new keywords as your business evolves. Although this might seem like more than you thought when you set out to build a website, this is what it will take to create a site that converts.