There are a lot of moving parts to create a website but when you break it down to a few simple steps it makes creating one seem more manageable. Maybe you have an idea for a website but you aren’t sure where to start or what the process involves? Here are the basic steps to launching a website.
The first step in getting a website is to register a domain. This will be your web address that people will type into their web browser to search for your company. Your domain is how people can find you on the internet. This is usually your company or product name ending in .com or .org or another domain name system. To purchase a domain, you will need to visit a domain purchasing company and see if your domain is available. You will need to pay a yearly fee to maintain exclusivity over that specific domain. Once you have purchased it, no one else can have the same web address.
Next, you will need a web-hosting server, this is the space where all your web files will reside. This is like purchasing space to store all your web files. Your hosting service stores your IP address, basically indicating what should be displayed when someone types in your web address. The internet works in IP addresses, so when someone types in your web address it is translated into your server IP address and then the server sends the user all site files that it is storing. These files are presented to the user in the form of a webpage.
The site files display as a webpage when a user types in your web address. When you build your website, you are determining how all these files are displayed, and all this information is stored on your web server.
After you have the technical steps taken care of, it’s time to think about building your website. Taking the time to answer some fundamental questions before you design your website will help the process.
The first question to answer is: What is the purpose of your website? Are you selling a product, providing a service, blogging, or displaying a portfolio? The intended goal will affect the design and interactivity of your website. Defining its purpose will help the designer and coder understand what you need the finished product to do, and how you want it to function.
The next important question to answer is: Who will be viewing your website? It might be tempting to say everyone and anyone on the internet, but you need to answer this specifically and not make it too general so you can cater the website design to your target audience. Here you’ll need to think about age, demographic, language, location, and industry. You should discuss with your designer what will appeal to your audience and what will encourage them to make a purchase or reach out for your services. =
After you’ve answered the basic questions you’ll need to organize your website site structure. This usually consists of main categories or pages and subcategories or pages. If you are selling a product you might have the main categories and then subcategories within for people to narrow down their search. You’ll need to think about how to organize your website in the most fluid, comprehensive way to maximize the end-user experience.
Finally, you’ve reached the design phase. Once the designer understands your goals, purpose, target audience, and site structure, they can present a mockup of the website for your approval. This is your chance to see how the website will look and discuss any design changes or ask any questions.
The final stage is now in the hands of the web developer which will code the website based on the mockup. Once the coding is complete, they will ensure your website is up and running and ready for people to search for your domain.
Within each of these steps there are multiple phases and many plans and decisions that need to be made, especially during the design and coding phases. This gives you a basic outline so you know what to expect when you embark on a website creation project.