What You Need to Build a Website – The Definitive Checklist

Last updated on February 21, 2019

what-it-takes-to-build-a-website-checklistI love checklists.

It’s not because I have an obsessive-compulsive need to lay out a detailed plan for everything I do – okay fine… I do, but it’s not why I like it.

It’s because checklists are great at simplifying complicated or overwhelming projects like building a website  into easily manageable steps.

Everything is nicely laid out for you like an organized roadmap – so it takes away all the guesswork out of building your website.

If you feel completely lost and don’t know where to start when it comes to building a website, you’ve come to the right place.

This checklist will show you exactly:

  1. What you need to get started with a website, and
  2. What you don’t need and probably never need for your website.

If you’ve already done some research and have a rough idea what it takes to build a website, this checklist can help you find out if you missed anything (just in case).  We’ve also linked to some awesome guides to make sure you get off to a good start!


What You “Think You Need” vs What You “Actually Need” to Build a Website.

One of the biggest mistake people make when building his or her first website is trying to do too much.

What you end up with is an endless list of things you need to do and things you need to pay for.

Soon you are overwhelmed and end up doing nothing – does this sound familiar?

We know this because we’ve been there before.  We were completely paralyzed by endless questions and options when we were building our first website.

After making our fair share of mistakes, we learned that you should just get started with the bare basics to build a website, and add more features as your website grows.

Why? Because “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

you-don't-know-what-you-don't-knowConsider This: Have you ever packed for a vacation to a place you’ve never been to, and for weather / climates you have little experiences with?

Last year we went to a Caribbean island for a vacation. We rarely travel to destinations that are humid and scorching hot, where we feel like we need a shower after stepping outside for just 3 minutes.

We wanted to do a bunch of water sports (paddle boarding, snorkeling, jet skiing, etc.)

Like any excited vacationer, we went out and bought a bunch of aqua outfits (such as rash guards, aqua shoes) and gears we thought we needed.

We felt pretty smart, as buying this sort of stuff on a remote island is going to cost an arm and a leg for sure!

Sure enough, half of the stuff we bought we never used.  

We thought we needed all the gear and outfits (based on what we saw on TV, some websites, etc.)

Hey, we just didn’t know any better – I’m sure this happens to everyone at some point, right?

Just like packing for a vacation to a new place, how do you know what features and tool you will actually use for your very first website?

  • Will you waste time and money on creating a website with tools and features you won’t end up using?
  • Will you spend hard earned money on a custom website design and advanced features, and only to find out later that they don’t work for your target audience?
  • Will you end up re-designing your website because your custom design didn’t work, only to pray that the new design will give you better results?

Here’s the embarrassing thing – we were guilty of all 3 points when we first started out!

After building more than a dozen different types of websites, we learned a golden rule when starting your first website:

What you think you want is often DIFFERENT than what you actually need.

So, start with a basic version of the website you think you need.

Test to see what works and what doesn’t on your website with minimal time and cash investment.

Once you know what works, you can then invest smartly on your website.


Checklist – What You Need to Build a Website

If you want a website where you are not accepting any payments online (not an online store), don’t need the capability for people to book appointments online, or managing paid members, you will find the bare basics below are often enough for you to build a good, functional website to get you started.


#1 Get a Domain Name


A domain name is often the first thing you need when starting a website. It is your digital address that people will use to get connected to your website.

For example, the domain name for this website is www.websitebuilderexpert.com.

Some popular domain name providers are GoDaddy and NameCheap. You can easily check if the name you want is available and how much it will cost, which is usually around $10 – $20 per year.

We have an ABC Guide to Domain Names for Beginners where you will learn everything you need to know picking, purchasing and registering your domain name.

Specifically, you can find out the “difference between free vs paid domain names”, or “Are domain name and website separate things?”, and much more.


#2 Get a Business Email Address

I am a believer of business email address for anyone who is serious about building a business.


There is nothing more effective in crushing your website’s or your business’ credibility with emails like “abccompany@aol.com” or “fitnesscoach@gmail.com”.

The first question that pops into my mind is – “wow, they can’t even afford $5 a month on a business email? This doesn’t look very professional. Is their service or product even reliable?

I know that sounds harsh and judgmental, but that’s how a lot of people think!

It’s not easy to build trust and gain credibility on the internet. When I see businesses using free email accounts for their business website, it really makes me question how robust and trustworthy is the business.

This creates unnecessary doubt that you really don’t need – especially if you are starting a new business.

Sure, if I already know your business and I’ve been using your service for years, I can care less about what email address you use.

However, that is not always the case – most of your website visitors will be finding more about you for the first time. They won’t have a prior relationship with you, so there is more room for doubt.

So, long story short, if you are serious at building a website that can help you attract new customers and grow your business, get a business email address with your website domain name. It’s very easy (and cheap) to get set up with Google’s G Suite.

Once you have a domain name, you use it to can create a business email like jonathan@ABCcompany.com.


#3 Choose a Website Building Software


A website builder software is what you use to build your website.

Some of the more popular web builders that you might have heard of are WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.

I love using website builder software even though I can code up a website from scratch using just a Note Pad.


Because it is just so mind-blowingly easy!

Why give myself more work when I can take a short cut and still create a very professional website?

Depending on your skills level and what complex features you want on your website, some website builders will work better than the other.

