How to Build a Website from Scratch with No Experience

Every business needs a website, but how do you build a website from scratch if you don't have any experience? Review this guide to website building to help you get started.

Whether you are a freelance photographer or looking to break into ecommerce after running a brick-and-mortar store, having a well-designed website can help you stand out from the crowd. In the fast-paced and ever-changing digital world, having an online presence can help you build brand legitimacy, generate leads, and ultimately convert potential clients into paying customers. Well, how do you make your own website?

Creating a website with no experience may seem daunting, especially if you don’t have any programming skills or consider yourself to be tech-savvy. However, with the tools and resources available today, building your own website from scratch is as easy as buying a domain, having a vision, and using website templates or drag-and-drop editors. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

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alt text: cost of building a small business website

In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the benefits of having a website and then guide you step-by-step through how to build your own website, from figuring out your goals to testing and launching the final product.

Creating a beautiful, easy-to-use, and fully customized website no longer requires coding experience or technical knowledge; here’s how to get your website up and running in seven simple steps.

Why is it important to have a website for your business?

In the online age, a website is your greatest tool to market your business. A user-friendly, visually appealing website can easily explain who you are and what products and services you offer while leaving a lasting positive impression on your site visitors.

Knowing how your business can benefit from having a website is imperative to building your own website from scratch. Here are some reasons to design your own website:

Cultivate an online presence and brand identity

Easily accessible and available 24/7, a web page can let customers find you with just a few clicks when they lose a business card or brochure. Having a permanent address on the internet will allow you to gain repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals.

Your own domain and recognizable business website can also help you communicate your brand’s vision, core values, and founding story in addition to what products and services you offer.

Establish trust and credibility

Prospective clients will want to verify your legitimacy before they buy your product or choose to work with you. Your custom domain is your chance to showcase the endorsements you’ve received and your authority in the field. Set yourself apart from existing websites and online stores with a professional-looking website, reviews from customers and experts, and a useful blog page with your own content.

Garner organic traffic

A well-optimized business website will rank highly on search engine result pages. When consumers are typing in keywords relevant to your products and services, your business will be recommended, increasing your website traffic and allowing you to grow your consumer base. It’s always a good idea to create a website with Google Analytics and search engine optimization in mind.

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alt text: Information people want to see available on a vendor website homepage

Provide information and customer service

Answer frequently asked questions, such as business location, hours of operation, and how to make returns, and provide a contact page on your business website for prospective and existing customers.

This is an easy way to streamline the buying process and improve customer satisfaction. When website building, chatbots, surveys, and contact forms can also provide a better customer experience.

Generate leads and close sales

Most importantly, creating a website can generate leads and help you guide customers through the purchasing journey with interactivity and web design. A good website will attract people who are interested in your business and convert them into paying customers.

An online store on your business website can also complement an in-person location and achieve sales through a new channel.

How to make a website from scratch

Now that you understand how websites can improve your business, you must also know that you do not need to be a web developer or web designer to create a website that is professional and appealing. It does not need to break the bank either.

In fact, there are many website builders, both free and paid like Mailchimp’s free website builder and WordPress’ site builder, that will allow you to design and publish a website with no experience. Here’s how to get started.

Plan out your website

The first step is to plan out your website. Whether it is an ecommerce store or more informational personal or business website, it would benefit you to establish some goals. Why do you want to have a website?

Knowing your target audience is a great starting point. Figuring out why they come to your business, or their intent, can help you decide what content to include on your web pages and rank highly on search engines. Interview your customers and look at your business data.

Analyzing the websites of your competitors or just websites you find appealing is also an integral step in planning your website. Take note of what they do well and how their web pages can be improved upon and apply that to your own domain. Find ways to differentiate your brand.

Finally, lay out your ideas and the rough structure of your website. This can look like a chart or a map that details the navigation flow of your site visitor. Think about each page title and features you wish to include.

Choose a website builder

Choosing the right website builder will simplify your website-building process. To build a website from scratch with no experience, you want a website builder that will take care of all the technical aspects and just let you direct your attention to realizing your vision through design and content. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Is the website builder easy to use?
  • How does the website builder price its services?
  • Does the website builder have themes and templates?
  • Does the website builder have a stock image library?
  • How flexible does the website builder allow you to be in terms of web design?
  • What features does the website builder offer? (e.g, ecommerce, blogging, scheduling)
  • Does the website builder provide customer support?
  • Does the website builder have mobile optimization?
  • Does the website builder provide web hosting services?

Mailchimp’s free website builder requires no coding experience but allows you to produce a fully customized website. Other website builders include Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, and Shopify.

A more intermediate way to build a website is through the WordPress platform. WordPress’ website builder is free with drag-and-drop functionality, allowing you to create a website that has all the basic components. However, if you prefer a WordPress website that’s more decked out, you can add more design components and details using premium WordPress themes and plugins. Installing WordPress is simple and should take no more than a few minutes.

Pick a domain name

After choosing a website builder that suits your needs, it’s time to pick a domain name. This step depends on whether you want a free domain name or a custom domain name. A domain name is your business' address on the internet, so you want one that is short, simple, and relevant to your business and brand.

A free domain name from a free web hosting provider will often include the name of that hosting provider as well, which can look less professional and get confusing for customers. It can even result in worse rankings on search engines due to the security and trustworthiness of the web hosting service. Free web hosting plans also tend to provide less security, bandwidth, storage, and support.

Customize your website

With all of the logistics out of the way, you can begin customizing your website. In this step, depending on which website builder you are using, you can first choose a general template and color scheme and then adjust it to be unique to your business. Mailchimp’s website builder, for example, offers real-time edits, so you don’t have to leave the editor to make changes. Some web design elements to keep in mind include:

  • Static page
  • Background
  • Colors
  • White space
  • Contrast
  • Fonts
  • Text size
  • Images
  • Social media integration

Add your content

Now, with the structure and look of your business website all figured out, comes the most important part — adding content. Whether it is product pages for your online store or blog posts with search engine optimization, your content is crucial to the success of your website.

It tells search engines, and in turn, your target audience, who you are as a business, and it can even position you as an authority in your industry. With quality content, you can build customer relationships, convert sales, and cultivate brand loyalty. This is an ongoing process, so take your time to curate the right content.

Test your website

Test your website for functionality, usability, compatibility, and performance. Make sure all web pages have working links and forms. Check out your website settings, navigation and general appearance.

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alt text: The appearance of your website is extremely important. 75% of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks.

Is it appealing to the eyes and easy for users to understand? Take a look at your website on mobile and different browsers. Does anything need to be optimized or adjusted? Is anything causing your website to run slowly?

Launch your website

Finally, you are at the end of your website-building journey. Launch your website, collect data, and iterate on your design and content to continue growing your business.

Build a website with Mailchimp—no coding experience necessary

Use Mailchimp’s free, easy-to-use website builder to create your business website from scratch in under an hour. Choose from a variety of templates and color palettes or take more control using the drag-and-drop editor. With built-in forms, behavioral targeting, and report and analytics, increase your audience and grow your business. With Mailchimp’s all-in-one platform, you’ll have support from establishing your brand and purchasing a domain to rising the ranks of search engines with our SEO tools.

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