How to Build a Website: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide | Liz Azyan | Skillshare

How to Build a Website: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Liz Azyan, Digital Consultant

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36 Lessons (1h 50m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Start Here

    • 3. The Website Basics

    • 4. Why Should You Build a Website?

    • 5. Hire Expert or Do-It-Yourself?

    • 6. Why Planning is Important

    • 7. Plan the Foundation

    • 8. Write Your Website Vision

    • 9. Website Problem-Solving Statement

    • 10. Find Your Target Audience

    • 11. Set Your Website Goals

    • 12. Create a Website Wishlist

    • 13. Set Your Website Budget

    • 14. Best Time to Build

    • 15. Assigning Roles to Your Project

    • 16. Beat Your Competitors

    • 17. Differentiate from Competitors

    • 18. Choosing Your Web Host

    • 19. Set Your Website Requirements

    • 20. Your Website Features

    • 21. Choose Your Website Builder

    • 22. Your Customer Journey

    • 23. Create Your Navigation Menu

    • 24. Create a Sitemap

    • 25. Types of Website Content

    • 26. Discover Your Look and Feel

    • 27. Mitigating Risks

    • 28. Your Website Legalities

    • 29. Draw Your Architectural Plans

    • 30. Designing & Decorating

    • 31. The Website Construction Phase

    • 32. The Inspection and Fixes Phase

    • 33. End of Website Project

    • 34. Class Project

    • 35. BONUS: Demo

    • 36. More


About This Class


This class will walk you through the basics of planning and building or re-designing a website. You will learn how to create a multi-functional website that is not just pretty to look at, but also constantly serving a purpose for your business, even while you sleep.

You'll discover how to:

  • Plan your website thoroughly and build a great foundation for the future
  • Work with an expert/website agency to build your website smoothly
  • Analyze your competitor's website and learn how to outperform them
  • Optimize your website for conversions and success
  • Create content for your website that attracts leads and sales
  • Design and develop your website that delights and attracts your website visitors
  • Launch your website without any major hiccups

At the end of this class, you’ll be able to walk away with the skills and most importantly, the knowledge to create a website that converts and stacks up against your competition!

