There are tonnes of website builders out there, figuratively speaking anyway.
Site builders make building websites simple, right?
Well, that’s their end of the bargain. You still have to put in a little bit of effort, but luckily, all you need is a little bit of insider knowledge (trust us, we see 1000s of websites every day).
Once you’ve read this post you’re going to know:
- How to publish a website
- How to choose a web hosting service
- How to use a website builder
- How to get the domain name of your dreams
Sound good? Well, here’s an added extra to get things rolling. Remember this golden rule: Always keep it simple
Got it? Let’s go.
Plan your content
Congratulations, it’s time to publish your website. You’ve done all the design work and everything looks fabulous and works smoothly. There are no bugs at all and you’ve compiled a content calendar for the next month in advance, right?
Okay, Well, it’s a good job you’re reading because an effective content plan is something that you absolutely need to make sure your website will be a success.
We’re not just talking about blogs here. Your website content also includes images and videos as well as hero text and the like. If you’re using a lot of images you’ll need a website builder plan with plenty of storage space so that you can upload files.
Many people don’t realize that you should have your website content in place before you even touch the web design.
Sounds like a strange proposition, right?
Hear us out.
Your content should determine your web design and not the other way around.
You need to make sure your site has enough web hosting space, that it will run at a high speed, the navigation between content will be quick and easy too.
Okay, so that’s why sorted, now we need to think about what makes for good content?
How to create good website content
Rule #1: Say it like you mean it.
Great advice, but you could read that on any marketing blog. What does it really mean?
Well, it means that you need to be able to speak with authority and genuine knowledge about your niche. Nothing is more obvious than a vague copy & paste post from somewhere else. Your visitors will know straight away and they won’t come back.
Forget the buzzwords, when publishing your website, keep in mind the content is one of first things that people will see.
Always give actionable advice, not vague commentary.
So, do your research, find the facts and figures, and let’s start thinking about how to integrate SEO to boost your website traffic.
How to optimize for SEO
Rule #2: SEO is a constant work in progress. There is no such thing as 100% optimization, so you have to stay on top of things.
The best way to do that is to pick a site builder with SEO optimized templates that will take care of the background work for you.
The next step is getting to grips with what it means to publish content that browsers and search engines love and one simple method to make sure that you do that is with a blog post or an article on your website.
Start with keyword research for your niche and try adding them into your domain name, headers, titles, and meta descriptions before you dive into the world of blogs.
It’s a good practice to keep in mind so that you don’t end up publishing a website that is too keyword dense, as this is something that your computer, and your web browser, and your client won’t like.
In fact, SEO experts have shown time and time again that keyword stuffing can seriously harm your site trust from the moment you go live.
Things you can do to optimize for SEO:
- Never, ever repeat yourself. Your website loves fresh content and information and it is for user experience too.
- Use clear and informative titles. Good SEO is like trying to explain to a computer why your website is the best, so give it a chance by being as clear as possible.
- Don’t forget about readability. It’s not just Google looking for your site, it’s real people looking for real information too. Make sure your article content is written in clear and comprehensible language and your traffic, and domain authority will improve too.
Choose a web hosting provider
It seems like there is a new website hosting service popping up everytime you go online. You might even have a hosting account with a number of different web hosting services yourself.
Rule #3: Your web host is your lifeline. Choosing the right hosting provider is the difference between success and failure.
Good question. Here are the 3 main features to look out for:
Now, let’s examine them a little more closely.
Your hosting provider or hosting service is actually the feature that controls a lot of your page load speed.
That’s because your website host is in control of the resources that are allocated to your website.
Generally speaking you web host will offer 3 types of website hosting service:
- Shared Hosting. As a client with an account of a shared hosting service, your website shares resources with multiple other people. This will affect website speed and also the amount of storage space your site has to upload files.
- VPS Hosting. Virtual Private Server hosting is a form of cloud hosting which offers dedicated resources and a dedicated IP for your domains. This means faster websites, more control, and practically unlimited storage space for your web files. It is something you should consider if you have a medium to large business or a complex website.
