The way I like to think about a website is that it’s the home for your online business or brand. That’s why I truly believe it’s important to have a website that reflects YOU and your brand online – one that’s customized, and feels like you. I know we talk a lot about social media here, but I wanted to create a video that would walk you through how to create a strong website for your business by yourself. Today, I’m sharing how I designed my website – including what software, programs, and templates I used as well as how I customized everything for my own brand! I hope these tips help you feel ready to DIY your own website!
The first thing to discuss is where I host my website. I currently host my website through Showit. I absolutely adore them and their site because it’s very intuitive to design. The sky’s the limit when it comes to design and I love how easily I can drag and drop features for my site. Honestly, I’ll be with them forever because I just love them and their customer service. There’s a monthly or yearly subscription to pay. It comes with your website platform and host, so the only other thing you need to take care of is your domain – which is done outside of Showit.
After you set up your subscription with Showit, there’s actually a ton of free templates you can use to design your website. However, I decided to purchase a template from a designer because I wanted something I could customize and that would be more unique for me. After a lot of research, I went with Elizabeth McCravy. She’s incredible and does full custom designs as well as offering the EM Shop with pre-made templates for Showit sites. What I love about her designs are that she’s super strategic so that you don’t have to think hard about the layout. If you decide you want to get one of her templates, use my code to get 12% off (use code “STEPHANIE”). Oh, and the other thing about Elizabeth’s templates – every template comes with video walkthroughs on how to use your templates so you’re not trying to customize them all by yourself!
For my own site, I used the Jena template if you’re curious!
Creating Your Own Brand
Before you actually go into designing a website (template or not!), make sure you have a strong brand. To begin building that out, think about your ideal client and have a brain dump. Who are you talking to? Where do they shop? What do they like? What are their pain points? By understanding WHO I’m talking to, it will be much easier to craft copy and design my site. For visual aspects of my brand, I start with a Pinterest board. I save things that catch my eye and before I know it, I’ve found a visual theme with designs and colors. You’ll be surprised how quickly those patterns, colors, fonts, and themes will emerge.
When you’ve gotten all of that figured out, you can start choosing the colors and fonts for your brand. I used Creative Market to find unique branding elements for my business. I found patterns there that I loved and some floral illustrations that became patterns for me. These helped me really customize my template from Elizabeth McCravy. With the colors, fonts, and designs, I then built out a brand board so I had all of my unique elements in one place to design with. I love being able to see my whole brand as a complete picture that way!
Creating Your Website
Now it’s time to create the website. Before you get too far into anything, I recommend changing all of your brand colors and fonts on Showit so that everything you do automatically fits your brand. It’s super easy to do this in the design settings – and once you look at the design again, it will already start to feel like your vision is coming to life!
A few other things to keep in mind when you build an impactful website… First, think about your website as a journey. When someone lands on your home page, you want to guide them to the next spot without a lot of thought. Next, there’s a few “must have” pages you need: the home page, an about page, your services/products, a resource page and a contact page. A bonus page would be a blog! It’s been hugely helpful for my business and I truly recommend it for any business owner. Again, think about the journey – what does your potential client need to know? When you look at your website as a journey, it becomes so much easier to work through what to put where!
I hope that these tips help you feel more confident about attempting to DIY your own website! It’s so much easier than it seems to build a website that reflects you and your business online when you have the right tools.