Download the lesson handout here


1. Introduction: So, you know, you need a website, but you have no idea where to start. Luckily, you're not alone. A lot of people end up frustrated when trying to build a website that they're proud of. Because the process of building a website can get overwhelming. There are so many options out there that it's hard to choose the right one for your needs. And let's face it, there are just some things that only experience can teach you. But not all of us built websites for a living. So some of the important things that you need to know won't come naturally to you. I've designed and built websites for over a decade for my clients. And now I want to share what I've learned with you. This course can help you to build a website that not only converts, but also one that you'll be proud of without all the headaches. Stop feeling overwhelmed and just follow the step-by-step guide on how to build a high converting website that stacks up against your competition. I'll help you take the guesswork out and get you on your way to building a website that converts and just a couple of hours. The basics of website building down. With this course, you'll have all the tools and information needed to start planning and creating your website in no time at all. At the end of this class, you'll be able to walk away with not just the skills, we'll also the knowledge to create a website that you'll be proud of. Are you ready? I hope to see you in class. 2. Start Here: Hi there, I'm Liz. And today I'm gonna teach you all about building a website. Whether you're building it yourself or you're going to be hiring experts to help build a website for you. There's a lot to take on in this lesson. So before you start, I suggest that you download the handout that I've created so you can follow along all the steps that take you through. Before we dive in, I am going to share with you a little tip I used with my clients to get into the right mindset when developing the website. I start off the process by telling them that building a website is very much like building a house. I mean, when you think about it, the emotional and financial investments of building a house and building a website is pretty much the same. Or if it's not, I'd argue that it should be. If they see the home is where the heart is, your business websites should be very much the same. It is the heart of your business. So for this reason, I'm gonna take you all on a journey. A journey that's very similar to building a house, whether you're doing it yourself or you're going to hire an expert. This lesson will give you all the insight you need to build a website that will stack against your competition. Are you ready? Let's dive in. 3. The Website Basics: Before we go into how you can build a website, let's look into how websites actually work. If you go back to the housing analogy, let's look at your web hosting as a house. So when you think about people renting houses or rooms, that's very much the same with web hosting. You'll subscribe to a web hosting package so you can rent or stay in the house. Or in this case, you subscribe to a web hosting package so you can host your website on it. Your website is everything in your house. It's the furniture, the interior design, and the utilities. If you have a visitor come to your house and it smells bad or for whatever reason, not that welcoming people might just want to leave and cut their visits short. This is very much comparable to a badly designed website. If your website is badly designed, people won't want to stay. But what if you have the opposite problem? What if you have too many visitors to your website? If you have a lot of visitors to your house, you might want to consider renting more space to fit more people in. So in this case, for your website, you'd want to subscribe to a higher or bigger web hosting package. A website is usually identified by its domain name. So this is a lot like the street address for a house. You'll need to register for domain name so people can find you. Without this, you can't have a website. So make sure that you do get a domain name if you don't have one already. The internet itself is like highways and roads. You enter your domain name or your street address in terms of a house, and it will bring you to the destination. So in this case, web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, they're all web browsers is what you use to surf the web. And they're just like cars. Some browsers are fast and some browsers are slow, but they all will take you to the destination that you need to get to. If you have your domain name. 4. Why Should You Build a Website?: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how knowing the reasons as to why you're building a website to make or break your website project. Sticking to our house analogy, let's examine why someone would either via first house or a new house. One of the reasons might be they need to get onto the property ladder, or they need to move out of their parent's house, or they need to stop wasting money on rents every month. And if you think about if somebody was buying a new house, some of the reasons might be that their current house is crowded or too small and it's outdated or it's not structured properly. And when you think about a website is pretty much the same, it go through the same thinking process. If you're thinking of creating your first business website, the reasons might be you need to tell clients where to find more information or you just think you need an online presence. You need a way for potential clients to get in touch, or you need to create content online and host them to attract leads. Whereas if you're thinking of redesigning aside, some of the reasons might be that your current website, it feels a little bit too cluttered, or it's outdated, or it's disorganizing, it's not functioning properly. So when you think about your website project, can you think of three solid reasons as to why you're building the website. How does it contribute to your bottom line? Is that something you really need or is it something you just want? So I know this might sound irrelevant to some of you, but you'd be surprised at how many business owners get a website without any particular reason other than feeling that they have to or because it's expected of them. Understanding your reasons, you're right to build your website will not only help justify the costs, but also help you determine what goals you will have for your website. You don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a new website redesign just because it's the trendy thing to do or it's what your competitor is doing. That's an expensive price tag just to keep up with the Joneses. So before you start building your website, ask yourself, why do you need this website? As you look at the reasons here, by listing them down and knowing the reasons why you want to build a new website. And you can already envision what you need from your new website. You're already starting to create a website brief. And you can already start to justify the cost for it as it is in some way or another, solving some sort of problem you're currently having. And the only way to know that is to be aware of the problem itself. So once you know what the problem is, this will give you the confidence and the determination to start your website project and see it through. If you're going into this for a purely superficial reasons, you might find that at some point, you'll either lose interests or lose patients or worst-case scenario, you'll abandon the project altogether. Now I'm not saying that this will happen, but you do need a bigger why when it comes to investing time and money into a project that this magnitude. So even though this step might seem simple and say it's one of the most important steps in the whole process before you start doing anything, I think the smartest thing to do is just to take a few minutes, sit down and list down the reasons why you need the website. This will give you a lot of clarity moving forward. 5. Hire Expert or Do-It-Yourself?: When it comes to deciding who's going to build your website, you might be presented with a few options that you might be aware of and some that you might not have even crossed your mind. So before you make a decision on whether you're going to do it yourself or outsource to an expert or agency. Let's take a look at the different types of builds that a website can take. Your first option is the most obvious one and the most efficient one, which is to do it yourself. You can create a website yourself by either learning to code or buying an off the shelf template and customizing it yourself. Most DIY website building tools are now made with small business owners in mind. And they don't require an encoding or design skills. So non-technical people can achieve a professional-looking website by just following the online instructions included or with good do it yourself tool. The biggest question people have when they are doing it themselves is what website builders should they use? So there's a few options that you can choose from. From the least technical options. The easiest and quickest one is to set up an website. If you go to this website, is literally like filling in a form. All you have to do is fill in your details and you can be up and running in no time. I'll show you a demo of how to use this in another lesson. The next website builder option is WordPress. Wordpress is a really popular option for small business owners, and it's one that I recommend myself. In fact, all my websites are built on WordPress. When you're creating a WordPress website yourself, you might want to consider purchasing a pre-made website templates made things easier for yourself, so you don't have to create it from scratch. This is if you're doing it yourself, that is. And this is where you can find free templates and paid templates. So there's a lot of places here which you can just go and browse through and choose the best design that suits your brand. And within WordPress itself, it's got some other website builders built within it and you can choose from there. So this allows you to just drag and drop elements. So there's no coding involved. And it makes it a lot easier for you to design your website without being a designer or a developer that has any technical knowledge. And here I give you for suggestions of the most popular builders for WordPress. The first one is element or is the one that I use for all my websites. The next one is dv, the third one is Beaver Builder, and the fourth one is thrived themes. Now, these aren't in any particular order, so you can choose any one of them. It all comes down to your preference. So I suggest taking each one of these for a test drive and deciding for yourself. So these are the options available to you if you choose WordPress. Another popular website builder is Squarespace. Squarespace also has premade website templates that you can customize yourself. And here you can find the links to the free option and all the paid options to. There's a lot of options here on you have to do is to go to Google and search Squarespace templates and a bunch of other websites will come up. And you can choose which one that suits you. Another option is if you have an e-commerce store where you might want to choose a website builder like Shopify. So with Shopify, it's also has free and paid options for templates. So even if you're doing it yourself, don't feel that you have to have the technical knowledge or be a designer to be able to create your own website using a template, you will get up and running in no time. The next type of belt is the semi custom built. This is where we have the premier theme that you've bought from a theme marketplace, we're an online shop. Then you get someone, say from embargo, a freelance marketplace to install and customize it for you. This type of setup can cause potentially around $20 to $70 for the theme. And it could cost $50 for the theme installation. And if you want it to have some customization, depending on the complexity, it can potentially cost a couple $100 or more for WordPress, and I think it's possible the same goes for squarespace has Shopify as well. The benefit of doing it this way is that when you buy a theme, you already see how the end result will look like. And you can pre-plan and map the content to the same pages and layout as your theme, and simply slide it into your website. So if you're on a budget and you're not technically able to install a customize this yourself. I highly recommend this type of semi custom built. It would be a good fit for you. The next type of belt is the entirely custom website. Now this requires a unique effort, like creating custom plans or a blueprint is not easily replicated for the next customer. So it'll cause more simply because it's exactly what you want and what you need, and it's not pre-packaged for the masses. So because there are so many do-it-yourself options for creating website, it creates some confusion for small business owners as to why a custom website from a professional firm may cost thousands of dollars while there are so many institute website offerings for a fraction of the price. So because you can easily buy template for say, $70, why would you pay thousands of dollars, right? So