Whether you are making a website for the first time or have years of experience, everyone is bound to mess up or make a mistake sooner or later! This is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common things that anyone making websites should know about—so that you don’t have to learn the hard way!
Not knowing what you’re doing
Trying something new is always a fun experience! On the other hand, something new almost certainly has a learning curve. We get it, jumping right into building your website is tempting. But if you don’t get acquainted with the tools available, you might end up overcomplicating everything, or even worse, being stuck on something simple for hours!
Before starting to build your website, make sure you have a clear plan for what tools you are going to use and how you are going to accomplish it. For example, if you are going to make a blog, then you might consider researching WordPress, a popular blogging software.
Not making backups
It’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of making websites that sometimes you might forget to make backups! Or, you’re just lazy. We’ve all been there. Don’t be either of these! Making backups is one of the most important parts of making a website—it can save you hours of redoing things.
Anything can happen at any time, and it might not necessarily be your fault. The hosting could have crashed, a plugin installation could have gone wrong, or something may not have been saved properly… By having backups readily available, you can easily revert to previous versions of your website in case something goes wrong (which almost certainly will happen at some point.)
Paying too much
We’ve all done it before: taken Google’s word for something without batting an eye. However, this does not mean that Google is right! If you signed up for whatever web host came up first on Google, you might be overpaying without even knowing about it.
If you only have a blog or a small-to-medium sized website, you should not be paying more than a few dollars a month. While most popular hosts try and lure you in with dirt-cheap prices, be wary that these prices are often in yearly-term (or even in four-year term!) If you aren’t careful, you might end up paying hundreds of dollars at once for something that you do not even need!
An example of a great webhost is iFastNet. For just $4.99 a month, you receive everything you need and then some. All plans come with a free domain so that you can get started right away! And the best part? You can pay on a month-per-month basis! We wrote a review on iFastNet, if you would like to learn more.
If you don’t feel comfortable paying upfront, what better than completely free hosting? Gilect provides free hosting so that you can just focus on making your website. If you ever feel like you want more, you can upgrade your plan at any time. There’s nothing better than a freebie!
Picking a bad domain
Here’s a common one many people new to the industry face: picking a bad domain. Domains cost money, and depending on the extension, some cost more than others. This is why you want to make sure that you pick a good domain name.
A good domain name should be short and memorable, preferably without numbers and hyphens. For example, joes-bakery.com is a no-no. If you tell someone this domain, they won’t know whether or not there is a hyphen there—they might confuse it for joesbakery.com.
There are over 1000 domain extensions available—from common domains like .com and .net, to more obscure ones such as .catering and .ninja. If you can, try and go for a common extension such as .com. If it’s taken, pick a domain extension that suits your niche. For instance, if you are an artist named Bob, you might consider a domain like bobsart.com. If you can’t, go for a domain such as bobs.art. These niche extensions can be creative but aren’t as well known, so always try going for a .com first.
As soon as you know what you want your domain to be, make sure you buy it as soon as possible! Domain names get taken fast, meaning you should secure your domain name to prevent someone else from buying it. Also, make sure that you are purchasing from a reputable domain registrar, such as NameSilo. Some registrars might try and rip you off by introducing hidden fees, such as WHOIS privacy.
If you aren’t sure what you want your domain to be but want to get started building a website, you can always sign up for free hosting and pick a free subdomain. Afterward, if you would like, you can swap out the subdomain for a real domain.
Not making your website responsive
People will be visiting your site from many different devices of many different sizes. To give the best possible viewing experience, ensure that your website looks pretty on all sizes. For example, our website looks great even on a phone:
By not having a responsive design, you risk making it harder for people to use your website, causing them to leave before they even read anything. Additionally, having a responsive website is good for SEO, meaning it boosts your rank in Google.
No SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is what gives your website that shiny green padlock and the https text in the address bar. Without it, anyone attempting to visit that website is greeted by a “Not Secure” warning. As you can imagine, having an SSL certificate is important.
In 2023, you should not be paying for an SSL certificate. Most hosts (such as iFastNet) provide free SSL certificates and automatic certificate installation. If not, you can always use our free tool to generate SSL certificates for your websites.
And that’s it! By following these six key points, you’ll be good to go. We’ll see you on the web!