Beginner’s Guide to Building A New Website – From Hosting to SEO
Learn how to reduce the cost quotation of building a website, and understand exactly what processes are required to build a website. This is a beginner’s step-by-step guide.
Website Building Start to Finish – What’s Involved
We can compare your mobile phone to a website when learning the process.
- A domain name is the Internet address of a website e.g. www.seolady.co.uk (This is your mobile number)
- Website hosting is your mobile service provider (like O2) pay monthly or annually
- Website design (This is like Apple iOS, and mobile apps)
The global platform WordPress is the system I recommend to design and manage your site. It’s a very popular online cloud system that lets you easily build a professional website without any technical IT skills. There are millions of free and paid templates to choose from.
In WordPress, you don’t design a layout you can’t edit these templates, but you can very easily change major features, like the background colour and header image. WordPress is generally considered the world leader in SEO Plugins, the most popular being Yoast.
Every website is unique, so if you already have 20-30 images, banners, a logo, written content for 10-15 pages and a colour scheme in mind, then a website could be as cheap as £300-£400. Adding an Ecommerce functionality (online store) and / or more than 15 pages will increase the cost.
You can’t get a cheap website without putting in the effort.
If you have little or no written content prepared, hardly any images, no logo, no banners, if you don’t know what design styles you want, this will result in many changes over the project timescale – more hours means an increased cost.
Tip 1 – How to get the cheapest price for a website built from scratch
If you go through this list of top 10 tasks and complete them all to save time, less hours that someone has to spend on creating your website means less cost.
Number 8 is the most time consuming, writing content for a website. This is one of the most important factors that raises the cost of building a website.
To get the best price for a website and to succeed in Google for SEO you must write 300 words for each priority page (Home page / About / Services / Products).
There’s no one better to write content for Search Engines (Google / Bing / Yahoo) than an SEO Freelancer, primarily this content will be specifically sculpted and unique to your site and written by hand and crafted to reflect your keywords for your business, but this is not cheap so make the effort and invest your time in writing down as much information as possible.
- Buy your domain and hosting ideally from a UK Host like 34SP
- Browse Free WordPress themes online or pay for a theme if you like
- Employ a designer to design a logo and a promotional banner
- Collate a Free online Dropbox folder and store all company images in one place in the cloud, so your website developer and SEO can pop in online at any time to upload and use
- If you don’t have one, create a free Gmail account for your Google Analytics
- Once you have this, create FREE Google Cloud Drive documents online
- Make a list of all your website pages in a Google Drive Document
- Write content for all your pages – between 300-400 words for each page minimum on another Google Drive Document
- Note social media URLs, Twitter, Facebook logins on your Google Drive Document
- Think of the keywords you would search in Google for that you want people to find your website, then add your geographical areas to research your competitors – write these down using the online FREE Google Cloud Drive service to share easily with your SEO
Why will my SEO person NOT write content for the website build price?
As a business owner there is no one that knows your client base or industry better than YOU.
Asking your SEO or website development company to write your content can be tricky as research must be taken to provide the perfect content in an industry that’s new. This takes time, about an hour per page.
if you can’t write content yourself, or simply don’t have the time then jot down 5 or 6 paragraphs for a page, a skilled SEO freelancer will be able to transform your text to 100% fully optimised textual content for Google and other search engines.
If you can’t think of what to write I will send over a list of questions for you to answer so I can write content based on your response!
SEO’s are quite happy to rewrite content for your site but be prepared to pay between £20-£30 per page of 250-350 words which will include the essential HTML coding for H1 and H2 headings, internal linking and sales style to entice people to buy, or to call you on the telephone.
Tip 2 – How many pages do I need on my website for SEO?
The more pages the better!
There are several sources that say Google trusts websites that exceed 10 pages so my recommendation for a website that needs SEO to make money would be to have 10 pages plus a blog, here is some inspiration:
- Home page
- About Us
- Products / Services – minimum 5 – no maximum
- Gallery (if required)
WordPress has a superb blog functionality and fresh content updated regularly is a sure fire winner for search engine optimisation. I strongly recommend having a blog to share your news.
Tip 3 – How long will it take to deliver a website from design to launch?
For this we work in 5 simple steps and dates:
- Agree content delivery date – will the business owner provide content, will this be outsourced to a blogger, or written by an SEO?
- Agree Site Design and Architecture Date – WordPress template choice, colours, menus (top/side). Artwork for Banners, banner and images, content, gallery etc
- Agree Site Functionality Freeze Date – Import plugins like a Contact Form, Yoast SEO, perhaps eCommerce plugins, and bespoke HTML side widgets etc
- Important: Agree Design Freeze date – No more changes after this date. Any changes submitted after this date will be billable at the minimum of one hour’s work for amendments.
- Agree Launch Date. Test. Now is the time to market your website with SEO.
How long will SEO get me to Google Page 1?
There is no SEO company that can promise or predict any rankings. Find an honest SEO and he or she will discuss your keywords and your competition sites (you did this research earlier in Tip 1) for a local business like a Plumber in Bristol this will be easier than ranking throughout the UK for the search term “Buy [product] Online UK”
SEO results are directly correlated to investment. Underhand tactics that try to trick Google no longer work (mass linkbuilding) ineffective timewasting (changing meta tags every month) are still available from overseas SEO who promise you Google page 1 for a few $Dollars. Please ignore these sales calls.
Tip 5 – Agency SEO versus a Freelance SEO
Historically website design companies and website development companies offer SEO services as a bolt-on package after your website is launched. Proceed with caution and ask for a bullet point list of exactly what tasks they will do for you. Some agencies say that they will ‘Optimise meta tags’ and charge you a monthly fee when this is a one-time task. Avoid buying bulk backlinks, or articles published to multiple websites as duplicate content, or even the dreaded ‘articel spinning’.
Web design companies specialise in building websites, and frequently outsource their SEO website marketing to overseas companies rather than hiring a specialist in-house.
Additionally, when you ask for a list of tasks it’s unfortunately common they will refuse to tell you exactly what they have done, often spouting technical jargon to confuse you so you stop asking questions.
Research freelancers and agencies online to read past reviews of their work.
Tip 6 – Avoid buying backlinks because someone told you that is SEO
Any SEO worth their salt knows how important getting links to a website is, so whether you’ve been doing your own SEO or hired someone to do it for you, it’s likely the topic of building links has cropped up.
In the not-so-distant past, paying for links from relevant (and often irrelevant) websites was rife in the SEO world, despite Google saying this was against their guidelines. After warning webmasters for several years to avoid this practice, Google finally put their money where their mouth is in 2012 with a major algorithm update called ‘Penguin‘. It aimed to de-value poor quality, paid links and increase the value of links from authoritative sources.
Today in 2016 the quantity of backlinks is nowhere near as important as it was back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s so never buy backlinks, even if they are for $5 as these will damage your website reputation and it will hurt your pocket to pay to recover.