Here are some important tips to help you create a successful site:
Design for desktop and mobile devices
A mobile-friendly site automatically adjusts images, text, and design elements to display quickly and appropriately for a mobile phone. According to statistics from Google Analytics, more than 60% of traffic is mobile in the United States, so it is important that your site is mobile-friendly.
Most modern site builders are mobile-friendly, but even those that are might not be 100% perfect. Make sure to always preview your designs on desktop and mobile screens of different sizes. If you notice any errors, you can adjust your designs by changing element sizes or even removing certain elements on specific screen sizes.
To ensure that your blog loads quickly on mobile devices, it should be optimized for AMP. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s an effort by Google (and many other collaborators) to speed up mobile traffic to improve the user experience. If your website builder offers an AMP feature, use it! This will likely help you rank higher in search engines, but more importantly, it will improve your user experience on your site.
Consider pre-made templates and themes
The terms theme and template are generally interchangeable. These are pre-made page designs that usually include menu navigation with the most common pages (home, about, contact, blog), header and footer. Most themes will include sample images and text, which you can replace with your own content. You can also customize the overall template to best suit your needs.
Most site builders offer a variety of free and premium themes. Using them can help you get a well-designed site up and running much faster than if you had to build the site yourself from scratch. That said, not all themes are created equal. Be sure to preview all of your pages to ensure there are no inconsistencies or errors when adding your content.
Add an SSL certificate
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a file that encrypts data transfers to and from a website. So when someone visits your secure website or enters information into any field on your site (forms, username, password, credit card details), the SSL certificate keeps that data private . Having this security on your site is important for the end user, and having an SSL certificate can also help improve your search engine rankings.
Do I need a website builder?
If you want to create a website and you have no coding experience, a website builder is the easiest way to do it. The other option is to build your website yourself, but this requires coding knowledge or hiring a professional. The advantage of hiring someone is that you have complete control over how the website looks.
When working with a website builder, you will likely encounter design challenges that the website builder does not support. For example, suppose you want a drop-down menu, but the theme you’re using doesn’t offer this feature. Or, you may like a particular template but cannot change the color theme.
Each website builder and each theme within it has different limitations, and you often only learn what they are as you go. If you don’t need full creative control, you’ll find that the best website builders offer enough features to create a professional looking website.
More Website Building Essentials
Forbes Advisor has compiled a list of other services you might need to get your website off the ground and thriving. Check out these guides for more essential information: