How to start a website in 2020?

Looking back to the start of the last decade, when asked how to start a website, my answer was that they should go to a professional website developer and contact a hosting company for the best hosting offer suited to their needs.

Times are changing and if you ask me the same question today, well, I would answer that modern website content management systems can enable absolutely anyone to publish an appealing and for all intents and purposes a successful website.

How to start a new website step-by-step guide

I would like to note that this guide is aimed at total beginners, though veteran website makers could pick-up some useful tips I am sure. My point is that anyone can use this guide to create a website in under an hour.

What is a website?

A website is a way to communicate your experiences (blog), products (webshop) or services (company presentation), and a way to own an online presence for yourself or your business.

Website topic can be just about anything, as the website will enjoy global accessibility and a global audience, so any website can enjoy hundreds of thousands of website visitors.

However, note that your website content must be produced wholeheartedly, as a true manifestation of the desire to connect with the audience, for it to be successful.

In addition, most websites have a blog with a “comments” section where readers can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your readers in the comments section helps to further the connection between the blogger and the reader, but it also can give valuable information about your audience.

Create a website under an hour

Firstly, I will note the steps needed to start a website, and later I will elaborate on each of them with additional tips I am sure you will enjoy:

  1. Choose a domain name for your website, and register it with a domain registrar.
  2. Choose a hosting service for your website, preferably one that offers website templates.
  3. Choose a website template and customize it with your content (text, images, media … etc.).
  4. Write a post or two and publish them to enrich your website with more content.
  5. Promote your website by sharing it on social media and other websites.

The last two steps (4 and 5) are actually additional steps that you can repeat regularly to improve your website domain authority inside your business niche.

Now, let me give you more details and insights.

Step 1: Choosing the domain name for your website

When choosing a domain name for your website you should aim for a short and memorable domain name that will be original but also easy to type or speak so that your visitors will have no problem communicating it to their friends.

It would be a positive thing if the domain name is descriptive so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about. If you intend to blog about a specific topic then you may want to include that some way in your blog name.

The domain name is not an SEO hard factor anymore, because search engines have gotten “smarter” and now they read your website content.

Still, the choice of the domain extension is important, depending on if you are aiming for a local or global target audience.

You should get a gTLD if you aim for a global audience, though for a local (region or language speaking) audience you should get a specific ccTLD. The reason behind this is that search engines favor ccTLD in local search.

Step 2: Choose a hosting service

First, when choosing a hosting service, our main focus is that you get one that will provide enough resources for your website, though it is imperative to get one that provides website templates, albeit beautiful and optimized ones (with integrated website builder) so that you can build your website fast.

Second, our opinion is that in 2020 you should aim for a managed hosting service that includes backup, software updates, and optimizations managed by hosting staff so you do not have to worry about website working properly and focus yourself on website content.

An alternative to getting a hosting service with an integrated website templates and builder is to get WordPress hosting or deploy WordPress yourself, which is not a daunting task and can be done relatively easily.

If this is the case, then feel free to follow this guide on How to deploy WordPress to your website.

For this particular site, our recommendation would be as this is a managed hosting service with WordPress and an excellent front-end website builder “Elementor”.

Step 3: Choose a website template

Explaining this step in-depth may seem trivial, though I would beg to differ.

Telling you to use a website template that looks like the most appealing to you may be expected, but I would note that besides aesthetics you also must think of your website performance.

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A website template that is overrun by front and background images, video clips running in the background and overall too much media will make for a poor website as it would load very slowly.

Our best advice here is to wage the website looks with performance, and choose one that is somewhere in the middle ground. One that both looks pleasing and performs admirably.

Step 3: Customize the deployed template with your content

As mentioned in the previous step, overburdening your homepage or any page with too much visual content can have a negative impact on your website page loading speed, but may also look distracting to visitors.

Exercise moderation when adding content to your website pages, and try to leave a functional yet stylish look for every single page, albeit a blog post or contact page.

In case we are talking about WordPress themes, do know that multipurpose themes that may look very good on promotional slides may be poor performers because they have too many scripts and plugins running under all that glitz.

Instead, when choosing a WordPress theme, be sure to look at user reviews as well as date or release and last update to the theme so you make sure it is not an abandoned theme that has lost developer support.

For all intent or purposes, the Twenty Sixteen is one of the basic though most popular WordPress themes that can deliver everything you need from a website with a few additional plugins included.

Step 4: Write and publish content

The content management system (CMS) or website builder which you are now using to build your website will definitely provide a solution to “post” and “publish” content, albeit the website builder or WordPress.

Writing and publishing content is as easy as opening a new post, writing and adding appropriate images.
When writing and publishing content you should follow a few simple rules that can help you produce quality content:

  • Write from personal experiences. Everyone has lessons they have learned through life experience. Sharing this knowledge can be incredibly helpful to others in similar situations.
  • Write about personal interests. Hobbies or other interests you are passionate about are a great way to find quality content to write about.
  • Write about things people do on a daily basis. This is a great way to share your thoughts with the world without having to stick to just one topic. You may find that many people share the same thought pattern and would enjoy reading what you have to say.

SEO and content quality dictate to an extent that a blog post should have at least 500 words, clear form with title and subheadings, and images or graphics as an illustration.

Step 5: Promote your website

Now that you have published some content, the easiest way to promote your content is to share it with your friends on social media, though after your website picks up traction you may want to work on your website social media presence.

This means at a later stage you should have an official presence on every major social and work on building up a community around it.

The best kind of promotion is always by word of mouth, and what will happen if your website content is top-notch.

Besides getting new readers to your website you will also want to make sure your regular readers are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role.

By running polls and quizzes, collect the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), so you can then notify them when you post something new on your blog. 

Conclusion and final question: Should you start a website with a blog even if you are not a website developer?

The short answer is yes because today people visit websites to get a personal perspective on things, and consequently many modern bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.

Arguably, you don’t need to be a true expert on a specific topic in order to have a successful blog. What this means is that many internet users today visit a website to get short and complete information about a topic but they do not want to read a novel.
All they want to hear is the experiences of someone who has actually had a specific experience even with some real mistakes and caveats mentioned so they could potentially have a similar experience and without the same issues.

Feel free to post comments ask for additional clarification or help on a specific detail.