Here are some of the most popular website builders, and what we think about them:

  1. Wix: Best All-Around Website Builder: They have the most features and tools when it comes to drag & drop website builders. Whether you need an online booking tool, insert video backgrounds, or want to create an online store, Wix has you covered.
  2. Squarespace: Best Design Oriented Website Builder: Their design templates are so good, they can make your website look as if you custom designed it.
  3. Weebly: Easiest to Use Website Builder: They’ve made it so easy for you to use, you can build a really good website even if you are deathly afraid of technology!
  4. WordPress: Most Flexible Website Builder: You can customize your website to your heart’s content, but WordPress is not easy to learn for beginners.  

Here is a handy table we’ve put together that compares WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly (click on image to see a full-sized image):


Click on image to see full-sized image

Pro Tip: WordPress is no doubt the most flexible and power website builder on the list. Even so, WordPress is, in my opinion, not something I will suggest for people with no or limited technology skills, or for those who have never owned a website before.

Why? Because WordPress has a much higher learning curve and setup costs than any fully managed website building software like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

WordPress also don’t offer you a dedicated support team, whereas drag & drop website builders do.

I will only recommend using WordPress (aka self-hosted website builders) if:

  1. This is not your first website (assuming you are somewhat familiar with the technical aspects of building websites, including some coding knowledge).
  2. If you have very specific design or software need that only WordPress can provide.
  3. If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Otherwise, I would suggest to start with any drag & drop website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Useful Resources:


#4 Get Website Hosting


A host is the storage unit where your website content lives online.

Whenever someone enters your domain name in a web browser, the browser will fetch your website content from your website host.

The type of hosting you choose depends on how many visitors you have coming to your website.

The cost of your hosting will increase when more people visit your website as you will need to upgrade from basic to advanced hosting.

There are 4 general types of website hosting:

  1. Shared Hosting: You are sharing a server with other websites. Imagine you are renting a small dorm room back in college. You get your own room, but you are sharing the common areas like the kitchen, living room and etc.
  2. VPS Hosting: You are still sharing a server with other websites, but you get more capacity to handle more visitors. Imagine that you upgraded to an apartment in a residential building. You are still sharing the building, but you now have the entire apartment all to yourself, separated from other people.
  3. Dedicated Hosting: You have a server all to yourself and don’t need to share. Now you are renting an entire building. This is often used by very large, enterprise level websites. For the rest of us, you will most likely never need dedicated hosting.
  4. Free Hosting: This is provided for all fully managed drag & drop website builder we mentioned above.

If this is your first website using a self-hosted website builder like WordPress, it is hard to know how much traffic you will have. So I recommend that you start with Shared Hosting.

Once you get a better idea how many visitors you get a month and how fast your traffic is growing, you can always upgrade to VPS hosting.

If you are using a fully managed website builder like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly, you don’t have to worry about hosting. They manage the entire hosting aspect for you so that frees up your time (and technical headaches) to do other things.

No matter how many visitors you get, they will have you covered and your monthly cost will never increase as long as you keep with the same monthly plan.

Basic Hosting (for WordPress):

There are lots of website hosting providers out there. Bluehost is a great candidate to get started with. They have very affordable shared hosting plans that won’t break the bank.

Advanced Hosting (for WordPress):

For larger websites that demand faster loading speed and more hands-on support, check out WP Engine. It is a fully managed hosting provider which means they handle the security and software installation for you. If you are looking for more advanced, highly-tuned, dedicated WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine is excellent and has top notch customer service.


#5 Choose a Website Template Design


A website template is a pre-made website design that allows you to have a professional-looking website without the need of hiring a website designer.

It gives you a quick, easy and economical way to create your website design.

When you are starting with your first website, I don’t recommend hiring a website designer and spend thousands on a custom design website.


Because successful websites are built around real data on how your audience experience your brand, what are their interests, and how they interact with your website.

Without this critical information, how would you know what actually works and what doesn’t?  Your custom design, based on what YOU think, is just guesswork. 

You are potentially wasting thousands of dollar on a custom website design that most likely will not entirely pay off.

We have firsthand experiences with building a custom website too early, and that is why we recommend to always start with an inexpensive pre-made website template to test what you actually works and what you really need in your website design.

If you are using a self-hosted website builder, like WordPress, you can find great WordPress templates at WooThemes and Mojo Marketplace.

If you are using a fully managed website builder (Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly), they will provide you with free website template designs. Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

Useful Resources:


#6 Logo Design

Using a Logo is a great way to help create a brand for your business and website.

There are 2 ways you can create your own business logo – even if you’re not great at design, or if you don’t know how to use any image editing tools:

Option 1: Hire a graphic designer: 99 Designs gives you access to 950,000+ designers.  You can post a logo design project and just wait for graphic designers all over the world to apply for your project. You only pay if you like the final results – but it may not be the cheapest option.

Option 2: Use a logo generator to create your own logo in 1 minute: Logo generators allow you to create professional logos without any graphic design skills. It is a great option if you:

  • Don’t have time to post an ad, interview designers and wait weeks to get a design back (which you won’t even know if you like or not).
  • Don’t have a big budget to spend hundreds of dollars on a custom logo.
  • Don’t have any design chops or can’t use image editors like Photoshop to create your own logo.
  • Don’t need a one-of-kind logo design, but still need a professional-looking logo.

Squarespace logo generator (free) and Tailor Brands (paid) are two of the best logo generators we have tested.

Useful Resource:

How to Make a Logo in 1 Minute – Without Any Design SkillsLearn how you can create professional logos without using fancy (and complicated) image editors like Photoshop.