the difference here isn't always immediately apparent. Much of the quality is about the things that are less visible. So if you think about the longevity of the product, the customer serve as during the project. And the expertise of assembling and constructing the deliverable are all reasons to choose quality over low price in both homes and websites. A custom website also requires more time and input from an actual human who has sufficient experience to design your unique solution rather than a low-level person who just works on an assembly line building the same piece over and over again. So if you do choose to go down the custom route, these would be the reasons why you would choose Custom over the off the shelf templates. The other type of belt, which is actually quite common, but it's not talked about a lot, I think because it's mostly happens under the radar. But it's called the part in house and part outsource type of built. So this sometimes happens when you have, say, an in-house designer or developer within your own company, and you decide to either design or develop and create the wireframes herself. And then you will handle over all the necessary details to the development company to bring your website to live or to do the designs for you depending on which expertise you have in house. So as an example, I actually got asked by my own friend who is a developer to create the designs for hints website. So he has the expertise to develop the website, but she doesn't have the expertise to design it. So this will be one of the ways that you could reduce the cost of your website if you do have in-house expertise. So your decision on whether to hire an expert, where to do it yourself will depend solely on new based on your needs and your resources. There's no right or wrong way. Once you decided what type of bill that will suit your budget and needs, let's take a look at who you will need to engage with to get your website built. So if you look back at the house analogy, when you're building a house, you'll need a contractor, an architect, and an interior designer. When you're building a website, the same type of people are needed to achieve your goals. You'll need a web director, the creative director, and a Content Director. Now the names might come in different forms in different companies that essentially you'll need a developer or a designer and a content creator to complete your website. If you do decide to do it yourself, you'll have to control the whole project. That means you're the developer, you're the designer, and you are the content creator. So it may seem hard, but it actually isn't if you plan it well, if you do hire an expert, I do have a few tips here for you. So you're aware of what it involves. First of all, before you engage in services from an expert, there are some vital questions you should be asking so you can make a well-informed decision and choose an expert that will deliver on your website goals. Here I include a list of the 29 most common questions. You'll see the questions and the reasons for asking that question. So you'll understand the significance of each question and decide whether or not it's a question you'd like to ask. The answers that you will get from these questions will clarify how and if a company is a good fit for your website project and give you the confidence that you've made the right choice. 6. Why Planning is Important: As the old saying goes, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Building a website without a plan is like constructing a building without blueprints. Things end up in the wrong place. Features are overlooked, and the situation is ripe for a miscommunication between website builder and the client planning your website ahead of time. We'll give it clear direction, as well as prevent miss deadlines and backtracking. This step often gets overlooked by those anxious to just get their business online. Taking the time to plan your website is a great investments, trust me, and it will better your chances having a finished product that serves you well. And for as long as you need it. Proper planning is an investment in the headache free development process. And the first step to planning is figuring out what is needed from top to bottom in as much detail as possible. Having a detailed idea of what you want from your website will help you get a more accurate quote from agencies. Think of it this way. If you're building a home, once your home is built, is gonna get quite expensive to change things. So if you've built a four bedroom home, adding a fifth bedroom, it isn't going to be cheap. Although websites are far more flexible than homes, the same principle applies. Once your website is built, it is more expensive to make changes than it would have been had you asked for the feature at the beginning of the project, if you're hiring an agency or an expert to build your website, planning becomes even more crucial. Failure to plan can lead to all sorts of problems in order to plan your website properly. The first job in any web project is to create a long list of critical questions that need answers. These might be about your potential visitors, the uniqueness of your site that you want to create, or what the initial budget will be and what ongoing costs might be and so on. If you have a competitor, they're already has a site. It might be worth considering what's good about it, and perhaps more importantly, what it feels to achieve if the budget can handle it. Some market research might be worth considering, because everything that gets thought about at this stage is a cost-saving later on when it isn't necessary to redesign the site or change its focus. So with that said, let's jump into what you'll need to do to build a good foundation for your website. 7. Plan the Foundation: So before you start building your site, creating your logo or even writing your content, you really need to determine what the website will be, who is at four, and what it would look like. And this is the process of planning your foundation. If we look at how you would build a house, for instance, if you're building a house from scratch, you need to first lay out the goals of your new house even before you draw the blueprints, These are the things that you would tell your architect in terms of what's your goal for this new build. So you might say, oh, you know, you wanna houses really bright and airy, so have a lot of flow of lights. You might want house that's open plan. And you might want to have a south face and garden. So these are all the things are your goals for this new house built. You also want to assess the foundation of the house. You want to make sure that it's it has a solid foundation and has long-term stability. And if it doesn't, you want to make sure to strengthen that foundation. So that's roughly the steps that you would get when you're building a house. When you're building a website is very much the same. You want to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. And you really want to plan out every single aspect of your website. 8. Write Your Website Vision: What is sufficient statement for your website? When he first built and started your company, you probably created a mission and vision statement. And Asimo already know, mission statements talk about why do we exist. And vision statements talks about what will the future look like? What will be different? So mission is about today and vision is about the future, what we will become when belting website in order for it to be effective and attract what I would call the drive-by visitors to our website. It has to have a purpose, a clear, easily understandable, concise purpose that people can see the minute they see it. And of course, you might be thinking, well, Liz, isn't that the work of the designer to make sure that the website is able to communicate its purpose through the process of good design? My answer would be absolutely yes. It most definitely can be achieved through good design. But then, what makes a design effective? How do you or your designer know what words to use, how your pages should be organized, or what pages should exist in the first place. That's where your vision statement comes into the equation. It is what will lay out the core scope and purpose for your site. Here's an example of a website vision statement. The best life website teachers site visitors about how to start and maintain a healthy diet. It encourages them to provide the information we need to give them a personalized meal plan. And then helps those users breakdown there bad habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle through one-on-one coaching programs. The websites goals is to not only get the attention of potential customers, but to also earn their trust once they apply for a one-to-one coaching program, one of the best life coaches will guide them through the process. Notice how the description defines the scope and purpose without actually getting into specific as to how the purpose will be achieved. Let's try to create your own vision statement by breaking this down. First, I want you to answer the following questions was to business name. What is your business about? What is the main thing you want people to do when they visit your site? How does a visitor become a customer when you're, when they're on your site? What does the website wants to achieve? And lastly, what is the first thing that happens when someone becomes a customer? You can do this exercise as part of the class project and uploaded to the project section here. Here's another example. The easy language website teachers site visitors about How to learn any language quickly. It encourages them to provide their email address in exchange for a kick starter guide, their language of choice, and then help them conquer that language through online courses. The websites goal is to attract people who are motivated to learn a new language and demystify the process by simplifying it for them. Once they join, they will not only get lifetime access to the online course, but also access to our thriving Facebook group online community. Here's another example, the X-Factor website teachers site visitors about how to create memorable logos. It encourages them to provide their email address, to give them compilation of the most memorable logos throughout history. And then help them to discover what makes their own brand memorable through our on-demand Logo creations services. The website goals is to not only get the attention of the potential customers, but to also build credibility as an expert in the space. Once they apply, they will fill out an online form. And one of our X-factor designers guide them through the process of creating a memorable logo for their brand. So now it's your turn to answer the questions below and then start creating your own vision statement. And remember once you're then upload it to the project section here on skill share. 9. Website Problem-Solving Statement: What problem does your offering solve? So what problems do you solve for your customers? Selling is about solving customer problems. Whether those are problems customers are currently facing, a problems they will face as they evolve and their needs change. To build a website that converts, its important to know how you can attract and convert potential customers. You do this by communicating that problem to your audience and show them that you can solve them. So it's vital to learn what problem your offer is solving. So here are a few examples of problem-solving statements. Helping people get the most out of their technology wherever they use it. Or helping people understand how to use video for community building, training and marketing. Simplifying social marketing for small business owners. If you don't know what problem you're solving or you're having difficulty in determining what problem you're solving for your audience. Look at the most common questions you're getting from your customers or audience, and list down the ways that you can solve them. If you don't have any customers yet. Take a look at the questions your competitors are getting and see how they saw their customer problems. This will determine how your offer is solving your customer's problems. And once you know that, you'll be able to effectively communicate that problem to your audience and show them how you can solve it. So now it's your turn lists down how your offering is solving a problem for your customer right now. 10. Find Your Target Audience: Who is your target audience? In order to be able to communicate effectively with your target audience through your website, you'll need to know who they are. And in order to do that, you'll need to understand what a target audience is. But before he can't do that, you will need to first of all, understand what a target market is. Is out of the target market that you get a target audience. So what is a target market? A target market is a clearly defined segment of customers that you want to sell your product or service to. These are the people whose needs, you know, your product or service will satisfy. An example of a target market is a men over 45 years old. Now that you know your target market, you can now determine your target audience. The target audience is the smallest selection of potential customers whom you