If you have never tried web design and web development before, designing a website may seem like opening a can of worms. How can you even think of doing that without basic coding knowledge?
Still, you know what lies at the bottom of this can.
Creating a website is among the best ways to expand your business, get new leads, and generate more revenue. Your website will connect you to the online world where you’re likely to find a big chunk of your customers.
Wondering if you can design a website on your own? You can.
With the latest technology trends — no-code movement, website builders, and website store builders — designing a website for your business by yourself is possible. You can make your own website without learning how to code.
You don’t need to hire a web developer or web designer for your website. If you have access to the internet and a good grip on the computer, you’re good to go.
You can learn how to design a website with our step-by-step guide and get to work.
How To Design a Website
1. Choose your website platform.
2. Find a domain name.
3. Choose your host.
4. Install WordPress.
5. Choose a theme for your website.
6. Gather and add content.
7. Make necessary adjustments.
8. Add an online store.
9. Add social media buttons.
10. Launch your website.
1. Choose Your Website Platform
The majority of the websites on the internet — from simple websites for small businesses to complex websites for big organizations — run on WordPress. You can find both Peter managing his blog and Microsoft and Facebook handling their news websites.
While other content management system (CMS) options for new website owners like Drupal and Joomla are available, they require some technical knowledge to operate.
Contrarily, WordPress has unique features — search engine optimization (SEO)-ready, broad network, and diverse plugin support — that make it the most popular CMS for beginners and experienced developers.
Here are other reasons you should choose WordPress as your website platform.
Why Choose WordPress
So, why WordPress? Here are a few reasons to choose this CMS.
1. WordPress is free.
WordPress being free should be enough for you to use it as your CMS. Still, that’s not all. Due to its wide open source support, WordPress provides several free plugins and themes to help you develop your website.
If you’re operating on a tight budget but still want to learn how to design a website, WordPress is an excellent place to start.
2. WordPress is user-friendly.
You can install a WordPress website from scratch and have it running in minutes. It is easy to install and easy to use — making it a great choice for beginners.
You can install WordPress directly from WordPress.org or through a WordPress hosting provider. Afterward, the easy-to-manage dashboard has all the features you need to customize your website’s layout and create posts.
3. WordPress is highly customizable.
With WordPress, you have all the elements you need to learn how to design a website. You have control over your website’s colors, fonts, and overall themes.
You can provide a better user experience by using plugins to add shopping carts, image galleries, contact forms, and subscription forms to your website.
You can also check out premium WordPress themes and useful plugins if you need specialized functions.
4. WordPress can display customer reviews.
Happy customers are your best marketers. Need a platform that can use those reviews as positive word-of-mouth?
WordPress can do that. You have both free and premium plugins to enable customer reviews on your website.
Potential customers can quickly check consumer reviews to verify your product’s value. These reviews on your ecommerce website attract visitors and keep them on your website as they do their product research.
2. Find a Domain Name
The second step in learning how to design a website is to find a domain name.
Your domain name is a URL that identifies and sets your website apart from others. It is the address that people type when they want to visit your website. Most domain names end in .org, .com, or .net.
You will need a domain name to get your website online. While your website platform may be free — like WordPress — you need to pay to acquire a domain name.
When choosing a domain name for your business, try to match your company name. For a personal website, your own name should be OK.
In general, you should go for a domain name that reflects the core value of your business, blog, or website. It should be catchy and easy to remember.
3. Choose Your Host
Choosing your hosting provider is a crucial step in learning how to design a website.
A web host is like a hotel manager that houses your website’s files in a hotel on the World Wide Web. It helps your website stay connected to the internet.
Similar to an actual hotel manager, a great web host stands apart by its high-quality services. It should always be up and ready, so your website loads quickly and reliably.
While it is also possible to host your website by yourself, it would be time consuming and complex. Get the right host to save you time and energy and get reliable results.
4. Install WordPress
With your domain name and hosting provider ready, It’s time to install the CMS on your website.
If you have chosen WordPress as your CMS, you can install it in two ways, depending on your host. You can either use a one-click installation or install it manually.
If you choose Nexcess as your host, you can install WordPress in six easy steps.
5. Choose a Theme for Your Website
The next step in figuring out how to design a website is to choose a theme — or web design template — for your website.
WordPress offers plenty of free and premium themes. WordPress themes make it easy to customize how a website looks. You can configure your web pages’ color scheme without picking a fight with CSS and HTML. You can also optimize your website to work on mobile devices.
The theme directory in WordPress has lots of free themes to choose from. You can access them directly from WordPress using the search bar. Check out how your website looks with a theme by clicking on Details & Preview, which you see by hovering the cursor over a theme in search.
In Details & Preview, you can read details of a theme and preview your website with that theme. Once satisfied, you can install a theme you like by clicking the Install button. After installing, click the Activate button to activate that theme.
