You need a website. Easy enough. All you need to do is choose a domain, pick a web hosting package, and decide what platform you will use to build your website. Of course, you can always hire a team to build it for you – but why when you can save so much money with a website builder platform? In this guide, we will give you some tips for general web development and look at our three favorite website building platforms:
- Website Builder
All three platforms are available from UK2.NET and automatically include the speed, reliability, and expert advice you need to become a web hosting success. Let’s get started!
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Building
Creating a new website can be an exciting time. The possibilities seem endless, with considerations that include topics ranging from media integration to tools and functionality, not to mention dynamic design. However, deciding how to design a website should always be done with the following six questions in mind to ensure a new or relaunched site is worth the time and money invested in it:
#1. What design are you looking for?
Websites now come in many styles, from responsive single-page affairs to New Brutalism sites featuring minimalist white backgrounds and blue hyperlinks. Knowing how to design a website that will appeal to your target audience is crucial – media firms often want to upload case studies and employee profiles, whereas manufacturing companies might add multimedia content onto their sites. Responsive designs that automatically resize are highly recommended, but everything else (from fonts to the use of image galleries) is up for debate.
#2. Are you happy to use a template?
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder, powering around a quarter of the world’s sites. Blue-chip clients include NASA, Facebook, and Toyota. Not to mention that the WordPress platform has 48,000 plugins handling functions as diverse as ecommerce, embedded video, and visitor analytics. Despite offering standard templates, WordPress’s endless customisation allows you to create completely bespoke and unique websites. Many UK2.NET customers have already created successful and innovative sites through the WordPress platform, but we will get to that later in the guide.
#3. What purpose is your new site supposed to achieve?
For some companies, a new site might simply be a resource prospective customers can study before getting in touch. For existing brands, a replacement website may be intended to offer functionalities that weren’t practical or available before, like downloadable content or multimedia presentations. If the objective is simply to generate more leads and business, discussions about how to design a website will be different than among companies whose primary focus involves being on top of search engine rankings. Which brings us onto point four…
#4. What are your SEO goals?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is so important that it has evolved into a distinct objective in its own right. Google and Bing are the all-conquering oracles of internet enquiries, and the hugely complex algorithms that collate their search results pages are very finely tuned. SEO goals can affect the design and functionality of a new website; search engines favour sites that are regularly updated. For example, a new blog article posted on your website fulfills its purpose as a content update.
#5. What are your competitors doing?
A decision to redesign a website is often made as a response to competitor activity. It’s vital to identify what your rivals do particularly well or badly online. What messages are their sites conveying, and does their tone of voice come across as authoritative, friendly, or cost-driven? If so, does it work? If elements of their sites are more effective than yours, it can be a good idea to add your own take on them – without resorting to outright plagiarism, of course!
#6. What content should be prioritised?
A homepage is where you should make headline statements about your brand, products, or services. It’s not the place to profile your brand’s history or detail past projects. Decide what your central messages are and structure sub-pages in descending order of priority. People will be more likely to click on the first menu option than the sixth, so front-load high-profile pages with the most important messages. Finally, ensure sub-pages are easily accessible from anywhere on the site, and always provide clear routes back to the homepage and ‘Contact Us’ page.
Now that you have basic web development in mind, let’s look closer at your options for building your website, starting with the easy drag-and-drop Website Builder platform.
There are many myths around creating your own website. Technophobes claim you need to know how to code, while others with little experience may tell you that designing web pages requires a web design team. However, this is simply no longer the case.
At UK2.NET, we’re keen to disperse any myths about websites being difficult to design and maintain. We’ve created a user-friendly website building service, which makes launching a new website as easy as designing a social media post or writing a blog. In this section of our helpful guide, we’ll show you how to use our Website Builder templates and your imagination to create your own digital success.
Here’s Our Foolproof Guide to Creating a Stylish and Effective Blog or Website
Perhaps the most technical stage of using UK2.NET’s Website Builder involves choosing how many features you want. We offer three packages at affordable monthly rates, and each one includes a free domain name. This is the URL or address that will identify your blog, so selecting a suitable name requires careful consideration. Many obvious titles will already be taken, but try to pick a domain name that includes your brand, industry, or theme. Avoid words that are difficult to pronounce or spell, and ensure your address is clearly readable at a glance.