actually expect to buy your products or service, depending on what you want to accomplish, your target audience can also be the people you expect to respond to particular marketing message or advertising campaign. An example is men over 45 years old who own luxury yachts. So take some time to think about who your target market is and then narrow down to a small selection of potential customers whom you actually will expect to buy your products or service. And that will be your target audience. If you don't know who your target audience is, I suggest to dig into your data and find out a few things. And you could do this by looking into your current website, say Google Analytics. Or you can look into your email list, demographic information. Or you can also start a survey and ask your audience who of who they are and collect that data for it to be collated and then analyzed. For this exercise. The type of questions you might want to ask yourself is, who are your current customers? So look at your, say, e-commerce data or, you know, people, data of buyers. How old are they? Where are they from? How much money do they earn? Are they single or married? What are their jobs? What are their hobbies? What are their roles within their companies? All the questions that you are, you will ask, it will depend on how significant that data is to your service or product. So consider those questions carefully. If you're thinking of running a survey to your audience, the next way is say you don't have an audience, you don't have a list of customers. You don't have analytics currently on your website or you don't have a website at all, I would suggest to study your competition and see who their customers are. How old are they? Who are they single or they married? You can easily take other people's audience who are similar to your audience as an example of who to target your audience for your website. So once you know who your target audiences will make, the building of your website in terms of like the marketing messages, the copy, and the design. A lot easier to make decisions about once you know who is going to be designed for. 11. Set Your Website Goals: What are your website goals for your new site? What is considered a good website? There's no one answer for that because worksite is good or bad. If it does or does not satisfy the goals of the person or organization is created for. So a website goals helps to inform a lot of the decisions that influence how your website is designed and built. Knowing what you hope to get out of the site can help you to answer a lot of questions including, what information do we need to prioritize on each page? What's the best organizational structure for our website? Why do we need to allow visitors to do when they visit our website and our website, actually helping us in any way. Once you have your website goals, you can start making decisions to help realize them. Here's an example of some website goals. Has people opt-in to the email list, sign-up for webinar once they become a patron, supporter. And to make contact with us through our contact form page. Take some time to write down your website goals. Think about what you want to achieve with the website build and then less than down. 12. Create a Website Wishlist: Create a wishlist before you start building your website. It's good practice to just take a few minutes to write a wish list of what you want from your website. And it's important to not only think about what you want your website to do for you, but also to think about what your website should do for your website visitors and potential customers. Here's an example of a website wishlist. As you can see here. If here's a list of what potentially to want your website to do for you. And also what you want your website to do for your clients or potential customers. So these are just basic things that you feel that your website should have. So an example of what I should do for you is it should be easy to maintain and keep up-to-date so you don't want to be winging your developer or designer every time you want to update your website. So you basically want to be able to update your site yourself. So you don't have to incur that extra cost of hiring somebody to do small bits and pieces for you. So being able to do that on your own will not only save you a lot of time, but also save you a ton of money. Another thing is you might want to keep your ongoing costs to a minimum. So maybe you want to make sure you're choosing a web hosting company that's not too expensive and makes sure that you create, choose a web hosting company that includes a bundle of services that you require for your website. So it becomes cheaper and so you get it all from one company. So all this is something you should communicate to your website developer and designer or website development agency. So they know where you would like to keep your budgets at when creating your website. You might also want to determine what the KPIs are for your work website like cost per sales, lead generations, newsletter sign-ups, better retention rates. And if you want to improve the visitor loyalty, you want to make sure that you're able to track all of this. So you want to make sure that website is able to track all of these activities. And this might include your development team linking your websites to say something like Google Analytics. The next thing you might want is you want it to be easily search engine optimized for Google, Bing and other search engines. So you might want to have a you use, if you're using something like Wordpress, you might want to add something like a Yost SEO plugin, which is a plug-in that people use to optimize their search engine optimization. Another thing you might want to consider is the simple ways to cross published content. So some of you might want to make sure that Your blog post is automatically published to say Twitter or Facebook the moment then it goes live. So you'll need to be able to have that capability installed into your website. Another thing is you want it to be portable. So it means that this potentially means that you wanted to open source software, something like WordPress. So it doesn't have any proprietary sort of limitations. So say if you want to move to a different development company to manage your website, that'll be pretty easy because it's open source software. And all you have to do is find another WordPress developer and they can continue on the work that your previous agency has done for you. So another thing is you probably have other applications in your business that you use. Lag cells fours are Mail Chimp or active campaign or infusion soft. So you want your website, so you have the capabilities connect to third party solutions and that you already use or you're planning to use. Another thing is you want to be able to provide a measurable return on investment that goes back to the KPI's. You want to make sure that you're not only tracking, say, the numbers of people visiting your website, but you want to also track the monetary return on investment. So you have to know what a lifetime value of Visine customers before you can do that. So you might want to find that out before putting all those sort of trackings in place. Another thing is you probably want to be able to be allowed to add an edit content without incurring extra cost. That goes back to keeping ongoing costs to a minimum and being able to easily maintain and keep up your website up to date. So in terms of what your website should do for your clients or your website visitors. Some of the things that might be on your wishlist is you don't want to make them think he wants to keep your content visible and easy to find. You might have some things where, you know, you're using best practices like don't use words like click here for links. Because you might be working with the copyrights array. And you want them to know. The part of your wishlist is you don't want them to use quick here for the length because that's bad for search engine optimization. Instead, he may say something like download PDFs. So if you think about a picture and if somebody is blind, they can't see the picture. So therefore they have alternative captions for saying, you know, a picture of a tree, say the catcher would be, this is a picture of a tree with a girl standing below it. So somebody who cannot see, we'll be able to understand what the contents of that picture is. And that's the same with the links. If you just say click here, it doesn't really say anything about the content of that link. Versus if you say download PDF, then people won't undersand. Okay, this link is about, is to, if I click it, this is what will happen. A PDF will be downloaded giving them context of that link. The other thing you might also want to do is make sure that they can find you on Google. So you might want to add a Google local listing and make sure you sign. You submit your assignment to your Webmaster Tools. And you want to make sure that the content is easily findable. When they are going through your website. You want to make sure that you remove any unnecessary steps and wordings. And then you want to make sure that the contact forms simple. It can be accessed by multiple devices, like mobile phones, iPads, and desktops. So you have to make sure it's got a responsive design. And this, you can see here easy just to build up on top of each requirement of this wishlist for what you wish. Your customer experience is going to be when they land on your website. So from their perspective as well, and that will help you create a really effective website that not only serves a purpose for you, but also serves the purpose for the people visiting your website and your potential customers, hence, increasing the conversion rate of your website. So now that we've gone through the examples, I'd love for you to take a minute and start writing your own wishlist below. Remember, start with what you would want from your website. And then don't forget to also cover what your customers would like from the website. 13. Set Your Website Budget: Create your website budget with their urine established mid-sized organization, or just starting, you should always set a budget for your website expenses. This will probably include funds for web design programming, web hosting, you should research the market by shopping around and consulting with professionals. My tip would be, don't sell yourself short by comparing prices alone. What you save him money may later pay for a lackluster website with lots of headaches. It's better to choose an expert based on experience, insight, formless references and examples of work. You can see how to budget for your website by looking at the examples included in this lesson, a good web design agency will listen to your needs and they'll help you prioritize their goals. And KPIs then create something that works for you and your clients within your budget. So talk to them, be honest about your budget, then possibly consider a staggered launch by adding on functions as you can afford it. So you don't necessarily have to do everything all at once. You might want to start with the basics and then build your way up to where you want to be over time. And you can discuss this with the web design agency and discuss how that sort of working relationship might look like over time. You can also keep your budget down by writing your own copy, finding suitable in images, and producing your own screencasts. Also, you can keep cluster down by getting the site structure and wireframes. Stan, I'm saving both time and budget. A good website is a great investment that can pay for itself quickly with the right inputs. So if a website is mismanaged or leftmost collect dust, it can be a complete waste of money when it comes to choosing your expert or agency that you want to use to build your website. Don't just choose based on your current budget, will also consider ongoing costs. It can prove to be a false economy to go down the cheapest option, as it could turn out to be a very expensive in the long term. 14. Best Time to Build: When should you begin an end your website built? You should have a timeline in mind to make sure it doesn't coincide with any other major events in your business and in your personal life. Generally, having a specific timeline will help you to keep focused on your business goals and also determine the availability of the expert or the agency that you're working with. Don't ever underestimate how much time you need to put aside for this website project. Even if you have someone building it for you, your input into this project at each stage of the development is vital. So making sure the begin and end date works with their business and personal time table. For example, if we are going to be getting married or moving house and end of the year. You might want to avoid those times. The length of your website builds will depend on how big and complex so project is. But the average time could take between a few weeks and a few months. So getting an idea of when is the least busiest time in your business and personal life and into build it then. So just take a moment right now and lists down the least Business Times for your business and personal life this year. So you can have an idea on what's the best time to approach this