Now that you’ve chosen your domain name and your hosting site, it’s time to build your website! This is dependent on what type of website you’re creating. If you’re creating a business website, you’ll need to consider your brand’s logo, the font for your brand, your tagline, your marketing strategy, and the commerce area for others to buy your product. If you’re building your own personal site, however, you’ll need to consider you logo, the font, the tagline, and what you’re marketing.
How you build your website will also differ depending on which type of website you want and which industry you are in. I’ll be going over the basic differences between business and personal websites, and mentioning the main features of each. There is a lot to cover, though, so I can only go over the major areas. I recommend searching for your specific industry or find a website of a well-known brand within your industry to see what they did with their website.
Business vs. Personal: Choosing the Basics
First thing’s first though. You have to choose which type of website you want to make. This is pretty straightforward. If you’ve created a company and want to promote it or if you’re a part of a company that needs promoting, you’ll need to create a business website for the appropriate industry (music, commerce, food, technology, etc.). If you’re an individual looking such as a blogger, a singer, an author, a photographer, any type of entertainer or personal brand, you can set up a personal website to promote yourself.
Where it gets tricky is the specifics of what is featured in each type.
Business vs. Personal: Features
With each type of website comes different features. Business websites usually have a home page, a commerce section, an about page, a contact page, an events page, and maybe a blog depending on the type of business. Most often a phone number, an address, and an email will be placed multiple spots on the site, above the header or in the footer especially. This allows customers to easily reach the business when they can. Some websites, especially for services and eCommerce, will have a chat box where a customer can speak with a representative. The basic features a business website needs, however, are the about, contact, events, commerce, and home pages with a phone number, address and/or email somewhere easy to spot.
Personal websites have some of these same features, particularly the home, about, contact, and blog pages. Some personal website (eg. an artist’s or a musician’s page) may include an events and/or commerce page. Phone number, address, and email aren’t included unless it’s for an individual business like a photographer or an event planner. Personal websites can include other pages relating to the owner’s creations, like books, videos, or panels on specific topics.
From there, it’s time to build the website!
Building the website itself has a lot to do with subjective content. What your site is about and whether it’s personal or business changes the features and basic layout of your site. But this is also highly dependent on what you want your website to do. Maybe you’re a musician, and you want samples of your songs to be played on your webpages. Maybe you’re an artist and want to place former pieces you’ve created on your site as samples. Or maybe your business that specializes in specific services and want a page for client reviews. All of these points require custom pages that not all other websites have.
Pages and features on a website can be different depending on the website. As mentioned above, the content of a website is dependent on what your purpose is in building the website. Whether it’s to promote yourself or your business, the content itself depends on what specifically you’re promoting yourself or your business as. Thus, it’s up to you to determine what’s on your site and how you want to design it. I would highly recommend looking up websites of rival businesses or other people in your industry to see what they have done with their websites.
It’s all up to you, the creator, to decide the features you need and want. Not all of them are necessary, but most are nice additions to create a more well-rounded website. Here are few feature pages I have seen that are invaluable:
- Home Page: if you’re creating a blog, this might be a list of blog posts, or maybe a recent post section with a photo album below or above it. If you’re creating any other website, this can include products, photos, other posts, or a preview of customer reviews. Again, be sure to look at websites for other companies and people in your industry.
- About Page: No matter what type of website you’re creating, you need to have a page explaining your business or yourself to your customers/audience.
- Contact Page: Similar to the about page, you want your customers/audience to be able to reach you easily, even if it’s just a list of social media they can contact you through.
- Blog/New Page: Even if you’re not a blogger, a blog is important connecting easily with your audience and vice versa. If your company is B2B (business-to-business), this can become a news/events page so you’re communicating with your audience while remaining professional.
If there are any features your website needs to have, it’s these ones. So make sure when you’re building your website you have the features listed above, and then add on other features appropriate for your website.
And again, check out either rival companies’ or fellow individuals in your chosen industry to see what they did with their websites. Use it as inspiration in creating your own page, but don’t forget to add your own spin. What makes your website stand out among the others? Use that in creating the site, whether it be general design or colors. Make the site unique to your image while still being easy to navigate. I’ll be covering what these entail in the next post.
In the end, check what others in your industry have done and make sure you have the above-listed features and pages in your website. And that’s it for Part 2 of “How to Build a Website for Beginners”. Next time, I’ll be getting into the more specific side of website building: design and layout of links, photos, and font styles and sizes. Until next time, readers!