Beginner's Guide


Made in Philippines, about 7-8min reading

Want your own website? Do it yourself!

This guide will teach you how to create your own websites for any type of your personal or business life without the help of programmers and designers. 

Beautiful, professional and very fast.

If you’re creating cool stuff and you want to tell the whole world about it, you definitely need your own website!
This guide will teach you how to create a website for different purposes such as a personal lifestyle blog, corporate profile or e-commerce websites without needing to hire expensive programmers and fancy designers. You will be able to create beautiful and professional looking website very fast on your own. The fast evolution of website builders has made the creation of a website comparable to how IKEA has bridged the complexity of assembling basic furniture to become a DIY (do it yourself) method. 


My cousin founded his own business: he sells some furniture for warehouses. Immediately after the opening of the company, he made a corporate website and found out that he was right in doing so. It doesn't matter what sales techniques you use to attract your customers, whatever you do, it is always useful to have a digital representation of your business. At the same time your personal or corporate website should look professional or decent at the very least.
Making a pleasant-looking website that should always be available online and easy to navigate for your visitors is usually far from being cheap which present a challenge as the budget of a start-up company is almost always limited. The cost of hiring a programmer and a designer may be something that new businesses can’t prioritize. You can, of course, find low-cost specialists, but the result is likely to be below expectations. If you suddenly had the idea to ask help from talented friends in exchange for a few beers or a bottle of wine – believe me, it’s not that good of an idea. Been there, done that and I learned my lesson. Bottomline, don’t do it!


Given such budget constraint, the only remaining viable option is to make the website yourself. Everyone has heard that there are many different website builders or sitemakers which allows you to create a good enough website even if you are not a designer with zero coding skills. Actually, I used to be a strong opponent of such thinking. In my previous opinion every job should be done by a professional - say “no” to amateurs! But over time, I realized that I was too critical. Well, why should the owner of a tiny business give 15,000 to 25,000 pesos (~$300-$500), spend time and energy on the discussion of design and features, if you can build a website yourself in a couple of days or even hours? With an outcome that perfectly aligns to your own vision of what it should be like?
Due to this change in my opinion, this article will be devoted to what you need to think about at the initial stage, if you decide to use a website builder. To back up this post with examples and pictures, let's assume that we make a website using the free version of website builder. I already know a little about this product, and I see it as one of the best by quality and price in Philippines.


So, where does the creation of your own website or online shop begin?


Find a strong reason why you need a website
You need to understand (and it is better to write them down) what challenges your website will solve and what role it will serve. What are you doing it for, what kind of pages will it contain? Give enough thought and attention to the answers to these questions as this is the foundation for building a quality website.
Tip: so that you have a clear understanding of what your resource will be, make it a prototype. There are many services to solve this problem, but it is often more convenient to sketch it on a piece of paper.
Website builders offer hundreds of thematically organized templates nearly for all personal or business needs. There are options for blogs, travel, restaurants, webshop etc.
It’s pretty easy to choose from a huge variety of templates if you clearly know what you are looking for. For example, the template to create an online shop will be very different from a landing page template.
Understand who is your target audience
Who would you like to “speak” with using your website? What is their background, their preferences, lifestyle and habits? Where do they work, what do they do in their free time? What are they interested in and why do they need your product or service offer? Why should they choose you instead of your competitor?
Perhaps you have already answered all these questions when you wrote a business plan. When starting to create a website, you need to understand how you will position your product or service as well. You need to clearly craft your company’s image and the message you want the audience to get when they visit your site.
Carefully study how your competitors position themselves to the market. You may think that it is better not to know this in order not to accidentally copy someone’s successful ideas. It’s wrong thinking. If you want to take a niche in the market, you need to understand how exactly your product or service differs from so many other.
Choose a domain name and hosting
Choosing a domain name is a task that isolates you from reality for at least a day or half. All that you will do is to come up with many options of the website domain names and multiples checks whether this domain is already occupied or you are lucky enough to find out it’s available. It makes no sense to repeat how important it is to come up with a short and memorable name that reflects the essence of your business.
Choosing a domain name, you will encounter another rather serious problem - the need to find a hosting that will host your website. Here you need the assistance of a professional who would be able to advise how to choose the best possible combination between quality and prices of the hosting services. It is the right time to refer to these guys provide free hosting with their subscription model which saves you time, money and energy.
Choose a color and style
When choosing a standard template from the website builder, you may be doomed to be like thousands of other websites. As such, it’s mandatory to edit ALL possible elements. Select the right color scheme, styles of fonts, and pictures. Important to note, that you do not need to understand even the basics of coding: all elements can be dragged and dropped with just a click of the mouse. You will really enjoy creation process: fun, easy, quick and it taps on your creative side.
Personally, I am sometimes not sure if my customers like my website or not. That’s why I always show the prototype to my friends or family members before the final launch. Other valuable tip is to subscribe to professional graphical designers in Facebook groups or forums. It’s free and if you are lucky, you may get truly great advises from the industry professionals.
Prepare the content
If you are not too familiar with graphic design programs, then you will definitely feel real joy that you don’t even have to design the layout of your website. Most of the website elements and plugins are predefined and ready to be used in just one or two clicks. However, you still need to seriously work on the content.
Photos and pictures should be legal and be as unique as possible. Texts should be witty, catchy and easy to understand without any grammatical errors. If you don’t have enough time or skills to write the content, this can also be outsourced easily. The cost of basic copywriting is not so high. However, there are several questions that you must consider in detail before starting to work on the content:
- What are the key messages to your website visitors? What will be the focus message on each website page?
- What will encourage and convince your visitors to: purchase goods, register, subscribe or order your services?
A few tips on how the content should be:
1. Relevant. Try to always have fresh and updated information on your website. Outdated information about the company or "news" which was published over a year ago will make visitors negatively think about your business and performance.
2. Calling for action. Place on the main page two or three (not more!) Calls for action: “Go shopping”, “View our works” and so on. That will encourage your visitors to explore further and take the next step.
3. Structured. The infinite plain text will bore anyone. Use formatting features: headings, paragraphs, bold fonts, and other styles to highlight important phrases. This will help to convey the information better.
4. Catchy. Please remember that your visitors have a little time and even less desire to read plain and lengthy texts. Each line should solve a problem or answer a question. Otherwise nobody will read it. Pay special attention to headlines. They primarily attract the attention of your visitors.
Publish your website and do not forget about its development
You have thoroughly studied your website while designing and developing. Make sure that everything is very user friendly and easy to understand: the texts, call for proper action, colors and design. However, do not limit this to your own opinion. It would be right to confirm it with at least a small group of users: friends, family members or unknown members of different social media groups or forums. It is better to make a questionnaire in advance. It will help to get an outside opinion and some answers for specific questions.
Last tip, pay attention only to valid criticism!
Congratulations! Now you can publish your website! Finally! Publication is a joyful moment, but it is not the end of the road. You just raised the sail, but you need wind to move forward and ahead.
Constantly develop your website:
1. Get more information about SEO (search engine optimization) so that your website appears on the first page search results of the Google, Yahoo, Bing or other. Ideally at the top.
2. Update the content periodically. This will improve search engines indexing and increase the interest of the audience to your website.
3. Develop interaction with the audience through mailings, promotions and contests in social networks.

I hope that this article will inspire you and remove the hesitations in creating your very own first website. 

Good luck!



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