Building your First Website

by | Sep 5, 2019

This post contains affiliate links; I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase. Read my disclosure for more info. Please use one of the links in this post when starting your website. It gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you. And it means the world to me!

You have your logo and your brand system ready to go. Great job! Now it’s time to develop your website but you have no idea where to start. I have built many websites for various clients and I want to share with you some tips that I have learned along the way. Some of these tips I actually learned the hard way so that you don’t have too!

After helping to develop a lot of brands on their website designs, I can share this advice about where you should begin in your journey.

The first thing that I can share with you is to gather your content and at least the rough outline of your website. This step definitely helps make the process go a lot faster. It’s easier to build the pages when you have the content and can draft the layout, than trying to fill in blanks on a website.

A good start for an outline to your website is a killer landing page as your home page, an about page, services, and contact. What you should think to include on this page is a good headline text with a brief sentence about who you are as a company, a paragraph that explains a little more about your services/company or about you, Any links that you can direct to other pages of your site, and maybe a contact form or way for people to reach you.

 

If you don’t already have a domain and hosting provider, then this would be your next step.
Who should you use for hosting your site? I want to share who I use, BlueHost because they have great starting packages and as your website increases, they grow with you. Here are some of the perks when you start with BlueHost:

  • A free domain name. If you were to think of your site as a physical shop, the domain name. or what your website/brand/shop is called. Other hosting companies sometimes require you to purchase your domain name elsewhere, but with Bluehost it is included.
  • Free SSL Certificate. This is really a great addition with today’s internet safety certificates. If, you want Google to take your website seriously and rank it for searches, it needs to be safe. This is what an SSL certificate does- it adds the little lock next to the website URL in the address bar. Again, with other companies you have to purchase this separately, but with Bluehost it’s free.
  • 24/7 support. Any questions you have, and their customer support is more than happy to answer.
  • One click WordPress installation. This is one of the easiest ways, I have ever connected WordPress to my site. Other sites like, godaddy, require a lot more steps to incorporate WordPress with their domain. With Bluehost, one click and the software is installed! You are done and can start your populating the content of your website!

Next is to choose a theme to upload onto your WordPress site. There are a lot of free themes out there that are great and can provide a lot of variation to your site. If you are looking for a more developed theme, I strongly suggest using Elegant Themes’ Divi theme which is what I have used on my own site, katiesmetherman.com to showcase my portfolio and many of my clients have loved the versatility as well! They have a lot of layouts pre-made that you can choose from and are included in the price of the theme. The theme is very intuitive and easy to use for anyone whether you are a novice or an experienced website developer. They love it!

After this, it is about building your site to be the best representation of you! Fill the pages with your content and find photography that matches. One designer tip that I can offer you here, is to do a large search for photographs (whether you are going to personally take them or get them off of a stock photography site) and compile them all in one location before uploading them to the various pages of your website. At this stage, go through and really look at the photos to see how they complement each other. This is what is going to help build your brand aesthetics on your site.

Good luck on your website! I know your website is going to be awesome! If you have any questions, feel free to always reach out and ask if you have any questions!

Check back for updates! I will be offering classes in the coming future about website design and building your brand!

This post contains affiliate links; I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase. Read my disclosure for more info. Please use one of the links in this post when starting your website. It gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you. And it means the world to me!