For specific applications, you can also try premium WordPress themes. Premium themes come with customizations that enable you to create interactive web pages for your website.
6. Gather and Add Content
Once you have the basic web design ready, you need content. Content includes photos, text, videos, and logos. While a great and modern website design attracts visitors, it’s the content that keeps them engaged.
Your content varies depending on your website and its selling point. A B2B vendor may benefit from case studies and whitepapers. In the meantime, an ecommerce site may benefit from visual elements — images, videos, and GIFs — it's an ecommerce website best practice.
Still, there are a few basic pages that every website must include:
Despite the popular saying, most people do judge a book by its cover. The same is true for homepages. As it is often the first page visitors encounter when they log in, your website’s first impression relies on the web design of this web page.
Your homepage should be clean and eye-catching. It determines whether your target audience will click the back button or navigate through your website.
Keep the most important elements — company name, value proposition, and business logo — at the top of the page to improve its usability and create a successful homepage. Provide drop-down list menus and search bars for visitors to easily navigate through the website.
About Us Page
Customers prefer buying from brands they trust and relate to. The About Us page gives you the power to create that atmosphere of trust.
Share your brand story and values. Include a photo of yourself or the team behind the business to humanize your brand.
Make it easy for your website visitors to reach you. Include your contact information on this page, such as your business number, email address, mailing address, and social media accounts.
Consider enabling a live chat widget for your website visitors to instantly answer their queries or a contact form to receive their feedback on your products and services.
7. Make Necessary Adjustments
While using a theme simplifies the website creation process, you still need to make a few adjustments and add plugins to customize your website (or fill the gaps in website design due to the limitations of free themes).
Create a Navigation Menu
After creating your pages, you need an interactive menu to guide your website visitors wherever they want to go and enhance accessibility. You can do this easily by following the quick tutorial below:
1. Go to Appearance on the dashboard.
2. Open Menu from the expanded list.
3. Give your menu a name.
4. Click Create Menu.
- Tick the pages you added and click Add to Menu.
- Arrange your menu items by dragging and dropping them.
- Choose the position you want your menu to appear in.
5. Click Save Menu to see the menu (or navigation bar) on your website.
Plugins, both free and premium, enable you to tinker with your website’s web design and usability. You can customize your website layout and add design elements like tables and drop-down lists.
You can also manage SEO and performance and even back up your website using plugins.
To install any plugin, follow these three steps:
1. Open Plugins on the menu.
2. Click the Install now button to install a plugin.
3. Click Activate to activate that installed plugin.
8. Add an Online Store
While we’ve been able to order movies and games online for a while now, you might have still gone to supermarkets to buy groceries and other household items. The 2020 pandemic changed that for many of us and accelerated the digital transformation.
As a result, most business websites require an online store to keep up with the current digital climate. You can use WooCommerce, an open source ecommerce plugin, to add an ecommerce store to your website.
To further simplify it, try Nexcess StoreBuilder with Managed WooCommerce hosting. We provide support for everything related to your online store. Our range of premium extensions and plugins help you customize your website and adapt it for many tasks. It’s easy to set up and has several optimized themes to help you create a beautiful online store.
Nexcess StoreBuilder with Managed WooCommerce improves your online store’s performance and increases your website's loading speed. Plus, you have a 24/7 expert team to assist you if you need any help with your website’s design process.
9. Add Social Media Buttons
Social media is a powerful tool. It promotes brand awareness and influences purchase decisions. Nearly half of global shoppers research products and brands through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
To benefit from social media, embed social media sharing or follow buttons on your website.
Social media follow buttons help extend your reach and promote your online visibility. While you can place these buttons anywhere on your website, we recommend placing them on your homepage or About Us page.
Social media share buttons, on the other hand, enable your visitors to share your content to their social networks. By adding these buttons, you can reach new visitors and customers. You should integrate these buttons with your landing pages and blog articles.
10. Launch Your Website
It’s time for the last step of learning how to design a website.
Once you have gone through all the preceding steps, answer the following questions:
- Is your website working as intended on both desktop and mobile?
- Are all the links working?
- Are the fonts and typography clear, even at low brightness?
- Are the images formatted as intended?
If you answer yes to all of the questions, it’s time for you to launch your website:
1. Click on the Coming Soon Active at the top of your WordPress dashboard.
2. Scroll down to the Launch your site button and click it.
Your website will now be live.
Final Thoughts: How To Design a Website — 10 Steps
When designing a website, all you need is a computer, the internet, and a useful guide to walk you through the process. With this step-by-step guide and our handy website design tips, you can make a beautiful website with functionalities for all your business needs.
Through your website, you can get brand exposure, receive new leads, and generate more sales. Still, an ecommerce website needs an online store to take its performance to the next level. Having figured out how to design a website, it’s time to take action.