Anyone who is running a business or side hustle today needs a website. You simply cannot connect with clients in 2022 without a significant web presence. While social media is also important, it is your website that shows who you are and serves as your digital headquarters.
But what if your programming skills are rusty and you cannot afford to hire a web developer? What do you need to know in order to build a website from scratch?
The good news is that in today’s world you can use a website builder to create an original and beautiful website. You do not need to put your programming to the test, although today’s website builders let you use your coding skills to customize your website in certain ways. However, that does not mean you can leave everything up to AI.
Here are the minimum requirements to build a website from scratch.
A Design Theme
With a theme found on a website builder, you can create an attractive site even if you have a terrible eye for design. However, your website needs to represent your business, and you cannot simply choose a design out of a hat.
In settling on a design theme, you do not need to have any skills or expert information. But you do need to know your business. For example, if you are selling party supplies, you will need to choose a bright and colorful theme, but if you are providing legal services, a minimalist theme with muted tones is much more appropriate.
It is not always so clear cut, and you may have to make your decisions based on what feels closest to the image you want to portray. Without a design theme, your website may attract all the wrong people and drive potential clients away.
One thing you cannot avoid when creating a website is writing. This doesn’t mean you need to start a blog (although that can be an incredible tool in marketing your business). Any website needs basic website copy. This is the writing on the landing page which tells visitors where they are, what your business does, and any other information they need to know.
You do not need to be a professional to write good copy, but if you do not have an eye for detail (or simply hate writing), your copy can end up looking amateurish. Furthermore, website copy should follow search engine optimization (SEO) rules, including the strategic use of keywords.
As such, it is worthwhile hiring a writer to write your website copy for you. Finding a freelancer online is easy, and will cost a lot less than hiring a new employee.
Humans are visual creatures. Marketing experts have understood this for hundreds of years, and this is why most adverts try to catch your eye. Your website needs to draw the eye as well, and nothing does this better than pictures.
If you are selling a product, your website should include professional photos of the product. If you are the product, you’ll need a professional photo of yourself, even if you don’t really like posing for pictures.
High quality pictures should appear on various pages on your site. When you have no more products to display or need something different, you can look for stock photos. There are excellent free stock photo websites, and a subscription to a paid site like DepositPhotos will only cost you around $10 a month.
Custom Email Addresses
Your website should have a page with contact details, and this should include a contact form. However, if you plan on providing an email address for people to write to as well, you need to invest in custom email addresses. Any business website with a Gmail or Yahoo address immediately appears unprofessional.
You can get a custom email from your website builder for a small monthly fee. They will offer various packages, but if you just need one email address, the cheapest package will do. When your business has a name, the natural email address will be yourname at yourbusiness dot com. If you are promoting your services using your own name, you can use something like info at yourname dot com.
Building a website from scratch is easier than ever in 2022. You can use your programming skills or rely on today’s technology of smart website builders to do the basics for you. After deciding what type of design you’ll go for, get started on creating content, including copywriting and photos. Don’t forget that your professional website must have a page with your contact details, including your business email address, so customers can get in touch with you. These are the first steps for a great website, and if you follow them all, you’ll be on a good path towards a successful online presence.