Only about two-thirds of German companies have a website. However, according to a survey, 58 percent of SMEs without a website stated that they would like to be present online soon. And not without reason: customers increasingly use digital channels to find out about companies and expect answers, assistance and contacts from the company in the virtual space as well.
How to create your own website in 7 steps
Perhaps you are in the process of starting a new business or developing your own brand. Or you want to redesign your company’s outdated website. Regardless of your motivations, creating a new web presence can be an intimidating task, especially if there isn’t a lot of technical expertise or a budget available for web developers.
In this article we dedicate different CMS systems to website creation. Jump directly to the instructions:
This is how you succeed in creating a homepage
To help you safely and quickly create your own website despite possible IT fears, we’ve created this comprehensive guide. It walks you through the process step by step. Best of all: you don’t need programming skills, a web designer or a big budget. Just follow these seven steps to get started.
1. Choose a platform for your website
If you want to create a website, the first thing you need to do is find a CMS (content management system) that suits your business. Should it be a website builder or an open source CMS? There are numerous free or very affordable site builders like WordPress, Joomla or Jimdo that differ significantly. Therefore, weigh the pros and cons thoroughly before making a decision.
Consider, for example, whether you need a platform on which you can insert program code yourself, or whether you would prefer to avoid programming altogether. If you want your new website to support multiple languages, this also limits your choice.
You can also simply compare the templates provided by the various CMS providers, or see which offerings are within your desired price range. Once you’ve selected a suitable CMS, move on to the next step.
2. Choose a domain name and web hosting service
Select a web hosting service
A business can quickly look a bit windy if money is saved at the wrong end by not spending money on a domain name of your own. Let’s say you are looking for a freelance writer – rather choose the internet address Carolineforsey.weebly.com or carolineforsey.com?
A web address that ".weebly" or ".wordpress" shows that you don’t want to pay for the full service, which in turn can come across as stingy and unprofessional. Potential clients might assume you can’t afford full price because you haven’t really found your footing in your profession yet.
Fortunately, domain names don’t usually cost much, and there are several providers to choose from. Both GoDaddy.com as well as One.com are cheap, secure and effective options when buying a domain name and even offer additional benefits like SSL security and Office 365.
Choose domain names
Choosing a domain name can be a bit more difficult in some circumstances. You need a domain name that is as similar as possible to the name of your business. But given the myriad of websites out there today, the perfect name may already be taken.
If the ideal domain name is no longer available, you can try another extension. While the three most common endings are recommended .com, .net and .org, but if it suits your business, you could also use .en or .test store.
Try a few versions. When you pay for a domain name, you usually get associated email addresses as well. Therefore, make sure that you are happy with your domain name as an online identity as well.
3. Select a template for your website
No matter for which CMS platform or homepage construction kit you decide to use: Take time to browse through the design templates and templates offered, and pick what best suits your brand.
You can also find ideas in our article with 14 examples of excellent homepages.
At the end of the day, you know best what suits your business. Consider which template might be most appealing to your target audience.
Within your CMS, you can certainly refine the selection of templates for your industry using filter or search functions.
It is important that the template has a Responsive design has, so that your website is displayed flawlessly on all devices. When picking a template, you need to consider whether you want to use a static header or a slideshow header, and how many pages you need to accommodate in your menu bar. Don’t use fonts that are hard to read or background colors that are too obtrusive. You might distract website visitors from the core message.
Once you have selected a template, you should customize it. With a well-chosen design and feature set, you can convince website visitors that it’s worth a closer look. Most importantly, make sure your design makes sense to your ideal customer and contributes to the success of your product, rather than hindering it.
4. Add pages to your website
You should plan exactly which pages your homepage should contain. Depending on the industry and company, this varies greatly, but virtually all reputable websites have a home page and "About Us", "Legal Notice", "Services/Products", and "Contact Us" pages.
Of course, you can arrange or combine the page themes as you like. Regardless of the platform, you can usually add or remove pages easily. To get ideas, you can also visit the websites of other companies and see how their navigation bar is built and what pages are available.
