Website Building Tutorial: Start Building Your Website from Scratch

Website Building Tutorial

Website building method

There are many ways to build a website, and each method is suitable for different needs and scenarios based on its unique functionality, flexibility, and user-friendliness. For example, using a website building platform (such as a SaaS solution) allows for quick setup and easy management, making it ideal for startups, small businesses, or personal projects without the need for a deep technical background. For websites that require a high degree of customization and professional-level functionality, coding from scratch or utilizing a website development framework provides almost unlimited customization capabilities to meet the needs of large enterprises and complex applications. In addition, content management systems (CMS) and static website generators fall somewhere in between, providing a certain level of ease of use while allowing for a deeper level of customization and optimization, suitable for websites that are rich in content and frequently updated.

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Using a website building platform (SaaS)

Features: User-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, no programming knowledge required.

Website building platforms (SaaS) greatly reduce the technical threshold for creating and maintaining websites by providing an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Users can easily design, build and publish their websites without any programming knowledge such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript. This user-friendliness allows anyone to realize their website ideas, from a simple personal blog to a complex e-commerce website.

Advantages: Quick setup, large number of templates and plug-ins, easy to manage and update.

Using a website building platform, users can quickly build a website thanks to the large number of pre-designed templates and plugins provided by the platform. These templates cover a variety of styles and uses, from corporate websites to personal blogs and online stores, while plug-ins provide additional features such as social media integration, SEO tools, and user analytics. These resources of the platform not only speed up the website development process, but also make the daily management and update of the website very simple.

Applicable scenarios: Suitable for start-ups, small businesses, personal blogs or online stores and other projects that need to be launched quickly.

Website building platforms are an ideal choice for startups and small businesses that have limited resources or need to establish an online presence quickly. Individual bloggers or online store owners will also find that these platforms provide tools and features that help them easily launch and maintain their own websites without having to invest a lot of time and money in website development. The ability to go online quickly is particularly suitable for projects with rapid market changes and time-sensitive projects.

Examples: Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, WordPress.com, etc.

  • Wix: Provides a wide range of template choices and powerful customization capabilities, suitable for various types of websites.
  • Squarespace: Known for its beautiful designs and high-quality templates, it’s perfect for users who want a design-oriented website.
  • Shopify: Focus on e-commerce website construction, providing a complete set of sales, payment and logistics management tools.
  • WordPress.com: Offers a simplified website creation and hosting solution based on the world’s most popular content management system.

Each of these platforms has its own features and benefits, but what they have in common is that they are all designed to make the website building process as easy and fast as possible, allowing users to focus on content creation and business development.

Website case:

  • Seven Grams Caffe – A website for a coffee shop and roastery that uses Shopify’s platform to showcase its menu and coffee culture.
  • Tattly – An e-commerce website for a temporary tattoo brand that sells various design tattoos through the Shopify platform.

Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management System (CMS) is another popular way of building websites, which provides users with a platform to create, manage, and publish website content without requiring deep programming knowledge.

Features: Provides a framework for website content management and publishing, with high flexibility.

The CMS system allows users to easily add, edit and manage website content by providing an easy-to-use backend management interface. The flexibility of this system is reflected in the user’s ability to extend the functionality of the website through plug-ins or modules, as well as change the appearance of the website by selecting different themes, often with just a few clicks.

Advantages: Powerful customization capabilities, supports various plug-ins and themes, and is suitable for SEO.

A major advantage of a CMS is its powerful customization capabilities. Users can install various plug-ins and themes according to their needs to add new features or change the design of the website. Additionally, many CMS are designed to be search engine optimization (SEO) friendly, helping website content rank better in search engines.

Applicable scenarios: Suitable for corporate websites, news sites, community forums and blogs that need to regularly update content.

