web designer working on computer

You Don’t Have to Be a Web Designer to Build Your Own Website

It’s true. You don’t need to be a professional web designer to build a great website.

You don’t need to hire one either. You can build a website yourself that’s both functional and professional.

How do you do it? We’ll show you.

The following guide gives you step-by-step instructions and expert tips on how to create an excellent website. Design your website like a pro with these tips.

1. Choose Your CMS

First, you need to decide on a content management system or CMS. The CMS is the program you’ll use to build your website.

There are many online website builders to choose from, like Wix, WordPress, or Weebly. Most of them have free versions but require a subscription for upgraded features.

Also, some have a simple, straight-forward, drag-and-drop interface, like Weebly. Others, like WordPress, require you to understand coding languages like HTML and CSS. While the drag-and-drop CMS apps are extremely easy to use, they may restrict your customization options.

You’ll need to do your research to decide the best option for you.

2. Organize Your Website

Now, figure out the main categories of your site and organize them. Sketch all this out on paper before you build.

Here are the staple pages every website should have.

  • A homepage
  • An “About Us” page
  • A “Contact” page
  • A “Privacy Policy” page
  • A “Terms of Use” page
  • A sitemap

Besides these, determine what other content categories and features you want. For example, most sites have a blog and many sites include a live chat feature.

3. Design Your Navigation System

After you’ve decided what content and services your site will provide, organize these categories into the site’s navigation system. Surely, by now, you’ve been to enough websites to know what a good navigation system looks like. Follow their example.

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Your menus and shortcuts should be intuitive and your content easy to find.

It generally works best to have a few of your most important shortcuts in a bar at the top of your site. Some important pages, like “Terms of Use” can be included in the footer. Everything else should exist in a clearly-labeled drop-down menu.

After setting it up, test it for yourself.

4. Choose a Theme

Finally, choose a uniform theme for the look of your site. This includes the font styles and the color scheme seen throughout your website.

All pages of your website must adhere to the same theme. If not, it can confuse visitors into thinking they’ve accidentally left your site. Plus, theme uniformity enforces your particular online brand.

Experiment with different font styles and color schemes to find the right one. When looking at it, you should feel like it matches the tone of your brand’s message to your audience.

You can also utilize awesome online tools to help you design your theme. Browse sample templates for inspiration. And use a color schemes generator to find the perfect palette.

Build Your Own Website Without a Web Designer

Never stress over web design again. Instead, follow the steps in this guide to be your own web designer.

Find more ways to make your life easier on our Life Hacks blog.