How to create a website


create a website

You may already be thinking about how it might look, and the kinds of features and content you want to show.

But before you dive in, let’s take a look at some of the main steps involved, how to get started, and what it might cost to bring your vision to life.

Begin by setting your objective

What’s the main purpose of your website? If it’s mainly blogging, that will heavily influence the type of layout and navigation you’ll want. Or if you’re planning on using it to sell products or services, you’ll need something that’s secure, simple to navigate, and easy to update with new inventory.

Budget carefully

Prices for building a website range from zero to way into the thousands. It really depends on the type of site you want, and what you plan to achieve with it.

If you need a simple blogging site, there are loads of free tools and options to choose from. Most are simple and intuitive to use, so you won’t need any design or coding experience. Best of all, you’ll be up-and-running in no time at all, plus you won’t have to spend money on your own website designer or developer.

Choose the right website platform

Most people don’t have the time or expertise to create their own website from scratch – and that’s where website builders come in. All the coding is done for you, so all you need to do is choose a template, then customise it with your own text, images, and finishing touches.

Probably the hardest bit about using a website builder is deciding which one to go with. There are hundreds of providers out there, and at first glance they all seem to offer the same or very similar services.

Before choosing a provider, first ask yourself:

  • Does it have a secure URL or option to add one later?
  • Is it intuitive to use?
  • Can you easily customise it to your needs?
  • How much does it cost? Is that a one-off or monthly fee?
  • Are there lots of templates to choose from?
  • Do they offer tech support? Is it free? Is it via email, phone, or chatbot?
  • Do they offer plugins or extensions, like video or capturing newsletter sign ups?

Again, a lot depends on what you plan to use your site for. Tools like Google Blogger can be helpful, and let you choose from different templates and design styles. There’s also Google Sites, which can be a great way to promote a small business, event, or showcase a portfolio of work. This quick guide has more information, and will help you make an informed decision.

Set up your domain name

Many of the free web builder tools let you create a simple blog without having to spend money on your own domain name. If you’re serious about blogging, or your website’s for a business, you might want something more customised and unique to what you offer.

You’ll also need to think about what top-level domain (TLD) to go for. For example, if your website is focused in a specific region or country, you could opt for .uk, .fr, .de, and so on. Or if it’s more global, you may prefer a .com address.

Other things to consider when choosing a TLD:

  • Watch out for rising costs. Some providers offer discounted rates to begin with, then increase them later on.
  • Make sure your domain name isn’t already trademarked. If your name infringes another brand’s copyright, you may be forced to change it, and end up paying legal fees. More information on that here.
  • Keep your personal information safe. When you sign up for a domain you’ll have to provide your details to ICANN – which spammers and scammers can easily access. While you can opt to make your details private, some registrars will charge for this service, so be sure to check first.

Google domains can be a good place to start when choosing your domain name. It quickly shows what’s available, how much it costs, and even points out any advantages or potential drawbacks – for example, if it’s hard to pronounce or could easily be misheard.

Creating your content

You’ve chosen your platform, you’ve planned your design, and now it’s time for the exciting part: making content your audience will love. Again, following a few basic principles will help save you time and money, and encourage your visitors to keep coming back for more.

Try these top tips.

  • Google Trends is a useful way to see what people are searching for, and how the popularity of certain words or phrases changes over time. You can also gauge interest in your content from different regions, and identify potential new audiences worldwide. Don’t forget, you can always use your social media platforms or other online community groups to conduct polls and find out what’s trending or emerging.
  • Even before you start generating content, decide how often you plan to publish – and stick to it. Remember, quality beats quantity every time.
  • Bear in mind, not everyone likes consuming content in the same way. Some prefer straight text, while others appreciate the speed of infographics or the ease of video. Over time, you’ll learn what resonates best.
  • Once you start publishing content, you’ll want to know where your visitors are coming from, how they’re finding you, and which pages attract the most attention. One way you can do that is by using Google Analytics, which you can also link directly to your blog for real-time results.
  • This guide shares more tools and tips on creating content for your visitors, plus inspirational success stories from around the world.

Having your own website can be a fun and rewarding way to connect with your audience, and achieve your personal or commercial goals. Using the tools and tips in this guide will help you get started and avoid costly mistakes, and you can also use our resource centre to explore ways to monetise your online presence and refine your user experience.