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How To Start a Website Free 2022 in 5 Easy Steps

This is a complete guide on how to Start a website free in 5 simple steps.

How To Start a Website Free 2022 in 5 Easy Steps

For the remainder of this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to build a highly effective website — from getting started by establishing achievable goals, to creating a content-rich website that both visitors and search engines will love. 

We’ll take a look at what you need to know to sell online. We’ll introduce tools that will help you achieve your website goals. And we’ll divvy out tips and best practices to make your website work at maximum capacity.

Start a website free in 5 simple steps.

  1. Plan your website.
  2. Design your site — DIY or DIFM?
  3. Create amazing content.
  4. Sell on your website.
  5. Get found with SEO.

Now that you want to start a website, we want to help you succeed. Ready? Let’s go.

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1. Plan your website

Person at computer planning their website

Before you can dive into the nitty-gritty of website creation, you need to map out a plan for success. Even if you already have an established brick-and-mortar store, taking that identity to the web requires a bit of foresight.

Establish concrete goals

If you’re looking to break into the online scene, you’ll first need to define your purpose. It’s not enough to say, “I want to sell online,” or “I want a website.” Rather, ask yourself, “What do I want my website to accomplish for my business?” Perhaps it’s revenue or monthly visitors. Regardless of the metric you choose, make sure it aligns with your overall brand.

When it comes to establishing goals, don’t be afraid to start small and work up to the big stuff.

Crafting measurable, attainable goals gives you a way to track your company’s success. Instead of saying, “I want a million followers on Twitter by the end of my first year,” break it down into quarters (and maybe start with a smaller number).

Not sure where to start? Here are some things to consider:

  • Keep your goals realistic.
  • Make sure they’re well-defined.
  • Align them with your business’s mission.
  • Ensure they’re measurable.
  • Set a time limit for each goal.

The purpose here isn’t to confine or stifle you — there’s merit in dreaming big. But if you set lofty goals before you have the platform to achieve them, you run the risk of low morale, which only hinders your output. And remember, you’re building this site to put your business in front of billions of online users. Clearly defining your goals ahead of time makes it easier to connect with your target audience.

Define your audience

As appealing as it sounds to cater to the three billion users online, it’s not reasonable. Those three billion users are unique individuals with tastes that vary wildly, so you’re better off targeting people who closely align with your business’s niche in the marketplace. It’s important to get granular with your online presence so you can better connect with potential consumers.

Casting a broad net makes it hard to create a recognizable identity — let alone one that’s relatable to your audience.

What kind of site are you building? Do you want to be humorous or serious? Are you selling mint-condition bobbleheads or offering legal advice? Knowing who your audience is, and appropriately tailoring your language to their needs, means you’ll have a better chance of encouraging them to act — and by that we mean buying, subscribing, sharing or whatever your desired end result might be.

Pick a domain name

Picking a domain name isn’t to be taken lightly. Whether you’re starting a brand-new business or already have an established company, one thing stands true for both — your domain name should represent your brand. And since there are almost two billion websites currently on the internet, that means finding the perfect domain name might be a tad difficult.

If you’re starting an ecommerce site, consider a domain name ending in .shop or .store. Attorney? Check out .legal and .lawyer domains. In the pet services industry? Snag a domain name ending in .pet. Plumber? There’s a .plumbing domain name that’s just right for you. The sky’s the limit with the availability of these new generic top-level domain extensions (gTLDs).

Above all, an effective domain name should do the following things for your business (regardless of the extension you choose):

  • Safeguard your brand.
  • Accurately represent who you are and what you do.
  • Grab the attention of your visitors.

Simple, right? Let’s take a look at some helpful tips for choosing the perfect domain name.

10 tips for choosing the perfect domain

1. Make it easy to type. You don’t want your visitors ending up somewhere else because you added a silent “T” to your name.

2. Keep it short. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is better left to Mary Poppins.

3. Use keywords. If you can, incorporate the product or service you offer.

4. Target your area. Consider using your geo-location to your advantage.

5. Avoid numbers and hyphens. These keys aren’t typed as frequently as the alphabet — don’t make people work to find you.

6. Be memorable. Standing out from the crowd is good thing.

7. Research it. Don’t grab the first name you think sounds catchy — test among your friends and family first.

8. Use an appropriate domain extension. Don’t get stuck in the .com mindset.

9. Protect and build your brand. Consider registering multiple variations to safeguard your brand.

10. Act fast. New domains are registered every day — don’t wait too long, or yours might get snatched.

2. Design your site — DIY or DIFM?

So by now, you totally understand that building a website for your business is important and you’ve nailed down the planning fundamentals. But what do you do next? The good news is, you have options. You can either start a website yourself (DIY) or hire a professional to do it for you (DIFM). But before we weigh the pros and cons of those avenues, let’s first talk about the foundation of your website — your hosting.