website build that weren't, wouldn't interfere with any big projects you have down the line. 15. Assigning Roles to Your Project: Assign roles for your website project. So once that project can involve a variety of people, think about who you need to get involved in this project. Is there anyone you should start having conversations with regarding your website? Lance is never too early to start a conversation, even if you don't have an idea of when you're going to start. If you know who you want to work with and you've made a decision to go with that person, have a conversation as early as possible so you can have an ideal, their availability, and the scope that they're willing to work with you and if they can actually provide the services that you require. So here are some examples of key people in a website project. The first one, our company's stakeholders, it could be the owner, marketing manager, or whoever else that represents a primary function of the business. You might need to talk to them while you're gathering details about what the website we'll need to do and who in his cater fall. You'll also need to engage with the web developer. You'll need to engage with the content writer or an editor. You'll probably has to engage with HTML or CSS professional. This might not be the case for small business websites, but small medium enterprises or startups. They might want to require this if they're wet, so requires additional sort of functionalities that might not come out the box. Another thing is, uh, you, you will need to engage with some web and graphic designers. Sometimes a web developer and web desire can be the same person. And it's so you know, you just need to identify them, make sure they're okay to do the job. They are they from same companies or are they from two different companies? And you also might want to consider if you're hiring an agency, if all of these people should be under one agency or are you working with multiple agencies? You know, sometimes some website building agencies, the only developed websites. They don't develop any of the content for you. They don't write anything. So you will have to engage with the different agency if you needed some copywritten. And sometimes you want some specific type of illustration graphics to be made, specifically made for your company's brand. So in this case, sometimes the web development company won't do that and work don't have the in-house capability to do that. So you might have to hire an external agency. So these are all the people that might come up in your project that you need to think about, sort of contacting nominee beginning quotes and whatnot. So just to determine who these people are and what roles they'll play in your project. And, you know, once you've thought about it lists the people you'll need on your website project somewhere so you'll be able to quickly get in touch with them and know who's in the project really easily once you get started. 16. Beat Your Competitors: What are your competitors doing? If you want to create a website that is better or equal to your competitors, you need to know not only what they are doing right, but also what they are not doing so great on. These could be opportunities for you to fill in a gap that your competitor hasn't executed well or is missing altogether. A competitor's website is a tool to make your own website better. Not anything to be scared of. These methods will give you a basic picture of who your competitors are, what they traffic is like, and also give you benchmarks and ideas to apply to your own website. Even better, you'll start seeing some opportunities and spaces so your own website to sell. So the first thing is you can start by compiling a list of ten or so websites that are comparable to yours. You can do this with a free tool like similar web. Just entered the URL of your own website or a competitor website that you already know of. And then select similar sites and then you'll get a list other competitors within your field. Next, once you've identified who they are, figure out which websites are the most successful so far. So time the URLs into similar web, again, one-by-one and Neil getting an overview of the monthly traffic and other stats. You'll also be able to see where their traffic comes from, example, social media, email or search engines and where they're getting referrals from. This is a good way to get the lay of the land. As you might discover that the website you thought was really popular doesn't get that much traffic at all, or vice versa. Next is to actually evaluate your competitors website. So just because a competitor gets a lot of traffic, doesn't mean they've won the website game. Sometimes the website gets traffic for content that isn't very good. That's why it's so important to go beyond the numbers and take a close look at what is actually there on your competitors pages. What information do they cover? Are there any clear gaps? Do they have an FAQ section? If they do, maybe it's missing something obvious. What you're looking for here are ideas for content that you can put on your website that's better than what they have. Use a free trial of BuzzSumo to see what their top Forming content is and then see if you can create something better. The next step is to pay close attention to their brands. Do they have a logo? What are their brand colors? Do they have a look that they can use consistently throughout? Perhaps they're trying to go for certain type of personality, sophisticated, playful, and expensive look by knowing your competitor's brand identity. You can either emulate it or make yours different. Spending some time on your own brand, including getting a logo, can give you the Polish and professionalism you need standout. Next, find out. Website tools they're using. So you can use a free service like belts with to take a look at the tools and plug-ins your competitors are running on their websites. No, I'm not kidding. You can really do this. You can spy on their website, as they say, with this tool. You'll see where their websites hosted, what email services they use and maybe get ideas for tools you'd like to try on for your own site to. Next, I want you to look at their pricing page. Take a look at your competitors prices. What features do they offer? How do their prices compared to yours? Are they using any discounts and promotions? If they have a pricing page, that's a good opportunity for you, it may be scary to stake out your prices if your competitors haven't. Book, transparency in pricing is actually a good thing. Plus you can offer features and perks that they don't. If they don't have a pricing page, that's a good opportunity for you. It may be scary to stake out your prices if your competitors haven't. The transparency and pricing is actually a good thing. Plus you can offer features and parts that they don't. Next, get a picture of their SEO strategy and traffic. There are ridiculous number of tools out there to dig down into your competitors. Black backlinks, keywords, referrals, and more. If you're new to the SEO games start with a free tool. They SEM rush, type in the URL for your competitors website. And you'll find out the keywords are bringing organic traffic. That is the traffic from search engines to their website. The free version of SEM rush has a limited number of searches and results. There is a great way to get started. You can also use the free most bar extension. This will give you a picture of your competitors domain authority, which is an indicator of how strongly they perform in search engines. The last recommendation is, might be a little bit iffy, but I highly recommend it. If you really want to dig deep into what your competitor is doing, that is to become a customer. That's the easiest way. You might hate the idea of spending money on your competitor. But it's important to swallow your pride and just do it. Sign up and make a purchase. What was the process like? I always love looking at the backend on websites. You know how they do their customer onboarding, how do they create their checkout page? I mean, what worked well and what didn't know everything down. Note the flow of the checkout, the information they're gathering. What what's their brands tone of voice and what is it like? Are there any shortcomings that you can take advantage of? So maybe they're shipping times are really slow. So maybe this is something that you can improve on, on your service to differentiate yourself from your competitor. So take all of this into consideration when you're doing your research. 17. Differentiate from Competitors: What makes your company different from your competitors? To stand out from the crowd, you'll need to understand what makes you different than new competitors. Knowing this early on in your journey will help you create a website around what makes you unique. Here's an example of how a tech and productivity guru differentiates himself from his competitors. He says, say his users will have access to truly free quality content. His business is totally personality driven. He is an engaging presenter who delivers relevant content in an easy to understand way. He's got a flavor and style of TV broadcast style delivery. He uses paycheck on as a membership site and he has supporters, not purchases or customers. He's a globally recognized expert and is on many top influence analysts. So take a moment and list down the reasons that you think make you different from American editors. 18. Choosing Your Web Host: Choose your hosting provider. Your site will need to be stored on a computer accessible over the Internet in order for visitors to reach an online. So for that you'll need a web hosting company. Someone said builder tools include hosting. Just use the tool, follow the instructions and I will automatically get your site online for you. Or another approach is to choose a hosting company first, one that's, you know, where you bought your domain name. And then one that also offers a website building tool or service width it. You can also look at this website to see how you can discover the top hosting providers out there. Once you've looked at all the options, just choose the one that fits your needs the best, and go ahead and purchase your hosting package. 19. Set Your Website Requirements: What are your website requirements? In this section, you should develop a list of your website requirements. Requirements are things that you think your website definitely needs. It's like planning a wedding or buying a car. You will most likely have a must-have list of requirements so that your wedding or car will meet all your needs. Go into as much detail as possible. You might want to go back and see your wishlist as well that you created earlier in your planning. Is there anything from your wishlist that you can list down as a website requirements? Here are some examples of website requirements. Number of pages, amount of websites storage for images and videos. Tools such as online forums, blogs, customer reviews, maps, slide shows, a link to or an integration with your social media pages. You might want to have video or audio players. If you have a YouTube channel or a podcast, you might want to have a shopping cart if you want to have the capability for people to buy from your website, you want to, might want to have available tech support from your website agency. This might also be part of your website requirements because you might not be technically gift to yourself. So it's okay to include the sensor. You'll know when you do approach a website agency to work with you, that you would want this requirement big tins your contract. Another thing is you might want to have a mobile device optimization so that your website looks good on mobile devices. So this is basically responsive design. If you say that to your website agency, they'll know exactly what it means and they'll be able to make your website a responsive design that will look good on mobile devices as well. And another thing is, as we mentioned in the wishlist, you want to make sure that it's easy to make content updates yourself. So just think about all the things. I mean, you can go beyond this list is these are just examples listed on your website requirements below. And think of this as something that is a list that you would actually hand over to a professional to show them and tell them what you need from your website or an absolute must have non-negotiable things that you would like on your website. And that gives you a good starting point to start discussions and get a quote from a website agency. 20. Your Website Features: What website features do you need? Website features are like amenities you would find for a house, like a swimming pool, a balcony for the master suite, or skylight in the kitchen. It's important for you to know what features you would like. So you know what to tell the developer to include on your website. And if you're building the website yourself, you'll be able to know what to look for in features in the website theme or plugins that you need to buy. Here's a list of some common website features to help you get started. Take a look at this list for a few minutes and consider what would you like on your website, lists them down on a piece of paper or somewhere, and just consider what you would need as website features for your website, the wall saviors, 100 time when talking to your website developer as they will know exactly what you need without having a long interview with equal to determine what you need from your website. So if you can tell them up front, this will save you a ton of time, a savior, Tana headaches when trying to communicate what you need with your website developer. 