How To Build A Website Without A Developer Or Agency
If you are an entrepreneur or even an aspiring one, you probably know that marketing your products and services online can be highly effective — if you know how to do it right.
Even if you do not have the time or resources to build your website, there are plenty of free or low-cost services out there that make it possible to create an attractive and effective site, no matter how small your budget may be.
Building a website on your own can seem daunting, especially if you have never done it before or do not have experience in web development.
However, the truth is that you do not need any special knowledge to start from scratch with your web page; this guide on how to build a website without a developer or agency will help you get started today.
What You Should Know Before Starting
You do not need a developer or a design agency to build a website these days. Whether you are building an e-commerce site, an informational site, or something in between, there are plenty of great tools available to help you create and manage your website yourself.
The great thing about these tools is that they are helpful for creating new websites from scratch. You can also use them to create pages for your existing website, integrate content from your social media sites, and add interactive features to engage with visitors and build your brand.
1. Choose Your Domain Name
No matter how easy-to-use your website platform is, you will still want to buy a domain name that matches your business name. It should be easy to remember and spell (read: catchy) but not too weird.
Sites like Google Domains, GoDaddy, and Namecheap offer great value for prices, around $10 per year, and work quickly and effectively. If your heart is set on an already registered domain name that happens to be taken by someone else (because they have it parked), you can use a tool called WhoIsHostingThis.com to find out who owns that domain and contact them directly.
Be careful with purchasing domains from sketchy places because they might direct you towards malicious downloads or even steal your data.
2. Buy Hosting
If you want to set up a website and run it yourself, your next step after getting your domain is to get web hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows you to host files on someone else's server.
You can upload your website files to that server, publish your site and have people visit it without having to worry about managing your hardware or dealing with various software systems.
There are many companies out there that offer web hosting services, some of which specialize in personal projects, while others cater more towards business clients.
When you sign up for web hosting, make sure you understand all of their terms and conditions before purchasing anything; paying more does not always mean getting better service, so do some research on what kind of company will work best for you.
3. Design Your Site
Whether you are going to build your site or hire a developer, you need to figure out what you want your site to look like. Start by writing down as many ideas as possible about what you want your site to do for your company and how it should look.
Think about what makes your business different from other companies and write down all of those things too. Once you have all of that information down on paper, start sketching out each page of a website one at a time until it is all sketched out in front of you on paper.
Next, think about which technology you want to use for your site. It is important to choose a technology that can be easily modified by someone who knows what they are doing and give you ways to update your content on it in a cost-effective way.
Once you have decided on a technology, such as Simple.ink, start building your sketches into wireframes and pages.
4. Pick An Easy-to-Use CMS
There are many options for website builders out there, which can be a little overwhelming. At their core, all of these services do much of the same thing—they let you create and design websites without having to know how to code—but some systems are easier to use than others.
Some of them also come with features and perks that will save you money over time. Some systems, like Notion, feature templates that make it easy to create your website without a developer.
Instead of writing code from scratch, you can easily drag and drop elements onto your site's dashboard. You can even publish on a custom domain, add unique widgets, and maintain an incredible page load speed and SEO standard with premium Notion website platforms like Simple.ink.
And instead of hosting your site on another company's servers, these two services offer integrated hosting, so you don't have to pay for hosting services separately.
These things may seem small when you're first starting, but they could end up saving you hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars over time, as well as making it easier for you to learn how to develop your site if/when that becomes a priority.
5. Launch Your Website
Before you hit publish, consider checking in with your team to make sure they're on board. As long as your website doesn't have any vulnerabilities, it's generally best to post it without warning.
If someone wants access before you launch, give them a date that you'll update it and ask them if they'd like to review it beforehand.
If possible, create a new address for your site so that there's no chance of people visiting while it's being developed. Once you've moved on from launching to fully owning your site, don't be afraid to change things up.
For more information on how to add integrations, set up payments or website analytics with a Notion website, check out this very comprehensive Simple.ink library.