Because CMS is easy to update and manage content, it is particularly suitable for websites that need to publish new content regularly, such as corporate websites, news sites, community forums, and blogs. These platforms support multi-user collaboration, allowing team members to manage different parts of the website based on permissions.

example:WordPress.org, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

  • WordPress.org: As one of the most popular CMSs in the world, WordPress provides a rich library of plugins and themes suitable for website construction of all sizes and types.
  • Drupal: Known for its powerful customization capabilities and flexibility, it is suitable for complex websites and applications that require a high degree of customization.
  • Joomla: Provides flexibility and ease of use between WordPress and Drupal, suitable for small and medium-sized websites and online applications.

Choosing a CMS as a website construction platform can provide users with powerful content management capabilities and a high degree of customization, helping to build and maintain dynamic and content-rich websites.

Website case:

  • TechCrunch – A well-known technology news website uses WordPress to publish and manage its rich article content.
  • Sony Music – The official website of Sony Music, using WordPress as its content management system.

Coding from scratch

Coding from scratch is a website building method that allows developers to create a website by starting from the basics and writing code manually. This approach provides complete customization of design and functionality, allowing the website to precisely meet specific needs.

Features: Fully customizable design and functionality.

By coding from scratch, developers have the opportunity to implement completely unique website designs and functionality, without being constrained by pre-made templates or platform limitations. This approach ensures that the website is visually and operationally consistent with business needs and brand image, enabling a unique user experience.

Advantages: Unlimited customization capabilities, maximum control and optimization.

Websites coded from scratch enjoy virtually unlimited customization possibilities, allowing developers to add any desired functionality and features based on the specific needs of the project. This approach also allows for deep optimization of the website’s performance, ensuring fast loading and responsiveness to provide users with the best browsing experience. At the same time, developers can implement high-level security measures to protect websites and user data.

Applicable scenarios: Suitable for large enterprises or complex personalized projects with specific needs and sufficient development resources.

Coding from scratch is particularly suitable for large enterprises or complex projects that have specific business needs and sufficient development resources. This includes corporate websites that require a high degree of customization, applications with complex interactive features, or online platforms that strive for extreme performance and a unique user experience.

Technology stack: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python Django, etc.

Developing such a website usually requires mastering a broad technology stack, including but not limited to front-end technologies (such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) and back-end technologies (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or Python Django). The combination of these technologies enables developers to create dynamic, interactive websites and handle complex back-end logic and database interactions.

Coding from scratch provides maximum flexibility and control, allowing the website to be fully customized to project needs and design concepts. However, this method also requires corresponding technical knowledge and development resources, and the development and maintenance costs are relatively high.

Use a website development framework

Using a website development framework is a highly effective approach in modern website and app development. These frameworks provide a set of pre-built codes and tools to help developers quickly build high-quality websites and applications.

Features: Provides a programming framework to help developers quickly develop complex applications.

Website development frameworks greatly simplify the development process by providing a series of code libraries, components, and tools. They define the basic structure of the application, allowing developers to focus on implementing specific business logic rather than starting from scratch every time. These frameworks usually follow specific programming patterns and principles, such as MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture, to help developers organize code and improve code maintainability and scalability.

Advantages: Speed ​​up development and improve website security and performance.

Using a website development framework can significantly speed up development because a large number of common features and components are already pre-built, such as user authentication, data models, form processing, etc. These frameworks are also optimized to provide better performance and responsiveness, and include measures to prevent common security threats, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, to help developers build more secure applications.

Applicable scenarios: Suitable for developing customized websites with complex interactions and functions.

For websites and applications that require a high degree of customization, especially those involving complex interactions and data processing, website development frameworks provide a solid foundation. Whether building large-scale enterprise applications, e-commerce platforms, or social networks, development frameworks provide the tools and flexibility needed to support complex functionality and high-performance requirements.

Examples: React, Angular, Vue.js (front-end framework); Express, Laravel, Django (back-end framework).

  • React、Angular、Vue.js: These front-end frameworks focus on building user interfaces, providing responsive and interactive user experiences. They support component development, making front-end development more modular and efficient.
  • Express、Laravel、Django: As backend frameworks, they handle server-side logic, database interactions, and the overall architecture of the application. These frameworks provide rich functions and libraries to help developers quickly implement the back-end part of the application.

