Ten steps to building a successful website

Ten steps to building a successful website

Monday, 20 August, 2018

Building a website might seem like an impossible challenge for someone who’s not especially IT-literate, but it’s much easier than you might think.

Many of the websites you visit on a daily basis will have been designed by one person, from enthusiasts to sole traders.

These people aren’t coding experts, and they certainly don’t know their PHP from their Python.

Instead, they’ll probably have used a site-building platform.

These are packed with pre-designed templates, while WYSIWYG editors do all the complex coding work as people move text or photos around a draft webpage, add page links, etc.

Two of the most popular platforms for building a website are WordPress and Wix. Both make the process of creating a new site as easy as designing a bespoke birthday card online.

In fact, if you’ve ever customised a Moonpig or Funky Pigeon card, you’ll feel comfortable building a website by adding your own text and graphics to an existing template.

These companies also help you through the process of buying a website domain and setting up related email accounts, which typically costs around £100 for a basic site.

But how can you make sure your new business or personal website looks – and performs – professionally?

Ten steps for successfully building a website

  1. Firstly, choose a simple domain name. Shorter names are easier to remember and type. Tell people your preferred name, and see if they mishear it or spell it incorrectly.
  2. Use a template. Don’t write your own HTML or CSS code unless you’re an IT graduate. By the time you’ve edited a generic template, it will be totally unique to your site.
  3. Source copyright-free images. Avoid fines for taking images off Google without author permission. Take your own, or visit copyright-free photography sites like Stockvault.
  4. Streamline your text. Modern audiences have short attention spans, so keep word counts to a minimum. Break up text with short sentences and paragraphs, or lists like this one.
  5. Use plugins sparingly. The WordPress platform has 56,000 pieces of code for specific functions, but these slow the site down. Only add plugins if it’s absolutely necessary.
  6. Boost SEO. This improves your performance in search results. Key tips include adding captions to photos, creating page descriptions and tagging relevant words on each page.
  7. Make navigation easy. Internal links between webpages should be large, clearly labelled, and in the same place. Big buttons are far easier to hit on compact smartphone screens.
  8. Don’t give people a reason to leave. Search engines consider average site visit times when ranking pages. Don’t add links to external websites unless absolutely necessary.
  9. View the draft on several devices before going live. Use Kindles, iPads, phones and PCs. If anything looks odd in a particular web browser, change it before hitting Publish.
  10. Regularly add content. Search engines rank a site more highly if it’s regularly tweaked. A News or Blog page is ideal for weekly updates, giving audiences a reason to come back.
Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is an expert tech writer. He's written hundred's of Guides to all things broadband!

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers

The huge bonus is available to anyone signing up for a 'Faster Fibre' bundle through BroadbandDeals.co.uk

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers Read more

TikTok ‘gifts’ empty kids piggy banks

Children are most vulnerable to 'influencer' donation pleas

Read more

Netflix ruins 90’s cartoon, enrages internet

The streaming giant came in for criticism for 'straightwashing' Japanese cult classic anime.

Read more

Porn-block pushed back by clerical errors

Further delays to the child-protection measure, with the process mocked as an 'utter shambles'.

Read more

How to watch Wimbledon online for free

How to make sure you don't miss out on the action from your favourite sports stars.

Read more

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty”

But could the proposed measures mean worse deals for those who shop around?

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty” Read more

Boris Johnson mocks full-fibre roll-out plans

The likely next PM boasts plans to beat current targets by 8 years, but is it all just hot air?

Read more

Broadband and phone companies to put Fairness first

Telecoms providers commit to raising standards.

Read more

UK to get legal right to decent and affordable broadband

New legislation will ensure minimum speeds for every UK household.

Read more

GDPR – One year on

The landmark legislation gave people the ‘right to know’ when their data had been hacked.

Read more

Slow broadband is costing us £2.2bn extra a year

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks Read more

Could 5G end fixed-line home broadband?

Read more

How broadband availability varies across the UK

Read more

Which social media platforms should I be on?

Read more

Will you get online on holiday?

Stay connected during your get-away.

Read more

Make the most of your broadband overnight

Read more

The main causes of slow internet connections

Slow broadband can be more than just an irritant - but what causes it, and what can we do to fight back?

The main causes of slow internet connections Read more

Do you need to ramp up your broadband controls?

Read more

The different types of home computer

Read more

Will we all need gigabit broadband one day?

Read more

Explaining broadband industry jargon

Read more
Back To Top