- VPN Hosting. Virtual Private Network hosting is similar to VPS Hosting but this option gives you total control over one entire server. It allows you to make all the changes you could ever imagine, guarantees lightning fast page load times, and will make sure that you never run out of storage space for your website files. This is a feature that is popular with big business, and people who want to make apps that require a lot of power. Take note though, this hosting method is expensive and requires a decent amount of technical experience.
We’ve all seen the damaging impact of data breaches in recent times. Your web address, email address, username, account password, sensitive files, and personal information are at risk with unreliable website hosting.
There are steps you can take to protect your website and one method is to choose a safe and secure hosting client.
Make sure to choose a hosting option that is protected by RAID systems and covered by daily backups. It is one thing to have your website files compromised, but it is another thing entirely to lose your website files completely because things weren’t backed up.
The last, and perhaps most important, option to consider when choosing a hosting provider for your website is reliability.
We will dive into design in just a moment, but it doesn’t matter how great your website looks if the experience is bad.
And the number one cause of a bad website experience looks like this:
404 Error. Page Not Found.
Okay, so there are a couple of reasons why this might happen on your website:
- A user has entered the wrong domain name on their web browser
- Your domain has expired
- Your website and all your website files have been removed
- Your server is down
We will talk about domains soon but let’s take a look at the server problem for now.
An unreliable website host will manifest in website downtime. That means that through no fault of your own, your visitors will not be able to access your website, and we’re sad to say that more often than not, that means that they won’t come back.
We recommend that you pick a hosting service that can guarantee 99.9% uptime, luckily, these days, that comes as standard with many web builder plans.
Make sure that you choose a hosting service that offers dedicated IPv6 Internet protocols and your own private server, just in case.
Now, let’s get back to the part about how to use web builders shall we?
Build your site
Do you know what the greatest things about using a site builder are?
It’s easy, fast, and reliable.
Sound familiar? Well, remember the golden rule all the way back in the intro? 👆
That means no more changes to your FTP server, no more confusing phrases like public_html directory, and no complex file manager.
Hey, there’s even no code to write. Just great features for your website or business in one place, under your control.
Rule # 4: Your website is your online identity. Design it the way you really want it.
Our recommended method is to take control of all the steps yourself with a builder.
While that might sound scary, there are plenty of amazing, intuitive, drag-and-drop builders out there that will let you enjoy all the fun design aspects while the computer takes care of the rest.
Remember those complex steps we just mentioned like organizing the file manager and the public_html directory (by the way, the public_html directory is the fancy name for a website folder that stores all the website files that you want people to see)
Did you need to know that?
Well, now you do.
Did it help you build a beautiful website and publish it fast?
Taking away the need to wade through steps and information like this is exactly what builders like Zyro are made for.
To build your website in this way you just need a computer and an idea. You can prepare your website files such as images, videos, and more and simply snap them into place with a drag-and-drop grid system for a pixel perfect design everytime.
That file manager we were talking about earlier is built in and will store all your files, including all the text you write, and any and every blog article you post on your website.
You can find out more about how to build a simple Zyro website in just 5 steps in this video tutorial.
Even if you are looking for a different design, or website niche, you can really see just how easy it is to design your own website with just a few clicks of the settings in the sidebar.
It’s really something that won’t take long to get to grips with, even if you have no coding or design experience at all.
Still, no matter how easy it is, your work on your website will be in vain if you don’t secure a domain name.
Secure a domain name
By now, you probably know what a domain name is. It is like your business username. It is literally the name of your website and the root URL.
For context, zyro.com is both a domain name and a URL.
Whereas zyro.com/domains is just a URL. But in this context, it is going to be a pretty useful one for you.
Not only can you find a top level domain and a catchy website address but you will also get it for free for 1 year if you sign up to any Zyro website plan.
There’s even a handy domain name generator if you’re stuck for ideas.
Trust us, check it out.
Now, back to business.
Rule #5: Make your domain name clear, concise, and catchy (try to throw in a keyword too)
Nothing, and we mean nothing, will deter visitors like a website address that looks like this:
It doesn’t matter if you are a genuinely kind-hearted, well educated, legal professional willing to help people pro-bono because that is a bad domain and people will think that you are trying to give their computer a virus.