By leveraging these modern website development frameworks, developers can build complex and high-performance websites and applications more quickly and efficiently to meet changing market demands and user expectations.

Website case:

  • Airbnb – A platform that provides accommodation booking services built using React and is known for its good user interface and smooth interactive experience.
  • Instagram – The web version of social media platform Instagram uses React extensively, demonstrating React’s ability to build dynamic and responsive user interfaces.

Use a static site generator

Using a static website generator is an efficient way to create a website. It converts website content into static HTML pages. This method has obvious advantages in several aspects.

Features: Generate static HTML pages with fast loading speed and high security.

The core function of a static website generator is to convert source files (usually text written in a markup language such as Markdown) into static HTML pages. These static pages do not rely on database or server-side script processing, so they can be rendered directly by the browser, greatly improving the loading speed of the website. At the same time, due to the lack of dynamic processing on the server side, such websites are naturally more secure against many network attacks.

Advantages: Simplifies website deployment and hosting, improves performance and security.

The deployment and hosting process of a static website is extremely simple. Just upload the generated HTML file to any service that supports static content hosting. This simplified deployment process not only reduces maintenance costs, but also improves the overall performance and user experience of the website due to its inherent security and fast loading speeds.

Applicable scenarios: Suitable for websites with fixed content and infrequent updates, such as personal blogs, project documents, small business websites, etc.

Static website generators are particularly suitable for website projects with relatively fixed content and infrequent updates. For example, personal blogs, project documents, presentation small business websites and other scenarios can all benefit from the fast, secure and easy-to-manage characteristics of static websites. Even if the content needs to be updated, the static page only needs to be regenerated and deployed. The process is simple and fast.

Examples: Jekyll, Hugo, Gatsby, etc.

  • Jekyll: As one of the earliest static website generators, Jekyll is tightly integrated with GitHub Pages and is especially suitable for project documents and blogs hosted on GitHub.
  • Hugo: Known for its extremely fast content generation speed, it is suitable for large static websites and projects where build speed is important.
  • Gatsby: Use React to build static websites, emphasizing modern web technologies (such as graph query language GraphQL), suitable for static websites that require a high degree of dynamic interactivity.

By using a static website generator, even non-technical users can quickly build and deploy high-performing, secure websites that are both cost-effective and simple to maintain.

Choosing the right website building method depends on your specific needs, budget, time, and technical capabilities. For non-technical users, using a website building platform or CMS may be the fastest and most convenient option; while for users who want the most customization and control, coding from scratch or using a development framework may be more suitable.

Website case:

  • The Development Set – A blogging platform focused on global development topics generated using Jekyll.
  • Smashing Magazine – A resource website related to front-end design and development, built using the static website generator Hugo, demonstrating the application of static websites in content-rich scenarios.

Website building material preparation

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domain registration

How to choose a good domain name? Here are some main points to note for your reference, hoping to help you choose a domain name that suits you:

Domain name length: A short domain name can make it easier for users to remember, and it is easier for users to directly enter your URL in the browser to reach your website. It is best to have 3-4 words and within 12-14 characters, but don’t blindly pursue a short domain name. If the domain name can better express the meaning of the brand, then a longer domain name is also a good choice.

Keywords: It is best for the domain name to be related to the content of your website, which will also help users understand the content of your website. In addition, if users search for relevant content and your domain name contains relevant keywords, then your website will most likely be ranked higher, which is beneficial to SEO ranking and optimization.

geographical location: If your website is targeted at users in a specific country or region, you can register a domain name with local characteristics.For example australia.com.au, uk.co.uk and more. This will help locate more precise users and filter out less relevant users.

brand name: A more brandable domain name is more conducive to users leaving a deep impression on you and is more conducive to brand development. For example, domain names such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. But we also know that a brand takes time to settle and develop. A domain name with a brand name is conducive to the later expansion of the brand, rather than being limited to the current category or service.

Domain name suffixThe most common domain name suffix is ​​.com, but we can also set things like .academy, .zone, etc., so that users can have a clearer understanding of the purpose of our website, and Google also shows that the domain name suffix will not affect our SEO ranking.

