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15 Oct 2019

How to start a website

If you are starting a business selling a product or service, it is very important to have an online presence. A presence on social media and Instagram helps a lot, but you still need a website were your consumers can get information on your products/services. If you want to build a website and don’t know how to start, this guide will show you.

Domain name and Hosting company

The two basic things to look into are your domain name, and a place to host your website. If you still don’t have a domain name, all hosting companies offer them for at least 1 year for free. Choosing your domain name could be a difficult task, and admittedly, a bit frustrating when the one you want is already taken. In this article you can find some tips to choose the right domain

Before paying the hosting fee, you should decide the platform in which you will build your website. For small businesses and freelancers, the most popular content management systems (CMS) are Wix, WordPress and Squarespace. In this article you can check the differences between them

If the website is built in Wix or Squarespace they have their own hosting company. WordPress requires an external host. There are many companies, one of the most popular is GoDaddy, but you may prefer another.

Getting inspiration

I always ask my clients to look at other websites they like. As a designer it is much easier for me to create when I have an idea of what they expect. Save at least 3 websites that you like, either in their entirety or parts of them. Check other websites of your industry. Pinterest and www.awwwards.com are also good places to search for some inspiration.

Create a sitemap

Make a plan of the pages that should be included in your website. The most common are Home, About, Services/Products, Blog and Contact. Regardles of the size of your website, a clear structure will help to the user experience in your site.

Get your content and copy ready

The copy (text content) is as important as the design. Sometimes my clients put a lot of attention on the design, but often the website launch is delayed because the copy is not ready, and many times it’s necessary to adapt the design to the content. If you have hired someone else to design the website, you can write the copy at the same time to save time.

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Julia Ferrari

Web designer, focusing on helping freelancers and small businesses build their websites.

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