Pick your package.
UK2.NET also offers free hosting with our Website Builder packages. Web hosting is the process of storing your website’s contents on high-speed servers so audiences can view it at any time while we handle all the background details on your behalf. Your website will always be available to view on any device and from any country. You can also pick a free email address to match your new domain name. However, serious most users add multiple mail accounts through our Personal and Professional email packages to provide additional access for employees or co-creators.
Let your creativity roar.
Our user-friendly design tool walks people through the various stages of designing a new website and we’ve fashioned dozens of templates featuring layouts that can be customised to your heart’s content. Adding text and images is the same simple process used to design a simple social media post, with pictures uploaded and tweaked through a handy image editor before being positioned with drag-and-drop simplicity. If you want to add slideshows or photo carousels, just choose which one you want and drop it onto your template, selecting from your hard drive or a cloud service like Dropbox.
Social media sharing is key.
Blogs need publicity to attract an audience and our website builder has a number of social media features built in to help you create the buzz you deserve. You can add a Facebook “Like” button, Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn functionality to display your latest activity on these accounts. If you want people to visit you, dedicated micro-programs (often referred to as widgets) handling contact details and Google Maps are available at no extra cost.
Search and searchability.
Another way to ensure your blog reaches the widest possible audience is through a process known as search engine optimisation, or SEO. This combination of different factors helps to position your site as high as possible in Google and Bing results when people search for specific words or phrases.
And while SEO is an ever-evolving art form, our Website Builder software has SEO management included alongside Google Analytics. This market-leading tool determines which words and phrases should be included in your site content, and it’s also great for establishing how users behave while they’re visiting the site. If half your traffic leaves after less than thirty seconds on a particular page, certain content or design features clearly need addressing!
Another key factor in SEO results involves whether a website is mobile-friendly. Most of today’s web traffic is carried by handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, where the big menu bars and long paragraphs of desktop sites don’t display well. Each of our pre-designed templates will automatically resize according to output screen resolutions, ensuring your blog looks as good on an iPhone as it does on an iMac.
Keeping regular content.
SEO performance benefits from regular site updates. Many people think that launching a website represents the end of a journey when in reality it’s just the beginning. Blogs, in particular, require constant updating to keep audiences engaged and coming back for more. Since you’ll regularly be adding new content, our software makes adding pages or posts easier than ever. You can make amendments from anywhere, with a few mouse-clicks ensuring your readers have fresh new content to enjoy every time they visit. And those social media integrations are ideal for publicising new content.
Going live without coding.
Because our website builder platform automates any coding and technical elements, there’s no programming required from your side. Once your pages have been designed and refined, simply hit “Publish”. Your site will instantly be uploaded to our servers so it’s available to view around the world; while UK2 are proud to be based in the UK, we also have access to worldwide servers. Your blog will display equally quickly whether you’re viewing it in Lisburn, Lisbon or Lyon.
The path to content-ment.
Having launched your blog, the final step is to regularly upload interesting and engaging content. Some people focus on topical stories and current events, while others prefer to maintain a single theme across every blog. Bear in mind people are bombarded with blogs and online content – you can’t keep saying the same thing and retain a healthy audience. Using personal anecdotes and humour help to build rapport with readers, who will share enjoyable content and generate organic site traffic through word-of-mouth publicity and likes.
Although millions of new blog posts are uploaded every day, there’s still scope to become a full-time blogger if you’re creative and dedicated. Some people have used blogging as a springboard to becoming authors or journalists, and every established writer had to start somewhere. What better place to begin your writing career than a blog, quickly and easily assembled using a foolproof website builder?
Or perhaps the WordPress blogging platform is more to your liking? Let’s take a look…
Here at UK2, we’re big fans of WordPress. And we figure that you should be too. The world’s most popular content management system offers a winning blend of virtues, and below are listed ten reasons why you should consider WordPress site hosting for your next blog, ecommerce platform or corporate website…
You can launch a site for less than £10, including the purchase of a domain name. Many templates and plugins are free, as is tech support through a thriving online community. WordPress site hosting is also affordable, especially through UK2.NET.
WordPress sites are constructed using a drag-and-drop interface that avoids any need for coding skills or design agencies, and its content management software makes updates easy. It’s possible to build and launch a site in 30 minutes.
