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In 2021, anyone can develop a website. All you need is a little basic knowledge about how to customize and set up a website. But if you want to develop a beautiful and fully functional website, you’ll need to hire a web development company.
This article provides a step-by-step guide for what it takes to develop a beautiful website that is easy to use and provides your business with everything it needs.
How to Develop a Website
It is not easy to develop a website. There are many moving parts and lots of things that a developer or a development company has to do. What’s more, each of the various aspects of developing a website hold its own importance. And there is a sequence you must follow without variation.
For example, you need to start with a plan that includes hiring dedicated developers. Next, you’ll need to purchase your domain name before you start to develop your website and push content onto it. You’ll also need to choose a hosting platform. Moreover, if you are looking for custom solutions, you might have to exercise patience while your website developer designs the website that’s perfect for you.
What You Need to Develop a Website
Everything we mention here is important when you want to develop a website. Let’s discuss each aspect:
1. Domain Name
You need to buy a domain name before you can develop a website. You’ll use this for your site as well as your mobile app. (Of course, for the latter, you’ll need to turn to a mobile app development company.)
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Your domain name will establish your website’s identity. If your website doesn’t have a domain name that you have paid for, it will look something like “www.xyz.free-website.com.” This casts doubt on your website and your business. In other words, you could get a website for free but it wouldn’t be great for business purposes.
Keep in mind that visitors form instant opinions about your business when they visit your website. You want the website you develop to make a great impression on clients. But if your website doesn’t have a proper domain name, your company’s reputation will suffer.
However, there are many online sites where you can purchase a domain name for your website. If you are going through WordPress, for example, you can get a domain name free for a year with their reasonably priced hosting plan.
You can either host your website on WordPress’s own hosting server or you can choose from a third-party hosting service provider such as Hostinger.
There are many options on the market for full-stack development services. The developers you’re working with can help you make the right choice in this regard. Naturally, they will help you to consider your business’s needs as well as your budgetary requirements.
Not all websites have the same requirements. Therefore, the way they are hosted and where they are hosted can vary. Basically, when you develop your website, it will be important to choose your host platform carefully, as it will be difficult to change your mind about it later. You might be able to choose another hosting platform after a while, but you probably won’t get a refund. Also, it is a major headache to migrate from one hosting platform to another.
WordPress gives one year of hosting free with its plans, and that is a great deal for most people. WordPress does this so they can acquire more paying customers. When people stay and use their website builder, WordPress profits from the paid features.
Next, you’ll need to decide on a platform where you will manage your website. WordPress, Wix, and others are great. Many of them provide great value. Either you or the website development company you’re using will choose the platform according to the requirements of the website you develop.
For example, if you need a website that can handle a lot of content, WordPress would be a great choice. On the other hand, if you need to develop a website where you offer your services, Wix will provide you with great features. Both Wix and WordPress have their own eCommerce website builders as well. Therefore, if you need an eCommerce website, you can stick with either of these two instead of more hardcore options.
Basically, you’ll need to look at what you want from your website and then select the platform that will most easily allow you to manage and customize it. This is because different platforms have different tools, and those tools will give different functionalities and features to the website you develop. A website that doesn’t have relevant features won’t do what you need it to do.
4. Web Design Customization
After you decide on the platform or web development firm, you need to have a template theme for the website you develop. Moreover, when choosing a theme, make sure it aligns with your core idea.
You can either choose a free theme or a paid premium theme. If you are looking to use your website for business or any other commercial use, then be sure to choose a paid web theme. Then, once you decide on the theme, if you have chosen WordPress as your platform, you can install it and start customizing it from the WordPress console screen. Customizing your website template is easy but it does take some effort and a whole lot of research.
Additionally, good web design calls for specialists. This is why you need to hire user interface/user experience (UI/UX) experts to be on your team. They will make the website you develop look professional.
5. Adding Important Pages
Pages are the faces of the website you develop. Just try to imagine a website that has no content or pages. You can’t! Your website’s pages and its content give your website its form.
From a technical point of view, a web page is simply a document on the web. This document holds the information the website owner wants to show to the site’s visitors. It also contains the navigation plan for the website.
6. Setting Up the Navigation Menu
Any website you develop will need a navigation menu. This is how visitors can map out your site’s categories and tabs and decide which pages they want to visit. A well-designed menu will increase the chances of customers reaching their preferred destinations in the fastest possible time. You will have your choice of formats, depending on what your end users might prefer.
7. Setting Up an eCommerce Store
If you need to develop a website because you have products to sell, then this step is for you. When your developers have finished developing everything else on your website, it will be time to set up your eCommerce store. You will need a full-stack development agency to do this.
