Website is a necessity, not a whim. Home-based businesses are more than just popular today, they are successful for many promising entrepreneurs. Being online means selling goods and services with a lightning speed, but information spreading is the main benefit you can get from online presence. It works like a snowball: everything begins with small but then more and more users hear about you with new power.
The software variety available today is really amazing, be it a framework or a ready-made template. But the question is whether anyone can plan, create and then run a successful website alone or not. And are there reliable tools to help and simplify the workflow?
To begin with, there are some steps of website creation, and we need to understand which skills you need for each process, how difficult each is in general, and where to look for assistance.
1. Define The Website Purpose
Hope you don’t need help in deciding the aim of your site, or? This is a key stage of website creation, which is important for all other stages. For example, hosting services depend on the website type a lot. As well as the website building platform vary in terms of functionality: one and the same builder can be great for photographer but inappropriate for musician.
2. Decide with the Service/Platform/Framework
Website development should not obligatory be done by professionals. With the growth of modern technologies, a regular user can be a developer himself. You don’t have to know HTML languages or understand the CSS principles to create a website yourself. Besides, a developer should learn every day because new and new features appear, and this is a condition for staying relevant in the web development field. The question is not whether it is better to hire a developer, or do everything alone, but is it ever possible to manage without external help of specialists, and use just your mind, hands and a few extra tools?
Once you have decided which type of project you would love to create, you need to make a research on popular web development software. There are website building platforms suitable for any business or hobby, but there are those which are niche and appropriate for only one purpose. Price is another factor you need to compare, because free and paid builders are usually not the same, and the ones seem to be free, can become very high-paid after a month of using them. So, now we would love to proceed with a little bit of discussion on services available for website creation.
This website builder is suitable for everyone from businessmen to photographers, to sportsmen to brokers to doctors, etc. The website development and design is based on a drag-and-drop editor placed in the built-in admin panel, where it is very simple to adopt whatever design and content changes you need. You can create a mobile version of the site easily and edit it on the same panel as your main site. Currently, MotoCMS is launching an all-new product with superb features like lightning speed, responsiveness and innovative functionality. You will be able to control your website alone and design it easily and joyfully via this tool. The price of the templates is fixed and it is a one-time payment. This is rather comfortable to control your budget, plus there is a free trial available for 30 days.
This is a tool with simple interface for small restaurants to have nice websites. The functionality of this website builder is limited to a required minimum for restaurateurs. There are no unnecessary details, and so you will create your site step by step with useful guidelines (the program shows you the percentage of website completed). There are not so many themes to pick from, but they would be enough to make a good website with a food menu, as many pages as you need, event calendar, and galleries. This service is free, but if you don’t want to display Happy Tables branding on your site and have extra features, you will need to pay.
Hostbaby is a hosting service for music websites with an easy site builder included. Ready templates include such tools as concert calendar, guestbook, journal, playlists and more. It works especially for musicians and music bands, so no developer’s help is needed to complete a website. The price is not very high – $ 20 per month. Still it is more expensive than if this would be a one-time payment of $ 199 per year (with discount).
Defrozo is a new online platform to make a portfolio. It is one of the easiest tools to use ever, especially because it has just the basic set of functions/widgets you really need. The algorithm of site development is simple: you create an account and set your profile, pick a theme and edit it by adding galleries and filling them with pictures, add calendar and synchronize it with Google. The calendar will make it maximum easy for users to make a reservation for a certain day and time. The site is easy to share with friends or clients. The service is free.
Edicy is a useful tool for users who are going to create a multilingual website. Edicy takes care of the websites’ look, so that all characters are displayed correctly and every user can read the content. This platform is almost perfect in terms of creating a site that speaks to a multilingual audience, but it is not appropriate for users who can’t code. The programming skills are required to use this builder, so it is better to hire a professional to help, or find alternative software.
One-page websites are popular among many users, and there is a niche tool to help you build such. While using other website builders you create pages for your site, using Strikingly means creation of content blocks which break up the only page your website has. This editor is intuitive and won’t make you troubles at all. The variety of themes is not very big, but it is enough so far as you can customize every theme easily and make it unrecognizable from the original version.
3. Choose Hosting Provider and Register Domain Name
Many website builders can offer you hosting services included into the premium package, or they recommend you a server they trust. Still, you don’t need help with the hosting issues, and you can find a good provider yourself. There are several facts you need to consider:
- These types of hosting services are usually available:
- Shared web hosting. According to your hosting package, you get a part of server to use for your site. The main advantage of this type is its low price, but you need to understand the bad side: there is no root access and one website impacts others published on the same server.
