Creating a website: step by step to your own homepage [Guide 2021]

Would you like to create a website for your company, your association or privately and are you looking for suitable solutions? There are several ways of doing this, which differ in terms of effort, costs, and functional and design options. Find out what distinguishes the individual methods and which one is best for creating your homepage.

Create a website: There are 3 options

The Internet has become the most important source of information for most people. That is why almost every company needs its own website to support marketing , regardless of whether it is a small retail business, a medium-sized B2B company or an online business. Learn more about different methods you can use to build a website :

  • Homepage builder: You can use it to create a website without prior knowledge. These complete packages including design templates, widgets, hosting and support are suitable for many purposes.
  • Creating a website with WordPress: Using a content management system such as WordPress requires more intensive training and greater effort, but enables more functions and the expandability of the websites.
  • Have a professional create a homepage: If you use the services of professional agencies or web designers, your personal effort remains relatively low. For this you have to invest a larger sum.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages and is suitable for certain areas of application. Get to know the solutions just presented in detail and find out the best way to create your homepage.

With the website builder to create a website

With these ready-made solutions, you can create a website in a very simple way. The number of providers is constantly increasing, as is the quality of the construction kits. Compared to the other two methods, however, the range of functions is limited.

How to use a website builder

The sequence of steps you use to create your own website is similar for the various modular systems. The pure design is often free initially, so that you can test several options. You do the following:

  1. Register with the provider
  2. Decision on a tariff
  3. Select a design template
  4. Individual design of the template by changing the color scheme and fonts
  5. Add texts, pictures and possibly videos
  6. Select functions and install web apps if necessary
  7. Test the preview and go online

Advantages and disadvantages of the website builder

Weigh up the following advantages and disadvantages. This is how you can tell whether you should use a website builder to create your website or choose a different method.

Benefits:

  • Quick familiarization, even without programming or other specialist knowledge
  • There are no high one-off investment costs for web design
  • Large selection of customizable templates
  • Own access for updates at any time
  • Automatic updates
  • Hosting is included in the tariffs
  • Free tariffs with some providers, e.g. B. for hobby or club sites

Disadvantage:

  • Not everything is possible (e.g. linking to databases)
  • Possibly similar to other pages if the same template is used
  • No change of provider possible (website would then have to be recreated)

Who is a website builder suitable for?

The advantages and disadvantages already show that the modular systems are not the best choice for every purpose . However, you can easily create a suitable website with it in the following cases:

  • Small companies that only want to inform with a presence website
  • Founders with little financial means
  • Small online shops
  • Private individuals
  • Leisure clubs

Cost of the kits and effort

You pay regularly for a kit website, with hosting included in the fees. How high the costs are depends on the tariff chosen. There are usually several of these with different scope of services available for each provider. Your own domain or e-mail address is not always included in the basic fees, so that additional costs can arise.

Some providers also offer free tariffs with a very limited range of functions that you can use to create a website primarily for private purposes. Free or discounted test phases are sometimes offered to try out.

With a website builder, you take over the web design yourself. Therefore, you don’t have to pay a large investment at the beginning. However, calculate with the regular costs for a company website at around 10 to 40 € per month. This is usually more expensive than paying for the hosting only.

If you create a website with a homepage builder, the effort is relatively small. Because you work with templates and the construction kits can be used intuitively after only a short training period. Technical updates are also carried out automatically, which reduces ongoing work.

Homepage construction kits: comparison of providers at a glance

The table shows the range of services and costs of some well-known providers. However, always check the exact terms of each plan before building a website with any particular offer. Because some of the costs and properties listed in the table do not apply to all tariffs.

 Wix logoWixJimdo 1 & 1 Ionos Weebly
Rates6th535
Cost
per month
$ 0 – $ 28$ 0 – $ 468.30 $ – 30 $$ 0 – $ 35
Test phaseNoNoreduced in the first year or half yearNo
Own domain$ 17.70 per year (1st year free)23.70 $ per year (1st year free)free21 $ per year (1st year free)
Email addressup to 30 (via G-Suite)until 10until 10up to 30 (via G-Suite)
Costs  for  E-mail
address
€ 71 per year$ 14,23 per year ($ 71 for 10)1 address for freeapprox. $ 48 per year
Spei cher space 
(excluding  e-mail 
Post fan)
500 MB – 20 GB500 MB – unlimitedunlimited500 MB – unlimited
Templates (approx.)520160450120
Responsive design
(depending on the
template)
YesYesYesYes
Online shopmany functions, also for a larger rangemany functionsmany functionsdesigned for the US market
BlogYesYesYesYes
Examples of
additional functions
Sending newsletters, password protectionMultilingualism
, forum
Multilingualism
, blog import
Forum, polls
Web appsWeb app storelarge selectionlarge selectionWeb app store
SEO functionsavailableavailableavailableavailable
Visitor statisticsYesYesYesyes, but no collection of data from the EU area
SupportFAQ, email, phoneFAQ, emailFAQ, chat, 24/7 telephone hotlineForum, email, phone, (in English)

