What is Web Development

What is Web development? Web development usually refers to the work associated with creating websites for web or Internet hosting.

Website design used to be very difficult, but that is no longer true.

Years ago, when I first started designing my websites, there weren’t a ton of resources. Basically there were two options – learn the basics of website programming languages ​​or hire a designer. The first choice is difficult and time-consuming. The latter is expensive.

After a little bit of trying to design everything myself, I spent the top dollar on a designer. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I really didn’t have much choice.

Today, new website owners have more resources at their disposal. It is possible to design a professional website without hiring a designer or knowing how to code.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking for an alternative way to design websites, you’ve come to the right place. Below I will explain how to design a website in this step-by-step guide.

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Wix.com is my favorite tool for website design. This is an alternative method to completely abandoning web design.

As a free website builder, Wix makes it easy to create and design a website from scratch—no experience, development skills, or design knowledge required.

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The reason I love Wix so much is because it’s so effortless. Even for such a simple tool, the final design is always done professionally. People will assume you hired a designer – and that’s fine.

Web Development

That ease of use extends to important things you don’t want to deal with on your own, like security and reliability.

Wix manages the optimization for both, so your site is always protected and their servers can always serve your website to visitors.

Plus, they go the extra mile with automatic site data backups that ensure you’re not starting over if something terrible happens.

Another reason I highly recommend Wix is ​​its versatility. It can accommodate the design needs of every type of website under the sun.

From simple blogs to portfolio sites, online stores, restaurant websites, small business sites and more, Wix can do it. Other website builders on the market don’t have the same versatility.

Continue below and I’ll teach you how to design a website for free using Wix.

Step #1: Create a Wix Account – Web Development

The first thing you need to do is register with Wix. So go to Wix.com and create an account. It’s 100% free to do, and you don’t have to give out your credit card information.

Click on one of the many “Get Started” buttons on the home page or elsewhere on the site.

Web Development

Unlike other sites, the Wix registration process can be completed in seconds. There are no complicated form fields to fill. They need your email and password.

You can register with one click using Google or Facebook instead of typing anything.

Once you sign up, Wix automatically walks you through the website design process.

Step #2: Choose Your Website Type – Web Development

Next, you need to figure out what type of website you want to design. Your answer will have a significant impact on your design choices.

For example, a personal blog and an eCommerce website will have big differences in design choices. A portfolio site used to showcase photography or custom art may not have the same design as a local restaurant website.

Wix makes this step easy for you. You will be asked to select your website type from a wide range of possible options.

Web Development

Based on your answer, Wix will automatically provide you with templates that match that category. For example, if you select “Online Store,” the layout will accommodate product pages, product categories, and simplify designing the checkout process.

After choosing a website type, Wix offers two options for your design:

  • Let Wix ADI build your website for you.
  • Create your website with the editor.

The first option is straightforward and best for those in a hurry. You’ll answer a few simple questions, and Wix will design a site for you based on your answers. It is impressive how quickly the process takes place.

You will have a brand new custom website design in less than a minute. The design looks great, and apart from customizing the pages with your own content, you’re done.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to stick with the second option of creating a site with the Wix editor. This will give you more freedom and control over every aspect of design choices.

Step #3: Select a Template – Web Development

Starting with a template is much easier than trying to design a website with a blank canvas.

Take a few minutes to browse through the different options. What styles do you like? Which templates emulate your brand image? Wix has thousands of templates to choose from. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. But narrow your focus based on your specific type of website.

Web Development

For this example, I’ll choose a “business” website. But this is a very broad category. If you look at the left side of the screen, you can further narrow your focus to business categories.

Wix has specific templates for professional services like consultants, real estate firms, finance and law, marketing, and more. Each website category has different subcategories with templates.

For example, if you select “Online Store,” you’ll see templates for clothing, jewelry, electronics, home decor, beauty products, sports equipment, and more. If you are designing a blog website, Wix has templates for personal blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs, podcasts, etc.

Your template becomes the foundation for the rest of your website design. So it is important to take your time and not rush this step. You can still customize the different design elements to your liking, but it’s much easier with the right template.

Step #4: Edit Your Layout – Web Development

Website visitors form an opinion about your website in less than a second after landing on the homepage. That’s why design is so important, and it all starts with the right layout.

Wix templates are already optimized for user-friendly design. But here you have freedom and flexibility to make some changes.

Wix.com

In this example, I am editing the “Business Consultant” template. Let’s say I wanted to move the header on this homepage. I click on the box in the Wix editor and drag it somewhere else on the page.

Or I’d like to put the “Learn More” call back on the right half of the screen. I can click on it and drag the button anywhere.

I encourage you to move a few things around when you’re first starting out. This will introduce you to the Wix editor so you’re comfortable on the road. If you don’t want to make any layout changes at the end, you can always revert to the original design.

