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The Best Manual for Web Design on How to Build a Website


You require a website if you run a business. But given that you're reading an essay on how to make one, I'm going to assume you already know that.



You're beginning to see that while browsing the internet is a fairly simple process, designing, developing, and establishing a website are incredibly challenging. It needs to look good. It should be simple to use. You want it to be searchable on Google. Business want it to really work to bring in customers for you... But how do you go about doing that? What's more, how do you do it correctly?


You can follow along as we take you step-by-step through the process of getting a website in our Ultimate Guide to Web Design:


  • What you must understand to begin

    • Who are they

    • Hosting and domain names

    • Organization and content

    • Functionality

    • CMSs

  • How to construct your website

    • Templates

    • Customized options

    • Hybrid approaches

  • 7 steps to creating a bespoke website

    • Decide what you require, then engage a designer

    • Begin with wireframes

    • Create the appearance and feel

    • Making templates for all pages and coding your design with a developer

    • Fill out the content, test it out with users


What you must understand to begin


Find out who's who in the web design and development industry.


It's really simple to hire one individual to create a logo for your company and have it turn out well. It's not always the case while building a website. Even if there are certain people or businesses that provide an all-inclusive service, it's probable that you'll work with multiple people as you embark on your website-building journey. Some of the characters you might run into on your quest are listed below:


Indeed, web designers are designers. They take your concepts and translate them into a lovely (or badass) mockup that displays the design of your future website. Usually, Adobe Photoshop or a comparable graphics tool is used for this.


Designers of user interfaces or user experience (UX) pay close attention to how your website's layout affects users. They may assist you in making decisions such as where to place buttons to encourage more clicks or how to organize your navigation to ensure that your site runs as smoothly as possible. (UX and UI differ from one another. It is nicely explained in this article.) It shouldn't be too tough to employ a freelancer who has both skill sets if you're trying to save money because there is frequently overlap between UX/UI designers and web designers.


Web developers, often known as engineers or coders, are enchanted people who have mastered the computer language. They convert the attractive (or intimidating) prototype your designer created into a code language so it can be viewed online. Because most developers only know one or a handful of the various coding languages available, this just serves to muddle matters further.


Front end developers focus on the elements that we see when browsing a website (e.g. rendering images, text, animations, drop down menus, page layout, etc).


On the other side, back end developers focus on what happens in the background and are essential if your website needs to interface with a database. (You'll need a database if you want to have a shopping cart, user profiles, or wish to be able to upload material on your own.)


As you develop your website, other professionals you might wish to engage include SEO gurus, content strategists, and copy or content writers. They may assist you with determining what should be on your website to make it easier for the proper visitors to locate it (through search engines) and make a purchase decision once there.



Purchase hosting and a domain name


The first step in creating a website is to hire a space, just like you would if you were starting a physical store.


The actual location where the components of your website will reside is known as web hosting. In order to host all of those files, including the databases, photos, and text, a physical server is needed. Even though you can purchase one and install it in your home, office, or garage, the great majority of people and businesses choose to rent hosting space from a corporation. Rent and hosting are normally paid on a monthly basis. Most firms will pay between $5 and $20 each month, but if you need a lot of data, it may be considerably higher. Here is a list of suggested web hosting providers, but before making a purchase, you might wish to consult your web developer (as they may have a preferred vendor).


People enter your domain name into their browser to access your website. Typically, it is the name of your company. A domain registrar is where you register a domain name to get one. To buy and keep the name, you will need to pay a minimal cost (often less than $10/year). Your greatest option will typically be a hosting company that also acts as a domain registrar because it will be the simplest to set up.


The last step is to direct your domain name to your servers, which essentially instructs the internet to search this server warehouse for the appropriate images and text to display when someone types your domain into their browser. This procedure isn't difficult, but it can be perplexing. You can attempt to do this step on your own with some assistance from the support staff at your web server or domain registrar, but your web developer can also help you with it quickly.



For your website, consider the structure and gather the material


Your website's about page won't be written by your web designer or developer, and your store's product photos won't be taken by them either. You'll need to supply both the overall layout of the website and all of the content.


Consider the pages you'll need for structure; typical examples include:


  • Homepage's "about" or "contact" pages

  • Product directory for blogs

  • Product specific pages

  • Rules and regulations

  • Landing pages/marketing pages for promotions in a gallery


It will be necessary to layout, create, and include content on each of these kinds of pages.


At this point in the process, you don't have need to have material finalized, but you do need to have a concept of the information you want on your website and a strategy for how to get it. Is it necessary for you to set aside time for writing copy (or to employ someone else to do it)? To take product shots, should you hire a photographer? All custom images (such as your logo or pictures of your team) must be provided by you for the website, although if you'd like, a web designer may usually assist you in locating stock imagery.


