Have you ever thought about building a website and felt overwhelmed by the number of things that need to be done? Even if you use a no-code website builder and don’t have to think about code, there is still a lot to keep in mind, like content, SEO, analytics, etc.
With the help of our community, we created this essential checklist for building a website to help you plan your work on your site and make sure you have everything under control.
The Checklist for building a website
1. Define the purpose of your website.
Why do you want to build a website? What will it be for? What kind of website do you need? Will it be an e-commerce or affiliate site, a portfolio, listing, etc? Who will be your target audience?
Answering these questions will help you form the idea of your future website which will help you better understand what to do and what to look for later. It will also help you make the right decisions when you will work on your content, SEO, design, etc.
Don’t worry if you haven’t thought it all through – the basic idea will do for a quick start, and you can gather more details while building your website.
2. Get a domain.
You can buy a domain name from a domain registrar (for example, GoDaddy or Namecheap), but first, you need to find a nice name that will be unique and memorable. Try to go for a name that is simple and reflects your future website.
3. Plan the structure of your website and its features.
How many pages will you need? And what pages exactly? For example, will you need an About us page, or details pages for your products in case it’s an e-commerce website?
Also, make a list of features and tools that you want to have on your website like an opt-in form a shopping cart, payment method, and so on. Try to visualize your future website on paper or in your head.
4. Choose a website builder — and start building!
Luckily, nowadays there are plenty of no-code website builders that will allow you to create a website on your own without hiring a professional developer.
After you’ve made a list of features for your website, search for the tool that has all of them available. To make the right choice, look at a few builders, compare their prices, and support, and check if they offer an SSL certificate and hosting for your website. Use the free trial to test out the website builder functionality and see if it suits your needs.
After you’ve made your decision, start building your website. For a quick start, you can use one of the templates available, then customize it, add additional pages and populate them with some dummy information to get an idea of how it will look.
5. Create your branding and logo and gather your content.
After you've created your website and changed some settings, it’s time to focus on visuals and add your branding.
The key elements of branding include:
- Color theme (one main color – your brand color, and one or two accent colors)
- Tone of voice and positioning
You also need to work on your website copy and content. The main question here is – what content will be valuable for your visitors? What information do you need to share about yourself or your company? No matter what the use case is, your content should be meaningful and original.
And don’t forget about the images! Make sure your images are high quality and optimized for fast loading.
6. Work on SEO.
Search Engine Optimization is very important for your website's ranking in search results. There are many ways to optimize your website, but let’s start with some basic things:
- Find your keywords
- Check your Page structure: each page should have a relevant page title and headings (h1, h2, and h3)
- Write an informative meta description and a meta title and make sure they include your keywords
- Add Alt text for images
- Create a website sitemap and submit it to Google Search console after publishing your website
Also, prepare and add a favicon (a tiny icon associated with the website and displayed in tabs and address bars) and an OG:image (an open graph image that is displayed when you share your website link on social media).
7. Connect Analytic tools.
This is an important step for understanding how your website is performing and how visitors are engaging with your pages. Later on, you can use this information to improve and optimize your website.
There are a lot of analytics tools to choose from, but if you’re not sure which to use, start with Google Analytics for tracking visitors, and Hotjar for learning more about how people are interacting with your site.
8. Test, test, test.
Make tests on your browser simulating desktop, tablet & mobile devices. This will help you identify problems or bugs that need to be fixed. Also, you can ask your friends and relatives to take a quick look and share their feedback.
9. Launch, share, and promote.
Finally, it’s time to share your website with the world! Don’t be too humble, share your brand new website with friends, your followers, and your community. Think of ways to promote it. For example, you can add your website to online directories, or consider experimenting with paid advertising if you have some budget for it.
10. Keep calm and iterate on.
It doesn't end once you've launched your website. Keep optimizing your website and keep adding new content. Listen to your visitors' feedback and check the insights from analytic tools to see what's working best to continue growing.
That's it. Of course, there can be more steps, but we wanted to keep our list of essential website-building steps simple so you can see that creating a website is not that complicated once you have a plan to follow.
If you are looking for a fast and simple way to create a website, check out SpreadSimple. Using it you can create feature-rich websites without a single line of code, and update and manage your content right from your Google Sheets.