Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas10 min readTips and resourcesApril 2, 2020

7 steps to start building your new website

7 steps to start building your new website


You’re about to start building a new website that will support your business and show the world what you’re all about. The possibilities are endless!

Did you hear the news? In addition to creating and managing email marketing campaigns, you can now build professional websites with MailerLite. We made it super easy to design your entire website using the same intuitive drag & drop builder that you already use for your emails, pop-ups and landing pages.

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MailerLite’s no-code website builder enables you to do it all without HTML or coding skills. Now that you are officially a web designer, you’ll need to follow a few basic steps to help you get started on the right foot. 

Here’s a quick overview of how to build a website step-by-step.


goals

You are creating a website for a reason. Before you start building, think about your goals. There are lots of different actions that users can take on a website. What are the things that will help your business succeed? 

Start by identifying your main goal: What’s the 1 thing I want to accomplish? 

Then you can list out smaller goals that support the main goal.

For example, let’s say your main goal is for people to sign up for your product. You can develop several smaller goals such as:

  • Read the blog
  • Sign up for the newsletter
  • Register for a webinar
  • Download a PDF
  • Follow you on social media
  • Join the community, etc.

Everything about your website, including how the pages are organized, the design and copy, should all work to achieve your goals. 

​Pro tip: Questions to ask yourself

Why am I creating this website?

What’s the #1 way this website will help my business?

Who is the target audience for my new website and what do they need?

What am I offering on my website that compels my audience to take action?


domain

Finding a domain name for your own website can be tricky. The chances are that your business name is already taken.  

If you don’t have a domain name, you have 2 options with MailerLite. You can create a subdomain with the name of your business attached to a master domain, such as {your-company}.mailerpage.com or you can find your own domain name and register it.

Most businesses will opt for their own domain to look more professional. In this case, choose a name that is easy to understand and relates directly to your company name. We recommend going for a .com domain extension if possible.

You can buy your domain at a few different domain registrars like GoDaddy, Domain.com, Namecheap and Gandi.net. It’s fun to spend an hour typing in names to see what’s available. Most should cost between $10 - $20 per year.

​Pro tip: Name generators

If your creative fuel tank is on empty. You can use a tool like NameMesh to suggest names and show you what’s available. Use the “hide registered” button to only see available domain names.


Ok, this one might sound like you need to call your IT or web developer friend. Surprise! It’s not complicated at all (though we won’t judge if you want to call your friend). Actually... maybe you should call that friend anyway just to say hi!

Put simply, hosting is where your website lives. Just like your Airbnb host takes care of your stay, web hosting is where all your web files are stored. Most web hosting companies will help you pick a hosting plan and walk you through the entire setup.

One thing to note is that when you buy your domain name, the same companies usually offer web hosting services as well. So if you prefer convenience, it’s easier to use the same provider for both.

That said, there are a few types of hosting you should be aware of. The different hosting options depend on how many visitors come to your website regularly. 

​Pro tip: 3 types of hosting

Shared hosting is what you probably need if you are starting out. Your site is stored on a server with other websites. Since you share resources, there could be downtime if another site is having a traffic surge, but this is rare with smaller sites.

VPS hosting is at the middle level. With a virtual private server, you still share a server, but you get your own space to handle more visitors.

Dedicated hosting gives you your very own server. This is for large websites with lots of traffic. You’ll most likely not need this to start, but hopefully, one day when you go global!


structure

Before you build a house, you design and plan it out so you know exactly what you need. The same is true for your own website. 

You want your visitors to have an amazing experience on your site, and that starts with providing a logical path for people to find the information they need quickly. Start by figuring out all the pages that you will need and then deciding which pages will go on your main navigation and which can live in your footer.

The more pages you have, the more complicated your site will be. To begin, limit the number of pages and focus on the must-have pages first. 

The most relevant and most visited pages that every website should have are:

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • Blog page

But depending on what your website needs, you can always expand afterward.

What are the topics or interactions that will help your visitors find and experience the value that you’re providing them?

Once you have your pages, develop a structure that makes the most sense to help people find what they are looking for. Don’t stress too much if you are guessing. You’ll have the ability to make changes to improve the site after you start getting visits and learn from your analytics. 

​Pro tip: Writing copy before designing

It helps to write out your rough copy during this phase. You may want to change it after you see the design, but writing out the website text on your pages will help you see the logical flow.

Each page has a goal and your copy should succinctly help people reach that goal. When all the web pages are done, you can take a step back and see how the copy can connect the pages. Your text will also help guide your designs. Some pages will need room for a lot of text while some will just need a few lines.


With MailerLite, you don’t have to worry about HTML or CSS. The drag & drop website builder has everything you need to set your layouts and design each page however you want.

By using content blocks, you already have a foundation for the design. Load and edit your images, add your text, style it and select colors.

Think about how you want your brand to be perceived by the public. Use consistent colors and imagery throughout the site. If you don’t have your own images to use, you can find professional-looking photos from various free and paid websites, including: 

templates

If you want to get started quickly and are not sure how you want your website design to look, we recommend starting with templates that were made by our professional designers. They have all the best practices already built-in.

​Pro tip: Logo design options

A logo is an important branding element to your website. If you already have a logo, you should see how it works on the website. Sometimes a logo is not designed for websites. For new logos or a redesign of your current logo, you can either hire a designer or try a logo generator.

Here are a range of design resources to check out:


When people search for your product or service, you want your website to show up. You can improve your organic search by optimizing aspects of your site’s text and design.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a big topic that we will dive deeper into here. MailerLite’s website builder provides built-in SEO settings to help you optimize each page. By including relevant keywords in your titles, copy and meta descriptions for each page, people searching will know exactly what you do and click to visit your website. 

​Pro tip: Install Google Analytics

Google offers free analytics to help you understand how your visitors are interacting with your website. Learn how many visitors you get, which page they visit, how long they stay, which pages they visit next and a bunch of other cool metrics.

Your website generates data that can help you improve your user experience and boost conversions. To start tracking your visitors’ website behaviors, install Google Analytics code into your website.

When you are happy with what you’ve built, it’s time to publish your site. Before you push the button, give it one last read through to ensure all your text is accurate and matches each page.

Your website will be far from perfect when you launch. The next step is to learn from your analytics and make incremental improvements until your visitors are taking the actions that achieve your main goals.

​Pro tip: Free AI proofreader

If you’re not a professional copy editor or just want to double-check your text before publishing, run each page through Grammarly. This is a free digital writing tool that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to check your work.


Go for it! We’re your biggest supporters

These steps to building your own website are meant to give you an overview, but they will not answer every question. In the coming weeks, we will continue to post more articles that will help you to create and optimize your website.

If you are building your site using MailerLite, don’t forget that you have our support whenever you need it—24/7!


What did we miss? Let us know if there are other steps that you would include.

Jonas Fischer

I'm Jonas, Content Manager at MailerLite. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!