Decide what features you require


What do you want to happen when someone views your website? Are they merely obtaining details about your good or service, such as your contact information or business hours? Do they have to be able to buy things? Is learning a skill or reading blog posts their main objective? Are they completing a form to request a quote? Should they be able to add their own data and create user profiles?


How you can get your site produced and who you need to work with will depend on your functional requirements. They will also significantly affect your budget, therefore you must have it organized in order to receive appropriate bids.



Learn what a CMS is and assess your need for one


A CMS (Content Management System) is a web application and database. Basically, it enables users to post material to various portions of their site, including you, your colleagues, and employees. You'll need a CMS if you want to frequently alter content or swap out images on your website but don't know how to code.


There are numerous CMS alternatives available. For typical use scenarios, there are wonderful out-of-the-box solutions (e.g. WordPress for blogging, Shopify for hosting an ecommerce site, Six for building out a profile). However, if you require additional functionality (for example, if you want to create the next Facebook, Uber, or 99designs), you'll need to have it specially created.


A CMS (Content Management System) is a web application and database. Basically, it enables users to post material to various portions of their site, including you, your colleagues, and employees. You'll need a CMS if you want to frequently alter content or swap out images on your website but don't know how to code.


There are numerous CMS alternatives available. For typical use scenarios, there are wonderful out-of-the-box solutions (e.g. WordPress for blogging, Shopify for hosting an ecommerce site, Six for building out a profile). However, if you require additional functionality (for example, if you want to create the next Facebook, Uber, or 99designs), you'll need to have it specially created.



How to construct your website


Builders and template websites


In the last ten years, DIY web template platforms have become extremely popular. It's likely that you've heard of a few of them. A few well-known names are Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, and Weebly. Each has its own specialization and selection of available templates (Shopify, for instance, concentrates on ecommerce sites).


Pros:

  • Least expensive option

  • They are all content management systems that let you manage your website's content.

Cons:

  • Your site will appear like many others, won't necessarily be on brand, and you won't have much control over its functioning because you are only given access to their templates and a restricted number of modification possibilities.



Employ independent contractors to create a unique solution


Hiring one or more freelancers to assist you in building your site is your best option if you want to have greater control over its appearance and operation. This is wonderful for getting exactly what you need at a reasonable price, but you'll probably need to be more active.


We advise browsing designer profiles to identify someone whose taste corresponds to what you had in mind. As an alternative, you can establish a web design competition if you want to get plenty of design concepts. We'll give you some writing tips. It will be read by designers all over the world, who will then provide you suggestions for your website. You provide suggestions for the designs' improvement before selecting your favorite(s) as the winner.


Pros:

  • Get the precise style and functionality that you desire.

  • Affordable prices (though it obviously depends on the freelancer and your specific needs)

Cons:

  • You might need to employ several individuals (a web designer, a UX/UI designer, and a developer).

  • Needs more of your time and effort.


Employ independent designers to create a hybrid solution


You're in luck if you want a unique design but don't want to spend money on entirely bespoke development. Starting with a ready-made template solution and customizing it with your own special template is an option.


Building a website on WordPress is one of the most well-liked solutions for this. WordPress began as a blogging platform, but it has now grown to be the most widely used content management system (CMS) online, powering about 30% of all websites. It is totally adaptable and may expand along with your business. There are countless numbers of templates available, but you can also make your own, making it the ideal hybrid option.


You can utilize WordPress to power the back-end database operations while also hiring a WordPress theme designer to produce a stunning, distinctive, brand-consistent website.


Note that if you'd prefer to utilize one of those platforms, this is also available with a number of different template websites (for instance, you may design unique templates or alter existing ones for Shopify or Squarespace). Note that in each of these scenarios, the design still needs to be converted into code, so be sure to check with your designer to see if they can handle it or prepare yourself to employ a developer.


Pros:

  • Gives you access to more sophisticated features (those are included with systems like WordPress or Shopify) at a reduced price

  • You'll receive a unique design so that your website looks stunning and is consistent with your brand.

Cons:

  • You could still need to employ a designer and a developer.


Employ a company for a unique end-to-end solution


Web design and development companies are professionals in their field. They will be able to take you from a wireframe to a completely finished site, in addition to guiding you and aiding in your decision-making. Naturally, all of that is very expensive. For businesses with sophisticated requirements or those for whom cost is less of a problem, this is a fantastic alternative.


Pros:

  • Less stress because you're working with professionals who will guide you through the entire procedure.


Cons:

  • You're probably going to see a hefty price tag.