First, though, lay out the categories properly, then add the images and details for all of your products. Ensure that you do this step in an organized fashion, as a properly organized eCommerce store will convert more customers than an unorganized one.
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How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Website?
When you develop a website, you’ll have some upfront costs that will either be one-time charges or yearly ones, depending upon the plan and type.
On average, the total cost to develop a website when you use a website development service starts at around $200. Additionally, the average maintenance cost will be about $50 per month. Also, if you hire other professionals to help with design and development, the cost will be higher. For example, hiring a website developer or a graphic designer or both can add around $6,000 to the initial estimate, in addition to an ongoing cost of roughly $1,000 every year.
Breaking down the costs further, a website domain will cost anywhere from $12 to $60 initially, while website hosting starts a around $35 a month and can go up as high as $600. You can get an SSL certificate for free in some cases but paid ones can cost as much as $200.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Any Website You Develop
Hiring web developers takes a lot of money. From interviewing them to providing the resources they need to go to work, they take a lot of investment. However, they will provide the website you develop with some very important things.
So when you start to bring together your web development team, be sure to hire the right people. Then train them to work according to your organizational goals. For example, you might find some really good developers out there, but if they have little understanding of your company and its projects they won’t be able to provide you with what you need. Also, keep in mind that web development companies in the US are different from those you might find in, say, London.
2. Development Costs
Development is one thing that directly affects the cost of any website you develop. The more resources and time your website development requires, the higher will be the cost. Developers need a salary. They also need money for the resources they use in the development process.
Moreover, if you need custom web application development, your costs will be higher. Above all, you want to spend what you need to spend in order to end up with a high-quality website.
3. Domain and Hosting Costs for Developing and Maintaining a Website
When you develop a website, you will need to pay the domain name and hosting charges. Without those two things, you won’t have control over your website, and it will be of no use to you that way. If you want your website to look the way you want it to look and be able to use it properly to grow your business and create an image in the market, choose the best for both your domain name and hosting.
To secure your website, you might need to hire a full-stack development company. This will add costs to website development. However, this step is crucial, especially if your website will have a lot of sensitive information. Profiles of your customers could be at risk, for example.
It is your responsibility that everything on your website stays safe. There are no shortcuts in this regard. Simply put, if your website is not secure, you will lose business and your reputation will suffer. Security costs are not really all that high, anyway, and they are extremely important.
5. Testing as You Develop a Website
When you are developing a website, your site might have some errors and bugs in the code at first. Every time a developer writes a big code, there will be chances that one piece of that code will conflict with another one elsewhere. To ensure that every part of your website is working properly, you need to test, test, and test again.
There are multiple testing models. Just be sure to take the time and effort to do this. What’s more, it’s important to hire a different team to do the testing and not rely on your development team to do this piece. This, too, will will add to the final cost of developing your website.
When it is time to finalize your website and deploy it to end users, you will incur costs to promote it. Your website’s SEO score will not be very high initially. Therefore, external promotional events will be your only option. However, if your brand already has a large customer base, then you’ll be able to keep costs down. Otherwise, launching a website can be really expensive.
7. SEO and Content Activities
Without content, your website won’t rise up the ranks on the search page. Content is crucial to your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). And no online business can survive without having a good SEO score.
Moreover, ensuring that your site’s SEO is up to par is a continuous activity. Companies either need to outsource their SEO strategies or hire an in-house team to manage their SEO for them.
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Content is extremely critical when it comes to SEO, and unless you’re a content creator yourself, it is something you’re going to have to pay for as well.
Bring All Your Creativity to Bear and Develop a Great Website
Developing a website takes more than mere money and mind. It also takes creativity, management, patience, and problem-solving skills.
However, in 2021, no brand can survive without a website. Moreover, it’s important to understand that website development is expensive. You need to need to be ready to incur these necessary expenses if you want a website that will help your business grow.
While you can develop a website inexpensively, this won’t help you develop a strong reputation in your industry. So before you make any pivotal decisions in this regard, take a good look at your business’s requirements and your own end goals.
About the Author
Tarun Nagar is the founder and CEO of Dev Technosys, a globally recognized mobile app development company based in the US.
Dev Technosys has more than ten years’ experience in enabling startups. In fact, some of those startups have become global leaders in their fields. Nagar’s creative, out-of-the box IT solutions spring from his visionary qualities. He is known for adapting quickly to changing technology and trends, for being passionate about every aspect of web development, and for being dedicated to making IT simple, accessible, and approachable for business enterprises.