#7 High-Quality Images for Website

There is a secret to creating a professional-looking website without hiring a website designer.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s using high quality, unique images! Not rocket science, right?

Yes, using high-quality graphics and photography is the easiest way to help make your website look 100x better.

When you see a website that has fuzzy images of fake stock models, doesn’t that impact your perception or confidence in the website or the business it represents?

Of course, they do!

Not everyone is a gifted photographer (certainly not me), so finding professional images for your website can be a challenge.

No need to panic, though…. Here are some awesome sources where you can find beautiful images to boost the professionalism of your website:

Useful Resource:

Not sure which of the website above works best for your website? Take a look at this guide where we go over the pros and cons of each of these image resources. This will save you some time in deciding which website you should focus on.


#8 Image Editors

An image editor is one of the most useful (and basic, must have) tools any website owner can have – especially if you don’t have the luxury of hiring a good graphic designer.

(Sidenote: if you have a good budget to hire a designer, here is a guide on how to hire designers the right way.)

Even if you don’t have a graphic intensive website, you still need to crop, rotate or resize images at some point.

Professional image editors like Photoshop are expensive and hard to use. For most website owners, it’s quite a financial and time commitment (or burden) to learn how to use Photoshop effectively.

This is where using Free Online Based Image Editors are great options.

True, they cannot do everything the full version of Photoshop can. But they are good enough to allow you to easily crop, rotate, re-size and re-format images.

Here are some free editors we like:

  • BeFunky: Best all round image/photo/graphic editor. It’s super intuitive to use and have lots of preset tools that make editing ridiculously simple. It has all the features offered by PicMonkey and most of Pixlr’s advanced tools with none of the complexity. It will be the last image editor you will ever need.
  • Pixlr: Best Photoshop-like Editor. Great alternative to Photoshop. What it lacks in preset tools it makes up for its flexibility and advanced Photoshop-like tools. It does have a slight learning curve, so it may not be for everyone.
  • PicMonkey: Simplest to use. It is great for touching up portraits or creating quirky ads, banners, business / gift / greeting cards and more. While PicMonkey doesn’t have as many features as BeFunky or Pixlr, their tools are idiot-proof. You can literally color outside of the lines and still get a great result.

Here is a comprehensive discussion on each of these image editors, and what they’re good / bad at.

Give them a try to see which on you enjoy working with!  All of them are pretty high quality, free image editors.

#9 Get Google Analytics

google-analyticFor anyone who is serious about their business / website and have the ambition of growing the number of visitors year after year, you will need Google Analytics.

It is the data analytics tool you need to understand how your visitors are interacting with your website.

You can find out how many people are on your website, which page they visit the most, how long they stay on each page, which page do they visit next, which page do most visitors exit, etc.

All such data can be used to help you understand your visitor better and know which pages you need to improve.

For instance, if a specific page is highly visited, but the visitors don’t stay around for very long (compared to your overall website average) and it is an important page, then you can examine why this is the case, so you can improve your page.

Such data can give you incredible insights about how your visitors behave and surf your website so you can make improvements. This is especially important given you can’t physically see or speak with your visitors (like in a real physical store).

While Google analytics cannot give you ALL the information you need to improve your website, but it is a good place to start.

All the drag & drop website builders we discussed above (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly) have tutorials on how to get your Google Analytics set up on your website.

If you want to use WordPress, I recommend Google Analytics by MonsterInsights plugin.


Checklist Re-cap

Key Takeaways:

90% of the non-ecommerce websites can be built with just these 9 things – it is that simple.

This is especially true if you’re building a simple company website where you are not:

  • Selling anything online, or
  • Allowing your customers to make appointments online, or
  • Creating a paid membership website.

Use our resource list below to find all the tools you will need and you can get started right away.

Service Provider Resource List:

  1. Domain Names: GoDaddy & NameCheap
  2. Custom Email Addresses: Google G Suite
  3. Website Builders:
    • Wix – Best overall website builder with most tools and features
    • Squarespace – Best design-focused website builder
    • Weebly – Easiest to use website builder
    • WordPress – Most flexible (but quite challenging if you’re not tech savvy)
  4. Website Hosting (for WordPress): Bluehost & WP Engine
  5. Website Templates: Free templates from drag & drop website builders. For WordPress, see WooThemes & Mojo Marketplace
  6. Logo Design Generator: Squarespace Logo Generator (Free) & TailorBrands (Paid)
  7. High-Quality Images: See this page for a collection for free and paid images.
  8. Image Editors: Here are a few free image editors
  9. Google Analytics: See how your visitors are behaving on your website with Google Analytics.
Now that you know what you need to build a website, what are you waiting for? Start Building Your Site Today! Or if you’re thinking of building an ecommerce website, check out our article on the Best Ecommerce Platforms to find out more.

What You Need to Build a Website – The FAQs

What is a domain name and why do you need one?

Your domain name is your digital address that people will use to access your website. You need one so that people can find you and get connected to your site.

How do you purchase a domain name?

You can purchase a domain name through your website builder or through third party such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.

Going through a third party is a good option as it’s much more versatile in the long run should you decide to change website builders.

What is hosting?

A website host is basically where you content lives online.

If you choose a drag and drop website builder, you won’t have to worry about this as they all include hosting (even on their free plans!).

What do you use Google Analytics for?

Google Analytics is a great tool to help you understand your customers and how they are interacting with your website. You can find out which of your pages are most visited and how long visitors spend on each page.