- Dedicated hosting. This hosting service gives you a whole server with no need to share with other sites. This is probably the best plan, but it may be too expensive for you.
- Virtual private server hosting. Virtual private server acts as a separate server even though it shares resources with other similar servers. This plan has usually a good price, and includes many advantages taken from shared and dedicated hosting types.
- Look for 24/7 free support, otherwise you will need to pay for every question and problem you have.
- Make sure you have a data backup function guaranteed by your hosting provider.
- If you pick web hosting services, because they are unlimited, read the terms again and ask the manager carefully. Maybe this ‘unlimited’ will become limited in a month or so.
Many web hosting service providers can offer you a free domain, and this is a good deal. Nevertheless, if the hosting services do not include domain registration, you can go to domain.com or any other similar site and register domain there at a good price and with a few extra services included.
4. Optimize a Website
Every webmaster should make search engine optimization to get his website as high on search-result pages as possible. This is not just about positions, but users who will find your site easier when they need it. Top ranking sites are more successful because of the better buying process, too. Any online business depends on good SEO techniques. There are 6 main components of a powerful SEO strategy:
- Keywords. You need to learn which words users type in a search engine to find your product and optimize your site for these words. Keyword research is an essential part of SEO.
- Content. Only quality content makes result for a website. It means the use of some keywords you have researched for the content, avoid duplicate texts, make content relevant to your audience. Images are a part of the content, so they can’t be neglected. Users look for image results in search engines, too – be aware of this and include description to each image that you use on a website.
- Backlinks. The point is not to have thousands or millions of links pointing from other sites, but to have a number of good links pointing from good and safe sites.
- Social media. You should establish a strong social media presence on every(!) platform to make your brand well-known, to make people share and follow you.
- Mobile. Mobile optimization is a necessary component of SEO strategy, because responsiveness turns a website quality greatly. Search engines pay attention to this factor, so don’t lose rankings because of the lack of this indispensable feature.
Now you may think that it is too hard to fulfill all these tasks and you won’t be able to manage them alone. Wait! We have picked some useful tools for you to start with so that you don’t need to consult a SEO specialist.
WordTracker Keyword Research Tool
Make a keyword research and discover profitable market niches for your business within this tool. Unfortunately, it is free just for the first 7 days of trial.
Use this tool to check the positions of your keywords in Google, Bing and Yahoo. This will help you to understand if you are doing everything right.
Inbound links are good, but when they are not dangerous to your website. Check which links and from which sites point to your website. This may help you to make your SEO better.
Link Count Checker
Links pointing to your site are vital, but no less important are links going from your web pages. This online tool is intended to check the amount of external links on a particular page.
This tool is the most helpful for bloggers who often get content from guest authors and need to check whether it is not a duplicate. Nevertheless, you may need this for any type of the website to make sure that your content is of a high quality.
Web Page Screen Resolution
Check if your website is looking good within any screen resolution. In other words, this is a tool to test your website responsiveness.
Page Speed Test
Slow website may cost you users. Make your website fast by including appropriate images, avoiding flash and then check your result via this tool.
5. Keep Maintaining
Website development never stops. You will always have new content to addto your site, or a need to edit the old content, rearrange the info architecture, or modernize design. Besides it, there are things you would have to do on a constant base, like check the contact form and answer to requests, keep your social media accounts that link to a website, etc. The easiest solution may be to hire a team of professional marketers, tech operators and so on, but this all is possible even without them. You can run your site alone if only plan your work, assign time for each task, be responsible for what you do and have some tools helping a bit with everything:
This tool allows you to manage multiple social platforms in one place. This is a convenient, time-saving, and stress-eliminating social dashboard. The biggest advantage of this tool for you is that you can answer fans and followers in many social media platforms alone. This tool is free for you if you have 5 social accounts or less.
Buffer is another perfect tool if you are running your site alone. Sharing content is a part of SEO strategy, and this app allows you to do it via a few social accounts simultaneously. This tool if free with limitations: you can use only 2 profiles.
How to target the right audience? How to boost engagement with community? How to analyze your actions in Twitter? How to know what competitors are doing? SocialBro has clear answers to these questions. Use this tool to improve your Twitter social activity, but know that the cheapest package costs $ 13.95 per month.
SnapEngage is a tool for better and quicker communication with customers. This is a good solution if you want to have live chat for support or sales purposes on your website.
We have made everything to persuade you that it is a pretty real task to create and run a website alone. We picked the tools to help you get started, though remember that you need to self-develop all the time, keep an eye on trends and innovations.
Visit us at InstantShift.com