Want to know how to design your own website?

More and more people have realised the benefits of having their own web presence. And no, we are not talking about being on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We are talking about owning a website! 

It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing a passion project just for the fun of it, or if you’re launching a business that you hope to nurture into a multi-million dollar empire.

You need a website. And what’s more? Fortunately, you don’t have to be a descendent of Albert Einstein to get around designing a website for yourself. That’s exactly what we are going to help you out with this simple guide, how to design your own website.

So, put your creative hat on, and let’s get designing!

Step 1: Define Your Website’s  Purpose

Defining the purpose of your website may sound like saying the obvious, but before you jump right into the creative stuff, you need to be absolutely clear about what you’re setting out to achieve.

Defining a path at this initial stage helps you maintain course and reach your objectives at the end. So, this is pretty important.

Firstly, one of the easier things to decide about is the structure, industry, and content strategy to adopt for your website. But all of those are what every visitor expects to see, hence won’t necessarily be wowed just by seeing you do them right.

However, settling on your Unique Selling Point (USP) is where you need that thinking cap of yours.

People will see through a shabbily designed website simply put out to generate traffic and bring you more sales. They can easily discern what your intentions are because they can compare your efforts to a lot of other greatly branded websites. If they can’t see what’s unique about you, they won’t visit your site again.

What you need is to find a way to link your overall branding strategy to your website’s design. That’s the only way you can come across as authentic and engaging. Make no mistake about it, your visitors want to see reasons why you exist beyond making a profit.

What actions do you want your visitors to take when they visit your site?


Once you have established what and who you are as a brand, the next is to decide what action you want your visitors to take after visiting your website. Some websites are just there to put out information, while others may encourage visitors to buy products, subscribe to a service, and so on.

Establishing a clear purpose and answering the defining question will ultimately dictate the look and feel of your website.

One crucial component of every website is the landing page. Which every top website conversion rate expert believes should have one laser-focused CTA (call to action) accompanying it.


Step 2: Research Web Design Trends


You may ask: if I needed to be unique with my website design, why do I have to look at what others are doing?

Valid question. But you can be unique even when conforming with what others are doing in your industry or niche.

The way a website is designed is an important factor. Hence, it’s important that you take enough time and, at least, look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them.

Depending on your industry or niche, websites under them will be designed in a certain way or style, have similar components and processes, and generally feel and look the same. So when you learn how to design your own website, you must know for sure whether your own design fits into what’s prevalent in your sector, or actually disrupts it.

It’s good to research by industry rather than by age brackets or gender. There’s a whole lot to learn about web design around your industry like colour theory, fonts usage, and layout style.

If you want something completely different from what your niche is offering, it’s all good and fine. But if you choose uniformity with your industry, there’s a clear path.


Step 3: Choose A Platform

Admit it: the first thing that comes to most beginners’ minds when they hear top-notch web design is a professional design agency. Yes, no doubt a top-tier company will do a great job, but their charges can be expensive.

Luckily, there is an easier and cheaper way out to design your own website by using website builders and e-commerce platforms.

These website builders are DIY tools that allow complete novices to design and customise their own websites without knowing a single line of code.

There are a ton of options out there, but we have put in the work and summarised some of the best options for you.

  • Wix: very popular and generally regarded as one of the best website builders on the market. It has a very friendly editor and an easy-to-use drag and drop feature.

  • Squarespace: very classy website builder with a premium feel to it. It has a lot of templates to choose from and can come across as very intuitive to creative persons.

  • Weebly: website platform that appeals most to small businesses. It has great templates options and a user-friendly drag and drop feature.

  • Shopify: currently the best e-commerce platform out there. It has a very wide range of themes designed specifically for different industries and businesses.

  • Green Cardinal Design: Well we had to mention ourselves! If you need help with any of the platforms above, reach out to us here and we’ll walk you through them. 


Step 4: Select a Theme/Template

If you have carefully considered your choices from step 1 through step 3, you’ll have a clear idea of the template/theme that serves your needs.

A template or theme is effectively the layout of your website. Most platforms will offer you several templates to choose from, filled with example content to give you a feel of exactly how your finished design will look like.

The templates will likely be arranged under categories or industries, with each category served with built-in relevant contents to save you the trouble of adding them later.


Some of the likely industry-curated templates you’ll see include health, tech, news, and start-ups.

Step 5: Decide on Your Branding Strategy

If you’re wondering when you are going to put in all you’ve learned so far and start designing your website, that time is now.

When designing your website, think of every little detail you decide to include – or exclude – as an opportunity to relate and promote your overall brand. Every visual elements matter and your visitors will certainly be affected by your choices. The colour scheme, font style, and imagery all play a specific role in telling your brand story. So, make sure they are all telling the same story – your brand.


Step 6: Add and Optimise Your Content


How to create engaging content is a topic for another day. However, two important things help you present your content in the best way possible to readers: positioning and optimisation.

The positioning has to do with where content sits on a page, and their layout. When it comes to layouts, research has told us that people consume website content in an ‘F-shape’ format. For that reason, many websites are laid out with the navigation menu across the top, since it’s the first item most visitors look for their first time on a page.

Optimisation is a behemoth on its own, but Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is when you make changes to your website to increase its rank when a user performs a search on a platform like Google or Bing.

Things like metadata, images, texts, and responsiveness are just some of the major areas where website optimisation is most needed.


Step 7: Publish Your Website


It’s time to publish your newly designed website. But remember: the first impression truly counts, so make sure everything from step 1 through 6 is incorporated as intended.

Before you go live, make sure your website is tested thoroughly by other people like family, friends, and colleagues. They are the users, so gather their thoughts and make the necessary changes. Also, there are a lot of UX checklists online that you can use to preview your site before you put it online.


Take your time and make sure everything checkouts correctly. Then, publish!


Step 8: Analyse and Improve Your Website


If you’re here, congratulations website builder, you’ve learned how to design your own website! But you’re not quite there yet.

Now, it’s important to keep track of the performance of your brand new site. Thankfully, most platforms have their own built-in analytics or third-party apps.

You can even configure Google Analytics to your website and be able to track a whole bunch of things like conversion rate, bounce rate, impressions, clicks, etc.


The fact is, a website is never truly a finished product. To constantly keep your website optimised and up to date, you have to regularly keep track of its performance and behavioural stats. If not, your competitors will get ahead of you.

SHOULD You Design it Yourself?

Depending on your skill level, this whole process may sound too complicated. Especially if it’s your first foray into web designing.


However, should you design your website yourself? That depends on your budget and your requirements. If your site is complex or you want to make the most impact, it’s best to seek the expertise of a professional web design agency.

If that’s you and you’d rather we take web designing off your hands and build something amazing, why not check out Green Cardinal Design? 




Let's get you going!

If that’s you and you’d rather we take web designing off your hands and build something amazing, why not check out Green Cardinal Design?