It can really help you improve your website and ultimately boost your bottom line!

How do you choose a website builder?

We recommend trying out 2 or 3 website builders before coming to a final decision. Think about things such as price, ease of use, template designs and how that website builder can help you grow your site.

Which website builder is the easiest to use?

If you’re looking for a really easy to use editor, Weebly is great. You can build a stunning website even if you’re really not good with technology.

Which website builder has the best templates?

Squarespace is the most design-oriented website builder. All their templates have the ability to give your website a beautiful and professional feel – all with minimal effort from you!

What is the best all-round website builder?

When it comes to drag and drop website builders, Wix has the most features and tools. Their App Market allows you to give your website advanced functionality such as the integration of social channels and email forms.

Found This Guide Helpful?

Question – Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this guide? Send them this page or click on the share buttons on the left.

You’ll be helping us out by spreading the word about our website, and you’ll be helping them out!



About Connie

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.



About Connie

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

Leave a Reply

105 Responses to What You Need to Build a Website – The Definitive Checklist

  1. #

    Awesome article. Got almost everything I needed to know. Good job.

    • Charlie Carmichael

      Hi Yannick,

      Thanks, we’re glad you found it so useful. Feel free to share the article on your social media – you never know who else it may help!


  2. #

    Fantastic content and very helpful! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  3. #

    Great resources on what you need to start a new website. This short checklist tutorial is very useful. I will definitively recommend to friends as well to check out. I wanted to mention as well, for any webmaster. To think in security as well, don’t let your website get compromised later! Stay on top of it!

    • Lucy Carney

      Hi Sebastian,
      Thanks for your comment – so glad you found it useful and thanks for sharing it with your friends! You’re right, security is definitely an important factor in running a website, and it’s essential not to let it slip. We always recommend choosing a builder that has SSL security included, and always back up your site. Great advice, thanks Sebastian!
      – Lucy

  4. #

    Honestly, I was freaking out about all the things I didn’t know and this is the best website narrowing everything down. The highlight of my day *

    • Lucy Carney

      Hi Andrea,

      I’m so glad you’re finding the articles so useful! Happy we could help – if you think anyone else might find it interesting please do share it on. Thanks so much for reading and hope you continue to enjoy the site. Best of luck with the website building!


  5. #

    Thank you so much for this information! So helpful as I begin this journey!

    • Charlie Carmichael

      Hi Janice,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re glad you found the article so helpful, feel free to share it across your social media – you never know who else it might help!


  6. #

    Hi, thanks for this it has helped. I want to make a website where I share information for free, but I don’t know what category it falls under. Is it blogging? Or what does that category fall under?

    • Charlie Carmichael

      Hi Mathew,

      Thanks for your comment. You can absolutely share information via blog posts if the information naturally breaks down into different topics. Hope that helps.


  7. #

    Man– kick ass website and content. I’m re-entering the work world after raising a family and have decided to run my own business. Back in the day we created our own “everything” when it came to web design… content, templates, image editing, logos. This was a very costly and timely process after purchasing all the required software, hiring technical specialists, etc. These days, who has time for all that all that.

    What you have done here is to sum it all up– the process, state of the art tools and technology (let alone some free!) that are available to us. Power to the people. Thank you!

    • #

      Power to the people indeed! Glad we could be of help, and best of luck with your new business.

  8. #

    thanks for sharing.

  9. #

    In a few words but with the deepest gratitude, I want to say thankyou for this article. I can say this with experience that building a website if you’re not a coder or know anything about domains is very difficult…..and painful.
    Your article is a blessing!

    • #

      Hi Mustafa,

      Thank you for your kind words. Glad we could help.

      All best,


  10. #

    I am a mature age student doing a social media course and the class all have to start a website!

    It’s a task that is doing my head in so I found your info so helpful I’m going to share it with the class. I could just start any website to pass the assessment but you may as well do it properly the first time,
    Thanks again

    • Natasha Willett

      Dear Carolyn,
      Welcome to the community, really pleased you found the information so useful. This course sounds amazing, please do feel free to share the article with others who you think will too find the article useful. For a really simple but effective website builder check out Godaddy, we recently voted this as the fastest way to build a website.
      Good luck with the rest of your course and web building.

  11. #

    Hey this was a great comprehensive list made my work very simpler! Concise and precise!

    • Charlie Carmichael

      Hi Vadana,

      We’re glad you found it so helpful. Feel free to share this article on your social media – you never know who else may benefit from it. Best of luck building your website!


  12. #

    How do you add a log in to a page

    • Natasha Willett

      Hi Chris,

      Good question. Depending on the builder that you are using you will have a couple of options, these being termed password protected pages or members only area. I’d look to see if the website builder which your site is created on incorporates password protected pages, as this will allow you to have a block to your site until a password is entered. Wix, Weebly Squarespace, Site 123 all allow for this to name but a few.

      Hope that helps,

  13. #

    Thank you for making easier. I had no idea where to start. It was so helpful having it broken down with steps and site recommendations.

    • Fred Isaac

      No problem Heidi, glad we could help!

  14. #

    re: business email address- is there a difference between purchasing the address from my domain co. and going straight through g-suite?

    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Katie, buying your domain name from the same provider as your website (Wix, for example) can make life easier by keeping it all in the same place.

