How to Design a Website: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide

how to design a website

How to Design a Website

Before you learn how to design a website, you need to define your site’s purpose and strategy. What is it that you want people to do when they visit your site? If you don’t know what exactly this is, then you should think about writing down some ideas or asking someone else who does.

You can also use Google search as well as other websites for help in defining your goals. Now it’s time to look at the latest web design trends. This is where you should look into various blogs and forums to get an idea of what other designers are doing. You could even take a look at some of the free templates available on the internet. These will give you a starting point from which you can build upon later.

Now, that you have a clear understanding of what you want your website to achieve.

Let’s get started.

How to Design A Website: Our 6 Step Guide

  1. Choose Your Domain Name
  2. Select Your Web Hosting provider
  3. Pick Your Content Management System
  4. Create/Pick Your Template
  5. Customize Your Website
  6. Optimize Your Website

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Learn How to Design a Website in 6 EASY Steps

1. Choose Your Domain Name

A domain name is your website address. For example, Google’s domain name is You’ll need to choose a domain name for your website that is related to your business and easy for people to remember.

Check to see if the domain name you want is available by using a domain check service, like the one offered by Google Domains.

A few tips:

  • Keep it short and memorable. People will usually only type in the first few letters of your domain name, so make sure the most obvious spelling is available.

  • If you already have a company name, use that. For example, if your business is called “Acme Widgets,” you could use with .com. It’s the most recognizable domain name and it’s more likely that people will be able to remember how to spell it.

  • Try to get the domain name as close to your company name as possible, unless you have a really good reason to use something else. People will find it difficult to remember a domain name that isn’t close to your company name. For example, if your company is called “Acme Widgets,” don’t use “” instead.

  • Don’t include punctuation in your domain name. Most people don’t type punctuation in a web address.

  • Check your spelling and test it out in a browser before you buy it.

Register Your Domain Name

There are many companies that sell domain names, like or They usually charge around $10 per year to register a domain name.

You’ll need to provide some personal information when you register, like your address and contact information. You may also have to provide identification (like a passport or driver’s license) before the company will allow you to complete registration.

2. Select Your Web hosting provider

Once you have set up your domain name, web hosting, and website engine, you are ready to begin building your website.

Web hosting is a service that stores the files for your website on a server so people can view it in their browser. There are many companies that provide web hosting services, like or They usually charge around $10-20 per month to host a website.

You’ll need to provide some personal information when you register, like your address and contact information. You may also have to provide identification (like a passport or driver’s license) before the company will allow you to complete registration.

Now that you have a domain name and web hosting, you need to set up a “website engine.”

A website engine is basically a set of files that tell any browser reading it how to display your website. For example, the HTML and CSS coding tells a browser how to display text and images on a webpage. Website engines usually come in two forms: shared or dedicated.

Shared Hosting

With a shared website engine, you share server space with multiple other websites. If many people are visiting those websites, your website may not load quickly. However, it is the cheapest option, usually costing less than $10 per month.

Shared hosting tends to be slower than dedicated hosting because there is a greater concentration of people on the same server. This means that many people are competing for the same web server resources (hence the term shared hosting). Because of this you may experience slow loading times as well as difficulties with certain scripts and applications.

However, for the vast majority of websites the shared hosting options available provide more than enough space and bandwidth for your needs.

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, you have a website on your own server. This means that no one else is using any of the server’s resources, so no one is slowing down your site. Dedicated hosting is much more expensive than shared hosting, usually costing around $100 per month.

3. Pick your CMS

Once you have set up your domain name, web hosting, and website engine, you are ready to begin building your website.


WordPress is a very popular content management system (CMS) that lets you create a website quickly and easily without touching any code. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s manageable even for people with no coding experience.

There are many different templates and themes within WordPress you can choose from to customize your website. You can also hire someone to create a custom theme for you.

There are many different plugins that can add different features to your website such as contact forms, calendars, and social media integration. You can also hire someone to customize a plugin for you.

With WordPress, you can add, delete, and move any content as you please, with the help of a visual editor.


GoDaddy is a popular website domain registrar and web hosting company and offers many different packages. Their website templates are also varied and include both classic and app editor layouts. The website templates are separated into different packages.

The Essential Package contains the most popular layouts, the Perfect Package has a more design variety and the Advanced Package offers more niche designs for specific businesses.