Consider your hosting options

Imagine your website as a house. Your domain is the street address, and the plot of land beneath your structure is your hosting plan.

A good hosting platform, regardless of whether you build a website yourself or hire a pro to do it for you, is essential for solid performance. Whether you opt for a simple DIY website builder or use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, the behind-the-scenes hosting needs to be up to snuff.

Before purchasing a hosting plan, here are a few things to consider:

Reliability. Even if your site is optimized for speed, your host’s uptime could affect your site’s load time and accessibility. Pay close attention to the guarantees each company offers.

Support. What happens when your site goes down at 2 a.m.? Will you be able to reach your hosting provider, or will you have to wait until the following day to find a solution? That valuable time off the internet could potentially hurt your business. Look for a provider with 24/7 support.

Storage. Storage is largely dependent on the type of site you’re going to build. Are you a photographer in need of displaying your online portfolio? If so, those images are going to use a lot of space. While some places offer “unlimited” storage, be sure to read the fine print.

Bandwidth. Bandwidth and storage go hand-in-hand. The larger website you have, the more data you’re going to transfer to visitors upon arrival, and the more bandwidth you’ll need.

Scalability. We all want tons of traffic, right? Right. Make sure your hosting company can handle your expected amount of visitors. The last thing you want is an influx of traffic only to have your site crash.

Security. Getting hacked is no joke. Malware and viruses can seriously damage your online reputation. Look for hosting plans that either incorporate some level of security or companies that offer website security as an add-on.

Backups. Unexpected problems happen all the time. If something goes wrong with your site, you can use your backups to restore it. Check to see if your hosting provider offers website backup (GoDaddy does) or a way to add them to your plan.

Note: If you opt for a site builder, most companies include hosting as part of their package. Check to be safe so you don’t buy products you don’t need.

3. Create amazing content

Papers and pencils on a desk

Whether you want website visitors to sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product, share on social media or anything in between, you need to present content that compels them to act. Well-crafted words, paired with eye-catching images, can make all the difference. That’s how you make your story shine online.

Your business story

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a skilled writer, you can craft amazing content that speaks to your business and your brand. That content can be as simple as:

Sharing how you started your business.

A photo or video of you / your team in action.

The methods behind building your products.

Interesting descriptions of your services.

An anecdote that demonstrates how your products or services are benefiting customers.

The choice is yours. To start, all you need is content for five core pages (you can always expand later).

Five core pages

Home. This is your landing page, and it needs to wow visitors from the get go. Craft content that invites visitors to explore further and encourages them to act.

About Us. There’s no better place to tell your business story than on your About Us page. Explain how you got started to show your visitors the people behind the brand.

Products/services. The bread and butter of why you’re starting a website. Remember that images, as well as content, paint a story. Make sure any product photos you use stand out.

Testimonials. It’s important for visitors to see that your product and brand can be trusted. Use testimonials to share the customer perspective of your business.

Contact Us. Give your visitors a way to contact you. Show them that you can be reached, answer questions promptly, and inspire trust by being more than a brand.

5. Get found with SEO

Laptop with Google search page displayed

Now that you’ve got a website, you’ll need to work on gaining visibility in the highly competitive cyberspace marketplace. There’s where search engines like Google and Bing come into play. It’s not enough to simply establish an online presence — you’ll need to apply the basic principles of search engine optimization (SEO) to your website to get found online.

The good news? You’re already a big step ahead by creating relevant web content — the kind of content that will appeal to people who are searching the web for your kind of products and services. Stay on top of your content game, and you’ll be well on your way to a website that attracts visitors. Now, onto SEO.

How SEO works

SEO is all about establishing yourself as an authoritative resource on the web. In order to do that, you need to understand the basics so you can better target your audience and increase your search ranking. At a high level, the basic elements of SEO you should understand and apply are:

Page content. We’ve touched on this already, but good content reigns supreme on the web. If you can answer the questions your audience is asking, you’ll rank higher in search results.

Keywords. Choosing appropriate keywords can make all the difference. Select phrases that pertain to your business. We’ll discuss this more in-depth shortly.

Link building. From backlinks to internal links, it’s important to link to appropriate related content to provide relevant and useful information to your visitors.

Image optimization. There’s a lot to cover when it comes to using images for SEO, so keep reading to learn more (hint: you want your ALT text to match your designated keyword).

Meta tags. These tags contain pertinent information to help search engines describe your site in search results. Read on for a more detailed explanation.

Site navigation. The easier it is for search engines to navigate your site, the higher your ranking will be. Make sure all links are up-to-date and navigation is simple.

Site map. Just like it sounds, a site map is a map or directory of all the pages on your website. It’s used to guide search engines through your site.

Keywords

Picking keywords for your pages doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to keep a few things in mind to strategically use specific words and phrases to help increase your search ranking.

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