  15. #

    its a very helpful info..very good explanation of each and every point..

    thank you so much for this amazing info…

  16. #

    Very informative article, thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I’m starting my very first ecommerse business and was definitely going down the web designer road, now I’m not so sure about spending £2,500 on a website!! Which platform would you recommend for ecommerse, I’ve looked at Shopify, big commerce and word press but now I’m not sure, they all sell their brand and services very well with loads of “extras” to add on.
    I’m very confused


    • Tom Watts

      Hi Catriona,

      If you’re just starting out then I think you’ve made a wise decision not to invest so much money right away – think how many sales it would take to potentially make that investment back.

      Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce are specially designed to make it easy for entrepreneurs like yourself to get online quickly, easily, and – most importantly – affordably!

      I’d highly recommend that you read our reviews of both Shopify and BigCommerce to see what both platforms offer you (I’ve linked through for you).

      You may then be interested in reading how they compare against each other in our Shopify vs BigCommerce head-to-head comparison.

      Hope that gives you some food for thought, best of luck with your business!

      – Tom

  17. #

    You are amazing, you have presented me a very clear explanation and the information that I was looking for, also important knowledge. Thank you for sharing it. Now I am so informed. A lot of thanks from me. Keep it up, you will be loved 🙂

    Best wishes for you!

  18. #

    Your article is quite simple and very easy to understand. 🙂 I’m very clear now. And now I have a confusion. Whether I can start with Wix or WordPress? You have mentioned that both are good. I already planned to start with WordPress. But from your article I can consider Wix too.. So can you suggest me the best one?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Vandanasri,

      I think your decision should come down to your own skill level and confidence.

      If you’re new to website building and aren’t too familiar with HTML coding, then I’d suggest using Wix as it is a much easier platform to use and get to grips with.

      However, if you are familiar with coding and feel more technically competent and confident, then maybe it’s worth seeing how you get on with WordPress?

      Even if it doesn’t work out for you, you can then always fall back on Wix – so it’s win-win.

      It’s worth bearing in mind too that Wix offers a free plan which requires no investment from you on that part, while WordPress will require a small cash investment for domain and hosting.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  19. #

    Dear WBE Team
    Thank you so much for such a great Article.
    You’ve touched every point a beginner is unsure about. It helped me a lot and now I am very much clear about What I need and How I may proceed further.

    Thanks a ton..! For such a great content..

    Thank you so much.!

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Yashvardhan,

      Thanks for your feedback 🙂

      I know from experience that it can be pretty difficult knowing where to begin when building a website, so it’s great to hear you found the checklist so helpful!

      Feel free to share if you think friends or family could benefit too – we always appreciate word being spread.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  20. #

    Hi Connie:

    Nice crisp article to get us started here.

    For our website, we will be selling stuff and providing services like book-keeping.
    We also have a need to be able to take online appointments for the business, which might mean that we have an online calendar as well?

    Any suggestions?


    • Tom Watts

      Hi Ir Cas,

      One solution that jumps to mind is ‘Wix Bookings’ – which makes it easy for your customers to schedule appointments with you directly through your website (if built with Wix).

      It means you can take bookings any time of day, sync with a Google calendar through Gmail, manage multiple staff calendars and send out auto-reminder emails!

      To find out more just follow this link.

      Hope that helps,

      – Tom

  21. #

    I would say Google Tag Manager is a must to be added to this for tracking audience data and retargeting.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Natalie,

      I agree that having tracking and analytics connected to your site is important.

      But at this time, most website builders only support Google analytics and not Google Tag Manager. When GTM becomes more widespread and applicable, we’ll look more closely at it.

      Thanks for joining the discussion,
      – Tom

  22. #

    Thank you for this information am having a website built for me but I need to add my own input as well, I had no idea about building a webiste, this has been very easy to read and understand

    Thank you

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Viola,

      Thank you for your feedback, it’s reassuring to know that our information is easy to understand and is proving useful to you!

      Best of luck with your website building,
      – Tom

  23. #

    Connie this is extremely helpful – big thanks! I have started a trial with a website builder but I need to hire someone to do it with me – too complicated – do you know of a source or google term I can use to find such an assistant? many thanks

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Judith,

      Great to hear you found Connie’s advice so helpful – she really knows her stuff!

      IT would be interesting to know which platform you have decided to work with?

      Most offer seriously in-depth support guides that will hold your hand as you create your website and platforms like Wix also include tooltips for everything in the editor so you can click and see what the tools do before using them.

      I would also point you towards YouTube where you will find thousands of helpful how-to videos that will guide you through the website building process if you don’t feel too confident about working on your own – just search something like ‘Wix/Weebly/Squarespace + how to guide / getting started / web design guide’ and you’ll find some helpful videos.

      I really wouldn’t recommend hiring someone to help you on a website builder unless you are trying to build something incredibly complex, in which case it would be worth hiring a developer to do it from scratch anyway. These platforms may seem a little complicated to non-technical users at first, but you’ll find that you’ll get to grips with it eventually – and quicker than you might think! It’s definitely better to save your money and spend a little more time mastering the platform yourself!

      But, if you are set on working with someone to develop your website, it would be worth reading our guide to hiring website designers + developers first

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  24. #

    Connie, you and Jeremy do an awesome job on everything you tackle. Your explanations are clear and simple and your integrity on recommendations is welcomed. Keep us the good work.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for your very kind feedback – always reassuring to know our readers find the discussions useful.

      Feel free to share on social media if you think others might benefit too – you never know who you might be helping out!

