What you should take into account when starting a website
Nowadays, there are a lot of tools available for even technically unskilled people to start their own site or blog. Most of the things have been simplified down to the click of a button.
That being said, there are some good practices one should take into account when first setting up a site.
Below is a simple checklist, followed by explanations in some cases, for any user to create his own website from scratch.
1. Find a good host and domain registrar.
Ideally, you should use just one company to both register your domain and host it. Keeping your host and registrar separate won’t have much of an impact on your day-to-day activities but it will come in handy if you happen to have a technical issue with your website.
By using both of these services from the same company, you will make it easy for the Support department to troubleshoot problems and quickly fix them.
It also opens up any potential integrations the host might provide.
To find a good website host, we recommend you to read this topic on best web hosting sites.
2. Acquire a WHOIS privacy guard
By default, when you register a domain, all your contact information is publicly available. That means full name, country, adress, phone number and email.
If you feel this is too much for you, then we suggest you acquire a WHOIS privacy guard to protect your personal information from snoopers.
3. Get an SSL and make your site HTTPS
SSL encrypts a website’s communication between user’s device and the site’s servers. This makes it significantly more difficult for a hacker to intercept data sent between these two points.
HTTPS encryptions is especially useful for eCommerce websites, because of the sensitive data sent when a transaction is carried out.
But other websites also get a boon from using HTTPS, since Google has confirmed that it is used as a ranking factor.
4. Make sure robots.txt are configured correctly
The robots.txt file tells web crawlers whether they can crawl your website or not. A poorly configured one can block or prevent your site being indexed by search engines, which in turn means you won’t receive much (if any) search traffic. Here’s a quick primer on how to setup robots.txt properly.
5. Choose the right Content Management System
A CMS is software responsible for actually creating the visual part of a website that users interact with.
Around half of the world’s websites use such software to, while the other half stick to their own custom solutions.
For sites that use a CMS, WordPress is the overwhelming choice with around 50% market share, and is trailed by Joomla and Drupal.
While each has their own strengths and weaknesses, the overall balance leans heavily in favor WordPress for its ease of use, and huge developer base that covers just about every possible niche.
As a full disclosure, we are also WordPress developers. But it is our belief that out of all the platforms out there, WP is the best one for beginners or people just starting out their website.
6. Choosing the right theme
Regardless of which CMS you use, you will need a good-looking and functional theme for your website.
There’s a lot of things you should take into account here, such as compatible integrations, how flexible it is, how easily you can design the website’s headers, footers or change color schemes.
Hero Images are also an important consideration when choosing the right time. PikWizard’s guide “Hero Image: What It Is, Why You Need One & How To Create It” explores what exactly a hero image is, why and how people and companies use them and how you can create your own stunning hero image.
7. Choosing the right plugins
Besides the theme you need to choose, you should make a good research for the right plugins you’ll use for adding functionalities to that theme. The selected plugins have to be compatible with the active theme and they should be your best choices in terms of functionalities for your new website. To have a good start at searching for plugins (if you use WordPress), we recommend you to read this article to understand what Elementor PRO is, then check multiple options against the high standards it sets.