Number or dash: These characters will make it difficult for users to accurately remember your domain name and directly enter your URL to access your website. Therefore, when selecting domain names, we should avoid numbers or dashes as much as possible.

Misspell: If the domain name contains wrong words or company name, users may think it is a fake website. Therefore, we should try our best to avoid spelling errors when selecting domain names.

Similar domain names: If our domain name is similar to an existing domain name and the content of the website is similar to the content of the existing domain name, we may receive complaints from the original brand. Domain names that are too similar are also not conducive to the development of our website and brand.

If you have a domain name that you think is good, you should hurry up and buy it. After all, domain names are scarce resources and each domain name is unique.

After selecting the domain name, we can choose to purchase the domain name we want from a service provider that provides domain name registration. The price of each service provider is different. It is recommended to buy from NameSilo. Namecheap occasionally has activities. It is cheaper to buy in the first year, but the renewal price is based on the original price, which is higher than NameSilo. If you want to hold a domain name for a long time, it is recommended to buy it from NameSilo.

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The picture above is a price comparison of three popular domain name registrars. You can also buy them according to your preferences. If you need a tutorial on purchasing a NameSilo domain name, you can click on the link below to view it.

Get an affordable domain at Namesilo(Namesilo coupon code:beecommercer)

Company registration

If you want to open your own online store, there are indeed many factors to consider, one of which is choosing a company that is suitable for your business. Below, I will explain in detail why registering a company is important for opening an online store based on the information you provide, and why it may be more beneficial to choose a company registered outside of mainland China.

Why register a company

  1. Platform requirements: Many e-commerce platforms, especially international platforms, require merchants to register as a company. This is because corporate identity provides more legal protection and makes it easier for the platform to manage.
  2. tax compliance: Operating as a company, tax issues can be handled in a more standardized manner compared to individuals. The company can enjoy tax benefits in accordance with local laws and at the same time, reasonably avoid tax risks.
  3. Improved credibility: Online stores operated as a company can often leave a more professional and reliable impression on consumers, helping to increase consumer trust and thereby boost sales.

Advantages of registering an overseas company

  1. payment solutions: Companies registered in Hong Kong, the United States or the United Kingdom can apply for payment solutions such as Shopify Payment. These solutions typically offer lower transaction rates, faster time for funds to arrive, and support for a wider range of payment methods. For mainland Chinese companies, these payment options are generally not available.
  2. Easy access to international markets: It is easier for overseas companies to gain the trust of international buyers, and it is also easier to access the international logistics and payment system, which is conducive to expanding the international market.
  3. Flexible tax planning: Different countries and regions have their own tax policies. Some regions may provide lower corporate income tax rates, or tax exemptions on overseas income and other preferential policies, which are beneficial to enterprises in tax planning.

Register a company entity suitable for your business

Although registering an overseas company has the above advantages, there are also many challenges in actual operation, such as company registration costs, annual review requirements, and difficulty in opening bank accounts. Therefore, you need to choose your registration location based on your business needs, capital budget, and understanding of the market. For example, if your target market is mainly in Asia, it may be more advantageous to register a Hong Kong company; if your business scope is broader, it may be more appropriate to consider registering a US or UK company.

In addition, choosing the right company structure is also important. Different company types (such as limited liability companies, corporations, etc.) have different management requirements, limitations on shareholder liability, and tax treatments, which need to be carefully considered before registration.

All in all, registering a company is an important step in opening an online store. It can not only meet the platform requirements, but also enhance the professional image of the merchant, which is helpful for tax planning and international market expansion. When choosing a place of registration, you need to comprehensively consider the availability of payment solutions, tax incentives, and market expansion needs. The right choice can bring long-term benefits to your online store.

payment channel

Payment channels are an essential part of the website completing payment conversion. We need to apply for the required payment channels in advance based on the common payment methods of our target market.