The Essential, Perfect and Advanced packages all include an online store feature. This is a great add on for anyone selling physical products as it lets you set up a virtual shop front with payment processing provided by PayPal and Google Checkout. The Essential Package is the cheapest package available at $4.99 a month, however this package only offers 3 templates (although 6 with the online store add on).


iWeb is an all round solid website design company that lets you create a modern and interactive website. Similar to GoDaddy, the packages available provide options for different layouts and functions although iWeb’s prices are slightly higher. The company offers you the ability to signup for a free 14-day trial so you can try out their service before committing to buying ananything


Offering both hosting and website building services, 1&1 provide many different website templates with the option of a monthly payment scheme or a one off fee. The monthly prices range from $4/mth to $15/mth depending on the package. This is more expensive than GoDaddy but the designs and features are slightly better.

Their cheapest package includes a website with online store functionality and 5 different templates to choose from. Best of all, the site is mobile device compatible.


Weebly is a drag and drop website builder that lets you make a good-looking website with little knowledge of coding or design. Their cheapest paid option is $12.50 a month and lets you make an unlimited amount of websites for 1 domain.

Weebly also provides free websites but they look much more basic and only allow you to have 1 page. Weebly provides many different features to customize your website such as background images, widgets for blogs or contact forms, and apps to add e-commerce functionality to your website.


HubSpot lets you create an incredibly sleek and easy to navigate website that converts visitors into leads. The package starts at $200 a month and includes many features such as SEO tools, Content Management System and analytics. The company also provides a free CRM (customer relationship management) tool that lets you keep track of your leads and prospects. Their starter package includes 10 leads and 100 contacts.

4. Create/Pick Your Template

The last thing that needs to be considered before we start customizing our website is choosing a template and starting customizing it ourselves. You can start with a free template and later on purchase a more advanced one if you find that you are serious about continuing your online venture.

You can get website templates from the following places.

Free Templates from your Hosting Company

The first place you can get templates is from your website host. Most hosts have a collection of free templates that you can use to make a website. The catch is that these usually don’t look very good and are only usable with the specific host that offered them.

Free Templates from WordPress

The next place you can get free website templates is from WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows anyone to make a website or blog. They have literally thousands of free templates that you can use and they also have some good tutorials to go along with them.

Free Website Templates from the Web

Finally, you can get free website templates from around the web. There are many different places that offer these, but you’ll want to be careful about what you pick. Many free templates come with viruses or will try to install malicious software on your computer. To avoid this, make sure that the website is a trusted source or has good reviews about the templates they offer.

Besides picking a theme, you can also completely customize your website by creating your own theme. This requires knowledge of some coding languages such as HTML and CSS, but there are many tutorials available online to help you create the website of your dreams.

5. Customize Your Website

To fill up your new website, you have a lot of options with all CMS platforms. You can add pages, posts, categories, and media files such as pictures and videos. All of these can be organized in a variety of ways, allowing for a lot of customization and control over your website.

Since the year 2000, internet users have been viewing websites using the XHTML language. At the beginning of 2017, however, this will finally change as XHTML is scheduled to be turned off and all websites are to be coded using the newer HTML 5 language.

To save you time and effort, there are many HTML 5 templates available online. You can also create your own using a simple text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit. Once you’re finished creating the page, you can then upload it to your website using an FTP client software.

Keep the following characteristics in mind when customizing your website.

Make it responsive

To make sure your website looks great on any device, you can add responsive web design to your pages. With this feature, the code will change depending on what device it is being viewed on, making sure that the reader has the best experience possible.

There are many different types of plugins/add on tools that can be added to a CMS platform-based website. These include tools such as contact forms, related posts, and advertising management.

Easy to Use

Your users should not have any difficulty in using your website. They need only to know where they want to go and what they would like to do there. The best way to ensure that is by providing clear instructions and easy-to-follow steps for them to follow. This will also help keep them engaged with your website which in turn increases their likelihood of returning again and again.

Simple Navigation

A simple navigation structure helps your visitors understand what they’re looking for as well as keeping them focused on it. It’s important to make sure that all pages within your website are easily accessible from anywhere on the screen.

One of the most important parts of your website will be the navigation bar or menu. The navigation bar is what people use to move around your site.

Clear Description of What Your Site Is All About

It’s very important that every visitor knows exactly what kind of information he or she needs to provide when visiting your website. This is especially true if they are coming here for the first time.

Add Good Fonts and Colors

Fonts and colors used on your website should be legible at all times without distracting from the content being displayed. These two factors are particularly important since they convey to your visitors that this is indeed a professional website. In addition, it makes them feel comfortable while browsing through it since everything looks so neat and organized.

