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How to Design a Website

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This content only applies to those using GATOR Builder by HostGator.

Creating a website is similar to building a house on a plot of land with a street address somewhere. Whether you are designing a home to live in or a brick-and-mortar location for your business, the ingredients are the same; you need some land, a way to get there and some building materials. 

For simplicity, we will work with this real estate analogy to help clarify HOW to Build a website and hopefully simplify the process into five (5) easy to follow steps:

The simple steps for building a website are as follows: 

Step 1: Create an Account:

To begin building a website, you will want to create a new Gator account (which will be your "plot of land") and select a domain name (which will be your "street address"). With a paid Gator account, you will also get unlimited access to the Website Builder tool (which is the “materials” portion) and other various building/maintenance tools in the Apps Market.

  1. Select the Sign-Up button from the home screen of Gator.com.

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  2. A pop-up will appear for you to begin the process of setting up a new account.

Step 2: Link that domain to your Account (or website builder.):

  • If you chose a domain name to live within your Gator account, select that domain when setting up the Website Builder.
  • If you choose to use a third party domain name, you may need to point your domain to your account with us by following these steps: How To Link A Domain

Step 3: Select a Template:

Selecting a template will seem like a big part of what you need to do to get your site online, but rest assured, choosing a template should be simple and minimally time-consuming. The goal is to select a style type you can work with and not one that is an EXACT MATCH.

Pro Tip: Before you select a template, we recommend researching some similar websites in your field. This is important because once you preview what sites are showing up first in a Google search, you can start to pick up on the elements that were used to achieve that look. 

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Something to also keep in mind when looking at websites is: you'll find they all tend to follow a similar trend. Pay attention to whether the logo is in the top right or center. Is the site navigation to the side of the logo? Is there a large header image beneath the logo and navigation? How many subsections are below the header image? Once you see these common elements on a few sites, you'll start to see why the themes are a solid foundation.

Step 4: Add Some Content like Text and Images:

Every great website, and even most of the bad ones, have some content on them. The difference is in the type of content you have and the placement of such. Ideally, that is why you have a template to guide you on Where, and What to add to your pages.

By using simple techniques like copy-paste/drag-and-drop to replace content like the about me or services list with your own. Swapping the products and gallery images with your own business and products can give your website a dynamically different result than the beginning foundation of the template.  You can link a google map, add videos, change colors and locations or add/remove pages or sections of a page you don’t need.

Pro Tip: It is recommended to make a list or folder containing all your content points for current and future reference. For instance, you may not need to add every social media you can think of just like it may not be necessary to add a fax number or background music. Be sure to research sites similar to yours and determine if there are “trends” or “best practices” to keep in mind.

Step 5: Getting Traffic:

Once you have added some cool text about you and what you do as well as some images that explain how you do it, its time to get people to check it out. The logic behind how to properly build a house is known as “Building code” where the logic behind how to build a website is Search Engine Optimization” or SEO.

With proper SEO, this means a series of things, but ultimately you will have all the necessary information, in the right places and readily available to those who are searching for it. Since No One truly has the recipe for the BEST SEO, there a list of common best practices and things you can do to increase the likelihood someone will find and use the information on your site.

Since there is not only one way around SEO, below is a list of articles that should help even the most novice designer to meet the minimum requirements. For more detailed help, it is best to speak with someone who has advanced knowledge of SEO and marketing online.

Here are some things you can do to increase site traffic: