Build it yourself. This is the first option. If you have a website-building application like Adobe Dreamweaver, it is not very difficult to create a website from scratch. You might need to do some coding but don't panic! HTML looks complicated, but it's like listening to Shakespeare—it's hard at first, but once you get the feel of it, it's not that difficult.
A good SEO strategy will organically move you to the top of the search results. With Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, you’ll take matters more into your own hands by paying to land atop the searches. The best part? You only have to pay for premium placement if someone clicks on your link. You choose the keywords you want to bring up your ad, and you can set and limit your own budget.
There are even some advantages to not hiring a designer and using a website builder – beyond the money you’ll save. If you build your own website, you’ll have a complete understanding of how it works, and, you’ll be able to fix any issues that may arise after you’ve published. That’s yet more money saved down the line, versus hiring a contractor to fix issues.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Top tip: Don’t just test your website yourself. You will be blind to some of its faults. Plus, you know how your site is supposed to work, so while you might find navigating it easy that’s not to say a stranger will. Get a fresh perspective. Ask family members and friends to test your site and give feedback. If they’re anything like our family and friends they won’t be afraid of offering criticism.
Thanks for the article Jermey. I was looking into making a site that serves dual functions. I wanted to create an entertainment news site that also functions as an online business. I purchased a subscription with godaddy for an online shop, but the templates are pretty bland and the customization is dreadful. Is there a site you could recommend for something like that?
Test your website. When you finish your website, do usability testing. You can do this by asking a few friends or family members to try it out. Give them a specific task like "edit your profile" or "buy an alpaca sweater from the bargains page." Sit behind them and watch them navigate—do not help them. You will likely find areas where you need to improve navigation or clarify some instructions. Alternately use something like zurb.com to user test on specific demographics for different types of engagement. When testing a website in 2014 it's becoming important to keep the platform in mind and make sure the website is usable from smartphones and tablets as well as desktops.
Keep in mind that when you change the style of an element, it will apply to all elements of that type. In other words, if you make one Horizontal Line Element orange, all of your Horizontal Line Elements will be orange. If you choose the font “Montserrat” for your paragraph text, all of your Text Elements will use that font. This helps keep everything consistent.
This is a massive plus of website builders compared to web developers. A web developer can cost between $300 and $1,000 for template customization alone, and a fully customized website built from scratch will often amount to thousands. Making your own website using a builder, meanwhile, allows you to get a fully functioning website up and running for less than the price of a coffee.