This guide to creating a homepage deals with the conception and construction of a homepage of one’s own. He is suitable for beginners in the subject as well as for advanced learners, who already have a homepage and would like to check the correct orientation of their page. The tips presented here can be applied both to a company homepage and to the creation of a private homepage.
At the end of this guide you will have the basics to independently create a clearly structured homepage without having read thick books about programming languages beforehand.
- No prior knowledge is necessary.
If you want to build quickly, cheaply and without a bottleneck (z.B. an agency) want to create your own homepage, this is the right starting point for you. Let’s now start to make your homepage a reality.
The contents of the guide are divided into the following points, which can be accessed and read directly by clicking on them:
Table of contents
1) Basics and planning:
2) Technical Implementation:
For quick starters
For those who are in a hurry and do not want to read through the entire guide, we have created a short summary of the content at the beginning of each subsection, so that you can quickly get an overview without reading everything in detail. However, we advise you to read the entire guide on occasion to get the necessary background knowledge on how to create a homepage.
1) Basics and planning
1.1) Define the objectives of a homepage
For quick starters: Determine what you want to achieve with your homepage and write down 1-5 objectives.
Why do you want to create your own homepage? The reasons can be manifold and a determination of the goals should still happen before you start to realize them. The goals are usually divided into a main goal, which is formulated relatively vaguely, and precise sub-goals. The main goal of the homepage can be broken up into several sub-goals, which can and should serve as a guideline for action when creating the homepage. I would like to illustrate this with the following example:
Main target: Should a private homepage be created to introduce your pet or a professional company presence with the aim to win new customers? Other possible main goals can be: the creation of a homepage to present your association, an online store for products you manufacture, a travel blog, and many more. First, define a main goal for your new homepage and use it to determine what type of homepage it should be. After that, break this main goal down into as many sub-goals as you like, which you should keep reviewing during the operational creation of your homepage, so that you stay focused and achieve your goals.
Subgoal: As an illustrative example we take a company homepage, because here often a big mistake is made. A company would like to present itself on the Internet of course from your best side and ideally also win customers over the net, who look for certain products or services.
But what exactly is the visitor to the website supposed to do?? Only read information and then quickly forget everything? No, the best way for this visitor to get in touch with the company is on the homepage. Whether by phone call, e-mail or with the request for further information. Make it easy for the visitor and ask him to get in contact with you. For example, include a button "Learn more about product XY now". From this you now derive the following 1. Subgoal for your page: The visitor should contact you. In the next point we will transfer the goals into the structure of your new homepage.
Target audience: An important point is also the question, who you want to address with your homepage? If it is rather younger people you are addressing, then a "you" address in the texts on the homepage is suitable, if you are not sure we advise a "you" address.
Further criteria of your target group definition can be: Is your target group very visually oriented (e.g.B. Designers or photographers) or is your target group more interested in the detailed textual information on the homepage (e.g.B. Scientists). It is important that you know who will read your page in the future, so that you can strike the right tone and the right structure of the page.
Implementation Tip: Offer your visitors only one option to act on a subpage, the so-called "call to action". Too many options are unsettling and usually lead to people choosing no option at all for fear of selecting the wrong option and leaving the homepage again. With this, a potential customer has disappeared again into the eternal vastness of the Internet and will probably contact the competition.
1.2) Structure and layout
For quick starters: From the defined goals, determine the content that must be integrated on your homepage in order to achieve the goals.
Before we start building the structure, take a piece of paper and a pen to write down a rough first structure.
Certain structural features can be found on almost every homepage and should not be missing on your homepage either:
- Home Page: The homepage is the entrance door to your homepage. Welcome the visitors here and explain briefly what your homepage is about. The user in the Internet has usually a very short attention span, therefore should be recognizable at first sight, what is to be expected on your homepage. Address the user directly.
- Navigation: In order to find their way around the page, users expect navigation. It is thereby matter of taste whether the navigation is inserted above on the homepage or at the side.
- Imprint: The imprint is legally required in Germany, further down we go into detail about the imprint again.
From the goals defined in step 1, we can now gradually derive the further structure of the homepage to be created. How this can look like I would like to illuminate the following 3 examples, which are all derived from this main goal for the homepage: "Professional presentation of my company on the Internet"
Example subgoal 1: "Customers should get in touch with me via my homepage"
Structure derivation from subgoal 1: Offer independent contact page with contact form and contact options on the subpages (z.B. Contact button or phone number).