Consumers in different regions tend to choose various payment solutions based on their own habits, the maturity of the payment environment and their needs for security. From traditional credit and debit card payments to convenient third-party payment platforms to rapidly developing e-wallets, every payment method is providing consumers with a more convenient and secure shopping experience. In addition, local payment systems and other payment forms, such as cash on delivery (COD), still play an integral role in specific markets. Understanding these payment methods and their popularity in different regions is key for e-commerce businesses to successfully enter and expand global markets.

The following table shows the common payment methods corresponding to common markets:

areaCredit/debit card paymentThird-party payment platformelectronic walletlocal paymentother
KitamiVisa, MasterCard, American ExpressPayPalApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
EuropeVisa, MasterCardPayPal, KlarnaApple Pay, Google PayiDEAL (Netherlands), Giropay (Germany), Bancontact (Belgium)SEPA Direct Debit
Southeast AsiaLess direct useGrabPay, GoPayDoku (Indonesia), Dragonpay (Philippines)COD (popular in some areas)
middle EastVisa, MasterCardLocal payment platform and PayPalApple PayFawry (Egypt)COD (commonly used)
AfricaLess direct useM-Pesa, MTN Mobile MoneyPayDunya (West Africa), Flutterwave (multiple countries)
JapanVisa, MasterCard, JCBPayPay, Line PaySuica, PasmoBank transferCOD
South KoreaVisa, MasterCardKakaoPay, Naver PaySamsung Pay, TossBank transfer
AustraliaVisa, MasterCardPayPal, AfterpayApple Pay, Google PayBPAY
BrazilVisa, MasterCard, Elo, HipercardPagSeguro, MercadoPagoBank slipCOD (used to some extent)
IndiaVisa, MasterCardPaytm, Google Pay, PhonePePaytm, Google PayUPI (Unified Payment Interface)COD (commonly used)

Brand VI

Brand Visual Identity (VI) is the visual embodiment of brand personality and values, aiming to convey the brand’s uniqueness and philosophy to the public through a series of unified and coordinated design elements. These elements include but are not limited to brand logo, color system, font system, layout design, graphics and patterns, photography style, packaging design, etc.

The core of brand VI is to create a visual language that runs through all touch points of the brand, from website to social media, from product packaging to marketing materials, ensuring that a consistent, recognizable and memorable brand is established in the minds of consumers. image. Through meticulous and professional VI design, brands can establish emotional connections with target audiences, enhance brand loyalty and enhance market competitiveness.

There are many things included in the brand VI. We do not necessarily need to prepare them all during the preliminary material preparation, and we may not need to include all the content. But logos and product pictures are both necessary, and we can prepare these two items in advance.

To stand out in the highly competitive online market, online stores need a rich and sophisticated brand visual identity (VI) system. This not only helps build brand image, but also improves user experience and customer loyalty. The following are some suggestions for further enriching the brand VI of your online store:

1. Personalized user experience design

  • Utilize personalization elements, such as displaying relevant product recommendations based on user behavior, to provide a customized shopping experience.
  • Design unique 404 pages and thank you pages, even these small details can reflect your brand personality.

2. Interactive elements and animations

  • Use micro-interaction design, such as button click feedback, loading animation, etc., to increase the user’s interactive experience.
  • Make sure these animations and interactive elements are consistent with your brand style and enhance memorable moments.

3. Video and multimedia content

  • Produce brand introduction videos and product display videos. The video style should be consistent with the brand VI.
  • Use videos on product pages or on social media to more vividly demonstrate product features and how to use them.

4. Social media integration

  • Design image templates specifically for social media to ensure style consistency across your posts.
  • Leverage unique social media features, such as Instagram Stories or Facebook cover videos, to showcase your brand’s personality.

5. Customer Service Interface

  • In the customer service chat window or help center page, apply the brand’s visual elements, such as colors, fonts, icons, etc., to enhance the brand consistency experience.
  • Design personalized auto-reply messages so that customers can feel the warmth of the brand even when they are self-service.

