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Website design graphicHow To Design A Website (2023 Guide)

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Building and designing a website is an important aspect of establishing a presence online. Before embarking on this journey, it’s essential to ensure that you have all the necessary resources for you or your designer. This article will provide an overview of the items you need to design a website that stands out.

What You Need Before You Start Building

Web Hosting

Web hosting is an essential element of building a website. This service provides a physical space to store website content, including text, images, and databases. By subscribing to a hosting platform, you gain access to a server, where all your website data is stored. There are different types of hosting, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and virtual private servers. I offer all of these kinds of hosting services, it’s best to reach out to us directly here if you are not sure what type of hosting is best for your specific situation. But if you already know what type of hosting plan you need you can go here to buy it from us now.

Domain Name

Your domain name is the address that visitors see in their browser when they search for your site. It’s essential to incorporate your brand name into the domain name to avoid confusion. If your preferred domain name isn’t available, you can choose a name that’s similar to it. Domain registration can be done through a domain registrar, although some hosting providers offer domain registration services.

Other important factors to considering when purchasing your domain would be SEO, for instance if you are in a niche like apparel it is good to add that into your name, and if you are a location specific business like a roofer then adding that location in the name is great for SEO. Pro tip if helps to have these things in your Google Business Listing also but if they are not in your actual business name or atleast the actual domain name then google will penalize you for stuffing keywords into your Google Business Listing name that are not in fact in your actual business name. So by putting them into your domain it will show validity when using them on your google business listing and you won’t run the risk of google penalizing you. If you haven’t yet finalized your company name it is even better to put these things into your name.

Also if you purchase your domain from a registar that is not where your hosting is you could face a time period where you can’t transfer the domain to where your hosting site files will be built and stored. There will be a fee and 30 to 90 days before you can transfer your domain to where it needs to be to build your website so it is always best to get your domain from where your hosting is.

SSL Certificate

Obtaining a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is essential for your business’s security and reputation. This certificate encrypts information exchanged between your website and its visitors, protecting sensitive information from hackers. There are different types of SSL certificates, including domain validation, organization validation, and extended validation. Ensure that you obtain an SSL certificate from a reputable service provider because you can get very cheap and even free SSL’s but you get what you pay for. And not having one will actually hurt your ranking with search providers because it’s something they all now expect website to have. We also offer these as an add on if you are doing it yourself or paying us to design your site.

Website Builder

Designing a website without coding experience can be done with a website builder. These platforms offer customizable templates with features that allow you to design your website. Just remember never use website builders that also provide hosting and domain registration services, these all-in-one builders sacrifice performance and should only be used when you have no budget and need free do it YOURSELF software but NEVER should be used if you are paying someone to design your site! Examples of website builders include Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace. If you buy your hosting from us we offer website builders also. Contact us here or go to our shop to find out more here.

Search Engine Optimization Tool

SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) is critical to ensure that your website ranks high in search engine results. An SEO tool is an application that analyzes your website’s content and provides recommendations on how to optimize it for search engines. These tools help you identify keywords and phrases that people use to find content similar to what you offer. Popular SEO tools include Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz. We include on-site SEO for all of the website we are hired to build but there is also off-site SEO that needs to be considered.

Untitled design 15+Iowa-Web-Designer


Point of Sale

If you’re selling products or offering services on your website, you’ll need a point-of-sale (POS) system to process payments. A POS system allows customers to purchase products and services from your site and facilitates payment processing. Examples of POS systems include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.


Gather all your content

You will want to have all your graphics and copy you will want on your site like your logo in portrait and landscape layout on transparent background, all your high resolution images you want used on the site, and other graphics like videos.  You will also need your textual copy for the site and your location and contact info. You will need to have done keyword research to know what keywords you want to use for your on-site SEO.

If you are selling anything you will also need a CSVall your product names, prices, shipping costs, tax amount, sizing charts, images, descriptions, variations such as styles offered, colors offered, sizes offered etc. for all your products that you want input into the shop. If you don’t have a CSV with all the applicable things I mentioned here then you will have to manually enter that info for each product listing.

Make sure you know what your brand fonts, slogan, and colors are also.

How to Design a Website in 9 Steps

Now that you know what you need to design a website, let’s dive into the steps required to create a website.

  1. Define the Site’s Purpose

To design a website that meets your goals, you need to define its purpose. Consider the audience you want to target, and what you hope to achieve with the website. This information will guide you in choosing the right platform, theme, and page architecture.

  1. Untitled design 69+Iowa-Web-DesignerChoose Your Platform

Once you’ve identified the purpose of your website, choose a website builder that aligns with your goals. Website builders offer customizable templates, domain registration, and hosting services. Choose a builder that suits your website’s purpose, whether it’s an e-commerce site or a personal blog.

