How to Make a Website: Build Your Own Site the Easy Way
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If you’re looking to create an online presence for your business or organization, you can either hire a professional to create it for you or do it yourself. Thanks to platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Shopify, it’s possible to build a website without coding or hiring anyone to do the work for you.
This article shows how to make a website in a step-by-step guide. You don’t need design skills, thanks to the beautiful templates available. And you don’t need coding skills, since you can use a drag-and-drop interface to control the elements of your site.
Do I Need Technical Skills to Make a Website?
Years ago, building websites required design skills and coding knowledge. Today, you can build your site without any technical skills. You can save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself compared to hiring a professional to create a custom design.
Of course, there are some limitations to website builders like Squarespace and Wix. However, they continue to improve, and they offer everything needed for most entrepreneurs, organizations, and small business websites.
We’ll show you exactly how to make your site. You’ll get an attractive, effective website for a price that any business can afford.
How to Make a Website Step-by-Step
This step-by-step guide explains each part of the process. Even if you have no technical skills, you’ll be able to create a website without hiring experts.
Identify the Purpose of Your Site
Before you begin building your site, it’s important to think about what you want to accomplish. All successful websites have a clear purpose. Are you creating the site to attract leads, promote your services, sell products, or do something else? The goal or purpose of your site should impact all of the decisions you make throughout the process.
Register a Domain Name
The domain name is the address of your website. For example, our domain name is vandelaydesign.com. You’ll need to register yours with a domain registrar like Namecheap or GoDaddy (Namecheap has a low yearly fee for domain names).
Unfortunately, the name you want may already be taken. You’ll need to check the domain registry and find an available one. Simply search Namecheap, GoDaddy, or the registrar of your choice, and you’ll see if it’s available or already taken.
Generally, a .com domain name is best because it’s easiest for visitors to remember. However, there’s a growing list of extensions and domains ending in .co, .io, and others that are becoming increasingly common.
Pick a Website Building Platform
There are several different ways to create your site and many website builders you could choose. We’ll use Squarespace for this tutorial, and I’ll explain why in just a minute. Squarespace and some other web builders also provide hosting services, which means you don’t need a separate web host.
Choosing a website builder that provides hosting simplifies the process a bit. For example, if you build a site with WordPress, you’ll need a hosting plan from Bluehost, Rocket.net, or other hosting providers. WordPress is an excellent platform, but if you want to keep things simple, Squarespace is an excellent choice.
The user experience for building and maintaining the website is a bit easier (especially if you’re not tech-savvy) if you use Squarespace instead of installing WordPress on a separate hosting plan.
How to Use a Website Builder to Make Your Site
Now that we’ve covered the preliminary steps, let’s dive into this detailed guide on how to make a website.
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a platform or resource that allows you to create a site without coding. Most offer a drag-and-drop builder to provide you with layout options and design choices. Without technical skills, you can use the editor to add content, images, and other elements to create your site. The website builder does the coding for you behind the scenes.
The specific features of each website builder will be different, but you may get things like customizable contact forms, search engine optimization tools, and unlimited design possibilities.
Almost every website builder integrates with custom domains, so your website will be located at your own domain name. And website builders like Squarespace that do the hosting for you will serve as an alternative to traditional web hosting providers.
Which Website Builder is Best?
As I’ve already mentioned, we’ll use Squarespace for this tutorial. Although there are several other good website builders, and you may have a personal preference, we believe Squarespace is an excellent choice. We recommend Squarespace because they make it easy for anyone to create a beautiful and functional website, and their prices are very affordable.
Squarespace offers hundreds of templates in plenty of styles. In fact, Squarespace’s templates are so good that your site will look like it was a custom design. Regardless of the type of site you’re creating, Squarespace probably has a template for it.
Ease of use is also very important. We like Squarespace because of its excellent drag-and-drop builder and intuitive design tools. The user experience for creating your site is outstanding, even if you have no technical skills and you’ve never created a website before.
With plenty of design features, Squarespace has everything needed for building business websites and online stores (Squarespace offers e-commerce functionality as well).
Once your site is created, managing it and keeping it up-to-date is easy. The admin dashboard and user interface are simple. You also have access to SEO tools you can use to use to improve your site’s chances of showing up at the top of the search engine results in Google and other search engines.
How to Make Your Website with Squarespace
If you’re new to Squarespace, this complete guide will walk you through each step.
Step 1: Pick a Template
Squarespace offers hundreds of templates you can use as a starting point for your design. The first step is to select the basic theme or template you want to use.