Make it Easy to Understand

Your website’s content should be written in a way that it can be easily understood by most of your visitors. In fact, you can even go the extra mile and provide detailed explanations for topics that may require them. Not only will this make them happy but it will also give them a sense of accomplishment whenever they learn something new.

Add Your Social Media Profiles

With social media integrated into so many websites, it’s important that you at least have a Twitter account for your business. Having a Facebook fan page is also a good idea as it allows people to like your business’s page.

There are many tools under every CMS platform like WordPress, Weebly etc. to manage these accounts. You can post to all of your pages with just a few clicks so that you easily keep your users up-to-date on your products and services. It also makes replying to comments and posting new content much easier.

6. Optimize Your Website

Optimization isn’t just for search engines. Having your website set up for optimization makes internal processes, like loading pages much faster. Making sure that everything on your site is succinct and quick reduces the chance of your users getting bored and leaving your site before making a purchase.

When optimizing your website, pay attention to the following:

Title tags

As the name implies, each page’s title tag serves as that page’s title — and they should be unique for every page on your site. A page’s title is the first thing that appears in search results.

You get a limited amount of space in search results, and your title tags are your biggest opportunity to make sure your content is displayed properly. You should keep this in mind when choosing your page’s title. Check out SemRush for some helpful tips on how your page’s title appears in Google search results.

Does it appear as a “snippet” with just a bit of text? Or does the entire title tag display in the search result? You should include keywords for your page in the title, but don’t go overboard and click spammy. Think of your reader: what words are the most likely to search for?

Meta Description

The description of your page is what displays in the search results next to the page title. Let’s use our coffee shop example.

When you add a new page, the first sentences of your content are automatically assigned as the page description. This is really helpful for getting your content indexed in search engines, but you also have the option to edit it.

The description should be a couple sentences written for users, not search engines. It needs to include the page’s title (so it displays properly in search results), as well as a few of your most important keywords. Do not keyword stuff here. Just try to say what the page is about so that someone reading it would have a good idea of what the page is about.

ALT Text

ALT text, or alternative text, is what displays in place of an image when the image cannot be displayed for any reason.

For example, if a blind person has turned off images in their web browser, or if they are using a technology that does not display images.

For this reason, every image on your page should have descriptive alt text. This is content you create and will be included in your page’s word count (since it’s content after all). ALT text is also important for SEO, because it is yet another opportunity to include keywords. Keep this in mind as you are writing alt text for your images.

Optimize your website URL

Take a look at all your URLs. Why? Because if you did On-Page SEO correctly then the content of your URLs should be relevant to the content of the page it’s linking to (that is: the topic of the page and the keywords you targeted in that page should be in the URL). If not, you risk Google potentially passing over your great content because its URLs give it a lower rating.

One such example is “” The keyword “how to speak drow language” is not in the URL, and although the content of that page might be really helpful in learning how to speak drow, it doesn’t match the page’s URL and therefore Google will discount it a bit.

So take a look at your topic, pick out some keywords that you think are appropriate, and try to include them in your URLs.

Website Speed

You probably don’t realize it, but how fast (or slow) your website loads is a factor in SEO. Well, not exactly, but it’s still something Google looks at to determine whether or not you deserve a higher ranking.

For this reason, you’ll want to check the load time of your own website and try to make it as fast as possible.

One of the best ways to improve website speed is to use a Content Delivery Network. A content delivery network, or CDN, is a system of servers located all over the world that allows you to display a website faster for people in different locations. While this isn’t something you can just turn on and it works, there are free CDN’s you can use such as CloudFlare.

Compress Your Images

Images are probably the largest cause of slow loading websites. None the less, visitors still love images and they are necessary for most websites. For this reason, it’s important to get pictures to load as fast as possible.

There are two different ways to do this.

Use Editing Software

The first is to use image-editing software to create images that are as small as they need to be while still looking good (for example: use a lower image resolution or decrease the number of colors).

These include images, your website’s main HTML file, CSS files, JavaScript files, etc. The fewer there are, the faster your website will load.

Use Caching

The next one is to use caching. This is sort of a gray area when it comes to SEO and speed, but using cached files can actually give a minor boost in speed and work better for you than non-cached ones. You can implement this by adding cache headers to your server or using a WordPress plugin that implements them for you.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is when you link one page of your website to another.

You probably already do this to some degree if you have more than a few pages, but there are some tips on doing it effectively.