      – Tom

  25. #

    This is exactly what I needed to give myself a mental roadmap of making my website! Thank you for the info and providing many free/affordable alternatives!

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Kristine,

      Thanks for your comment and the great feedback.

      Really good to know you found the discussion so helpful! Feel free to share if you think others might benefit too.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  26. #

    thanks a lot for the information, lots of doubts get clear but still in a doubt about c panel what is c panel is it only for wordpress or for other website builder also and also want to know web hosting for wix or weebly

    • Tom Watts

      Hi yogi,

      cPanel is an online tool that helps you manage the hosting for your website, making your site easier to run. You should be able to run cPanel on most website builders.

      It is more necessary with WordPress however, because you need to sort your own hosting out on WordPress.

      Whereas on Wix and Weebly you can host directly through them, so you shouldn’t need to worry about using cPanel too much.

      Hoep that helps,
      – Tom

  27. #

    Thanks for the article! Very informative.

  28. #

    Found it very useful and straight to the point, thanks

  29. #

    Very nice and precise article for a beginner like me. Really helped a lot for understanding what you need to build a website of your own.
    Really thankful indeed to the Author.

    • Tom Watts

      Thanks for your kind feedback Al, we’re glad you found the information so helpful.

      – Tom

  30. #

    thank you for your information. it was very interesting,but I am very old school and do not see me doing almost any of these things. For one, the computer is not my friend. Even though i am going to need a website,as basic as it might be.I feel that I am doomed.My finances are limited and that is not going to help.Again I thank you for your information.And if you think that you can be of any help to me. you know how to find me. Thanks, Al Page.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Al,

      I’m glad you found the article interesting.

      There’s no need to be hard on yourself! We didn’t know what we were doing when we started out either. I would suggest a good place for you to start is either with Wix (LINK) or Weebly, epsecially if you want a basic site.

      Both have easy to use drag and drop interfaces, which you’ll be able to pick up quickly. They also have generous pricing plans too – you’d be surprised what you get for your money! We’ve directly compared Wix and Weebly in this guide, which might help you make a decision.

      If you’re still unsure, I’d suggest having a read of our Website Builder Comparison Chart.


  31. #

    Thank you Connie, this helped me sooo much. It is also very helpful that you have links to more information on a subject.

    I am wondering, since I am extremely allergic to Google anything, who might be a good second choice for analytics?

    • Jeremy

      Hi PJ,

      Just search for “Google Analytics alternatives”. I’ve heard of Clicky and Piwik, but haven’t used them before.

      Hope that helps somewhat.


  32. #

    I am new to website building so I think I will start with Weebly as it is the easiest for a beginner. Thanks for this website i find it so clear and your checklist approach gives me a step by step guide on how to get started so no excuses not to get going.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll let you know how I get along.

    • Jeremy

      Hey David,

      I totally agree! Weebly IS really easy to use! Good luck with your new website!


  33. #

    One word : Excellent !!

  34. #

    Superb! Just trying to get a basic website started to support my sales business and I do not have time to evaluate every possible option or learn how to build a site on my own. You condense the info and review it for me with an unbiased eye and some expertise! Thank you very much!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks, Ralph. Glad this checklist is helpful!


  35. #

    Really very helpful. The fact that the description of each requirement is present along with the tools available makes creating a website seem effortless.

    Thank you very much. Looking ahead to creating a website by following the steps mentioned in this article.

    • Jeremy

      Thank you for reading, Rajat! Glad you’re finding our website building checklist helpful.


  36. #

    Fantastic Article! I am a very basic computer person so this helped me with knowing what companies handle the necessary things to get a website started. I appreciate you Jeremy &Connie!
    Thank you

    • Jeremy

      You’re very welcome, Rebekah. Glad you found this checklist helpful to you!


  37. #


    great info! I am writting because I want to create a website in which people will upload photos and and write reviews by replying to a specific questionnaire. I have no coding knowledge and this will be my first attempt to create a website. I am thinking to use Wix but do not know if this is the best for my case as i noticed that Wix can offer maximum 20GB Storage. I will probably need a lot more than that as people will upload many photos. My site will have to do with property listings (something like Rightmove). Do you thing Wix will be OK or if not do you know another one that would be better for my case?

    Thanks in Advance!

    • Jeremy

      Hi Kosta,

      Wix has a pretty good forum app. If you visit their App Center and search for “Wix Forum” you’ll be able to see it.

      In terms of storage space, I guess only you can make the call if the 20GB space is sufficient. I really have no idea how big your forum is going to be!


  38. #

    Hello, I am writing because I would like to know
    what is the procedure for setting up the payment in
    an online store? What types of platforms can be used
    for payment? I would like to set up a payment method on
    the website pinterest. I have a business account already set up.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Keisha,

      If you’re interested in selling through Pinterest, I’d suggest you take a look at this guide here.

      Hope this helps!


  39. #

    great info. I hired a programmer to do my website a few years ago and it bombed! I lost my domain name, and not having a website is terrible. I looked into wordpress, wix, weebly, etc. and find it difficult. Your article shed some light on this issue. How can I get a website that has Flash-images that change (daily), the site can be changed to another language (Spanish) and not cost an-arm-or-a leg?

    • Jeremy

      Sorry to hear about your experience.

      I’m not aware of a function that enables you to automatically change images on a daily basis. Perhaps there is a standard tool out there for this, instead of having it custom built by a developer.

      In terms of translation, there are some automated translation tools out there. Have a look at this guide.


