How to Design a Website: A Beginner’s Guide

Aaron von Frank / January 10, 2019

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Are you learning how to design a website? If you’re a beginner who has never done this before, don’t worry. This guide can help you design an attractive, high-performing, cost-effective website faster than you ever thought was possible.

Step 1: Picking a domain, host, and security tools

Before you begin designing your website, you need a domain name (www.myawesomewebsite.com) that is properly “hosted.” A website host refers to the company that provides the servers that store your website and make it accessible to anyone on the web.

One way to obtain a domain name, host, and world-class security features is to use WordPress.com. However, if you’re more technically inclined and want to choose your own hosting provider (also known as “self-hosting”), you might want to check out WordPress.org.

Now, you’re ready to start designing your website!

Step 2: Choosing the look and feel of your site

A rock band, a sushi restaurant, and an architecture firm have different needs and design aesthetics for their respective websites. If you don’t have web design experience, trying to design your own website from scratch will likely be a long and painful process that doesn’t yield great results.

The good news is that getting a beautiful, professionally designed website that fits your unique brand is possible. WordPress.com makes the process accessible by allowing you to pick from hundreds of customizable themes.

There are both free and paid themes available for virtually any business type or style preference imaginable. Thankfully, it’s also easy to find responsive WordPress.com themes, which means that your website will automatically format itself to fit across any screen size, including mobile devices, tablets, or desktop computers.

Since WordPress.com themes are created by professional web designers, your site will look like it was designed by a professional.

Step 3: Creating your site content

“Content” refers to the parts of your site that only you can create; primarily:

  • The “copy” (written words) for each site page and blog post
  • Any photos, videos, or other intellectual property on your site

How do you determine what your brand voice is? How do you make sure the copy on your site is succinct and professional? Here are two articles that might help you answer these questions:

  1. Seven Brand Voice Tips for Your Website
  2. Five Tips for Writing Better Web Copy

It’s also important to note that your content may vary greatly depending on its purpose. For instance, a “Testimonials” page will highlight snippets of glowing customer reviews, whereas an “Our Services” page might delve into technical details about what you do, while guiding a visitor toward the next step in your sales funnel.

Don’t neglect any of the steps above. Each is critical to the overall design and functionality of your website. One final tip: before publicly promoting your website, have trusted friends and mentors review it to provide constructive criticism and feedback.

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