At this point, you should also decide whether a blog could be useful, attracting new visitors to your site and providing a focal point for returning users – which can pay dividends for both your brand and customer loyalty.
5. Write content for your website
This is without a doubt the most important step. You now have a framework for your pages – now it’s time to decide what content you will fill them with.
It’s best to write drafts for pages like "About Us" and your landing pages first. Talk to colleagues and stakeholders – what message do you want to spread? What tone do you want to strike? Do you want to spread good mood with witty texts or rather inspire website visitors? Or maybe both?
If visitors, maybe by chance, land on your website – what would be the first questions they would have?
Imagine if your website was your only chance to have a conversation with a potential customer. The home page acts as an introduction: "Hello, we do XYZ"." On your "About Us" page, it gets more specific: "We are XYZ."On your product or service pages, there is room to highlight the unique selling points of your services and make offers: "Would you like to work with us?? Read here what advantages it brings you."
Using your landing pages to showcase what they offer, without any form of distraction. Place a clear call-to-action there: "Sign up here for a no-obligation consultation!" or "Try the product now".
At this point, it’s especially important that you know which keywords are best to use.
For example, if you sell eyeglass frames and find that "retro eyeglasses" are searched for more often than "vintage eyeglasses," you can use these insights to adjust the content on your homepage accordingly. You can find relevant keywords that match your target audience’s search queries using tools such as Google Keyword Planner.
If you ever run out of ideas for content, it’s worth taking a look at your competitors’ websites – what are other companies in your industry doing?? You can also use tools like BuzzSumo to find out which articles and other posts are currently most popular and shared a lot. To do this, simply enter your keyword ("glasses") and see what particularly moves readers on this topic at the moment.
6. Enter general settings
After adding relevant content to your pages, you can make them even easier to find by filling in the gaps in your CMS settings.
Don’t forget to enter a title and tagline in your homepage builder platform settings. Go through everything and check the URLs – have you thought about search engine optimization?
7. Install the necessary plugins
Last but not least, take a look at your website – is anything missing?? Ideally, your CMS platform or. Your homepage builder will have all the integrations you need – without any programming knowledge at all. If you run an online store, it’s a good idea to install a Shopify plugin as an extension.
You may also want your site to be extra secure so that customer data is protected. In this case, look for a plugin that offers firewall protection as well as protection against malware and other threats.
Browse your plugin library and select some plugins that will make your website a bit more effective.
When you’re done with that, click "Publish". Your website is now ready!
Homepage creation with Google Sites
Google Sites is a distinctly user-friendly platform for website creation. But this simplicity also means that fewer templates and tools are available. It’s best to use Google Sites to create a homepage for an event, for internal use by employees, or for your personal brand.
Because the tools and function are limited, Google Sites isn’t as well suited to hosting your company’s main website. Even if you are happy with a simple website for now, always consider that you may want to expand the content over time. And with Google Sites, that could be difficult.
Still, with Google Sites you have an incredibly fast and easy way to create a website. Another benefit is that you can share pages with other Google accounts, similar to Google Docs, so you can collaborate with others on a site.
The following four steps describe how to create a free Web page using Google Sites:
1. To create a website with Google Sites, go to https://sites.google.com/new. Then click on the red plus sign (+) in the bottom right corner.
2. Then select one of the listed designs on the right side of the page.
3. Now you can start adding content to your website. For example, under "Insert" we selected the "Text box" tool to add the title.
In the "Insert" panel, you will also find options to insert images or links, or to connect to Google Drive or Google Documents.
In the image, we’ve highlighted "Google Docs" – and clicked this button to embed the Google document "How to Take a Screenshot on Windows" into our landing page.
4. Once you are satisfied with your website, click on "Publish" in the top right hand corner.
How to create a website with wordpress
With over 500 new websites per day, WordPress is the fastest growing CMS. The popular solution offers a large library of templates and designs so you can create a custom homepage that fits your brand exactly. You can also select and compile plugins and widgets and use tools to monitor your SEO.
WordPress is easy to use and inexpensive. The versatility makes it a good solution for small businesses or bloggers.