Simple it may be, but there’s no shortage of personalisation available with WordPress. Thousands of themes await customisation, ensuring your site will be completely unique and distinct. And that’s before you start adding plugins…
Over 52,000 WordPress plugins have been created, each performing a specific task. From SEO (Yoast) and analytics (SumoMe) to marketing (MailChimp) and contact forms (WPForms), installing these bolt-on programs is child’s play.
Successful websites need updating regularly, and WordPress site hosting comes with CMS interfaces that support frequent revisions. This boosts SEO rankings, as well as giving audiences a reason to revisit your site regularly.
WordPress is very active when it comes to patching security issues and responding to new threats. From firewalls to comment spam filters, there are few ways to create a more secure and stable online presence.
Ecommerce transactions are still dwarfed by high street spending in the UK. WordPress is redressing the balance with robust and user-friendly ecommerce. One plugin can handle stock levels, payment, order confirmations, and feedback.
Because most of the world’s web traffic is carried on mobile devices nowadays, WordPress templates resize to suit each user’s output device. That improves the site’s SEO, while making it more user-friendly, which can drive up sales and enquiries.
At UK2.NET, we’re proud to offer optimised WordPress site hosting. We use cutting-edge server hardware to ensure each web page’s contents display in no time – further accelerating these streamlined templates.
Peace of mind.
We’ve been managing WordPress sites for many years, and we’ve rarely encountered anyone who’s dissatisfied with the world’s leading CMS. We’re so confident that you’ll like it, we offer new customers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Now that we’ve covered UK2.NET’s easy-to-use Website Builder as well as our WordPress hosting packages, our last stop on the complete tour of building a website is the amazingly simple StarterSite.
StarterSite is a free service offered to UK2.NET clients who register a domain with us. In less than five minutes you can create a single-page website to help website traffic find your physical location, or even to act as a placeholder while your website is being built. Learn more about the helpful tools included in StarterSite below:
You may be shocked to learn how many small- to medium-sized businesses still don’t have websites. According to CNBC, up to half of businesses are still not represented in the digital world. According to the article, “Almost half (45%) say they don’t have a business website. And only about one third (36%) use a business website to communicate news to customers and potential customers.”
These businesses must rely on word of mouth to find new customers, which could mean failure in the digital world. Fortunately, there is a better and easier choice for getting businesses engaged online.
If your business is one of the 45% still operating offline, we have a simple solution for you with the newest addition to our services. Getting your business online is priority number 1, but this task can be achieved in less than 5 minutes with StarterSite, an exciting UK2.NET service offered free with any registered domain. Your business can have a professional, fully functioning website in no time at all!
FREE StarterSite website with every registered UK2.NET domain
StarterSite is a web page builder that makes it simple to create a website for your business in just a few clicks. Pick a template, add your business information, and enjoy all of StarterSite’s amazing features, including:
Build a website with little technical experience.
Create a stunning website without learning code or making tough layout and colour choices.
Create. Preview. Publish.
In less than 5 minutes, enter your business info, add a map to your location, preview the page, and publish.
Optimised for beautiful transition on any screen size.
Website visitors can view your site on desktop, tablet, or mobile without sacrificing quality.
No-charge SEO support.
Search engine optimisation means increased organic traffic from search engines. StarterSite automatically includes tools to help boost your SEO.
Professional contact us form.
Build your network and add it to your customer base from your homepage.
Social media integration.
Add your preferred social media accounts to build an audience on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
Partner with Google Maps.
Lead customers straight to you by including Google Maps on your homepage.
If you are ready to make the move to the digital world and enjoy the benefits of an online presence, then you are in luck. It has never been easier to build a website and connect with customers online. Add StarterSite to any UK2.NET domain absolutely FREE. Simply add a domain to your cart, finish the checkout process and add the StarterSite option to your account.
Once you’ve added StarterSite to your hosting account, simply:
- Pick a template to serve as a foundation for your page
- Add your business details and contact information
- Preview your completed web page as it will appear online
- Click “Publish” and you’re done!
Have a domain previously registered with UK2.NET? No problem!
Log into your UK2.NET CHI account, add StarterSite and start building your new website. In minutes you will have created a sleek, professional web page to publish on your domain.