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 specialist agency. Anyone familiar with the publish-and-be-damned approach of early web design firms might believe it’s still hard to change a site’s contents following its launch.
At UK2, 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 site as easy as designing an ecard or writing a blog. And since blogs are one of the most popular types of website our customers aspire to, we’ll show you how to use our templates and your imagination.
Here’s Our Foolproof Guide to Creating a Stylish and Effective Blog
Perhaps the most technical stage of using UK2’s website builder involves choosing how many features you want. We offer three packages at affordable monthly rates, and every 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 hints at its topic or theme. Avoid words that are difficult to pronounce or spell, and ensure your address is clearly readable at a glance.
UK2 also offers free hosting*. This is the process of storing your website’s contents on high-speed servers so audiences can view it at any time, and we handle everything on your behalf. Your site will always be available to view, on any device and in any country. You can also pick a free email address to match the domain name, though serious bloggers might wish to add multiple mail accounts through our Business and Unlimited Business packages.
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 an ecard, with pictures uploaded and tweaked through a handy image editor before being positioned with drag-and-drop simplicity. If you want 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
Any blog needs publicity to attract an audience, and our website builder has a number of social media features built in. 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.
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 artform, our 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!
Responsive Mobile Age
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.
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 child’s play. 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 a 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?
*applies only to website builder packages