Tips & tricks for working with website builders

Would you like to create your website with a construction kit? Then consider the following tips to make your project a success:

  • Check functions : Which functions (e.g. newsletter dispatch, password protection) are available as standard? How big is the selection of web apps, also from third-party providers?
  • Choose the right tariff: There are usually several tariffs with different functions available for each provider. An upgrade is usually not a problem.
  • Choose template carefully: Pay attention not only to the appearance, but also to the responsive design of the template before you create your website. This means that the display is automatically adapted to suit mobile devices. The selected template cannot be changed later with all providers.
  • Consider SEO : For a good ranking on Google, in addition to high-quality content, there are some details to consider when creating your homepage. Most plans support these. Among other things, this includes the ability to edit the URL and page title.
  • Free offers for testing: Some providers allow paid tariffs to be tested for free or at a reduced price for a limited period of time. Use this opportunity and find the provider who suits you best.

Create a homepage with WordPress

WordPress.org is a content management system, also called a CMS. In addition to managing content such as texts and images, it enables the connection of databases. You can use it to create a website without in-depth knowledge of HTML . There are other CMS as well, e.g. B. Joomla and Drupal – WordPress is by far the most popular system.

How to work with WordPress

As with all other methods, you first develop a concept and initial content for your website. For the technical implementation of your ideas, proceed as follows:

  1. Select hosting provider: There are various offers that differ, among other things, in the storage space made available. It is best to choose a package that has been designed directly for WordPress sites through a hosting provider’s site. This is not a must, but it makes installation easier.
  2. Define the domain: Your domain, i.e. the URL of your website, is also secured via the hoster.
  3. Install CMS: You do not install WordPress on your computer, but in your storage on the hosting server. If you have chosen a hosting package tailored to WordPress, you only need to confirm the installation.
  4. Log in: After installing WordPress, you will receive your login data from the hoster. Then set a user name and a secure password.
  5. Adjust settings in the dashboard: Here you can define the title and subtitle of your website or permalinks, among other things.
  6. Adding a theme: The design templates, also known as themes, are available directly in WordPress or in free and paid versions from various sources. Adjustments are possible. You can have a preview displayed before the installation.
  7. Activate widgets: You can use the dashboard to activate widgets such as B. insert a keyword cloud or a search form.
  8. Install plugins: Install suitable plugins, e.g. B. to increase security, but also for functions such as galleries, search engine optimization, online shops and the like. Sources are the WordPress database for plugins, but also third-party providers.
  9. Edit: Add text, images and, if necessary, videos to your website.
  10. Publish: When you click the publish button, your website goes online. You also always confirm changes in this way.

Creating a website with WordPress: pros and cons

As with the other methods, you benefit from certain advantages and have to accept some disadvantages when you create your website with a CMS. Weigh what is important to you.

Benefits:

  • Free software (apart from certain themes and plugins)
  • More options than with website construction kits (e.g. database connection)
  • Very large selection of themes and plugins
  • Flexible (code can be changed)
  • Website can be easily expanded
  • Free choice of hosting provider

Disadvantage:

  • More extensive training is necessary than with website builders
  • Own responsibility for updates, maintenance and security
  • No direct support (but large, helpful community)
  • Programming skills are sometimes required for individual functions

When is WordPress a good solution?

You will use a CMS to create your website if the functionality of a website builder is no longer sufficient. It is mainly suitable for the following areas of application :

  • Dynamic pages, that is, the content is updated frequently (e.g. blogs)
  • Editing of the content by several people
  • Websites that need a database connection
  • Companies with higher demands on functionality
  • Larger online stores
  • When a modular website is currently but not sufficient in the long run

Cost and effort for your own WordPress website

You don’t pay anything for WordPress itself. In any case, there are regular costs for the hosting and the domain, for which you have to reckon with around 30 to 70 $ per year . In addition, there may be one-time expenses for themes and plugins, with both paid and free variants.

Since WordPress is an open source CMS, individual adjustments are possible by changing the source text, e.g. B. for more complex functions. If there is a need, you must either be able to program yourself or you can commission this work. When planning, consider the costs involved.

A CMS is not as easy to use as a website builder, but it is not too complicated either. If this is your first time creating a website, expect more training. In contrast to modular solutions, you have to take care of updates and maintenance yourself, which also takes time.

Tips & tricks for WordPress

Before you can create a website with WordPress, you need to dig a little deeper into it. The following hints clarify some of the most common questions:

  • Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com: Both offers sound similar, but are fundamentally different. WordPress.com works in a similar way to a website builder. You can use it to create a free website or use one of the paid packages for more options.
  • Finding good hosters: It is important to have a secure connection to the server (SFTP, SSH), free SSL certificates, PHP in its current version and sufficient storage space. It’s cheap, but not a requirement, if the hosting plan is tailored to WordPress.
  • Choose a theme carefully: The theme determines the layout of your website. There are free and paid versions. In addition to the appearance, pay attention to a responsive design, adaptability, the support duration (updates) and the experiences of other users.
  • The best sources for WordPress themes: WordPress alone offers a large selection of free themes. Other good sources are templatemonster.com , rockettheme.com, and modernthemes.net .
  • Select suitable plugins: By installing plugins you add functions to your website, e.g. B. for security, an online shop or forms. As with the themes, there are paid and free variants.
  • Optimize loading times: Short loading times have a positive effect on the user-friendliness of your website. Therefore, do not install unnecessary plugins when building your website. Also keep the file size of images as small as possible without losing quality.
  • Regulate access rights: Set a secure password for your access. If several people should have access, e.g. For example, to create regular blog posts, set restricted rights for them.
  • Update regularly: Install all updates for WordPress, themes and plugins. To be on the safe side, create a backup beforehand. Regardless of this, regular backups are recommended.
  • Pages and Posts: When working with WordPress, note the difference between Pages and Posts. Pages remain largely unchanged, i.e. static. Posts are continuously added, dated and displayed so that the latest post is visible first.

Have a professional create a homepage

It is not absolutely necessary that you deal with website builders or content management systems yourself. Because you can also have a website created. Many agencies and independent web designers offer this service.

How to get your professional website

The cooperation with a web developer or an agency is always individual and can include different services. In most cases, however, it follows this scheme:

  1. Gather ideas for content, page structure and design
  2. Consultation with joint development of the concept and the briefing
  3. Possibly create your own content (but the agency can also take over)
  4. Check the result and, if necessary, order changes
  5. If possible and desired: arrange hosting and ongoing maintenance
  6. Go online after acceptance

Hire professionals to do the web design: pros and cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to having your website built compared to the other methods. Consider the following factors.

Benefits:

  • Experience and know-how of the professionals, also with regard to current developments
  • The functionality of the website is precisely tailored to the needs
  • Individual design possible
  • Appropriate agreement of the scope of services
  • No own specialist knowledge and no training in software or systems necessary

Disadvantage:

  • High one-time investment
  • Effort for the meetings and the briefing
  • Possibility of misunderstandings between client and web designer

Who is it worth having a website created for?

There are many considerations that go into deciding how to build your website. In the following cases, however, it is particularly useful to have a homepage created:

  • Large companies with high demands on professionalism
  • Desired functions cannot be implemented with the other methods
  • There is little time

Cost of a professional website and personal effort

When you have a website built, you delegate most of the work to the service provider. In any case, your task is to develop the rough concept, to consult with the web designers and to work out a detailed briefing.

You can individually agree which services you will provide. For example, it is possible for you to take care of the images and texts yourself or for them to be commissioned when you have the website created. The same applies to updates of the content, maintenance or hosting. Some agencies offer complete packages at a fixed price, using which your own effort remains low, but higher costs arise.

For the creation of the website you have to expect a one-time investment of at least 500 to several thousand euros . The amount of the cost depends on many factors, such as: B .:

  • Scope of the website
  • CMS as a basis or individual programming
  • Static company portrait, dynamic content or online shop
  • Scope of your own contribution (concept, content)
  • Experience and reputation of the service provider (well-known agency or self-employed person with few references)

In addition, there are running costs for hosting. If you also outsource maintenance (updates), content maintenance and search engine optimization , you also calculate expenses for this.

Tips & tricks for working with web designers

If you have a website created by professionals, you always have a contact person for all questions and problems. Nevertheless, please note a few tips so that the cooperation works and you are satisfied with the result:

  • Find the right web agency: Compare reference work and price offers from different agencies and web designers. Physical proximity is also beneficial, as many things can be clarified more easily in a personal conversation.
  • CMS as an option: Even professionals often create websites with a content management system. This should be a frequently used CMS like WordPress, as you will benefit from intensive further development and regular updates in the future.
  • Doing good preparatory work: Go to the first consultation well prepared. Among other things, consider who you want to address with the website and which functions are necessary.
  • Agree on services precisely: Place the order with a detailed, written briefing. In this way, you prevent misunderstandings that can lead to unnecessary costs.
  • Ongoing support: When the website is ready, the collaboration doesn’t have to end. Many agencies offer other, long-term services, e.g. B. hosting, updates, content maintenance or SEO. In this context, you should also find out about the conditions of other providers.

Create website: comparison of the 3 alternatives

Have you already decided on one of the three options? The following table summarizes a comparison based on the most important points.

 Homepage builderCMSProfessional website
target groupsmall businesses, associations, private individualsPeople or companies with higher demands and sufficient timePeople or companies with high demands and / or little time
Duration to completionshortmedium to longmedium to long
effortlowmediumlow
CustomizabilitymediumWellvery well
One-time investmentsnonone to minormedium to high
running costsnone to mediumlowlow to medium
Supportby the providerthrough the communityby the service provider

Conclusion: Anyone can create a simple homepage

Marketing without its own homepage is hardly imaginable for any company today. This is especially true for online shops and other business models that only work via the Internet.

Web designers and agencies help you to have a professional appearance on the Internet. But even if you don’t want to invest a large amount of money, you can create a website without in-depth knowledge of HTML. Website construction kits and content management systems make it possible.

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