You can browse the Squarespace templates by category or scroll through them all (we also have a collection of the best Squarespace templates for different types of sites). Although templates are designed with a specific type of business or website in mind, you can certainly use the templates for other types of sites, so you have plenty of options.
When previewing a template on Squarespace’s website (we’re using the Degraw template for this tutorial), you’ll see a button that says, “start with this design.” Once you’ve found the template you want to use, click that button to begin.
Step 2: Create Your Account
After you click the button, you’ll need to create a Squarespace account. You can use your existing Google account or register with an email address.
Squarespace offers a free trial to set up your website without paying or entering your credit card details. After the free trial, you’ll choose one of their premium plans.
Currently, their prices start at $16 per month. While this is a little higher than what you would pay for a low-cost web hosting plan, that price includes hosting, using any of Squarespace’s professional templates, and customer support. There’s no upfront payment, just the standard monthly fee.
After you’ve created your account, you’ll see a screen like the one below where you’ll enter your site’s name.
Step 3. Choose Colors and Styles
You should now be looking at the dashboard, where you’ll be able to create your site and make customizations to the template. There’s a short introductory video on the right side of the screen that’s worth watching.
Squarespace provides a lot of freedom to customize the site however you want. We’ll walk through some specific steps, but there’s no exact order that you need to follow.
We’ll start by setting the colors and styles of the site. Click on “Design” in the left navigation links, and then click on “Site Styles.”
To the right, you’ll see options for fonts, colors, animations, spacing, buttons, and image blocks. We’ll start with fonts.
Each theme has its own font pack, a collection of fonts used in the design. This template uses Kepler Standard for headings, paragraphs, and miscellaneous. If you want to make changes, you can either select a new font pack or select a specific font for different elements.
I like the idea of font packs because Squarespace’s talented designers have chosen fonts that work well together. By clicking “switch,” you can see the font packs available and select the one you want.
The fonts are categorized as sans-serif, serif, and mixed. You can preview different fonts and see how they look on your site.
When you’ve settled on the fonts you want to use, go to “Done” at the top left of the screen and click “save.”
Next, click on “site styles” above the fonts option to go back.
Click on the colors link, and you’ll see the color settings for your site.
Each template has a pre-defined palette or color scheme, but you have full control over the colors. In the palette editor, you can select colors individually or choose one of the other pre-made palettes.
Using a pre-made color scheme is handy if you’re not a designer and you want colors that go well together. I’ll choose one of the other palettes.
Again, go to “Done” and click “save changes” when you’re ready to move on. You can also click on “site styles” to go back the main styles screen.
That’s all the changes I’m going to make in the site styles, but you can browse through the other settings if you want to. Squarespace allows you to customize animations, spacing, buttons, and image blocks. Or you can just leave them in the default settings that come with the template.
Click “close” above the site styles to move on.
Step 4: Customize The Header
After setting the styles, it’s time to customize the website’s header. This includes the logo, navigation menu, and other elements like social media icons.
Hover over the site’s header and you’ll see a button that says “edit site header.”
That will open up the screen shown below.
Click on “site title & logo.”
From here, you can change the title or upload your logo. If you upload a logo, it will replace the text for your site’s name in the header. You can also add a separate logo to be shown on mobile devices if you’d like. When you’re done, click “back.”
Next, click on “elements” to edit the specific elements in the header.
The specifics here may vary depending on the theme you’re using. In this case, the header includes a button, which can be toggled on or off. Of course, you can also change the settings like the text on the button and the page it leads to.
You can also toggle on or off other elements like social media icons and a shopping cart. If you activate either of those, you can customize the settings to control how they appear.
By default, Squarespace uses your website’s name in text instead of a logo. But if you have a logo that you want to use, you can easily replace the text with your logo.
Step 5: Create Your Pages
Now that we’ve changed global (site-wide) elements like the site styles and the header, it’s time to create some pages.
Go back to the main dashboard and click on “Pages.”
You’ll see a screen that looks like this.
As you can see, the list of pages is divided into two sections: main navigation and not linked. Any pages listed under “main navigation” will be linked in the site’s primary navigation menu. Pages in the “not linked” section will need to be accessible in another way because they will not be included in the main navigation.
You can drag and drop these pages. For example, if you want to move a page in or out of the navigation menu, simply click and drag it to the other section. You can also drag to change the order of links in the navigation menu.
You can also create drop-down menus. To do that, click on the plus icon next to “main navigation.”
Then click on “folder.”
