Basics: How to Set up a Website
What you should know about website creation (even before you start building):
- How to set up my own website: 5 things every beginner should know.
- Tip! Website Creation for Absolute Beginners: our free ebook, full of useful tips
- Website Builder Reviews: here you’ll find the right tool for your website project.
- Setting up a membership website: the best and most easy-to-use providers.
- Start your own online store: everything you need to get started in ecommerce.
- Domain Connector Tool: you’ve already purchased a domain name and now want to use a website builder? This tool tells you how to connect your domain with site builders like Weebly, Jimdo or Wix.
Marketing: Start a Conversation With Your Visitors
If you don’t promote your site you won’t attract many visitors. Luckily there are some easy ways to fix this.
- Comparison of newsletter services: find detailed reviews of MailChimp, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign and many other email marketing tools. Also features a cost calculator.
- Live chat support: a great way to interact with your website visitors. Our sister site ChatToolTester.com helps you find the right provider.
- Create your own iOS or Android app: app makers don’t require any programming skills. Using push notifications you have a quick and easy channel to your customers.
- Animated Videos: consider creating a short animated video to present your company or product. It’s a lot easier than you think it is.
- Adwords Beginners Guide: for many businesses the fastest and most cost effective way to advertise. This free guide gets you started.
- Buy useful tools and resources with huge discounts at AppSumo and StackSocial.
Professional Stock Photos
Great images at no or little cost that can make all the difference to your site:
- Fotolia: offers high quality images starting at $0.75 USD.
- Creative Commons Search: search Flickr, Google and Yahoo at once for Creative Commons photos.
- Allthefreestock: Interesting CC-Search alternative.
- Tip! Da Button Factory: Nice little creator for buttons that include text, e.g. for call to actions like “Register now!”.
- Smashing Magazine: excellent icons and other freebies that can usually be used for even commercial purposes.
- Tip! Shiny Icon Maker: create free Web 2.0 icons for your site.
- Just as important as professional images: a professional font type. Dafont.com offers loads of great free fonts.
Tools and Plug-ins
The internet is a fantastic repository of free tools you can use to make your life easier. Here are some tools we use ourselves:
- Appointment booking: let your clients book appointments right through your website with Appointlet – integrates nicely with Google Calendar. We’re fans!
- Grammarly: avoid spelling mistakes and generally improve your writing with this handy plug-in. Freemium version available!
- Use Disqus for a more sophisticated blog commenting feature – includes email notifications, moderation and more.
- Talkwalker Alerts: get email alerts when your or your competitors’ brand is mentioned on the web.
- Tip! Dropbox und Google Drive – share files with your coworkers. We use it quite extensively ourselves. Get 2 GB for free with Dropbox or 15 GB with Google Drive.
- HTTrack Website Copier: a brilliant tool to create backups of your website.
- Tip! Trello: an excellent tool to manage projects the Japanese ‘Kanban’ way. Can also be used to organize your to-do list.
- Free web form builders: it’s fast and easy to create forms with these free form builders.
- Tip! Screencasts: for short screencasts we can recommend Jing. It’s also great for sharing screenshots.
- Tip! Xenu’s Link Sleuth (Windows): finds broken links on your website. For Mac users there’s Integrity. Very important, use it regularly!
Know your rights before launching your website!
Free Web Analytics
Two free professional web statistic tools:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Boost Your Traffic
SEO starts with your choice of website builder, and includes both On-Page Optimization (everything that happens on your site) and Off-Page Optimization (backlinks from other sites to yours).
- Tip! Moz’s: free beginners guide: nicely illustrated crash course on SEO.
- Google SEO guideline (PDF): why not check what the world’s most important search engine has to say?
- Google Webmasters: register your new site here for detailed insights.
- Moz Blog: a fantastic resource for advanced SEO. Check the backlinking profile of any website with their Open Site Explorer.
- Link Building Strategies: PointBlankSEO features a fantastic resource with ideas to find backlinking opportunities.
- Analyse your website for SEO: rates several key factors. Website Grader is another great free service.
- HyperSuggest: discover what people are searching for to improve your content.
- Getting backlinks to your site: Great compilation of 41 tips that you may not have thought about.
Monetize Your Website
There are numerous ways to make money online, for example start an online shop and sell things, or be an affiliate for another company. Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Smartpassiveincome.com: Pat Flynn’s highly recommended blog. No pop-up banners, no sales pages. Simply great content.