First of all, don’t overdo it. Having a thousand links on a single page is going to look unattractive and be inconvenient for your users. Try to limit yourself to linking important pages in categories (for example, a “contact us” page).

Another thing you can do is to link closely related pages together. Wikipedia does this effectively by linking the various editions of a similar topic on different pages but all in the same directory. If your website is organized in a way that you have several subsections, you can link them together for easier access (for example, if you have a “News” subsection and an “External News” subsection, you can link to the latter from the former and not others).

Surprisingly, you don’t need that many links to make it easy for your visitors to go where they want. Three or four links, each linking to a different subsection, should be enough.

Further, if a visitor clicks a link by accident and doesn’t like where they end up, they can simply click the “back” button and end up right where they started (just like a real life bookstore, actually).

Your website won’t look as “pretty” as those with less internal linking, but your visitors will certainly be able to get around easily.

Once again, you don’t need to follow all, or even any, of these tips. They’re here simply as suggestions. Choose whichever ones you want for your website.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a process in which you attempt to get your website to show up in the search results on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When designing your website, it is important that you make sure that it is optimized properly.

Professional SEO services help you optimize your web pages and be more visible to a greater audience which brings in organic traffic and higher conversions.

Conclusion: How To Design a Website

  • Choose Your Domain Name

  • Select Your Web Hosting provider

  • Pick Your Content Management System

  • Create/Pick Your Template

  • Customize Your Website

  • Optimize Your Website

With a stunning new website design and a content management system, you’re ready to start getting those sales!

With the advice in this article and the creative ideas flowing through your mind, you’re ready to start designing! Keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to design your next site. Best of luck!

In case you need some serious and professional web design services, please feel free to get in touch with us and our design team will get the job done for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Design A Website

How much does it cost to design a website?

It depends on the complexity of your project.

For example, if you’re just starting out and need a simple landing page that will get people to sign up for your newsletter or download an app, then a basic template is probably going to be free.

If you want something more complex like a blog with multiple articles and video tutorials, then you’ll have to pay for it.

What are the principles of web design?

10 Principles of Good Web Design

1. The website should be easy to use, yet not overwhelming for the user.
2. It must have a clear purpose and clearly defined structure so that it can be easily understood by the end-user
3. It must also provide enough information for the end-user to make an informed decision
4. It should not contain any graphic or text advertisements
5. There should be no excessive amounts of text on the screen
6. It should display at least one image per page
7. It should allow the user to navigate through the site using a mouse or keyboard
8. The font size should be set appropriately
9. All links in the navigation bar of the website should lead directly to their destination
10. There should be a well-organized layout of pages with only one page being displayed at a time

What are some of the benefits of using WordPress?

WordPress has been around since 2005 and is one of the most popular blogging platforms in existence. It’s also extremely easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop interface and powerful features.

In addition, WordPress allows you to create blogs for any type of business—from restaurants to online stores—which means you can easily target specific audiences based on their interests or even industry.

What makes a website design aesthetically pleasing?

There are three key factors that are important in an aesthetically pleasing website.

1. Font: The first factor is the font. Aesthetically speaking, a font is more appealing if it has a curved finish rather than a blocky one. An example of a font with a curved finish is the type used on this page. Aesthetically, it’s pleasing to the eye. An example of a font with a blocky finish is the type used in Microsoft word. The reason these are less pleasing to the eye is that our eyes are naturally drawn to curves rather than corners and edges.

2. Colour: The second factor is color. The main colors used on this page are blue, black, and white. These colors were chosen because they’re easy on the eye. The text color should always be a lighter color, typically white, as darker colors tend to give the eyes more of a challenge and may even cause headaches if used in excess.

3. Images: The third and final factor is images. Images should be relevant to your topic and also interesting. People visit your page to be entertained as well as informed. So although including images, make sure that they’re relevant to the topic and don’t overdo it. You also want to make sure that the images you use are high quality and clear as this will also be an important factor in how appealing your page is to the eye.

What is a hosting service and do I need one?

A web host is a company that provides you with the tools and servers needed to run your website.

Do I need one?

That depends on your situation, but it’s recommended that you have one if you’re serious about building your site as it can provide several benefits such as increased performance and more flexibility. Not to mention, most blog platforms will not let you host your site without one.

Should I hire a web designer?

While I think it’s always good to learn a new skill, you could easily spend months or even years trying to perfect your website. If you don’t have that kind of time, or you just don’t want to put in that much effort, then hiring a professional is probably a better idea.

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