5 tips for creating your own website during lockdown

Stuck at home and thinking about launching a side-hustle? Or perhaps you’d like to grow an online presence. Either way, web designer Julia Ferrari has five top tips that will help you to create your own website…

During lockdown, much of our work, entertainment and shopping is being done online. Businesses, services and courses that were face-to-face are trying to adapt what they’re offering for the virtual space.

If during this lockdown you are looking for an alternative to your business, starting a new project, or learning a new skill – this is a good opportunity to invest your time to create your own website.

Here are 5 tips to start building your own website

1. Choose the right platform

If you are building a website to show your services, a magazine, or just an online presence of your business I recommend using WordPress (WP). One of the main reasons is that it is a very economical option: it is free, although you still need to pay for a hosting company (of which there are many with very low plans).

The second reason is that you have a very large number of plugins that can add different functionalities to the website (e.g. newsletters subscription integration, payments, SEO improvement, and much more) and the majority of them are also free.

If you are building an online store I believe that Shopify is the most suitable platform. It will save you a lot of time organising your products and will help with the store management.

2. Set up your domain

If you already have a domain, you can check if your provider has a competitive hosting plan. Alternatively, if your website is hosted with another provider, you can just set up your domain’s DNS to connect with your website. This is easy to do and there are plenty of tutorials online. If you are buying a domain I would recommend searching for a company that includes an SSL certificate in the price.

3. Make your website nice

Make it simple and clear, choose a nice hero image for your homepage. This is the first thing that your visitors will see and the first impression they will have.

Search for a template that match with your business and brand style.

Use CTA (call to action) buttons in your pages: make them appealing, give them some style, and invite your visitors to buy your products, work with you, or sign your newsletter.

4. Include your social media

Add social media icons on all your pages. These can be placed in the header, footer or just at a side of the page.

Many websites are including their last Instagram post in the home page or in every page just above the footer. If you care about your Instagram images this will give a nice touch and fresh content to your site.

In your blog section add a set of share icons including WhatsApp and email.

5. The MUST for every website

Your website needs visitors. First install Google Analytics; this will allow you to track your performance and let Google know the existence of your site. Follow some basic search engine optimisation (SEO) tips.

If you have an Instagram account, you will know that it only allows one link in your account. In order to optimise your traffic from Instagram create a link page with direct access to your pages (services, contact, latest blog, etc…).

Want more help? Julia Ferrari is a freelance web design. Get in touch with her here.