If you’re building a website, then let’s face it – you probably want it finished as quickly as possible!
We all know the importance of having a strong online presence, and a great website is a huge part of that. Building a website, however, takes skill, experience, and time. It’s certainly not something you can (or should!) rush.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the different ways you can approach building a website: whether that’s from scratch, or adapting an existing one. We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step so that you’ll feel empowered to make the right call, providing you with insider knowledge on details such as how long it should take, and how much building a website should cost.
Before you’re ready to start building your website, there are a lot of elements that need to be aligned first. It’s no use jumping straight into the build if you haven’t mastered the following…
Purpose – What is the purpose of your website? Think carefully about why you want to build a website. It’s not enough to simply know that you should have a website, at least not if you want your website to be a success.
Do you need your website to be ecommerce based, allowing you to sell your products directly to customers? Or perhaps you want it to be content-rich, full of informative resources and articles?
Take time to think about what you want to offer users, and why you envision them visiting your website.
Content – Before you start building your website, you need to make sure that you’ve actually got some content to go on there. Website content can be anything from text, blog posts, and headers to images, videos, and animations.
Plan out what pages you want your website to include, and the content that each page will host. If you have a strong structural and content plan, then building your website will be much easier – and far less time-consuming!
Creating your content before building your website means that you’ll avoid holding up the website build if certain pages aren’t ready to be published.
Functionality – Creating a great user experience is crucial if you want your website to be functional, and to rank well in online search results. You therefore need to determine exactly what functions and actions your website needs to perform.
There’s no one size fits all approach here. Instead, you need to think carefully about how you imagine users engaging with your website. For example, you may decide you want to keep it incredibly simple with just a few basic landing pages presenting the information to users.
Alternatively, you may decide that you want an all-singing, all-dancing website full of exciting animations, parallax scrolling, and pop-ups.
Whatever it is you want your website to do, you’ll need to know before you embark on building it. Changing your mind or having to redo steps of the building process will be costly and time-consuming.
Branding – Branding includes everything from your company name, logo, and tone of voice to the colors and fonts you use across all of your outward-facing material.
You may already have a strong brand created, but if you don’t, you’ll need to decide on all of the above before you build your website. You can then incorporate your brand throughout your website build, using the correct colors, fonts, and images to accurately present your brand and USPs (unique selling points).
One way to build your website is by using a website builder. Using a website builder is the quickest way to build your website, and is simple and easy for beginners.
Website builders, such as Wix or Squarespace, work by offering you various website templates to choose from. They’re super straightforward to use, and you can customize your chosen template to ensure that your website looks – and performs – how you want it to.
The aim of website builders is to simplify the building process as much as possible for beginners. You don’t need to know or use code, and can instead customize your website template using drag-and-drop block builders and visuals.
Using a website builder is an ideal option for those who want their website built as quickly as possible, and who require a simple build process with a template already in place. Most website builders also provide great customer help and support, should you come up against any problems whilst creating.
Website builders are often a good choice for those who are working with a limited budget, as they offer various monthly subscription plans depending on your situation.
It’s worth noting, however, that website builders do have some limitations. You’ll be using a template already in place, meaning that you’ll have to stick creatively to what the template can provide – you can’t create a custom design from scratch.
Using a website builder to create a website is quick and easy if you follow these simple steps:
- Choose the right website builder for you.
- Sign up for the subscription plan that works for you.
- Choose and purchase your domain name.
- Select your template.
- Customize your template.
- Add your content.
- Install any additional apps, such as contact forms and social media icons.
- Preview your website, check you’re happy with how it looks and functions.
- Publish your website.
|Pros of using a website builder||Cons of using a website builder|
|Easy to use for beginners.||Limitations on how much creative control you actually have.|
|Quick to create. You can have your website complete within a day.||Some options – such as Squarespace – can have limited ecommerce functionality.|
|Budget-friendly options available.||Some website builders can fill the backend of a website with code, impacting your site’s SEO performance.|
|Customizable templates allow you to add your own branding and creative ideas.|
One to two days
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders out there – but it’s a little more complicated than other builders like Wix or Squarespace.
WordPress is essentially a Content Management System (CMS) where you can organize and upload content. A WordPress website does tend to require a little more set-up and maintenance than other website builders. But once you’ve got to grips with it, the interface is super easy to use.
WordPress is arguably the best option if you intend for your website to host a large amount of content. If you’re creating a blog or article-based site, WordPress’s CMS capabilities can’t be matched.
You’ll need to purchase your domain name and web hosting elsewhere, and then link the two together. You can select a web host such as Bluehost or InMotion to host your website for you. A website host is basically a place to ‘store’ your website on the internet.
Building a website via WordPress and then using a web host will normally take a few days, as you’ll need to wait to ensure that everything is connected and running as it should be before you hit publish.
WordPress also has various design and creative capabilities, and offers multiple plug-ins that you can install to customize the look and experience of your website.
Creating a website on WordPress is easy:
- Sign up to WordPress and select your payment plan.
- Buy a hosting plan.
- Choose and buy a domain name.
- Install your WordPress website.
- Choose and customize a theme.
- Install plug-ins.
- Publish your website.
|Pros of using WordPress with a web host||Cons of using WordPress with a web host|
|Organizes and manages large volumes of content.||Frequent changes to themes and plug-ins mean you’ll need to keep on top of updates.|
|Customizable themes.||You don’t get full creative control – rather, you’ll need to use a theme.|
|Various plug-ins you can select to improve the user experience of your website.||Too many plug-ins can impact the load speed of your website.|
|Built-in SEO features.|
An alternative to using a website builder to create your website is to hire a website designer or design agency to do it for you.
A web design agency will take on the whole project for you from start to finish, and will work closely to your brief and requirements.
If you’ve got a large budget and need a fully customized and bespoke website, this is the option for you. Choosing to work with a web design agency allows you to hand over the stress of building a website – though you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets!
Web design agencies such as Hibu are experienced in creating websites on various platforms. Usually, building a website with an agency will take around six weeks, and you’ll need to factor in time to go over any amends from the first draft.
If you think that working with a web design agency is the best way to build your website then you’ll need to:
- Find the right agency for you.
- Create a brief and requirements for your website.
- Arrange an initial meeting to discuss your brief and fees etc.
- Hand over content and control to the agency you’ve chosen.
- Go over the first draft of your website and send over any amends.
- Approve your website design and content.
- Publish your website.
|Pros of using a web design agency||Cons of using a web design agency|
|You can create a fully customized and bespoke website.||Using a web design agency is typically always more costly than doing it yourself.|
|There’s no stress or labour for you.||You may need to go through multiple rounds of amends to get it right.|
|You can benefit from the advice and experience of web design experts.||Can take a long time depending on the workload of the agency you choose.|
Building a website takes time. Even those that look simple will have gone through various stages and iterations before they were published.
There’s no set time for how long it will take you to build a website. Rather, it will all depend on how you choose to build it, how many pages it includes, and what functions and customizations you require.
As a guide, though, we predict that the following timeframes should give you an idea of what to expect when building your website:
Using a website builder: six hours
Using WordPress with a web host: one to two days
Using a web design agency: six weeks