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Part 3: Start To Finish - Building A Website And Profiting
Web design can be a tricky thing if you're starting out. There are so many companies out there promoting their "State of the art" website builders and it's kind of confusing on who you should choose. A simple answer it, none of them because most of they are garbage in my honest opinion. Not only are they garbage, but most of them don't allow you to take the code you strung together with their builder and bring it over to your own hosting.
If you'd like to skip ahead to a section you know you need help with, use these links:
Part 1: Domain Registrars
Part 2: Hosting Companies
Part 4: Advertising
Part 5: On Page Optimization
Part 6: Off Page Optimization
Part 7: Client Relations
Ok now, here is where I'll go over web design, whether it's a customer design or you want to use a pre made design in order to get live quicker.
And Here, We, Go!
When you are thinking about a web design you'll want to pick your niche first, but this should already be done since you had an idea for a website. Having the urge to put up a website always derives from an idea, and that's your niche ;)
So you have your niche, now you need your website designed. I've paid thousands for custom coded designs and they were really good, but sometimes that's not needed. You can use a premium theme and put it on WordPress, or shopify if you are going the ecommerce route.
WordPress is the leading authority for pre designed website that look like you paid thousands for. Another great thing is that you typically have a 1 click install on your hosting company that will put the WordPress dashboard on your pages. You can purchase a great theme from places like themeforest or templatemonster in order to get started right away. After you pay for your theme you will get an instant download link sent to your email and it will also be in your "Downloads" section on your profile.
Download the theme and go over to your hosting account, where you already installed WordPress by clicking "WordPress" and then Install. Now you can go to "Themes" and upload the theme you just purchased. Some of the themes come with one click installs of their content and plugins, which makes it much easier to configure since you don't have to search around the plugin store to find what works.
After you have the theme installed you may have to add your own content or edit what was already installed. You don't want to keep the same content that is with the theme, if it came with pre-installed content, because you'll get hit with a duplicate content penalty or just not be able to rank in the search engines easily. You will also have to edit some of your images so that your theme is branded for your domain name. You wouldn't want your theme name on your theme where you can place your own logo, right?
If you're going the ecommerce route I would recommend using shopify because they are extremely user friendly and all you really have to worry about is setting up a domain name and email address. Everything else is already set up as soon as you pay your subscription fee
You can also buy themes for your shopify store, but they do tend to be a little more expensive. I haven't seen a shopify theme for under $120 where as WordPress themes are $50 to $70.
The theme upload is a lot more smooth than on WordPress because the shopify theme store is linked in with your account. So uploading your theme doesn't require a download since it gets put onto your account and you can just install it there. It's a pretty genius idea so that people who don't really know what they're doing can just click a few buttons and be done
Custom designs, although they will cost more, have their benefits. Mainly with programming you'll see that a custom code is more beneficial than a pre-coded script that you can download and install. With custom coding you can get whatever you want, including unlimited features, put into your code. A lot of WordPress plugins and shopify apps can't do what can be done with custom coding. You're not hitting any walls when it comes to custom coding because you're paying a programmer and designer to build the idea you have in your head. Again, it costs a bit more, sometimes a few thousand more, but it can be worth it in the end if you get something unique that your competition doesn't have.
Now this is only part 3 of at least 6 of my "Start To Finish - Building A Website And Profiting" guide.