21. Choose Your Website Builder: What, what set builder will you be using? So in this section, we're gonna be talking about choosing a website builder. This can be either a do-it-yourself tool or a professional service that sets up your website for you according to your specific locations. So just do an internet search or ask colleagues or other business owners for recommendations. I would recommend just go into this article here to see what the top website builders are out there and see which one fits your needs the most. I personally love using Elemental, which is built on WordPress. So elementary or is like a website builder tool base key, drag and drop everything onto the editing screen. And then you could organize all your content through that tool. There's also other tools like Devi and thrive themes. There's a lot of different options for you. The best way I would recommend to know which one is for you if you have no idea, is to just try them out. Most of them have a free version that you have a test drive and see which one suits your needs and the most user-friendly for you to use. It all comes down to whether or not you're going to be the one updating your site or uploading the content. If it's not you and it's your sort of administrative person or VA, or somebody else. You might want to ask their opinion on what their preferences are or if they have no preference and get them to test out the tools. So because they'll be the people that are going to be using the tool ultimately. So you would want their inputs in this process. 22. Your Customer Journey: What does your customer journey look like? Think about the journey a customer would go about when purchasing your product or service. This is what we called in the website development world as the customer journey. So understanding the customer journey can help you build a better website for conversions. Here's an example of a website customer journey that you can write down. So say for instance, some of your traffic will come from YouTube and that involves these steps that they would go through. So the first thing, watch a video and inside the website, those video description, you have a link to your website. So people will click on that and the old drives traffic to your website from that video. Because they might want to either downloaded lead magnet or get more information about the video topic. And they might want to increase their engagement or interaction with your company. And also in my also to invite them to opt-in to your newsletter for updates. So that's one way somebody might discover or come to your website that's there, the customer journey. Another customer journey is maybe you're running Facebook ads campaign. So maybe you're running a course, more promotion to your audience list. You might be doing a leads, lead ads or what? A link add or image ad, whatever it is, it will help to create traffic to your website. So when people do that, they click and go to your website. And then if you put a pixel on your website, then you can market to them for future ads if you wanted to. So that's another way through advertising. Another way is to, o. Another thing you might want to think about is when people subscribed or optimize your newsletter, where they opting in front and what will they get when they obtained. So this is, could be through webinars or YouTube videos that, like I mentioned early or from other people's websites, might not even from B, from your website, you might be guest blogging on a huge popular website and has in your bio, it has a link to your website and people might be coming from there. So that's the customer journey that could potentially happen. And one people opt-in to your, to your newsletter. They'll get a weekly newsletter giving them updates and your products and services or any other type of information you want to share. You want gives them may be reminders to sign on to your next free webinar. You might also want to invite them to, say become a member of your membership. You might be it might be patria on, or you might have some other type of membership program. So another thing you might want to consider is the automators sequence, which is like an automated email sequence that are sent people once they get on your list. So also, automakers might include, you know, around information around each product or product launches that you might come up with every known again, and maybe a repeat of an invitation to become a member of the website or a patriot member so you could generate some revenue from your interaction. This is all about breaking down that customer journey in understanding where they're coming from, where you would like them to end up, and what you will do to engage an increased conversions once they're in your funnel. So this is like going from a to Z or having that beginning point and a destination. I want you to think about where does that customer journey begin and where does it end? You know, uh, has to, at the end lead to some sort of revenue-generating activity. So it's important to break down those steps. So you can really visualize what that journey looks like so that you can build a website that supports that customer journey. 23. Create Your Navigation Menu: What will your navigation or menu look like? So your navigation menu is how people get around on your website. These are the main pages that you want people to get too easily on your website. So here's an example of one of my clients who observed how they've created their navigation menu. So as you can see here, they have the whole menu, which is literally just a link back to the homepage. And then they have a webinar's menu. And underneath that they have the sub-menu with the latest video content and the Webinar Wednesday description. This contains all the information they need for Webinar Wednesday and also a link to register to the next Webinar Wednesday. And they also have a menu for courses. So they've divided it into two types of courses when the sub-menu, so they have content, marketing and productivity. And then below each of those, they have the list of courses within those categories. And then another thing which is another service, say provide Speaking service. So they would have testimonials on it as well. So that's one of the sub menus. They also have an about us page, our contact page. And then also consider what the footer links are at the bottom of your menu navigation, which is at the bottom of the page, you have your privacy policy, it terms and conditions and your copyright information. So think about what your menu will look like enlisted down like this. So you could get a better idea of the structure of your website. 24. Create a Sitemap: Organize information and develop a sitemap. By this stage, it may well be fairly clear what pages your website needs to include and how they should be categorize. And so it is time for you to create your website, sitemap. A sitemap is a list of pages of website. You can use a spreadsheet for creating your sitemap. Or alternatively, you can use an app such as slick plan to build your site map. You can see an example of a site map below. If you go to this website here, you can learn how to create your own sitemap by following the instructions. 25. Types of Website Content: What type of content do you want to have on your website? Content is basically anything that gives your visitors information. Your content strategy is the way that you plan to present your content over time. So what kind of content will you be displaying on your website? For instance, when developing a blog strategy, you may want to publish two blog posts a month and put out free quarterly reports for your subscribers to download four times year. This is just an example, of course. But since content is such a vital aspect of a website, bringing help if you need it. Hire a writer who is experienced with writing for the web and invest in some professional looking pictures of your store friends and employees if needed. Here are some examples of common content types. So first they have, you know, your blog posts or articles. You might also have some guides or how to articles. You might have some reviews. You might have some video or audio interviews or even text interviews. You might have curated content on your website. You might have some infographics and videos. You might even have some inspirational content. So what you should do now is write down the type of content you would like to create on your new website and determined how you will get those pieces of content created. 26. Discover Your Look and Feel: So the first thing you need to plan for it is the getting the inspiration on the look and feel. So first of all, you need to know that you'll need a website design that supports the features you need and has the look and feel that you are going for. So taking the time to figure out what you do and do not like is very important. It will make the process of deciding how you would like your website to look like. Go a lot smoother and quicker. So be sure to take your time to really research and gather your thoughts in details. So over here, I've, I've actually listed down the potential places that you can find inspiration for your look and feel. The first one is just an example of doing a quick Google search. So here's an example when I put in, say, inspiring a small business website examples. And this is one of the search results. And as you can see here, there are 20 websites. They can look for their screenshots of the website. And if you click it, it will take you to the website directly so you can see the design more closely. But basically, you know, what I really want you to look is get a feel for the look and feel that you really fancy, you know, the one that really kinda pulls towards you. And don't just look at the design. I really want you to look in terms of how they've laid out the content like this one loose, kind of different from a normal website. Does it fit how your content will be laid out? Or if you haven't even thought of that, maybe it can inspire you to build your content around that layout. Think about the colors and you know, the type of images that they're using. Taken note of everything that you like or don't like about everything that you're seeing here. So the next place I want you to look at is a market places. So, you know, you would think that you would go to website theme, arts, and template marketplaces just when you want to buy. But I would argue is the best place for you to look at, to get inspiration of the look and feel that you would like for your websites. I've given you two examples here. The first one is theme put forest. The forest is one of the biggest marketplaces by inviting market here and is one that is frequented by a lot of people, especially if you use WordPress. But what I want you to focus on here is not the platform that is going to be built on. This is just design exercise, so you just have to look at the design and not the platform. So say for instance, you go to this section here, Y wants you to do when you do this exercise, put in what your industry is into the search. So say your industry is Consulting and that's what you do. So what will happen is a lot of the websites that show up will be consulting nature. So it's not just the design, but it will also show you some content that's relevant to this specific industries. And when you get to the search results, you usually have this preview button here so you can just click it and then it will show you what this design looks like. And another way to get a preview is to click the actual theme. And then you'll find there's another button here called Live Preview. And It does the same thing. So sometimes when you click on the preview, it will bring you to another page where it shows you multiple versions of a demo. So in this case, you would just look through the options and then see which one is the, looks like, more like the design that you would fancy for your website. Say for instance, this one, I think this one is quite good. I'm gonna click on that. And then it's going to open the actual website. And it's going to show, you know, what it looks like. You can click everything. You can interact with it. And if you like it, you can buy it as well. But what I want you to do for this exercise is to just have a look at the design. So for instance, say you like this, you like how the information is laid out. You might want to take a screenshot. So you could remember if not, just take a link and then put it in the what you like Box. And you could say, oh, I like the way that they've laid out the services. I like the icon. I like the color, be as specific as possible. So when say if you're working with a designer, you should tell them exactly what you like. Sometimes you like just the use of a font you liked, the combination of the fonts. You like, the type of graphics they use. You like how the amount of whitespace that surround here. And