How to Create A Website in 2023

What do a Startup CEO, Salon Owner, and Wedding Photographer all have in common? 

Yep – if you stuck around here more than a minute you likely guessed it – the desire for a website

In today’s world it seems simple enough, yet can get complicated really quick. 

So after you’ve plotted the foundation in terms of goals of your business trajectory, it’s time to finally get this thing off the ground so you can grow your revenue! 

You don’t have to launch your website today or even a month from now, but the below will lay the groundwork needed, and you get a step-by-step strategy going so when your ready to take off your met with success much more easily. 

how to create a website - by stephanie design

Why Creating a Website is Worth It

Your website is your biggest marketing tool.

Customers should land on your site and instantly say “YES! This is exactly what I was looking for!”

It’s the cornerstone of my role as Creative Director of my own boutique design studio to influence this too; through strategic, conversion-optimized website design.

So let’s pin-point the steps needed to bring your small business dream into fruition, shall we?

Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name 

You need to first set yourself up for success by purchasing your own domain name. For instance mine is

Your domain name should be easy to remember and reflect the name or branding of your business. If you can try to avoid hypens in creating a name users can easily type into the url field to find you. 

Where do I purchase this? I recommend Google Domains which for a custom domain starts at $12/year

I would also recommend Google Workspace for email! GSuite is the easiest and most inexpensive way to do so. All plans include the business essentials that I use every day such as Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, Drive and more!

Step 2 – Choose a Web Hosting Service

Technically you can create a website for free these days, however I do not recommend going that route! For one, they have branded subdomains, which aren’t viable for your business use. And two, they come with spammy ads which isn’t useful in the long-term growth of your company. 

Lastly, You’d be hard-pressed to find a solution that delivers enough storage, bandwidth, and customer support necessary in running a successful small business endeavor online. 

Which leads me to my next point!

Step 3 – Decide Which Platform to Use (BONUS IF IT HAS GREAT TECH SUPPORT!)

When you’re thinking through the design of your website, you may be wondering what platforms out there can really help me achieve the elevated look I’m going for? And be easy-to-update going forward? 

Build your small business website without learning how to code!

I’m a huge advocate for Showit – namely for most small, service-based businesses! It just makes running your business easier! For one, you can forget about ringing someone (who may not be as readily available), every-time you need to make a minor change or edit to your site. And their renowned customer support team has your back – a major asset for any small business owner to rely on!

Learn more here if you’re curious why I recommend them for service-based businesses. 

Step 4 – Write Your Website Copy

Your website copy is a valuable business asset, not an afterthought.

Your website copy should support your business plan and in following suit, you have a sense of direction as a starting point. 

Identity the following:

  • Your Mission statement 

  • Ideal client profile 

From there you’ll begin to develop a framework for targeting your ideal client through your website copywriting. This consists of the words you use on your site. Headings, subheadings, body copy, call to actions, etc.

This is something I cover extensively with clients in my Brand + Website Clarity Workbook.

Create a Meaningful ‘About’ Page

Customers love to know the talent behind the brand, so your about me page should speak to their needs as someone that could eventually invest in your products or services. 

You’re not on the path of entrepreneurship to be simply another vendor – you do incredible work and you want to provide a one-of-kind experience, so play to your strengths. 

Once they have a well-rounded portrait of you and your mission as business person, they’ll be likely to engage with your blog, shop, or site with the ‘about’ laid bare. 

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Include Professional Photos of you (or your team)

  • Make the names of you and your team prominent 

  • Share an ‘a-ha’ moment or personal story at the outset. What led you down the path to the career or industry you’re in now? An ‘a-ha’ moment is copywriting technique effective in grabbing users attention and inspiring them to continue reading. It should be real and related to service you’re offering. 

  • Tell customers what to do next by including a call to action button at the end of your story. Want them to view your packages or learn about your process? Sign-up to you email list and stay informed? Keep them going by including this at the end to lead them along seamlessly. 

  • Include persuasive content ( an explainer video or links to blog or Instagram posts) that may not be relevant on your homepage. This could also be photos of customers using your product if you’re a shop. 

  • Include an interactive timeline with company milestones. 

Ultimately, your about page should answer who your product or service is designed for, the value, and how your brand got started and has evolved.

Once your copy is completed, what’s next?

I recommend a solid editing sweep.

I personally like to sit on the copy, come back in a day or two, and refine or finalize from there. 

You can also install Grammarly to catch any typos or misspellings. 

Step 5 – Design Your Website

Not all websites are created equally. It’s one thing to create a website and another thing entirely to make sure it attracts visitors and gets them to convert.

If Branding and Website design isn’t your cup of tea, I do recommend sourcing vendors to create everything for you. 

When looking at designer’s portfolios, pay attention to the following:

Design Aesthetic
Think about whether the design is not only visually-appealing but if it aligns with the your business’ brand and tone. Look for portfolios that can best communicate a businesses goals. 

Aspects of usability to consider are whether the designer concentrates on mobile-optimized websites, they load quickly, and are easy to navigate. 

Look at whether the designer has a portfolio that meets your functionality requirements. Looking to build an e-commerce website? Focus on designers with a track record of building Shopify websites. Want a stunning Showit Website (+a mobile-optimized version to match)? You can reach out to those who specialize in that website building platform as well. 

Step 6 – Optimize for SEO

Honestly most business owners don’t even want to tackle SEO, nor do they want to spend the time combing through the amount of information available out there (understandably so!), so I did the legwork and put together The Last SEO Checklist You’ll Ever Need so you understand what Web Designers are responsible for in meeting both your design and functionality standards 

You’ll begin to see how most website designers use Search Engine Optimization as a core aspect of the website building process, and hopefully give you the confidence you need in making a sound decision in hiring your own. 

7. Add a blog

Did you know companies with a successfully-run blog generate 67% more leads on a monthly basis? (source)

Make it easy for customers to find you, find what they need and convert.

Whether its adding each wedding or engagement session after you finish shooting complete with a list of vendors, or sharing a tutorial of a business tool that has greatly transformed your workflow, the content you share on your blog has the power to live long past the scroll of Facebook or Instagram and give them a fresh look into your process all the while building trust. 

Keep adding new and relevant content top-of-mind so you inch closer to top of their list of vendors. 

As you can see, creating a website doesn’t have to be a hard or stressful experience! I hope this guide serves you in completing the task seamlessly so you can scale and grow your small business to new heights in 2023! We’re rooting you on!

At By Stephanie Design my mission is to help entrepreneurs make a stunning and enduring online impression. Through Showit lets propel your business forward and equip you with the tools necessary to make us better by design. 

February 12th, 2023


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By Stephanie Hamilton