TOPIC OF THE MONTH

BUILDING A WEBSITE 101

 

March 2017

 

This is the second of three articles relating to the basics of website building. My main reason for writing about this is simply to help clarify: 1) what is involved in building a website, and 2) to explain some of what New Milford Web Design is all about.

 

The first article of the series is available here.

 

THE BASICS OF WEBSITE BUILDING

 

I have been working on designing websites for nearly two decades. There have been some extremely successful websites accomplished during that time. And, there have been a dozen times more "less-than-I'd-care-to-brag-about" projects. Reality can take a toll on one's perspective. But, I've become a little wiser (and more patient) as the years pass.

 

When I started building websites there were ±1,117,255 websites on the web. Today, there are  ±1,171,193,875. We can safely say that whatever your business or web-aspiration – there's a bit more serious competition out there now than there was then. Statistics and numbers have always interested me. As best as I can figure it, about 100,000 domains expire daily from GoDaddy (alone). But, there are – on average – 150,000 domain transactions per day (including renewals) daily at GoDaddy as well... enough of the math! [About 75% of all registered websites are inactive.]

 

The actual "mechanics" of building a website are easy if you use a DIY-Website Builder, or you already know (at least a little) html. How easy is it. I'll simply share a video from WIX to explain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Did you watch the video?"

 

If "Yes" – continue.

 

If "No" – WATCH IT!

 

Herein lies the attraction.

 

"Yes" they are giving you the tool(s) to build your website. That is a wonderful thing. I actually like WIX. And, I've recommended them to numerous people when their particular web-project was a good fit for their web builder.

 

Keep in mind, it is "The Best Free Website Builder." That does not necessarily equate to being a FREE WEBSITE! If you want to use your own domain name, it will cost you $5/month. And, if you want to remove the "WIX" advertising from your site, it costs $10/month. And, if you use more than 2GB of bandwidth per month it will cost you $14/month.

 

Their most popular Plan is the Unlimited Entrepeneurs & Freelancers Package at $14/month.

 

That is (math again)... $168 per year.

 

Anyway, the cost(s) of a "Free Website Builder" is not the topic of this article.

 

The topic is "The Basics of Website Building."

 

So? Back to topic...

 

The real blood and guts of any website is "content." With an average of about ±50,000 websites going online each and every day, CONTENT is what will distinguish any website from it's competitors. It is the primary factor in determining appeal and rank within any given category.

 

Herein lies the problem.

 

WIX (or any other DIY-Site Builder) is not giving you "content." They are giving you (what is technically called "a wireframe" ) the framework/outline for your content – purely blank image slots and layout. They are giving you a wonderful toolbox – but no nails or wood to complete your project. You still need to come up with the words, the images and the overriding intent of the website yourself. And, THAT is why most people tend to fail on building their own websites. It is not as easy a task as many first assume it will/would be (and it is not as simple as the WIX video would like you to believe it is). Insult to injury? For those that do make it over the first hump (i.e. they actually do build a nice website) – there is the world of SEO and search engine ranking to then deal with.

 

Keep in mind, just because you build a website doesn't mean your website will ever be noticed by your potential site-visitors or even the search engines themselves. And, THAT is a totally different animal to contend with.

 

Herein lies the solution.

 

Before you even start to plan "how a website is going to look, navigate or rank" you need to consider what you want (and need) to express on your website pages. That involves compiling your "content." Images (photographs, graphics, etc.) are good. Words are best.

 

If you are having problems compiling your content, call the webstudio or set up for an appointment where we can meet and discuss your objectives and how far you are along in accomplishing them. I can offer some insights and guidance that can save a lot of sweat, worry and frustration. Sometimes it takes a few meetings to get it together. Sometimes it is short and sweet. Each website is different.

 

Always look at what your competitor (or a similar business/organization) is doing with their website. We can chart out how successful they are easily enough, and we can learn from them. I have an online analysis form that is helpful – simply ask about it.

 

In many instances, I personally write the copy for websites simply because I can do it quicker and more reliably than most of my clients can on their own. I write "for" your visitor audience and for the search engines. It is part of the optimization process. There are those rare instances where I actually get "perfect copy/text" from a client, but those instances are far and few between. That is not a criticism. I can do what I do well because I do it all the time.

 

The process is pretty simple. I always mention that your website "has to tell a story." That narrative is easy to transfer. You tell me what you do, what you sell, what services you offer – and I transpose that with the keywords, content, layout and stream process that works well on the web. The "words of that story" also are embedded into the structure of the web pages themselves via meta-tags, page titles and links. It is not a difficult process – but it can be time consuming. And, it is not something that works well with the DIY-widgets that you are going to find on "free" website builders.

 

Above all else, you want to make sure that your webpages are as "organic" as possible. In simple terms that means telling "your story" clearly, making sure pages have reasonable load times, and that your website's reach is being extended to the right audience.

 

If you would like to discuss anything on this page, or have a particular project in mind, please feel free to contact the webstudio directly.