If you want to create your website with WordPress, read here how to do it.
Please note: For simplicity, here we describe how to create a free WordPress website. Depending on the selected version, the platform may look different for you.
1. Call the page https://de.wordpress.com/create/and click on the blue button "Create your website".
2. Fill out the form in step 1 after signing up. Enter the name of your website, the themes and the priority goals.
3. Fill in the next form. Here you either enter a domain that you have already purchased, or you choose a domain right here. For this example, we chose the free option; however, we strongly recommend choosing a paid option to avoid looking unprofessional.
4. Choose a payment scheme to match your goals, budget, and business type.
5. Your website has now been created. A dashboard is available on the left, but you can also follow the step-by-step instructions provided on the landing page (z. B. "Upload a website icon").
6. It is best to first click on "Themes" in the dashboard on the left hand side next to "Customize".
7. You can browse themes or search for themes by typing in a search term. There are free and paid themes. Choose one – you can always change it later.
8. Next, click "Add" next to "Pages" in the dashboard and enter the content for a page on your site. On the right side, you’ll see the site’s settings, where you can select post images, page attributes, and more.
9. Lastly, explore the "Configure" section in your dashboard. Here you will find u.a. Settings and options for adding people to your WordPress website.
Here’s how to create a website with HubSpot
Finally, let’s take a look at how to create a website with HubSpot. If you’re already using the HubSpot CRM, it probably makes the most sense to create your homepage in HubSpot to integrate your sales and marketing needs in one place.
HubSpot offers a variety of plugins and extensions, thematic templates and tools for SEO analysis. This makes creating your own website especially easy and intuitive. We’ll show you how it’s done.
1. In your HubSpot portal, click "Content" in the dashboard at the top of the page. Then click on "landing pages".
2. Click on "Create landing page".
3. Now you will see the "Select template" page. Scroll through the options, find page templates or explore the Marketplace. When you have found a template you like, select it.
4. Enter a name for the page and click "Create Page".
5. This is your landing page. You can scroll over text boxes, images, or other elements to edit them.
6. You can also click on the "Edit Modules" tool on the left side of the screen and make the changes from there. For example, we chose "Service 2 Text," which brought us to the "Make it your own" paragraph on the landing page. Starting from the "Edit Modules" section, you can add text, images, sections, forms and more.
7. Once you’re happy with your landing page, go back to the dashboard, click "Marketing"> at the top of the screen "Website" and then click on "Website Pages.".
8. Click the orange "Create Website Page" button and enter a name for your page, just like you did for your landing page. Again, you select a template and add content to it. For a more detailed description, see the article "Brief overview of website pages".
9. If you want to include your social media accounts, click "Social Media" in the dashboard. You can monitor all your social media accounts directly from your HubSpot dashboard, and also post tweets, Facebook status updates and comments, Instagram images, and other content.
10. If you want to check the analytics for your website, navigate to "Reports" and then select "Analytics Tools". You need to install the tracking code – on the HubSpot platform, this is easily done by clicking on the orange "Install Tracking Code" button. If you need more information, read the article on the Install the HubSpot tracking code.
11. If you want to write blog articles, navigate to "Marketing"> in the dashboard "Website"> "Blog" to write, publish and monitor blog articles for your website.
This was a pretty broad and general overview of how to create a website with HubSpot. There are numerous features and tools you may want to explore with a HubSpot expert. Also, don’t miss out on the relevant webinars from the free HubSpot Academy – you’ll find lots of helpful video content on using HubSpot’s software here.
Bottom line: you can easily create a website without any knowledge of HTML and CSS
A Create website was a craft in itself just a few years ago. Without HTML and CSS skills this was almost impossible and a programmer had to be hired. Thanks to modern and intuitive homepage builders, however, this is a thing of the past and businesses can get their own homepage themselves with just a few clicks. CMS systems like Google Sites, WordPress and HubSpot allow you to do this easily and quickly without much prior IT knowledge.
Cover photo: VectorHot / getty images
Originally published on 18. June 2020, updated April 07 2021