Building websites has become easier than ever thanks to platforms like Wix or SquareSpace, and the wide range of intuitive visual editors now available on WordPress. Even though you don't need to be a graphic / website designer to create your own website (with a bit of help from YouTube perhaps!), building a website from scratch is still a lengthy and time consuming project, that can be frustrating and technically challenging for people that are just starting out.
It's tempting to go down the DIY route, but you need to make sure you have enough time, knowledge and patience otherwise it will take ages to get your website up and running. I've put together a list of the main stages of the process I go through every time I build a Wix website so you can see how much work goes on behind the scenes.
Sitemap. First we need to decide how many pages you need - usually 5 or 6, for example home, about, products / services, contact, blog then maybe a gallery or portfolio or even FAQs. You may also need subpages.
Layout. Then I browse all the templates available on Wix to get inspired, and to find a template that matches the business. For example I'd be looking at whether there will be a lot of images or a lot of copy, any videos, will there be a blog or a shop, who is the target audience, what kind of industry is it in etc. It is also possible to start from scratch (without using a template) but most of the time I will find a template that I can use as a starting point, rather than using a blank canvas.
Design. Now the fun begins. I edit the template and add elements, graphics and content. This is the creative stage of the website design process and one that I definitely enjoy a lot.
Extras. After the design has been finalised and the content imported, then I look at adding any Widgets or Apps like Instagram feed, image sliders, pop up messages, contact forms, social media links etc.
Mobile View. This is a very important step as a lot of people visit websites from their phones. I preview how the website will look on a smaller device and make amendments, if necessary - sometimes it’s better to have a slightly simplified version for mobile access.
eCommerce. If required, I can set up a Wix Shop for you so you can start selling your products or services right away. This will involve adding all the items for sale and then setting up ways to receive payments. These can be by credit cards (through Stripe or Square) or through PayPal.
SEO. Finally I will go through all the SEO settings to ensure your website is visible on Google. This involves choosing the right keywords for your business and then selecting the right URLs, metadata (page titles and descriptions), and alt text for your images.
Domain. If you already have a domain I can connect it to your Wix website. If you don’t have one, I can buy one through Wix and then you’ll have all in once place (hosting and website platform).
Building websites on other platforms will follow a very similar process and every platform has its pros and cons - I'll talk about those in more detail in another blog.
Image by @studio_ampersand