The thing that no one mentions about starting out in the business world is that it requires a whole lot of winging it. So, when it comes to creating a website for your company, just how difficult is it to ‘wing’?
Unfortunately, even in 2022, setting up a website yourself isn’t a simple one-click wonder. The internet is a discombobulating universe of codes and servers. But it’s not impossible to navigate if you are willing to invest a little time and patience in understanding it’s basic workings.
Of course, there’s a whole field dedicated to website development. But hiring a website developer can set you back upwards of $5,000. Such a cost may not be practical for your business, so let’s unpack the DIY details of website design.
We’ll take you through everything to expect when venturing out on your web dev journey solo. From there, it’s up to you whether you tackle it yourself or leave the keyboard clacking to the pros.
There are a few different ways you can approach building a website.
The first is via website building platforms such as Wix or Squarespace. The beauty of these devices is that everything you need to get your site up and running is streamlined into the one place. Their entire premise is built on simplicity. All you need to do is find a plan that works for your needs, pick a domain, and dive into the design (which is a breeze thanks to drag-and-drop or template options).
The alternative route is creating a website from the ground up. This requires a slightly more in depth understand of website logistics. But the upside is the freedom and flexibility it provides – you aren’t locked into certain designs, functions or costs. Let’s explore what you’ll need to get your website off the ground.
What You Need To Build A Website From Scratch
To understand how a website comes together, we’re going to lean on our trusty house analogy. Let’s treat your website as a home that you’re looking to build. The first thing you’ll need to sort out is a block of land – something that can hold everything you’re looking to build upon it. This is block of land is known as a hosting platform in the online sphere.
A hosting platform is essentially the storage site of all your content, data and files. Hosting companies own giant servers which you can purchase your own little slice of. This allows your website and all it’s content to be constantly accessible to the masses.
For a full beginner’s run down on website hosting, we have the perfect blog for you here.
No matter which way you go about building your website, you’ll need to create a domain. If the hosting platform is the block, the domain is the street address of your website. It’s how visitors will find and identify your page from the billions of others.
Securing a domain will usually cost you around $12-25 per year, depending on how sought after it is. You can register your domain name via an independent platform, or via the website building or hosting service you select.
Your domain name will need to be unique (can’t already be in use) and should be specific to your business. You’ll also be required to decide on a domain extension (.net, .com, .com.au, etc.). It’s worth doing some research into which extension will be the most relevant to your company’s needs and marketplace.
You’ve got the block. You’ve got the address. Let’s build your mansion.
The final piece to the puzzle is a Content Management System, or CMS. This handy program is the magic that brings your content to life. It allows you to upload, edit, store and arrange all your content without having an ounce of coding expertise.
The most popular CMS in the world is WordPress. In fact, over a third of all websites are created through WordPress. It’s incredibly user friendly, has a mammoth selection of templates to choose from, and has a catalogue of plug-ins to optimise your website to whatever its needs may be.
That’s not to say it’s the only CMS worth using. Again – it’s a matter of preference, experience, and what you specifically need from your website.
When You Should Hire A Professional Web Developer
We’ve offered only a very brief synopsis of what you’re getting into with the realm of web dev. That’s not to say there’s no advantage to palming the task off to a professional. Website developers are able to charge such hefty fees because they possess such a substantial understanding of the coding world. Their wealth of expertise allow them to customise sites down to the tiniest detail. This has several advantages for your websites performance, including:
- SEO – a site that is expertly optimised for organic search engine ranking success
- Usability – a website built upon a professional understanding of User Experience (UX) and how to retain visitors
- Design – both graphic design and functionality is superior when you employ the expertise of a professional website developer