that's what we call the negative space of the whitespace in design. You like that, you might like the images, the typography that's being used here. You liked how they've laid out the bullet points. This is what I want you to look at when you're looking at a website and determining, ha, you know what you, what's your preferred look and feel? That's the first thing. The nice thing I want you to look at is the navigation and the elements or the content that they have. So they have an about us page, a team they ever clients, ever history, testimonials contact page. Look at all of that and think about how you want to present your content, and how you want to present your prices, how you want to present your FAQs. Is it similar to this one or is it, you know, if you look at a different website, is that similar to this one? So really determined what is it that you like and don't like when you're doing your research, when you meet up with somebody who was going to build your website, you can show them exactly what examples would be the closest to what you want to achieve your website. And that gives them a clear vision of where you want the design to go. So this will not only clarify your taste and your preference, but also it will give a great direction for people who are going to help you build the website. Another place that you can find inspiration is from niche websites. So this is a website that I like to use called best about pages. So this is just basically a collection of websites that have really unique creative designs. Another place to look is in online shops. These, so these aren't marketplaces, these are small businesses that are selling website templates. Blue Sheikh is actually a very popular one for feminine style Small Business websites that do kinda more personal branding type of thing. So they have a lot of themes that they sell, that you buy and use for your website. But in this case, you know, for this specific exercise, I just want you to look at how it's been laid out. You can view the live demo by clicking there. I want you to look at everything on this demo website. And then, you know, just even have a look and see if you like how the contents laid out. Sometimes, you know, when we first building web so we don't even know how to organize the contents. So this helps you to kinda build that, the ideas around that, and look at every page, see how that content is kinda broken up. What sort of design elements they're using, what colors they're using, what pictures they'd they using? Just write down what you like and don't like about it. Look at the features like this one. It's Instagram page here linked to this bottom feed, and it updates automatically as you add on more pictures in onto your Instagram. That might be something you would like. And you might also want to look at other features like How do they the testimonials page, how's that look like? You might want to look at how they have their galleries sorted out. So there's many things you can look at when you're doing your research. And it can really inspire you not from a look and feel point of view, but also from a content point of view. Really dive deep into this. Take as much time as you want. Write down, write down what you like and you don't like. And at the end of the process, I'm sure that you will have a better idea on what you like and what you don't like for your website. 27. Mitigating Risks: How would you mitigate any risk? It's important to mitigate any risks and plan for it even before you start building a website. So here are a few tips on how you can mitigate the risks to your website. The first one is to have regular backups and have them scheduled. Next one is to have a backup recovery that has been tested. The next one is to have an SSL certificate. And there's unless there's a good reason not to. I can't think of one. I would say always choose to have an SSL certificate because that's how it gives you more credibility for Google Search. Google is it tends to omits results without SSL certificate. So if for any reason, I think that you should have an SSL certificate, even if you're not conducting any transactions on your website. So also, make sure that you have penetration testing that has been performed before you go live. Make sure you have alerts in place for when your website or experiences downtime or any other key indicators that takes place. Make sure that your server disk pasty is appropriate to what you need. Make sure that any malicious code injection and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities have been suggested. Make sure that the appropriate users and roles are setup, allowing access to the correct areas of the website, and if necessary, make sure your website is PCI compliance. If you're not familiar with any of this, don't worry. It's only really to make you aware of what are the things that you can't do to mitigate any risk. And you can give this list to your the expert you're working with or the website agency you work you with, just let them know or ask them if they can conduct these tasks. So it can reduce the risk to your website. They'll understand what it's all about and they'll know what to do. So just let them know and then just make sure that they do carry them out. And if they can't carry them out, it's awesome to give them reason why they can't. And that should be good enough for you to make sure that your website does mitigate any risk that might occur. 28. Your Website Legalities: What legalities does the website needs to cover? These days, all websites need to be protected against legal action and clearly outlined to visitors their responsibilities and any rules for using the side or its contents. So if there was site is involved in any direct selling, these legal elements will have to cater for any rules that cover resellers, especially those regarding the return of goods and the warranty of the products. So having this all defined before the site goes live is really critical. And so is creating various small print elements for the website's pages and deciding where on the website the full detailed conditions of use will be published. So here I include some templates that will help me to get started. There's a free privacy policy template generator, a terms and conditions templates, and add cookie notification. If you're using a WordPress website. 29. Draw Your Architectural Plans: Once he planted foundation, now it's time to draw the architectural plans. In this tab, you will plan your website, structure and layout. As you start to determine what type of information you want on the side, you can start to plan how you want the website to be laid out. So just like a house, this is where an architect will start drawing blueprints. They start to draw all the rooms in the house in relation to each other. And then they determined the size of the rooms and the proportions. For a website. What you need to first determine is the focus and message for your homepage. Getting the focus, a message for your homepage can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Take a look at these pulls to get inspired. As you can see, there's a lot of examples here that you could take inspiration from right down what you like and what you don't like. And think about the messaging and focus you would like on your homepage. Once you've done that, the next step is to draw the wireframe of all your homepage elements and inner page layouts. A page markup, or also known as wireframe, is essentially the outline of your website with initial design being the first draft. Usually is created in Photoshop or fireworks. You don't have to put too much detail into your markup. Just use the placeholder text to fill pages and don't worry about the details. This is just a mockup, as I mentioned earlier. This is just to give everyone an idea of what the website will look like. If you don't have a design program, you can also map it out with the pen and paper. Here's everything you need to know about wireframing. If you want to learn more, if your audience needs your website to be accessible, be sure to build in the capability into your wireframe. So if you're working with an expert or an agency to build your website, it is likely at this point you'll be presented with the homepage, wireframe and inner page layouts. All you have to do is prove it to finalize the design concepts. Once that's done, all you have to do at this point is get ready for the website development. Over here I have included a list of a website development shirtless. You can go through to make sure you have everything set to get ready for the build. I've also included a WordPress website development check miss if you're creating a WordPress website. So feel free to go through the checklist to make sure that you're all good and ready for development. 30. Designing & Decorating: So once you've drawn up the architectural plans or the wireframes, in this case, the design and decorating step will be what your website will look like and how your users will interact with it. So if you're building a house, this is the step where you start to determine the overall style and theme of your house. And you pick your color palettes for painting. And you put, you know, you consider the furniture and the ambiance that you want to create. And maybe you might even consider the focal point of the true. When you're building a website, you want to think about how people will interact with it. So you have to think of what assets you need. So acids could be your social media assets that could include links to your social media accounts and their social sharing capabilities on your pages and Media where it's applicable. You might even want to include to tweet capability or a Facebook comment facility. And everything that you need to prepare this point is your brand assets. Let's your logo, your brand colors, you're brown fonts, iconography, your photography, illustrations, podcasts, customer testimonials, customer reviews, e-books or white papers that you might have that's included as your lead magnets, videos and you're about content. You also want to consider what feeds you want to include into your website. Do you want an RSS feed? Or you might want to even include a podcast feed if you have one. And just like a house, you want to determine the overall style and theme of your website, your color palette and fonts, and photos and graphics. So once you have that, the next thing you want to think about is the content of your website. So over here I've included some examples of what a common website structure for a small business will look like. So as you can see here, there's an About page which includes an about us or our story page, a contact us page, some utilities pages for your cookie policy, privacy policy, Terms of Use, affiliate disclaimer, and sums of content. You might have a podcast page, testimonial page, some pages for interviews, for demos, guides, lead Magnus, products and services pages. And last but not least, is the blog post or the articles. Or if you have old my website, you might want to consider the process of migrating the old blog posts to the new website, determine what that process involves. And if you don't know, ask your website developer or designer on how this process would take place once you've created all the content, the next step is to make sure that you review your content. And here's the chat list of the things that you need to do when you're doing your review. 31. The Website Construction Phase: This is where all your hard work will begin to take shape and become a reality. This is where the construction begins. So if you're, if you're building a house, this is where you approve all the architectural plans your general contractor builds according to those plans and your furniture and elements are placed within the house. And professionals will perform testing. In terms of a website, what happens is at this point is the development team built according to the wireframes are the plans. And the build of your website will take place in the staging area. So this is basically a safe place for the development to take place. So it doesn't have an impact on your current website or it's available or accessible to anyone else other than you and new developer. This is what we called a staging area. So once the construction has begun, all the content is submitted this point and it's proved and placed inside the staging area. And once all that is done is the design has been billed, the content's being put in. So the contents like furniture and all this design and decorating stuff going on, all that sun, the developer's gonna perform their own testing before they presented to you. And that's the end of the construction phase. 