6. Email Marketing

  • Design email templates that conform to the brand VI, including promotional emails, subscription confirmation emails, holiday greeting emails, etc.
  • Use brand colors, fonts, and consistent images throughout your emails to enhance brand recognition.

7. Brand Integration of User-Generated Content (UGC)

  • Encourage users to share their experiences and product usage photos, and set guidelines to ensure content quality and style are consistent with the brand image.
  • Select high-quality user-generated content to display on the website or social media to increase community participation.

8. Environmental protection and sustainability

  • If the brand advocates environmental protection and sustainability, ensure this is reflected in the VI design, such as using environmentally friendly packaging materials, and emphasize this in visual communication.
  • In the brand story and marketing materials, highlight the brand’s environmental concept and resonate with the values ​​​​of the target customer group.

Through these in-depth and meticulous strategies, the brand VI of online stores can be richer and more diversified, effectively establishing emotional connections with target customers, and enhancing brand image and market competitiveness.

Website Terms

Writing user terms of service (including terms of use, privacy terms, return and refund terms, shipping service terms, contact information and payment information) is a key step to ensure that the website operates smoothly and is legal and compliant.

terms of use

  • goal and range: Briefly describe the purpose and scope of application of the service, and make it clear that acceptance of the terms is a prerequisite for using the service.
  • Service description: Detailed description of services and products offered, including key functions and features.
  • User conditions: Specify conditions for using the service, such as age restrictions and user code of conduct.
  • Account management: Explain the rules for account creation, use, and termination, emphasizing the user’s responsibility for confidentiality.
  • intellectual property: Declaration of ownership of website content and restrictions on users’ use of website content.
  • Revisions and changes: reserves the right to update the Terms at any time and explains how to notify users of these changes.

Privacy Policy

  • data collection: List what personal information is collected and the purposes for which it is collected.
  • Data usage: Describes how the information collected is used, including sharing and storage practices.
  • User rights: Clarifies users’ rights over their data, including the rights to access, correct, and delete personal information.
  • security measures: Describe the measures and technologies to protect the security of user information.
  • Third party sharing: Clarify whether to share data with third parties, the conditions and purposes of sharing.

Return and refund terms

  • Return conditions:Details the conditions, time limits and procedures for returns.
  • Refund method: Describe the specific method and time limit for refunds.
  • Responsibilities and Fees: Make it clear who will be responsible for shipping costs when returning goods and any possible restocking fees.
  • Exceptions: Lists items or situations for which the return and refund policy does not apply.

Shipping Terms of Service

  • Delivery Area: Identify which areas are available for service.
  • Shipping method and duration: Lists different shipping methods, estimated shipping times and costs.
  • Tracking and status updates: A way to provide order tracking information and status updates.
  • Exception handling: Describes solutions to problems encountered during transportation (such as delays, damage).

Contact information

  • Contact through multiple channels: Provide customer service contact information, including phone, email, online chat, etc.
  • service hours: Indicate the working hours of customer service.
  • common problem: Provide a link to the FAQ page so that users can find answers by themselves.

Payment Information

  • Accepted payment methods: Lists all accepted payment methods.
  • Payment security: Describes measures to secure the payment process.
  • Exception handling: Provides steps to resolve payment issues, such as failed payments or refund processes.

When writing, make sure your terms are clear and easy to understand, and avoid excessive use of jargon so that all users understand their meaning. At the same time, consider legal consultation to ensure that the terms comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Build a website

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When building a website, we will choose different website building methods based on different needs and goals. This choice directly determines the website construction plan we use. Among the many options, there are two most common and popular ways to build a website that are worthy of our in-depth discussion.

Build a website using WordPress

First, one is to use WordPress to build a website. WordPress is an open source content management system that provides a wealth of themes and plug-ins, allowing us to design and build websites according to our needs and preferences.

WordPress+Siteground website building tutorial

Build a website with Shopify

Another one worth noting is Shopify website building. Shopify is a service provider that focuses on e-commerce platforms. It provides a one-stop e-commerce solution and is a very good choice for people who want to open a store online.

Shopify Website Building Tutorial
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