Designing your own website using WordPress
One of the biggest questions we get is how can I design my own website? Whilst we suggest that the best way to get the website you want is to use a website designer. It is very easy to create a simple one-page website using WordPress.
Think of designing your own website like building a house
Understanding the foundation of a website will give you a better understanding of what you need to design your own website. Let’s take a look from the ground up using the most commonly asked questions about owning your own website.
Do I need hosting for my website?
Think of hosting as the land that a house is built on. If you don’t have any land to build the house on, you can’t build the house! Luckily, for digital land (hosting) there is an abundance of hosting providers. Just to note, cheap hosting doesn’t mean it’s the best. Make sure you have hosting that is based in your own country. It is better for SEO and customer service requests. As we are in the UK, we use Krystal Hosting and their customer service is amazing! We have a discount code (KRYSFUZZUK) which will give you £10 OFF your first order with them.
Do I need a domain name?
Think of a domain name as the address of your house. For people to visit your home or for mail to get to your house it needs an address. This is the same for your website. So that visitors know where to go to be able to visit your website, it needs an address. This is called a domain name.
Which website platform should I use?
Think of a website platform like the foundations of your house. It needs to be something reliable and efficient to take the weight and design of the house. It also needs to have enough room for development. When looking at a website platform, there are many out there to choose from. However, the one we use for all our websites is called WordPress. It powers over 37% of the whole web and 60% of all content management systems. Wow!
WordPress is extremely versatile and efficient, and because it’s open-source it’s free. It’s also worth noting at this stage that there are two options when using WordPress. Sites generated using WordPress.com have the hosting included. Sites generated directly from downloading the files from WordPress.org do not have hosting included. They have to be uploaded to a server to work. However, pretty much any hosting platform can install WordPress at the click of a button.
WordPress is also extremely easy to use and is fantastic for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
How do I actually design my website?
Think of designing your website like building the rooms in your house and then decorating them. When you add pages to your website it’s like building a room for your house. This is a great way of looking at your website. One of the most important things to look at is the user journey when they visit your website. If you think of a large guest house that has a lot of rooms in lots of different directions. It will be hard for the visitor to find the room they are looking for.
This is the same when adding pages. Make sure that your pages have a title so that they know where they are going. Also, think about the structure of your pages and your navigation. This helps them navigate your site.
The next bit is the fun bit, actually designing your pages. Think of this as designing the layout and decorations in your rooms. A good layout will have everything in the right place and with the right colours. Hopefully representing your brand or products.
There are a few options for how we can layout your pages and decorate your website. This is what we will discuss next.
What design & layout options are available when designing your own website?
Can I use a template to design my own website?
One of the quickest a most efficient methods to design your own website is to use a template. There are 1000’s of free WordPress templates for you to use. So give it a go and have a play around. Here you can learn and try our different themes. It’s the best way to get to know your way around the WordPress dashboard. It’s the best way to get started in designing your own website.
Can I use a paid theme to design my website?
By using a paid theme or template from a marketplace like Themeforest, you can create an industry-level website. Don’t be fooled by thinking that these templates are cheap. They are coded and designed by some of the best WordPress coders on the planet. They can come with feature-rich functionality and design elements.
These themes are not as complicated to use as specific design software. However, they still require some WordPress knowledge. This can often involve learning about that specific theme or template in detail to get the best out of it. A great example of where we would use such a theme is for a car dealership business.
Can I use Bespoke Software to design my own website?
Yes, of course you can. There are many great bespoke design-builders that can be plugged into WordPress. They offer extreme flexibility for those who are looking for things exactly the way they want.
These are not for the faint-hearted though and can take a lot of time. Not only creating the design and layouts you want but also how to learn the software. These builders come with advanced features and functionality and are usually used by web designers.
However, to design your own website and be able to get it looking exactly how you want. In the end, it’s worth learning.
So how difficult is it to design my own website?
If you have some spare time and interest in websites, it’s possible to design your own website. As we explained. To build a simple one-page website there are some simple tools you can use to get yourself online.
For more features, you may have to spend a little more time and a small investment on a theme. A little more work on learning a bit more about WordPress will also be required.
If you are wanting greater flexibility over your website you can use a builder. It’s certain that you will have to spend a great deal of time learning more about WordPress and the builder. This is when you would consider using a web designer to build a site for you.
How to design your own website checklist
So now you know what it takes to be able to design your own website. Let’s give you a little ‘design your own website checklist’ so you know what things you need.
- Buy your own hosting and a domain name and install WordPress from your hosting dashboard. Sign up for a subscription at WordPress.com
- Add a theme from the free options or purchase a theme from Themeforest and install it
- Customize the colours of your theme using the customizer
- Add the pages you want and name them accordingly
- Keep practising and learning about WordPress
These steps are the essential tasks to be able to design your own website and implement it. As with anything in life, the more we practice and the more we learn, the easier it becomes.
If you have any questions, pop a comment below and we will do our best to help.
Take a Web Designer Course
If you are still struggling to build your own website, consider taking a web designer course. This will help you learn and understand exactly what you need to know to effectively build and manage your own website.
We offer a 1-2-1 in person web designer course which will guide you through all the steps one by one, finishing with a professional looking website ready for your business.