  40. #

    This was an excellent article. Well written for the novice, like me. What would you recommend for making appointments and completing financial transactions? Would we look at something like Bigcommerece?

    • Jeremy

      Thanks Christopher.

      As for your question – it really depends on what your business is. If you just want to enable your web visitors to setup an appointment and pay for the appointment in advance, you don’t necessarily need a powerful ecommerce builder like Bigcommerce.

      Check out Wix (see our review) as they have an app called Wix Booking that will cater to your need. Wix is a simpler drag & drop website builder that empowers non-technical people to build websites. No coding required.


  41. #

    So helpful!
    Questions are answered in the exact order they entered my website noob head.

    • Jeremy

      You’re very welcome, Norbert.

      Glad you found this guide helpful. Please do share this guide with people who you think will also benefit from it!


  42. #

    Thank you for the great layout of information, it is very much appreciated! My wife and I started our own business just over 3 years ago and had someone else build the website for us, with the understanding that we would learn how to manage it ourselves.

    It has been a long road, but, we were able to learn from lots of research and many different sources how to do it. We are very appreciative of how you made this very approachable and easy to understand, thank you for that!

    We are in the midst of starting a second business now, however, and want to do it all ourselves and this is why I am here. I do have a question for you though, we are doing an e-commerce website and are looking for the best platform to put it on, would you recommend Shopify or another? And if Shopify, would we need something like Wix? Also, have you seen or heard of the website Anvato Market, it is new and it offers a large selection of pre-made templates for sites.

    Thank you again!

    • Jeremy

      Hey Eric,

      Thanks for your comment. It reminds me of our own journey!

      We do recommend Shopify for ecommerce websites. They’re probably the best hosted ecommerce solution in the market right now and they’re constantly innovating and making the online commerce space even better for merchants.

      You don’t need Wix or any other software to use Shopify at all.

      You should also take a look at BigCommerce, just as another option. We have a guide that compares Shopify and BigCommerce here, just in case you’re wondering.

      Do you mean Envato? They’re a big market place for all sorts of digital products, including themes / templates.

      But I’d suggest checking out Shopify’s own theme store. All the premium themes sold in their marketplace has been inspected / vetted by Shopify to ensure they meet their higher standards. So it’s a trusted source.

      With premium themes from Envato, you’re really up to the mercy of the developer when you need support. There are good developers and bad developers. Whereas if a theme developer is listed in Shopify’s theme store, they’re of higher quality as not all themes submitted to be listed in the theme store make it past Shopify’s quality control.

      We have a guide that discusses more about Shopify’s theme store here.

      Good luck!


  43. #

    You guys are doing a great job. Keep it up

    • Jeremy


  44. #

    Dear Sir,

    Very well written content for the bignner who don’t know how to start. Myself is D. Suresh Kumar From India. It would be great if you can tell us how to setup my own server computer in my home based computer for my Hotel Booking and travel business .

    • Jeremy

      Hi D.Suresh,

      Instead of setting up your own servers (which can be very technical and costly), have you considered using a drag & drop website builder to create a hotel-booking based website?

      Have a look at our guide on Wix here. They have specific tools on helping people setup hotel booking websites.


  45. #

    Connie & Jeremy, Thanks for all the advice. I am IT challenged but you make it sound so simple. None of the IT jargon that confuses me.

    • Jeremy

      Hey Crispian,

      No problem! Everybody is IT challenged to a certain extent, especially at the beginning when you’re just learning how to build a basic website.

      All the complicated IT jargons didn’t make sense to us a few years ago, too! But it gets easier. Good luck with building your website!


  46. #

    Connie Wong, you have been a godsend!! I have been pouring over your information for the past 2 days, and can’t get over how much I’ve learned. You’ve taken the guesswork out of so much. I am thinking about having my webmaster guy read it himself to learn a few things.

    Our business website has been done in WordPress but have been told that it’s not hard to maintain since our ‘guy’ has already set everything up. I was originally going to try and do our website on my own using Weebly or Wix, but was scared off due to being told that unless I know how to set it up so that traffic is directed to our website, it wouldn’t be very effective. (?) Sorry, as you can tell I am NOT a technical person (and it’s 3 am) so I may not be explaining myself very well.

    In any case, I figure I might be able to tackle our website to upgrade it (a LOT) to where it should be, thanks to you.

    Many, many thanks! You are the best!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks so much for your feedback! So thrilled to hear that you got a lot out of Connie’s guide / checklist.

      You mentioned about getting traffic to your website, so I’m assuming you are referring to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You might find this guide about website builders vs WordPress SEO helpful.

      Thanks so much again for reading our website! Do share it with others by clicking on our social sharing buttons to the left of the page – I’d highly appreciate it!


  47. #

    This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for providing something very easy to read and understand. I feel a lot more confident to get my own website going now.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Sally,

      You’re very welcome! Glad you found this checklist helpful.


  48. #


    I am about to start building my own website for my new business and yesterday, I started doing some research. I’m absolutely thrilled to have found your website straight away because already, I have learned so much and had many of the questions that were going round in my head answered in an afternoon! I had been given different advice on whether to use WordPress or Weebly and now I know I can save myself an awful lot of time, money and effort by going for the simple option of Weebly.

    I’ve already created all my own branding and I’m also pleased that I’m definitely on the right track in terms of my logo, choice of colours, etc, according to your article!

    Reading many of your articles today has given me the confidence to go ahead and just get on with it and I really can’t thank you enough!

