Website Design

Here at Outsource Me 

we work with lots of clients on average around 100 clients a year, many of whom have limited design and marketing experience. So, before you turn your nose up at the idea of designing your own website design let us share how to go about creating your site, step by step.

Note:

 We’ll be using simple HTML and CSS to show you how to build your site; these are the basic building blocks of the web.

How To Create a Website

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose Your Name

There are tons of ways to create a URL. As a rule, don’t choose a URL that you know you’ll never use in your everyday life.

For example, if you want to call your site Fit and Healthy, you’d call it FitandHealthy.net. Not because you think you’ll ever be searching for a “Fit and Healthy” business (because you won’t be), but because you’re not really promoting your site to anyone who is not your audience.

On the other hand if you’re planning to call your site All-Purpose Fun, you’d pick FunAndFun.com.

The reason for this is because you’re selling to everyone. Fit and Healthy is to anyone who might be interested in fitness what All-Purpose Fun is to the person who wants to learn all about fun. The same goes for other options like AllDayCookies.com or 50%OffBasketballTickets.com.

Step 2: Pick a Domain

Now that you’ve picked a name, you need a domain. This is the name you’ll use to point your website at. There are hundreds of top-level domains (TLDs) out there like .com, .org, .info, and .co.uk, but if you don’t know what they are, you can skip this part of the guide.

Some common options include:

example.com (example.com)

com.example.com (example.com)

net.example.com (example.net)

out.example.com (example.com)

web.example.com (example.com)

vol.example.com (example.com)

get.example.com (example.com)

domain.com (example.com)

domain.com (out.com)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

For a better SEO (Search Engine Optimization), there are two things you need to do:

Pick a good domain (for example, example.com, com.example.com, and com.example.com) Choose a long, juicy, SEO-friendly domain (for example, .co.uk, .info, or .net)

Step 3: Pick an OK Site Template

One of the first things a designer will do is to pick a decent template. That way, he or she can see how it will look with your site and whether or not it’s a good fit.

There are a couple of sites like Shopify.com, BigCommerce.com, and Magento.com, but there are lots of free options as well. We’re big fans of a few options:

SquareSpace.com

SlickCommerce.com

Volusion.com

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All in all, we’d recommend at least one of the aforementioned sites. The good thing about them is that they’re free and you can pick a template that makes sense for you.

Step 4: Set Up Your Domain

After you’ve chosen a decent site template, it’s time to set up your domain and make sure it’s properly registered. Remember, you won’t be using it much in your daily life, so make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with.

You’ll need a working email address on file, and you’ll also need a phone number for your customer service team to reach you.

You can either set up a forwarding service to your inbox, or you can set up an application that stores your email and number.

SquareSpace.com

SlickCommerce.com

Volusion.com

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All in all, we’d recommend at least one of the aforementioned sites. The good thing about them is that they’re free and you can pick a template that makes sense for you.

Step 5: Set Up a Client Email and Phone

Your site is set up, but now it’s time to set up your client email address and phone number.

Again, remember that it won’t be in use much. However, it’s a good idea to leave your contact information somewhere. For example, if you have an autoresponder service like Mailchimp.com, you can set it up to send you emails from your domain.

Also, if you’re in the physical business, you may want to have a mailing address for customers. With a lot of product and service providers, you’ll have a unique mailing address.

Step 6: Create an Installation Package

There’s a reason why designers and marketers like us are always building our own websites. It’s because it gives us full control of our websites. There’s no way to screw up the layout if you have full access to it.

As a web developer, you have the same freedom. However, you’re limited to what resources you have at your disposal. You might want to buy your own hosting account or have someone else run a site for you.

As a web developer, you have the option of getting the best hosting service possible, or you can have your own hosting account and work from there.

If you want to get started, I recommend using one of the following hosting providers:

1&1.com

Dreamhost.com

GeekSquares.com

HostGator.com

NotifyMe.com

If you want to jump right in and have full control, get yourself a .com and a one-click installer.

Step 7: Set Up Your Site

Once your site is installed, you’ll need to update a couple of things.

For starters, you’ll want to install a simple editor like Dreamweaver or XPress Editor.

We’d recommend a web developer like Dreamweaver over XPress Editor because of its powerful selection of HTML and CSS blocks. XPress Editor is fine for beginners, but they’ll quickly get frustrated by it.

A third option is Openwebstudio, which is powered by Microsoft CodeMirror. It’s a free program, and you can use it on any computer without registration.