Seven steps to creating a bespoke website


1. Identify your requirements and work with a designer.


Do you know what your domain name will be? Do you know what features you require? a list of the pages you need to have created? Do you have a strategy for collecting all the original content you require for your website's content?


Awesome! Time to bring on the designer. You should browse portfolios to find the best one. Consider the personality of your brand to see if the designer is a good stylistic fit. (For instance, would you prefer fun and playful or edgy and modern?) In general, it's a good idea to look for designers with experience in your sector or with the particular kind of website you need. If you sell products, seek out designers with expertise working with other ecommerce businesses. If you are a photographer, look for designers with galleries in their portfolios.



2. Start by creating wireframes


Without a map, you wouldn't embark on a cross-country road journey. The same goes for starting to create your website without wireframes. In essence, wireframes are maps that illustrate where your navigation will be, where your graphics will be, where your CTA buttons will be, etc.


The rest of the process will be made simpler by beginning with wireframes. Instead of complex Photoshop mockups, you and your designer may discuss structure and make adjustments to what appear to be line drawings. Both time and money are saved by doing this.


Wireframes should be created for each of your main page kinds (e.g. your homepage, product listings, blog articles, etc).


Wireframing is still necessary if you're adding a customized design to a site that already uses a template; just make sure your designer is aware of any limitations imposed by the template.



3. Create the visual appeal


Your brand's online home is your website. As a result, everything of your design choices, including fonts, colors, and styling, ought to be based on that brand identity. Send your designer a copy of any brand style guides you may have. If you don't, give them what follows:


  • Your logo

  • Branded colors (exact hex codes if possible)

  • Fonts listed

  • Any other demands for style, such as "fun and welcoming" or "dark and opulent"


Sending a few, properly curated examples of websites you enjoy along with a brief justification is also a wonderful idea.


With this knowledge, the designer can proceed with their work. They'll typically begin with whichever page you specify as being the most crucial (for many, this would be the homepage, but it isn't always the case).


You get to comment after they return with the first draft. Take note of your immediate, gut-level reaction to the design, but hold off on commenting for at least a day. You should probably allow yourself some time to process it, and you should also likely consult with other stakeholders to gain their opinion. When you do provide feedback, be sure it is precise and understandable.


To arrive at a final design, you might go through numerous rounds of input, depending on your agreement with the designer.



4. Make all pages templates


It should be rather easy to get design prototypes for all of your pages created once you've finalized the look and feel of your most crucial page and presuming you have wireframes for all of your page kinds. Even though there may be a few minor adjustments that still need to be made, you and your designer should now be communicating well.


At this point, your designer should give you layered picture files that you may give to your developer if they are not also your developer, assuming that is the case. (Adobe Photoshop files are the industry standard, while Sketch is gaining popularity.)



5. Have a developer help you code your design


Your recruiting decision should center on functionality. If you tell a web developer what you want, they should be able to describe how they will make it happen in plain language that you can comprehend even if you're not a web developer.


If you require a CMS, be sure to ask what platform is being used or ask to see what and how you will be able to govern any future changes.


If they don't ask you many questions, proceed with caution. That typically indicates that they haven't considered all the many processes required in the process.


After receiving your brief, developers, like designers, will start working on a prototype. You can play with the draft they send you and provide input.



6. Complete the content


Your website is completely operational. Awesome! You must now complete all of your content, including headers, body writing, and any staff or product images.


Depending on your objectives, it can be worthwhile to engage a professional photographer (especially if you're selling products) or a content or SEO specialist to assist with the writing (they can help you with page ranking and also language that establishes the perfect tone to attract people to convert).



7. Conduct user testing


You should invite as many individuals as you can to play with your site before you formally launch it. When they provide feedback or pose a question, pay attention to it rather than jumping to conclusions.


My basic rule of thumb when receiving feedback is that if two different people—who haven't spoken to one another—give me the identical note, they're probably onto something.


Launch your website after making any last-minute adjustments!



Are you prepared to design the ideal website for your company?


My final point is to reaffirm the fact that building a website is rarely a one-and-done endeavor. It's something that should and can regularly change. If you're just starting out and choose a template site, you might outgrow it in a year or two. That's good; when that happens, we have a ton of incredible designers standing by to assist you upgrade to a custom solution. Or you might see that your clientele is shifting and that you need to rebrand. Alternately, technology can advance and force you to adapt (right now, everything ought to be mobile-friendly and responsive). Who knows in 5 years!)


Create an excellent website right away!


___________________

Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Red Bank, NJ, Westport, CT, and everywhere in between. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media, and consultations.


Phone: NJ: (732) 783-4822 // CT: (203) 429-9671



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