32. The Inspection and Fixes Phase: Once your website is built in the staging area, the next step is the inspection and fixes phase. So once you rub says Build, you'll need to complete inspection and testing to ensure your site is ready to launch. So this is exactly the same as when you build a house, you, the owners are gonna complete a walk-through inspection. The owners will notify the contractor of fixes and then the contract will complete the fixes and then you can move in. But for a website, this includes a full inspection. So at this point, you will be given a certain amount of time to inspect the website. I suggest that you stick to the deadline and put time side to properly go through everything two or three times. Even used the inspection testing checklist that I've included here to make sure you don't miss anything. You might want to assign responsibilities to team members if you have any, to make sure you haven't missed anything. You also wanna make sure that the design qualities up to scratch. So I've also included here chat list of a design quality inspection for you to go through. And banks is the content quality inspection. Just so you know, an inspection and testing on your content quality isn't as much as checking grammar and spelling. It goes much further than that. If you would like your website to bring in Leeds in conversions, use the content quality checklist to check all your content meets your criterias. Once you're done with that. If your website requires the audience to be accessible, Be sure to inspect the website's accessibility as well. I've included here and attachment on how you can conduct a thorough website accessibility testing. The next step is to make sure you apply SEO optimization. If this was something that was included inside your website project. Here I include in search engine optimization checklist. So you could go through it one by one when you're doing your optimization. I've also included a site performance checklists that you could go through to make sure that your website performs as best as it could. So if you're a stickler for correct spelling, then you might want to sign up to a service to make sure your website has no spelling errors and all your links are not broken. I suggest using this website so you could check all the spelling errors and also all the broken links. You can use it just once and then cancel or use a free trial. Or if you want to ongoing, you can have the service check your website for spelling errors and broken links constantly. So once you've gone through all that, you'll notify the web Director of fixes. And then the next step is the web director will instruct the developer to fix the fixes. After the fixes have been applied. You then have to go through the changes again and inspect and test the website again in the staging area. Once that's done, you're ready to launch. 33. End of Website Project: So if you think of a house build, when it's done, you move in, you get home insurance. And as you know, once you move in, the work doesn't stop. The House needs to be maintained. So you'll have girly check son for things like boilers live, Bob's window frames and other stuff. The same goes for a website. Once you've done the inspection and fixes and approved the site for launch, it goes live, but then you have things to maintain after the lunch. So here I include a website maintenance checklists that you could go through after you've launched your website. One of the first things you should do when your site launches is to register with Google Search Console. So this is to notify Google that your page exists and get information, or at least send your website's URL to Google so that it can index it. Other things to keep in mind at the end of the project is if a brand guide or websites style guide is part of the project delivery, then be sure to obtain or from your agency. And as the thing to confirm is the level of support you will get from your agency or developer after you've launched to tackle any teething issues you might have. Usually it's about two weeks to a month after your launch. It all depends on what you agreed to when you sign the contract. Another thing is to make sure you create a content strategy for marketing blog posts and other content that you should be writing for the next three months. Just like a baby when it's born, it will work is not done. You have to feed it, you have to change its diapers and you have to nurture it with love, bathe in keeping clean that. So that's how you should approach a new website just like a brand new baby. So that's it. That's all you need to know when it comes to building a website that stacks against your competition. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. And I wish you the best of luck in your website building journey. By. 34. Class Project: Hey guys, congratulations, you've made it to the class project. Building a website is not an easy task even for those who are experienced. One of the most important things that you can do before you even start building a website is to determine exactly what it is about and what it will do to convert website visitors into customers. Writing a website vision statement can help give you greater clarity on this process and get started on the right foot. So click them link in the project description so you can find this document here. And all you have to do is once you've opened it, just click, Make a Copy, and just follow the steps below. So first of all, it's very important that you watch the lesson, right? Your website vision. And I've linked to here in case you haven't seen it yet. So once you've watched the video, come back here and proceeds a number to write a clear, easily understandable, and concise purpose for your website, but answering the following questions. Your business name, what your business is about, what is the main thing you want people to do when they visit your site? How does the visitor become a customer? When on your site? What does your website wants to achieve? And what is the first thing that happens once someone becomes the customer? So to help you along this process, I guess I've given you an example here below. So here are some examples of a fictional company called easy language and the answers to the questions that I've outlined above here. So this business name is called ISI Language. The business is all about How to learn any language quickly. And their main thing that they want people to join their site is to download a kick starter guide to the language that people want to learn. And then how does the customer visitor become accustomed? It's once they sign up for one of their online courses. And what does the website wants to achieve and wants to attract people who are motivated to learn a new language and make the process less intimidating by simplifying it. And what's the first thing that happens once someone becomes a customer? The customer will immediately get lifetime access to the online course and being able to join their thriving Facebook group online community. So once you've answered all those questions is really easy to put your website vision statement together. So as you can see here, here's the example of the vision statement. Once I've answered those questions. So the easy language website teaches site visitors about How to learn any language quickly and encourages them to provide their email address in exchange for a kickstart, a guide of their language of choice, and then have them conquer that language through online courses. The websites goals is to attract people who are motivated to learn a new language and demystify the process by simplifying it for them. Once they join, they will not only get lifetime access to the online course, but also access to our thriving Facebook group online community. Since you can see here, all of the ingredients of the website vision statement is already answered in these questions. So it makes it really easy to put together. So all you have to do now is once you have your website vision statement complete, just goes to the projects and resources tab here. As you can see, and click Create Project. And just upload your vision statement here. If he would like to make your website vision statement more visually appealing, feel free to go to this canvas template. Click here. And then click use template. And feel free to copy and paste your website vision statement here. So here's an example of one that I'm going to show you. So I'll just copy and paste it. Move around a bit to make sure that there's enough room. So once I've pasted it in, all have to do is download it. I'll download it as a PNG. What sense then click download. And then go back here, put website vision statement. I'm going to put example for mine so people can see that I've uploaded an example. So for that image you just downloaded click, download image. And then you can position it. Click Submit, and need to also copy and paste the actual wordings in here. Put here Website development. And then you can click publish. And you can see here, it will show up here. And that's how it look like. So I look forward to seeing your website vision statements, and I hope you've enjoyed this class. 35. BONUS: Demo: To get started with, just click Get the free page and then enter in your email adress. Click next. Put in your name location, and choose three to five interests. Next you put in your occupation. And then you choose what you would like people to do on your page. For now you choose just one, but later on you to add more call to actions to your page. Later. I've chosen a schedule, an appointment, and I'm gonna put my Talen Lee link here. Now upload your photo. So all looks good. Just go to the next step. Choose to layout and design that you like. And then choose the color that you would like. You can test and see which one suits you. And then you can connect to a domain if you have one, or you can buy a domain through Alternatively, you can continue with the free page and then put in a chosen password. And then click next. It gives you the option to add an email signature video link. If you want to do this, click Copy and Paste, and then paste it into your email signature. These are the other features that you can add your website. Choose which one you would like. And obviously if you want to add more of the pro features, you'll have to upgrade. But at the meantime, you get a free trial and you'll be able to trial all these pro features before you actually start paying. So I would recommend testing these features and then see if any of them suits you. Let's try adding the testimonial feature. So to add a test managers click Add testimonial and then putting the quote and type in who said it. This could be a testimonial, say from your LinkedIn profile or from anywhere that you've received a testimonial, you could add up to three testimonials. So choose the best one. You could change the way it represents the testimonials where there is a recommendation or what people say about you, or a testimonial. So you choose the best way to represent these quotes. You could also alternative AP Bio, change spotlight button Anika is set payments. And if you have a PayPal Al-Qaida per year PayPal link here. To let people download a paper or a lead magnet. You can get people to contact you via email capture. Ask them to join your email list. And you can ask them to book a time with you for an appointment. There's so many other call to actions that you could add here. So feel free to choose with trans suits your business the best. He could also add on certain things like videos. You can simply just grab a YouTube link and added on. This could be an introductory video. You could also get them to contact you using a form. If you didn't want to leave your email address, then this would be a good option. You can also add your portfolio. You can change the design at any time. You can add more details to your page. You to add your social links to find out how much this would cost. You just go to the pricing page. There's a free option and also the $6.58 per month option. 36. More: Thank you so much for taking this class. If you've enjoyed this class, I'd like to introduce you to my other classes here on skill share. As you can see, I teach a lot of different areas of digital marketing. And the links to the classes are in the notes below. Just click the pin in the bottom right of the video and you can view all the notes to see them. When you click it, you can then bookmark the other classes for you to watch when you have the time. So I'm just gonna go through the different classes and what they're about briefly. So you know, what you can look forward to. The first one is how to create engaging social media marketing content. This class is great if you ever feel stumped as to what to post on social media, come behind the scenes and I'll show you how to create highly engaging social media content immediately. Now this course is all about getting your brand to stand out. You'll learn everything you need to know about visual marketing and get ready to take your brand from math to amazing. If you're interested in video marketing, this course is the no-nonsense approach to video marketing is designed to help you hit the ground running with your video marketing, you'll get plenty of templates and a powerful content calendar to get you started on the right foot. Interested in branding. This class will walk you through the basics of building an unforgettable brand. You will learn how to build your brand from scratch and understand what decisions to make when it comes to your brand color, logo, topography, and imagery. Do you want to create a Facebook ads campaign, but not sure how to start? And this course I show you how to create high converting sales funnel for your Facebook ads campaign. Lastly, if you have enjoyed this class, I'd love for you to leave a review and let me know what you think. I hope to see you in the next class. Okay.