Creating a website, how do I start? [Roadmap]

Websites have become an indispensable part of our lives. If your company cannot be found online, you may miss out on many visitors or potential customers. People first search for a bicycle repair shop on the internet and then actually set out. Wandering around is no longer an option, because that only costs unnecessary time and energy. Or maybe you are someone who starts a website as a hobby, for example a blog about rabbit care. Whatever your situation, make sure you have a good foundation when starting a website. How? Now let me have a step-by-step plan for that!

Step 1: Make a plan

Whether you’re starting a business website, or just because you like it; make a plan first. This really doesn’t have to be a 20-page argument. One A4 sheet can be enough. In any case, you want to determine why you want to start a website (the goal), who you want to reach with your website (target group) and what your message is.

Suppose you are a hairdresser (self-employed) and you want to start a website. What do you want the purpose of your website to be? Do you want people to only be able to make appointments or also want them to see your work? And what kind of people do you want to end up on your website? Maybe you are only a hairdresser and therefore mainly want to attract men. The message you want to spread as a hairdresser can also differ. Do you want to convey that you are a cheap hairdresser or would you rather communicate that you are a high-quality hairdresser, for which the customer pays a little more.

The reason you want to record this in advance is that it ultimately determines the style and form of your website. If you have a male target group, a pink website with glitter will probably do less well than a website with a more rugged appearance.

Draw out your website

Do you want to do it completely right? Draw out your website in advance. Then you can be sure that you have a clear idea of ​​all the elements and which website pages you need before you start creating the website. Handy, because this way you know approximately whether a smaller hosting package is sufficient, or whether you might need a somewhat larger package. And when you get started with the construction, it will save a lot of frustration if you know exactly which structure you want for your menu and home page, for example.

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Step 2: Think of your domain name

I wrote a blog about this before. Sometimes coming up with a  domain name is  not always easy when you start a website. Because so many people have a website these days, many domain names are already taken. In the  blog about the perfect domain name  for your website, I give you tips on how to make the search easier. For example, you can choose a different  domain name extension  , so that you still have the domain name you wanted.

Step 3: Choose a hosting package

You must host your website on a server, otherwise the website will not work. If your website is not hosted by a web host, you have not reserved space on a server and your website cannot be put online. We offer servers and you host your website on one of those servers. If you make a clear plan for your website in advance, you will have a better idea  of ​​which package you need. This depends on the expected number of website visitors and the content of the website. Do you post a lot of photos on your website? This takes up more space than a website with more text.

Do you really not know in advance how big your website will be? Choose a smaller hosting package (for example the Basic package). You can easily upgrade when necessary. Of course,  our customer service is also happy to help you decide which package best suits your situation. Would you like to know more about what hosting exactly is? Check our hosting page .

Step 4: Choose website software

WordPress ,  Joomla!  or perhaps  YourWebsite ? To create your website you need a so-called CMS (Content Management System). Which one you choose depends entirely on what you like to work best. YourWebsite is simple and fast, but has fewer options than WordPress. We can give you more support on this. WordPress has many more options, but that can also make it more difficult. We only provide support for the installation of WordPress, but our Webmasters are happy to help you if you need help with adjustments to your WordPress website. Joomla! is a somewhat more advanced CMS. If you already know a little about how to build a website, Joomla! a good choice. If you have little experience building a website, the options can be a bit overwhelming and I recommend that you stick with YourWebsite or WordPress.

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Step 5: Secure your website

After the previous steps, you are probably itching to get started with your website right away, but don’t forget the security of your website! With an SSL certificate you encrypt the connection between your website and the visitor’s browser. This is very important, because otherwise all website visitors who come to your website will receive a message that the website is unsafe. You want to prevent that. You can easily request an  SSL certificate  via our website or (if you are already a customer) via ‘My Account’. As soon as you request personal data on your website via, for example, a contact form or comments on a blog, an SSL certificate is  mandatory under the GDPR law .

Step 6: Determine your style

Okay, now you can start creating your website! I mentioned templates earlier. If you have a business, you may already have a corporate identity with color themes and fonts. Then it is a matter of building your website yourself in the corporate identity, or choosing a template that matches your corporate identity. Don’t have a corporate identity? Then think carefully about what you want to radiate. The plan from step 1 is discussed again here. If all goes well, you have already roughly figured out why you are starting your website (the goal), which target group you want to reach and what message you want to convey. Maybe you have a creative person in your network who wants to help you think about the appearance of your website.

Are you starting a personal blog? Then show people who you are through your website. For example, is your favorite color blue? Then you can incorporate this into your website. Always be careful with too much color, as this can sometimes appear very busy to website visitors. If you prefer an even, light website with color accents, you can keep the website calm.

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Step 7: Attract visitors to your website

You can start a website, but without visitors it is of little use. There are different ways to get visitors to your website. Promote your website on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This way your network knows that you have a website and if you are lucky, they will share your website with their network.

Another way to make your website findable is the beautiful Google. When people are looking for a hairdresser, they usually type something like: hairdresser in *town* into Google. Then of course you want your website to be at the top. This can be done in two ways. SEA (Search Engine Advertising) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEA means that you pay to appear at the top of the search results in the form of an advertisement and SEO means that you get organic traffic to your website. SEO is a profession in itself. By including keywords on your website, but also in your URLs, you strengthen your position and have a better chance of reaching the top. We wrote several blogs about both SEA and SEO that clearly explain how it works exactly.