DIY Web Design Tips
Need a Website but don’t have the budget to hire a Web Designer? We’ve put together 10 Do-It-Yourself Tips that can help you on your journey to getting your Website online. (As seen on The @MrsJaimeeD #meerkat Show.)
10 Tips to DIY a Website
- Brainstorm a good SEO Friendly DOMAIN
The domain name is the url or address you put out to the public to view your Website. For instance: www.jaimeedorris.com/. Jaimee Dorris is the owner of Jaimee Designs, but has a life she likes to share outside of the Web world. To brand herself, she chose to use her name. To make the domain SEO friendly, choose a name with the area or location you are in targeting the services or products of your business. Now, if you have a logo already when you start looking for your domain then you may have to add in other identifiers if someone else is using the same business name as you.We recommend Blue Host to purchase your domain and hosting together, more on hosting in step 3.
- Create LOGO
Once you have a domain, then you need to start thinking of the colors and branding of your site that is summed up in the look of your Logo. The Logo should be attractive and looks good in color or black and white. To have a Logo that is one of a kind, spend a little time developing it and seek help from a friend who is in the graphic design industry.
- Purchase HOSTING
Hosting is your apartment in the sky you have to rent to host your domain you purchased above. As said in step one the company we recommend for hosting is Blue Host. Hosting is an absolute must because it is where all the files of your Website are hosted to be online.
- Install WordPress
Wordpress is one of the most known Content Management Systems in the world with the largest network of developers. Through most hosting companies, there is usually a simple one button click to install WordPress on your domain. In case you need a step by step video, here is one that can help you: Install WordPress Video.
- Find a good THEME
Themes are out there, everywhere! WordPress offers a few FREE themes, but if you are looking for more function, check out themeforest.net. Now, don’t get suckered by the images on the theme, instead read and look at the function, layout, and capabilities. A good way to determine what you need is to look at other sites online that you want to mimic and develop a plan of what content you want to put on each page. More on Content in step 7, not to be confused with dummy content in step 6.
- Install Theme & DUMMY CONTENT
There are tutorials online on how to install a theme and the dummy content, such as this one Installing Dummy Content. Dummy content is the structure and function of the pages from the theme you selected. Basically an example of what you can do within the theme. NEVER, NEVER put your information over the dummy content, instead create new pages and copy the dummy content onto them before putting your content in there.
- Content FILL IN Time.
What is all this talk about content? Content is the words and pictures that tell the world what your Website is about. Remember when writing content for your Website don’t use a lot of jargon or technical terms. Instead, bring the content down to an eighth grade reading level. Another content tip is to use images that are at the most 1,000 pixels because it will slow down the speed of your Website and time is precious to consumers.
- FRIENDS OPINIONS
Friends can help ensure your Website is easy to use, well worded, and easy to navigate. Have a few (2 or 3) test it out, but make sure they are good friends who will be honest about what they think instead of telling you what they think you want to hear. Also, try to be there when they are checking out your Website to monitor their behaviorism with the site.
- LAUNCH your Website
Launching your Website to the world is a big deal. You are proud of the site you put together, but now you have to get the people to your site. A few ways to do this is through Search Engine Optimization and Social Media. The first spot to start is with Google Analytics, make sure to sign up for it and to place the code within your Website. Some themes have a spot reserved for it but others you will have to follow the instructions on how to put it within the Website. Next, you want to set up a Google Webmaster account to put your Website on this. To really seal the deal, put a site map file in there. Now that Google is squared away, go to Bing and do the same thing.The next phase is Social Media. Make sure to set up all your accounts and use the same branding colors you did on your Website. The most popular ones to put on your Website are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. There are more out there. Most themes have a place to put your links so that they will show up on your site. If not, there are tutorials galore out there for you to use. Now you are ready to plan your launch party and start spreading the word of your great Website.
The hard work is done, you have a Website and now it is time to celebrate with a nice stiff drink surrounded by all your friends and family, or alone if you prefer. You could even hold a MeerKat party. What is MeerKat, well that is another topic all in itself, but make sure to check out the recording of our MeerKat Session where we explain more in detail “How to DIY a Website”.