    • Jeremy

      Hey Reesha,

      Thanks for letting us know! I’m really glad that you’re finding our discussions and guides helpful. Best of luck on building your website!


  49. #

    Wow, lot of great information hear to help further the process of building a website. Websites can be challenge and time consuming, especially if you are teaching yourself as you go. If there are people out there looking for more guidance or looking for one to work with them in creating the graphic designs/ layouts to make a website professional and efficient in a timely matter. Please reply back! Thanks

    • Jeremy

      Thanks for your comment, Drew.

  50. #

    HI Guys
    I have stumbled upon your site and, in line with other comments, I am finding it so, so helpful. It is well thought out, easy to read and understand and is giving me so much food for thought. I will definately be coming back to your site as I build my online shop.

    In response to the ‘grandmother’ comment amd the comment you have received from ‘Ani’. I too am a grandmother and have built websites previously. I definately do not take offence at a comment like that and am more offended by the remarks Ani left and think it is very brave of you to even publish them!! If people get offended that quickly they should stop reading and move on (and also get a life!!) I know plenty of older people who have not got a clue about computers, websites and the like and I feel very priveliged that I was given the opportunity to work with computers in the early days of WYSIWYG and the like. Ani should also appreciate the fact that she is using a wonderful opportunity not given to all.
    Sorry, I have probably ranted a bit but I do get very annoyed with small minded people.

    A big well done and thank you to you both, I know after reading and acting on your articles I am going to build a brilliant website and with all thanks to you.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Edwina,

      Thanks so much for your comment. And you’re an inspiration for us as well!


  51. #

    Hi Connie,

    I played around with Wix a few years ago and built an ok website for a friend, but the software didn’t display properly on different browsers. That must have been fixed, for you to recommend it so highly – ? Is there a list of Wix websites somewhere that you know about, the take a look at current Wix websites?


    • Jeremy

      Hi Terre,

      Jeremy here.

      Wix has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, so definitely check them out again. That’s one thing we really admire about Wix in comparison to other website builders. Wix is constantly staying on top of the design and features trend, while some other website builders offer less frequent updates.

      Here are some website examples you can check out.

      Hope this helps!


  52. #

    Greatly helprled me . A nice n eassy to understand what u need for basic to proffesional website.. thanks

    • Jeremy

      Thanks for your feedback Isak! Glad our discussions here are helpful to you.


  53. #

    I am very pleased to discover your site and finding very useful information in the few posts I have read thus far. I look forward to more gleaning more value here!

    Just one small comment: Your wrote above about Weebly, in your comparisons of web builders, is: “They’ve made it so easy for you to use, even a grandmother can it up in a day.” I don’t take offense easily, but I find statements of this nature to reflect the agism in this culture and I would encourage you to find another way to describe the ease Weebly affords those who choose to use it.

    I, for example, am one grandmother among countless grandmothers, who runs a business, is an author, and even has built my own sites on WordPress and much more. I am sure, given the thoughtfulness of your site—evidenced by the quality and thoroughness of the information you are providing—that you will be able to find an alternative to this condescending reference. Thanks!

    • Jeremy

      Hi Ani,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. We didn’t mean it in any condescending way, but we can certainly see how the comment might offend people.

      We just wanted to highlight how easy it is for anyone of any skill level to use Weebly. But thanks for pointing this out and we agree with you. I’ve updated the wording.

      And congratulations on your accomplishments! Truly inspirational indeed.

      Thanks for adding to this discussion!


  54. #

    Hi Jeremy and Connie,
    Having just finished a PhD, I’ve been given a grant by a national charity to fund me for a day a week for three years to disseminate and carry on some of my research here in the UK.

    I need to set up a website for my project and was finding it incredibly confusing and complicated – so much so I was almost in tears and felt as if I was wasting hours and hours trying to get a grip on it all.

    Your WONDERFUL website has put an end to all that. After just 2 hours reading your different pages this afternoon, and trying out some of the “Work out which one for you” type quizzes etc, I now feel I know what I’m doing (or need to be doing) and talking about, how to move forwards with setting up the project website and email, how much it’s all likely to cost, and how much I’ll be in control of it all.

    Your site has been a huge gift to me. THANK YOU both so very much. I don’t use social media etc to “like” you and things like that, but whenever I hear of people setting up sites from now on I will tell them how helpful I found your pages.

    Bless you both.

    • Jeremy

      Hello Alison,

      Thanks for your compliment! I’m thrilled that our materials have been helpful.

      It’s a lot to take in, and “information overload” really held us back when we first started. I’m glad our resources here gave you the knowledge (and some courage perhaps?) to get started!



    • #

      This is just a note to you about my previous post referencing your “grandmother” comment. I cut and pasted your comment, and only upon rereading saw your typo, i.e.,”…can it up in one day” So when you change the grandmother reference, you might want to correct that typo as well. 🙂

      Also, I caught my own typo but see no way to edit. Should you choose to publish my post, would you be so kind as to delete the word is and the comma that precedes it, which appear before quoting your reference?

      Also, I am just as happy if you make the correction and don’t choose to publish my comment. That would be fine if you prefer that. My purpose is not to case any shadow over your good work here.


      • Jeremy

        Hi Ani,

        Thanks for the heads up. I’ve updated our comment!


        • #

          ok thankyou Jeremy Kyle for the heads up

        • #

          hi Jeremy kyle thanks for the heads up