How to Make a Website for Free in 2020
A Step by Step Beginner’s Guide
Making a website is no longer as complicated as it sounds.
In fact, you don’t need to learn website design or programming to create a unique looking and professional website.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to make a website for free without writing a single line of code.
Before you go ahead and get to work on your website,
you should remember three important rules for making a website:
Have a goal in mind
Clearly identify your objectives for creating a website. Individuals and businesses make a website to accomplish a particular goal - e.g. brand building, introduce an idea to an audience, sell products, provide a particular service, etc. This set of objectives will dictate how your site looks like, the kind of features it will have and how you frame your message.
Make a website for human consumption
At some point, you must have learned or will learn that the way to build your website’s popularity is for it to appear prominently on search engine results pages. However, your website should, first and foremost, appeal to your human audience and not search engine bots. People are more likely to respond to a website that they know is run by humans. Remember to add a personal touch to your website design and content to connect with your target audience.
There’s no need to get fancy
When it comes to making a website, less is more. People don’t read website content word for word. They skim and filter the content to the most essential and relevant details. Don’t distract your visitor by adding unnecessary fluff to your website. Even better, make sure all the design elements render well on smaller screens like mobile devices.
1. Choose a Website Builder
You don’t have to be a professional web developer to make a website these days. All you need is a good website builder like Strikingly and you’re all set. A website builder basically lets users make a free website without writing code. You start a website out of one of its pre-designed templates, add in your content and launch. With a good platform, it usually takes about 20 minutes to get your website up and running.
Opening an account with Strikingly is easy. All you need to do is enter your email address and start choosing from one of the many mobile responsive and modern website templates in our collection. You can start off with a free account if you just want to dip your toes into the world of website design and management. Once you’re ready to commit to managing your business website, Strikingly offers 3 account tiers: Limited, Pro and VIP with a 14-day free trial for Pro if you want to try it out first. Visit our pricing page for more details on each plan.
2. Select a Template
The next step on how to make a website is to select a template. Strikingly’s entire collection of website templates are available even to free accounts so you get a wide range of choices available for you.
Your choice of template to make your website depends mostly on the type of site you are building as well as on your personal taste. The templates in our collection are classified according to the most common types of websites people create - blog, business, startup, etc. - to make it easier for you to narrow down your choices. Preview the website templates that look interesting and best suited to your brand and click ‘Start Editing’ once you’ve made a decision.
3. Start customizing your website
Strikingly gives you freedom to customize the look and feel of your website by letting you implement changes in color, font and other design elements from its website editor. The newer templates, such as Sora and Lotus, provide advanced customizations such as changing the layout of the navigation menu and adjusting the size of the title or body content. Certain sections also provide a number of layout options so you don’t need to settle to the default style for that template. Explore the hundreds of possibilities for mixing and matching different style options and design elements on your Strikingly website until you are satisfied with the way your site looks.
Design tips for making a website that works
Picking out color and fonts is probably one of the most intimidating aspects of designing a website. Our suggestion is to avoid reinventing the wheel at least to start and go for tried and tested combinations. There are lots of color guides online that can help you experiment on different shade combinations. Look to your company’s branding for guidance on the color scheme and fonts to use. Contrast is also one thing that you should keep in mind when selecting web colors.
You can’t make it perfect on the first run. Understanding that making a website is a continuous work in progress. You will find yourself tweaking and adjusting your site design several times throughout its lifespan.
Avoid unnecessary design elements. Everything on your site has to have a purpose. Anything that is just there merely because it looks nice may need to go.
4. Add a Logo
Adding an attractive logo is one of the most effective ways to build brand recognition on the internet. Any business worth its salt should be ready with a remarkable logo when making a website. We suggest getting a professional graphic designer to help you create your logo to ensure that it is aligned with your brand’s personality and digital marketing objectives. Strikingly also offers another way for you to create your own custom logo by partnering with Tailor Brands.
5. Create the Navigation
The next step on how to make a website is to start building the site’s navigation. For a single page website, this refers to the different sections that your website is going to have. The sections depend on your website’s objectives but in general, a website should contain the following:
Home or Introduction
By default, most the Strikingly templates already have these sections ready for you to start editing. You can add more sections to your website by clicking the Add New Section button on the website editor’s left panel. This gets you a whole list of apps and content sections that you can add to your website to make it more attractive and suited to your digital marketing goals. For instance, if you are creating an online portfolio, you can add a gallery section to your site to showcase your work. Expand your website’s features by adding the Simple Store or Simple Blog, or add new functionalities such as online RSVP and surveys through the integrated Strikingly app store.
You can also customize the style of your site’s navigation menu through Advanced Style Options.
6. Build your content
Let’s now move on to the individual sections of your website. At this point, we want to reiterate that when you make a website, you are creating a space that is meant for human consumption. Identifying your target audience is key to creating quality and engaging content. Each section or page (if you’re building a multi-page site) has a purpose and the content should clearly convey this purpose to the reader.
Making a website starts with an introduction to the site. You can consider this your elevator pitch that is meant to attract your visitor’s interest. Limit the introduction to a few short but punchy lines. Add a call to action that clearly states what you want visitors to do on your site as soon as they land. We also recommend adding an engaging background that is suited to your content. Modern websites use background videos to make their websites more attractive. It’s also an easy way to introduce your website to your audience.
One tip on how to make a website connect more to its audience through content is to avoid writing about you. Write as if you were talking directly to your reader. Address his or her potential concerns, pain points and motivations for coming to your website. The homepage should be about your user and how your product, service or information you provide can change his or her life.
People like a good story. It makes them connect with a brand on a more personal level when they understand that brand’s passions and ideology. The About Us section is a good place to express what your company or service is about, how it began and who are the people behind your business.
When you make a website to sell products or services, your flowery copy can only get you so far with your customer. People nowadays like to make informed decisions and are more likely to purchase products that other people are buying. Add customer reviews or testimonials section to your website to build trust with your audience. This type of content also helps address concerns that your market might have around your product or brand.
Finally, you want to make sure that you add your contact details on your website. Give your user a variety of means to reach you for inquiries. Strikingly’s templates come with a default contact form that lets users send you a message but you can improve on this by adding additional information such as a map to your physical location and additional fields. Add a live chatbox or connect to Facebook messenger to address questions in real time.
7. Add Images
Sometimes, it’s better to show visitors what your brand is about rather than tell them. Adding images on a website seems like a natural thing that we do but it takes a lot more thought than merely uploading random visuals to your site.
It’s always better to invest in professional photography services if you have the budget for it. Another more cost-effective alternative is to use stock photos. There are a lot of places online where you can get royalty-free images but you want to use these sparingly and select photos that perfectly reflect what your brand and company is about.
8. Add an ecommerce section
One of the best things about Strikingly is that it makes it easy for you to expand your website into an online store. With the Simple Store, you can create a user-friendly and secure online shop that lets you process online payment transactions by Paypal or Stripe.
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