  1. Gather Your Brand Elements

Your brand identity is an essential element of your website’s design. Choose a color scheme that aligns with your brand, and select a text style that represents your brand’s tone. Use images that are relevant and high-quality to make a lasting impression on visitors. Let’s be honest the graphics used on a website are a huge portion of the “vibe” of your website.

  1. Untitled design 59+Iowa-Web-DesignerSelect a Template or Theme

Choose a template or theme that suits your website’s purpose. Templates are pre-designed layouts that offer features relevant to specific industries. Most website builders offer a range of templates divided into categories, making it easy. Once you’ve chosen your theme or template, you can customize it to match your brand and the purpose of your website. This may involve changing colors, fonts, and images, as well as rearranging page elements and adding new ones.

Most website builders come with drag-and-drop interfaces that make it easy to customize templates and themes without any coding knowledge. However, if you’re working with a more complex website, you may need to hire a web designer or developer to help you with customization.

Remember, your website’s design should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. Don’t overload your pages with too much content or clutter – keep things simple and organized to create a positive user experience. It needs to load in under 3 seconds and it’s best practices to break things up onto their own page if you can. You certainly should have pages for each service you offer.

  1. Create Your Content

    Once your website’s design is in place, it’s time to start creating your content from the copy, images and videos you provided.  Choosing images and videos, and creating other multimedia elements like infographics or animations for your site make it have a better user experience.

When creating content, keep your target audience in mind. Write in a tone and style that will resonate with them, and make sure your content is clear, concise, and easy to read.

It’s also important to optimize your content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords and phrases(you should have a list you researched in our earlier steps). This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic to your site.

  1. Test Your Website

    Before launching your website, it’s crucial to test it thoroughly to make sure everything is working correctly. This includes checking for broken links, testing forms and other interactive elements, and ensuring that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.

You can use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and PageSpeed Insights to check the performance of your website on different devices and networks. You can also enlist the help of friends or family members to test your website and provide feedback so you can test it on all devices and browsers.

  1. Untitled design 12+Iowa-Web-DesignerLaunch Your Website

    Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps, it’s time to launch your website. This involves making your site live and accessible to the public.

Before launching, make sure you have a plan in place for promoting your website and driving traffic to it. This may include social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, or other tactics like a launch countdown with a coming soon page.



Remember, launching your website is just the beginning. You’ll need to continue to update and maintain your site to keep it running smoothly and attract new visitors over time. Search engines expect your site to be up-to-date- and also have fresh content all the time and for that content to show what Google’s search quality rater guidelines refer to as E-E-A-T, or Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. So be ready to publish content that convey these things very soon after launch to keep fresh content on your site and watch for updates.

Content management servicesConclusion

In conclusion, designing a website may seem daunting, but by following these steps, you can create a website that is visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines. With the right tools and strategies in place, your website can become a powerful marketing tool for your business or personal brand.

#DigitalMarketing #SEOtips #ContentMarketing #OnlineMarketing #KeywordResearch #SearchEngineOptimization #SocialMediaMarketing #ContentStrategy #GoogleRanking #WebsiteTraffic


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Author Rhonda Cosgriff Designs

Meet Rhonda Cosgriff, the visionary owner of Rhonda Cosgriff Designs, a leading authority in the realm of web design and development, as well as small business online presence solutions. With an illustrious career spanning almost two decades in the computer systems and design field, Rhonda brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the forefront of her craft. A trailblazer in her industry, Rhonda Cosgriff has honed her skills to perfection, consistently delivering top-notch websites that resonate with audiences and drive business growth. Her passion for creating digital experiences that captivate and inspire is evident in every project she undertakes. As a seasoned author, Rhonda channels her expertise into insightful blog articles that offer valuable guidance and expertise to business owners, and other organizations or other entrepreneurs. Her writings are a treasure trove of practical advice, industry trends, and innovative strategies that empower individuals and businesses to establish a strong and lasting online presence. With an innate ability to understand the unique needs of each client, Rhonda excels in providing end-to-end solutions for small businesses, ensuring that their journey from conceptualization to launch is seamless and successful. Her commitment to empowering entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to navigate the digital landscape sets her apart as a true industry leader. Rhonda is also a web3 designer who can help you transition to the new version of the internet web 3.0 and web3. When you engage with Rhonda Cosgriff Designs, you not only gain access to cutting-edge web design and development services but also tap into the expertise of a seasoned professional dedicated to your success. Let Rhonda's vision and expertise elevate your online presence to new heights.

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