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In this digital age, having a strong online presence has been a mainstay feature of successful websites. For those budding entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their business, the idea of building a website from scratch for the first time can be daunting, but with the right guide and tools, this can actually be a smooth process - and a great learning opportunity.

Website development used to be so complicated and intricate. If you knew how to make a website, you were considered an expert in the world of computer science. You had to learn programming languages and test your site for months or even years just to publish a functional and beautiful website. Building a website from scratch was not as easy as it is today. It involved a lot of mathematics - it still does, but the hard part can be left out for the professionals that develop website builders.

If you only have time for a quick-step guide, here’s a hard and fast checklist:

  1. Do your research on what you want out a website
  2. Prepare your brand assets
  3. Outline your potential sitemap
  4. Narrow down a possible domain name
  5. Picture your layout and web design - color palettes, fonts, and visual elements
  6. Develop your About Page and social media channels
  7. Optimize for searchability and mobile-responsiveness

If this list seems overwhelming, don’t fret! Website building has been around enough for it to be accessible and available to most people now. You don’t need a lot of requirements to start, you only need a device and an internet connection for you to develop website content and basic architecture on your own. A good number of quality content, a knack for good copy, and an eye for website design has become the main focus now that website builders take care of the harder part.

Learning to Develop a Website With the rising popularity of website builders, it has become easier to develop website without writing a single line of code. If you already have the content you want to put in your site and if you already know how your site should function, you can publish it the same day you make an account on your choice of website builder.

The same can be said for those who want to keep building a website from scratch for other people - often called website developers themselves. These can be dedicated site builders like Strikingly, or more niche experts that can either work with site builders or know how to make a website from scratch and code to the ground up. These dedicated website designers often work with a variety of client requirements but always boils down to how the website editor’s user interface should not overwhelm the client once the hand-over has been completed. For novice website builders, a platform that’s easy to use and understand is the first big step to take before developing any website.

Planning to build your website Once you’ve got your site builder ready, here’s a more comprehensive guide on how to make a website from scratch along with related resources for you to check out to help you wherever you are in the building process.

1. Create a concept and identify your website goals

Every business website is built out of a specific purpose and a set of goals. There has to be a reason why you want your brand to be visible online. Identifying what it is that you want your website to do for your company influences your site’s features and content. Websites can be made to sell online, introduce a product sold offline, provide information on a service or simply become an online face for a local company. Once you’ve zeroed in on your objectives, you can move on to the next step on how to make a website.

2. Select a website template

As a leading free website development platform, Strikingly creates beautiful and mobile-responsive website templates that are already suited for most industries. Our templates are grouped according to the type to help streamline your search. Preview each design that you find interesting and start developing your site from there. When you select a template, you must have a clear picture of the type of content you want to add to your site and how you’d potentially organize them. Some templates are great for multimedia content while there are others that are designed to accommodate text-heavy websites. You can read a guide here on how you can choose a website template that works best for your kind of content.

3. Customize your website

The next step to develop website process is to transform your template into a page that reflects your company’s brand and image. Using Strikingly’s website editor, select a color scheme for your site. This will be mostly used for the site’s buttons and active links that you may be adding throughout your site. Your chosen template usually comes with default color scheme options but if you want a different color or your logo’s colors are not part of any color palette, you are welcome to use a custom shade by entering the hex code for your color. You can also select a site layout from the site editor.

Decide where you want your menu items to go - top of the page or on the side - and select accordingly. Don’t be afraid to play around with different website design elements and combinations. You can always undo any change you make and go back to the free websites development drawing board if all else fails. You can even switch to a different template if you feel that your chosen one isn’t working for you. If you’re struggling to decide on a web design to work with, try looking at how other people have designed their web pages for inspiration - see how they’ve made templates their own, or tailored their site to reflect the changing design trends.

4. Add your content

Learning how to develop website content is an important step in creating effective websites.

Content is crucial when you develop website. It is the primary element that drives and conveys your company’s message to your visitors. Your home or landing page should contain an overview of what your business does and the kind of products and services you offer.

Of course the content you offer is going to vary depending on the kind of website you’re making - if yours is a resume website that’s going to need your credentials and portfolio, or if you’re a thought leader that’s working to establish your credibility through a blog, or a collective of people that’s managing a magazine-type internet presence through a newsletter, and more.

If yours is a business with existing clientele, consider adding testimonials to your page to help boost your credibility. Previous satisfied customers - especially those you can work and network with, are always willing to sing you praises, enticing your future new site visitors with positive unbiased reviews.

Whatever kind of website, the rules of thumb to develop website content remain to include writing good website copy with SEO and search engines in mind- optimized for your targeted keywords to get your page to rank in relevant search results. Add visuals and your branding assets to your page to make it more engaging. You can create image or video backgrounds for selected sections on your website to emphasize certain parts of your content.

Remember: You don’t have to have all kinds of media available all at once. Good content management goes along with smart website design that won’t overwhelm your visitors, and ensure they have a pleasant user-experience enough to have them visit you again and again. You can even work to engage them with the develop website content you have available on your website, and even on your other social media platforms to help boost your overall online presence. Engagement is still content - make the most out of it.

5. Get ready to launch

After you develop website content and customize the different design elements of your site, you can start getting ready to launch. Remember to open your channels for contact for your site visitors to engage with you, and even a FAQ page to help offset some of the recurring inquiries. Proofread your content and test your website several times before you hit publish to make sure everything is working as they should be. If you run into some issues, Strikingly offers 24/7 support for all accounts along with a very informative knowledge base so you’ll always have answers when you need them.

Whether you develop website yourself or outsourcing the task, building an online website takes a lot of time and effort, but has always proven to be a worthy investment. Dealing with the foundations of making an online presence now along with all the nitty-gritty decision-making over how you’re presenting your brand is definitely going to save you time in the long run, along with an edge over your competitors in your industry.

With top-notch customer service, you can ping us directly at support@strikingly.com to help you sort out any and all issues at the drop of a hat. Your website should help carry your best foot forward to the end with your customers and we at Strikingly are prepared to support you through thick and thin. Log in to your Strikingly account now to set up your website today!