Example subgoal 2: "Appealing presentation of my products"
Structure derivation from subgoal 2: Independent product pages with product photos and detailed textual information/specifications, or even the integration of your own online store in which the products can be purchased directly. If there are different product groups, they should be combined in a superordinate level and the actual products should be created directly underneath. Example of the structure of such a product categorization:
Shoes> Sneaker> Sneaker 1, Sneaker 2, etc.
Shoes> Boots> Boot 1, Boot 2, etc.
Example subgoal 3: "I would like to stand out from the competition"
Structure derivation from subgoal 3: Your homepage should be appropriate for the industry you are in, but it should still stand out from the competition in some way, so that you do not create an "interchangeable" homepage.
The best tool for this is to bring your personality into the homepage. The internet is an anonymous space and with many homepages you wonder if there are real people behind it, because it is so impersonal. The own story gives a homepage soul and heart. Tell why you do what you do, what is your passion? For this purpose, a subpage "About us" is a good idea. There you can tell your very personal story and integrate a sympathetic photo of yourself, possibly even a photo directly at work. This makes your homepage and your product/service more tangible for the visitor and reduces the barrier of contacting you.
implementation tip: Take inspiration from your competitors. Look at 10 homepages of direct competitors and make a ranking for these pages. Descending from the homepage you like best to the one you don’t find appealing.
What do you like in the best site, you can integrate these elements also on your site? What do you not like, can you make the bad parts better or do without them completely?
1.3) Build and collect content
For quick starters: Create an extensive collection of material with the content you need for your homepage: Texts, photos, logo, videos, etc.
Most people think with contents for the own homepage exclusively of textual contents. Of course, texts and also the text structure are essential parts of the homepage creation, but they are not the only contents you should think about. Also visual elements such as logos, photos, graphics, design elements or videos are extremely important for the creation. This content is often neglected or not considered until you acutely need it. In order to avoid delays in completion, you should start building up and collecting this content early on, after you have decided on the structure of the page.
Implementation Tip: Don’t worry, you don’t have to do everything yourself. From text to photos, there are many online resources that can help you put together the necessary content for your homepage.
2) Technical realization
2.1) Which homepage tool is the right one for you?
For quick starters: Choose a homepage tool that meets your requirements and create a free account to test how you get along with this product.
Now that we’ve covered the planning and basics for your new homepage, it’s time to look at how this theoretical structure can become reality. To create a homepage there are 1001 different ways, which go from the complete new programming over the use of so-called content management systems up to homepage construction kit systems.
Since you are reading this guide I make two assumptions: 1. You are relatively new to the topic of homepage creation and 2. you want to find a fast, easy and inexpensive way to create your homepage yourself.
Based on these assumptions a solution with a homepage construction kit is the easiest (no programming knowledge or expensive agencies necessary), fastest (within half an hour the first version of your new homepage can be online) and cheapest (everything you need for a homepage you get already for a few euros a month) way to create a homepage.
A homepage construction kit provides you with everything you need from one source, that means you get a domain, storage space, a desktop with which you can edit your homepage (editor) and mostly also an own email inbox for it. In detail, a homepage construction kit essentially consists of the following components:
- Layout and design templates: with all providers you can choose from a range of design templates, which you can then customize to your own taste. Similarly, the layout of the homepage, i.e. the arrangement and size of the menu, header, etc., should also be considered.
- Homepage elements: This is where the building block principle is most clearly reflected, as you can easily drag and drop (click, drag and drop) various homepage elements such as text, photos, forms, videos and more to wherever you want on your new homepage. These elements are then filled with your own content such as text or photos.
- Editor: The construction of a homepage with the help of an editor is similar to the creation of a Word document. Using a so-called WYSIWYG editor ("What you see is what you get"), for example, text elements can be added and the display (e.g.B. Size, enumeration, justification, etc.) be determined.
To help you choose the right tool, we have thoroughly tested the largest homepage construction kit providers in the German-speaking world with our own test design and have come to the following conclusion:
– Simple and quick initial setup
– intuitive operation
– Price: free of charge-15 €/month
– automatically optimized for mobile devices
– Integrated blog function
– extensive store function