With that in mind, let’s talk about domain name best practices (and worst case scenarios).
Web domain dos and don’ts
- Do pick the right domain extension for your niche. Different types of websites should have different extensions. For example, a government website will end in .gov, and a non-profit website will end in .org and so on.
- Do pick a top level domain (TLD). Top level domains are ones that people recognize and trust. Yes, they cost a little more but having a .com, .net, or a .org extension will reap benefits in terms of authority and more than pay for itself in the long run.
- Do pick a name that explains exactly what you do. This should speak for itself, think about your domain name as if it were your business brand. Do I know what I will find when I click ‘go’? Is it easy to access? Will I remember it instead of going to a competitor?
- Don’t pick something that has already been trademarked. Say you run a tech startup and your last name is McDonald, please don’t choose www.mcdonalds.tech. You’ll soon find that those names have rights reserved and the only feedback you’ll get is a cease and desist letter.
- Don’t pick a name with hyphens, numbers, or symbols. Bad. Bad. Bad (see above). Not only will this cause typing errors and look unprofessional, it is also terrible for SEO and you will lose a lot of traffic.
- Don’t cash in on fast trends. Remember fidget spinners, yoyos, and tamagotchis? Of course you do, but where are they now, and when was the last time you searched for them online? If you want your website to grow, succeed, and last the test of time then you’d better pick something that won’t go out of fashion.
We’ve made it. You’re ready for lift-off and it’s time to click ‘publish’ and take a leap into the unknown. But, before you do, it’s a good idea to just make sure that you’ve double checked a few things first.
Publish your website
Time for the main event. Your website is ready to publish and soon you’re going to be sharing it with the world.
It literally couldn’t be easier than clicking the ‘publish’ button in the sidebar, and on Zyro, you can come back and make changes at any time you like.
Zyro templates save versions as you create them, so if something goes wrong, you can just back up to an earlier version with no bother at all.
Still, it makes sense to start as you mean to go on.
Rule #6: Make a list. Check it twice.
Disclaimer: we know you’re dying to publish your website already so the good people of Zyro have already taken care of Rule #6 for you.
It’s our ultimate website checklist. A step by step guide to building and launching your website like a pro.
You can thank us later.
But just in case you’ve already got open tab anxiety (it’s a thing, look it up) we’ll leave you with the big hitters right here, right now.
Set up your social media links
It doesn’t matter who you are and what your website is about, in 2021, you have to have social.
All it takes is a few little icons in the header or the footer and a share icon on your blog posts and articles.
If you set up your social profiles in advance, even better. That’s a great way to start building an audience that is going to be chomping at the bit on launch day.
Make room for email
Where would we be without email? 50 years later and it is still the best performing metric out there (aside from maybe influencers but we will leave that for a later day)
If you want to reap the benefits of email marketing, you’re going to need an email list and if you want to build an email list, you’re going to need to include a sign-up form, and if you want that sign up form to succeed you’re going to need to take time to place it in a prominent section of your website.
A lot of sites will place this element in the header, the footer, or as a pop-up. But, be careful, too many pop-ups might deter your visitors and make your brand new site look spammy.
Set up analytics
You should really do this on Day 0. Google Analytics is your friend in the endless battle for optimization.
Your site is a work in progress and if you don’t have data then you are making your decisions blind.
It can take a while to get to grips with Google Analytics but it’s really not so difficult (better yet, it’s free)
If you want to know more about how to use Google Analytics, there’s a perfect explanation of the most important metrics you need to track in our brand new eBook.
Optimize your landing pages
Oddly enough, the final thing we’re going to mention is the first thing your users will see.
Your landing page is a litmus test for the success of your website.
Should I stay or should I go?
When visitors get there, you only have a few seconds to give them the answer they’re looking for.
It needs to immediately display the answer to the search query that brought them there (see analytics section to find out what that is).👆
Effective landing pages should focus on one primary call to action that clarifies the desired course of action for the user.
Reduce text to the absolute minimum, present key elements like email sign up forms (again) 👆 and put all the time and energy you have into crafting one, perfect call to action that will bring your users through your site and drive conversions.
And that’s all folks. You can press the button now, we promise, it’ll be okay.