Are you looking to launch your business in 2020? Or do you have an existing website which is tired and ineffective, and not doing your business any favours?
Either way, it is time to build a new website. However, this doesn’t have to mean investing thousands of dollars in a professional web developer. Creating a website is easier than you think, and this is something you can do yourself, even if you have very limited technical experience.
Here’s our complete guide to building your own website — the easy way!
Why Do I Need a New Website?
Perhaps at this stage, you’re wondering if you even need a new website or a website at all. Regardless of your type of business, or whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or contractor, a website is an essential element in anyone’s business plan in 2020.
Consumers these days live online: reportedly spending an average of 6 hours and 49 minutes online each day globally. This means if you do not have a website, you are missing out on a large amount of potential business, and that will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve business success.
It is also not enough to have an old, tired and unprofessional website: to be competitive in today’s hyper-charged marketplace, you must have an effective and engaging site which converts visitors into customers.
Do I Need to Hire a Web Developer to Build My Website?
It used to be that building websites was the exclusive domain of professional web developers. Ten years ago, websites were built with complex coding, meaning that you needed to study for years and develop your skills over time in order to make a professional-looking site or a site at all.
However, these days, there is another option: by using a website builder, it is relatively quick and straightforward to create your own site. These tools are generally very easy to use, so it is possible to create your own website even if you have never done this before, and even if you have limited technical skills and knowledge.
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a tool that lets you build a website without having to do any coding at all. It takes care of the technical side of things behind the scenes, with a user interface that allows you to focus on the design and content elements.
Most website builders have a drag and drop interface build around set templates. This means that to use the builder, all you need to do is choose the template that best suits your needs and those of your business. You then simply enter in your content, photos and other elements.
Depending on the tool, you can also customise your template to make sure you create a site that best represents your brand, as well as being something unique that stands out from the competition.
Which Website Builder Should I Choose?
Given all of this, it is not surprising that website builders have become exceedingly popular in recent times. This means that there are a large number of tools available, offering a range of features, and various monthly subscription plans of different price points. It is important to do your research in order to choose the best website builder for your needs.
Some things to consider when choosing a website builder are:
1) How large and complex do you want your website to be?
2) What is your level of technical skill? How confident are you in building a website?
3) What features and elements do you want on your site? How important is it that you can customise the site?
4) How important are visual and creative elements to your brand?
Once you have a clear picture of your needs, you can check the features of each website builder to see which is the best one for you.
In general terms, Wix comes highly recommended as the best all-round website builder, with a user-friendly interface, customisation options, great support and affordable pricing.
Weebly is also great for beginners, though it has fewer customisations and to make your site unique.
On the other hand, if you are in a creative industry, you should really have the most visually-stunning site possible, which means using Squarespace, though this website builder is more technically challenging.
Can I Build my Website for Free?
Once you have chosen the right website builder for you, you will need to select the pricing plan. Website builders run on monthly subscriptions, payable annually upfront, and generally have various tiers of packages, from basic to premium options. Some also have free options.
However, these are quite limited in their features and generally not recommended. Free website builders usually mean having the website builder’s ads featured permanently on your site, which is unprofessional, detracts from a great user experience, and gets in the way of conversions.
On the other hand, in most cases, it will not be necessary to get the most expensive premium tier either, unless you have a very large, complex site in mind. For most small businesses and portfolio sites, the basic website builder option will be more than sufficient. If you’re not sure which pricing plan is right for you, you can always pick a lower plan and then upgrade later for more features if necessary.
Keep in mind that you will also need to buy a domain (website address) for your site. You can choose to do this through your website builder, or through an external hosting provider like GoDaddy.
Most website builders will include the domain in the pricing plans, although in some case you’ll need to purchase it as an additional option for a few extra dollars a month. It is important to choose a good domain name which is recognisable and represents your business.
Using a website builder is an easy, quick and relatively painless way to build your own website. These tools can help you to create the website you need to take your business to the next level!