Give your folder a name, which will be the text shown at the top level of the drop-down menu.
Next, add pages to that folder, which will be included in the dropdown menu. In this case, the template includes a page titled “Our Services.” I set the folder name as “Services,” and I want to create separate pages for different services. I’ll drag the “Our Services” page and place it in the “Services” folder.
Now, I’ll change the “Our Services” page to “Consulting.” To do that, hover over the page name and click on the gear icon. It opens the screen you see below.
In the “Services” folder, click on “add a page.”
You’ll have several options for the page you create. I will click on “page layouts” to use a pre-defined layout.
In this case, I’ll select one of the service page templates.
To edit the page, I’ll simply double click on it, and it opens up the page editor. The first thing I want to change is the header at the top of the page, so I’ll click on it.
I’ll change it from “Our Services” to “Accounting.”
Editing the content on pages in Squarespace is very easy. Just click on the element that you want to edit. If you want to change text, click on it, and the editor will open.
To replace an image, click on it and then click the pencil icon.
Then click on “replace.”
You can upload a photo to insert into that spot. For this demo, I’m using photos I’ve downloaded from Envato Elements. After replacing the photos and changing the text of the sub-headers, my page looks like this.
To change the button, click on it and then click on the pencil icon. From here, you can change the text and set the link for the button. You can also change the button styles from the design tab.
Since Squarespace is a drag-and-drop editor, you can also click on elements and drag them to another spot on the page. This gives you unlimited possibilities, but you may wind up with a design that doesn’t look great. The pre-designed templates have been created by professionals, so it’s generally best to stick with those layouts if possible.
You can also add sections by clicking on the “add block” button.
Once you click on the button, you can select the type of block you want to add. Then use the drag-and-drop interface to move it into place.
Continue this process to edit the content of the existing pages and add other pages your site needs.
Step 6: Set Up the Footer
Once your pages are set up, it’s time to focus on the footer. Scroll down, hover over the footer, and click on the “edit footer” button.
This is very similar to editing other sections of the site. You can click on the text to edit it, drag and drop elements, or click to add new content blocks. You can also click the “edit section” button to change section formats, backgrounds, and colors.
When you’re finished making changes, click on “done” and “save changes.”
Step 7: Add A Domain Name
At this point, your site is done and ready to go! From the admin dashboard, click on “Settings.”
Then click on “domains.”
If you haven’t completed the domain registration yet, you can do it through Squarespace by clicking “get a domain.” If you’ve already registered your down with Namecheap or some other registrar, you can click on “use a domain I own.”
Assuming you already own the domain, you’ll simply enter the domain name, and Squarespace will lead you through the simple process of transferring it to Squarespace or connecting it.
Step 8: Publish the Site to Go Live
When your site is ready, you can publish it. Until it’s published, the site is only visible to you. Once published and public, anyone can access it by going to the domain.
In the settings, you should see “private” next to “site availability.”
Click on “private” to open the publication settings. If you’re still on the free trial, you’ll see a message that you need to upgrade to one of Squarespace’s premium plans before you can publish the site.
Once you’ve upgraded, you can click the publish website button, and your site will be live!
Congratulations, you just created your own website!
Frequently Asked Questions
Drag-and-drop editors like Squarespace and Wix make it easy for anyone to create a website. You can start with a pre-designed template and customize it according to your needs. While these website builders will not give you as much flexibility as hiring a professional designer or developer, they’ll meet the needs of most small businesses, non-profit organizations, and entrepreneurs.
Building a website is easy with the help of drag-and-drop builders like Squarespace. You don’t need technical skills, and the drag-and-drop interface is intuitive. The pre-designed templates make it easy to create a site quickly.
Building your own website with a platform like Squarespace can save you thousands of dollars compared to hiring a freelancer or agency. Many small business owners find that drag-and-drop website builders offer everything they need at a fraction of the price. And the technology keeps getting better. So, yes, for most small businesses, it’s worth the effort to create your own site.
Some platforms allow you to create a free website, but they either place ads on your site or the features are extremely limited. We recommend Squarespace because the price is very affordable, and you can have a professional site that makes you look good.
Final Thoughts on How to Make a Website
Building a high-quality website is easier and cheaper than you might think. Squarespace offers loads of templates and pre-built designs that make it simple for anyone to create a professional website. With their drag-and-drop editor, you have complete control over your site without needing to code anything.
Squarespace websites also provide an excellent user experience for your visitors, which is equally important. So if you want to know how to make a website, we recommend following the steps in this article to build your site today.