Step #5: Prepare Your Content – Web Development

Content is an important element in the design of your site. The design cannot be fully completed without a proper understanding of what products will be featured on the website.

Collect images, videos, GIFs, logos, slogans, text (copy) and anything else you want to display on your site.

Let me give you an example to illustrate my point.

Wix.com

I am still editing the same business advisor template. One of the first things I do on this part of the page is replace the image with my image. But before I do that, I should also think about the corresponding text copy on the bottom left side of the screen.

By default, the template has some blank space here, as I highlighted above. While white space is an important web design feature, I don’t like how it’s used in this instance.

So these are my options:

  • Use a full-length photo (like the one above) and add a paragraph in the blank space.
  • Use a small photo (such as a headshot) and a paragraph of text.

Both will achieve my goal of removing the blank part of the page. Do you see how one component affects another? It all has to do with design, and it’s much easier if you prepare your content in advance.

Step #6: Define Your Branding Strategy – Web Development

Start thinking about how visitors will perceive your website. Things like color scheme, fonts and other design elements directly affect your brand image.

Click on “Theme Manager” on the left side of your Wix editor. It’s a button with an “A” on it and looks like a raindrop or paint drop.

Wix.com

From here, you can change your site’s theme colors. You will also have the ability to edit your default text themes for headings and paragraphs.

In this case, the current color scheme works well for the Business Advisor. It is modern and professional. But let’s say you’ve designed a website for kids. You can have a little more fun with bright colors and big, bold fonts.

If you added your company logos and other items back in step #5, you’ll want to make sure the color scheme flows well with the rest of your content.

Step #7: Add Landing Pages – Web Development

Each of your landing pages will have unique designs. Although they should all follow the same branding principles and theme of your home page, there will be some differences in design choices.

To add a page, click the top icon on the left side of your Wix editor. Click “Add Page” as I’ve highlighted below.

Wix.com

New pages will be a blank canvas except for your header and footer. But instead of starting from scratch, you can “add a piece” based on which page contains which content.

Click the “+” button in the editor to browse through some of the options.

Wix.com

Think of it as a mini template. When first choosing your overall site template, use the same principles you used in step #3.

It’s an easy way to design new landing pages. Wix already has so many great options that it’s not worth trying to build your pages from scratch.

Step #8: Focus on Usability

Sometimes during the design process, you can start focusing on how visitors will engage with your site. But user experience (UX) cannot be ignored.

There are certain design best practices that people expect when visiting a website. For example, they expect the navigation menu to be at the top of the page. They expect contact information to be in the footer. They expect the logo to take them back to the home page.

Let’s look at something as simple as a navigation menu:

Wix.com
In this example, the menu only has four pages. You can get away with adding one or two more. But beyond that, it is so much more.
Imagine if this website had 10 or 20 pages of menus. That would be a disaster. The top of the page can be too cluttered and visitors will never find what they are looking for. Overall, this would be a poor design choice.
Think about usability in every design choice you make, from CTA placement to scroll effects, white space, architecture, and everything in between.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here. Follow web design best practices and the UX will be good.

Step #9: Optimize the Design For Mobile Devices

According to Statista, half of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices. So every visitor to your site browsing from a smartphone or tablet has a coin flip opportunity.

Make sure your website design is mobile friendly. Otherwise, visitors will bounce and you won’t get mobile conversions.

Fortunately, Wix makes this process easy for you.

Wix.com

To switch from the desktop view of your website, from the editor or preview page, click the mobile icon.

Wix will automatically optimize your website for mobile. But it’s still a good idea to check everything yourself to see if you want to make any changes. If you find something you want to change, you can edit your site’s mobile design without changing the desktop version.

Step #10: Publish Your Website

Once you’ve finalized the design, it’s time to get your site live on the web.

It’s important to note that your site doesn’t have to be 100% complete to publish. You can always go back and add pages later. But once you have a homepage, page, contact page, and some site elements, publish it so you can start generating some traffic. Make sure you don’t publish any incomplete pages.

To continue, click the blue “Publish” button at the top right of your Wix dashboard.

Wix.com

As I said earlier, Wix is 100% free to design and publish a site. But there is a catch.

This is not a viable option for any business related website. It’s okay if you use the site to play around with web design principles. But if you want a legitimate site with a real audience, you should upgrade to the premium Wix plan.

Now you can use a custom domain name, either directly through Wix or purchased from a third-party domain registrar. If you don’t already have a domain, get one from Wix. It’s easy to manage everything through a single platform.

Conclusion What is Web Development

Website design has really evolved over the years. What was once a daunting or expensive endeavor for new site owners can now be easily accomplished.

Website builders like Wix eliminate the need to design websites from scratch.

Non-technical users and those with zero design experience can choose a template and populate their site with custom content. No need to learn web programming languages ​​or hire a designer.

Sign up with Wix, follow the step-by-step process listed above, and you’ll have a professionally designed website in minutes. It’s that simple!

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2 Comments

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