Make Your Own Website
Step By Step: Part 2

This page, along with part one of how to make your own website gives an overview of all the steps you need to take to build a site that attracts interested visitors.

Designing Your Web Site

Now the planning is done you can get in and have fun designing your website.

 Work out a look and feel for your site, one that's appropriate for your target market. Work out a navigation system such as the simple left-hand navbar I'm using. And work out a layout for the site. A simple hierarchal system with your pages in three levels works best.

To make your own website, you'll need site building software. KompoZer (an update of Nvu) is a good free wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) web authoring program.

Make a template that you can use as the basis for every page. It can be faster and easier though to use a template designed by a professional. That's what I've done with this site.

Add Content

If you want top rankings you can't take shortcuts here. Your visitors are looking for useful, original, quality information, not a sales site.

I believe when you make your own website you should write the content yourself, after all, you're the expert. Give your visitors the info they're looking for. How do you know what they want to know? From your own experience, and from your keyword research

Lots of pages packed with good information will give you lots of chances to rank highly in the search engines, and will give you a much better chance of turning interested visitors into sales.

Building Pages

You'll need a template when you make your own website, whether you've made a template yourself or bought one. Plug in your content, and a suitable title, description and short list of keywords. Add images if you want, and link to other pages.

There is a lot to building web pages, and the way you do it will have an effect on search engine rankings and traffic.

Finding A Website Host

You'll need to find a host for your website. They can cost as little as a few dollars a month, but cost isn't the only concern. You need good reliability, and good customer service in case there ever is a problem.

Uploading Your Web Pages

As you write or change pages you need to upload them to your host. You'll need an ftp program, and there are a number of good free ones you can download and use.

Submitting To The Search Engines

The work to make your own website still isn't finished. After you've uploaded pages you'll have to submit your site to the main search engines. You can also submit an xml site map to some of the most important search engines such as Google. This will help keep your site indexed and updated in these search engines.

Submitting To The Directories

Directories are like search engines in that they list websites, however every website is checked by a human editor before they are listed. You won't get much direct traffic from them, but the search engines consider a link from a good directory as a plus for you, and they'll give your site a higher ranking.

Tracking Your Web Statistics

Now your website is up and running, you need to keep an eye on such things as the number of unique visitors you get, the number of page views for your most popular pages, keywords used to find your site, and other info.

Good web hosts will give you web stats. For better statistics, use Google Analytics. You'll need to put a bit of HTML code on every page to use it.

Writing A Newsletter

Marketing people will tell you that a prospective customer has to see your message seven times before they buy. Chances are people will only visit your web site once. Having a newsletter will let you keep in touch and give you a lot higher chance of making a sale. (The newsletter should still be giving good content though, not just be a sales letter.) A basic newsletter could just be a monthly update of what's new on your web site.

Okay, that's a very quick, very basic overview of how to make your own website. It's  loads of fun. It's great to share your expertise and help other people out, and it's very exciting when the leads or sales start to come in.

There is a lot to do though and you can end up spending a lot of money on all the necessaries. I use Solo Build It! because it has everything I need in one package, and because it saves me lots of time and headaches.

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