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How to Build a Website From Scratch (in 9 Easy Steps)

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Want to increase your online presence and reach more customers in 2022? There’s no better way to do it than through your own website.

The great news is that the process of building a website has become much simpler over the years. As you’re about to see, you can make one yourself without any coding skills or needing to hire a developer.

You can make it happen in no time by following this 9-step plan. Ready? Let’s dive in.

How to build a website from scratch


  1. Specify a goal for your website and list all your requirements
  2. Research your market and competitors
  3. Research what appeals to you visually
  4. Choose your website builder
  5. Choose your web host
  6. Choose your domain name
  7. Add your content and customize the layout
  8. Connect all the necessary tools
  9. Preview and publish

1. Specify a goal for your website and list all your requirements

If you want to build a website from scratch, it’s best to start by figuring out what goal or purpose it should serve. In other words, what do you want to achieve with it?

Are you planning to sell products or services? Perhaps you want to show off your portfolio? Or maybe you’re building your website purely for branding purposes?

The answer to this question will help you determine:

  • What types of pages you’ll want to publish (portfolio page, pricing page, about us page)
  • The types of content you’ll want to feature on them (image gallery, articles, videos)
  • As well as the technical capabilities you’ll want (such as integration with an email marketing platform or a live chat solution)

If you’re not 100% sure about this step, this guide tackles the big question – Why do I need a website?

And if you already know that you need a website, but aren’t sure what to base it on, then these profitable website ideas might come in handy.

Once you’ve figured that out, you can move on to the next step, like researching your market and competitors for example.

Different websites can serve different purposes.

2. Research your market and competitors

With your goal and initial ideas in mind, it’s time to research your target audience and competitors. 

What you want to find out is: 

  • What type of information your potential customers are interested in 
  • What types of content your competitors have been publishing to capture them 

The best way to do it (although slightly time-consuming) is to manually go through competitors’ pages, social media groups, Q&A sites, and forums – and note down all relevant information like the topics addressed, questions asked, and types of content that you see. 

To give you an idea of what this kind of research could lead to, imagine you’re a personal trainer. By checking out other personal trainers’ websites, you’ve noticed that all of them have these kinds of pages and content on their site: 

  • A services page where they describe their services and pricing plans 
  • An about page describing the trainer and their background 
  • A page with testimonials and transformations of the happy customers 
  • A blog with training tips and stories 
  • An email newsletter signup form offering a downloadable meal recipe plan 
  • Social media links leading to their YouTube and Instagram profiles 

On top of that, on social media groups, you’ve noticed that your target audience frequently asks about personal trainers working in specific locations. Because of that, you also decide to add an extra page listing all the gyms where you provide your services. 

It’s even super important to do your research even if you’re creating an informative-only directory such as a website for your local church. You should determine exactly what those members want to see, so you can plan your content accordingly.

Once you’ve finished your research, note down everything that you absolutely must include on your website, and move on to the next step.

3. Research what appeals to you visually

Examples of website templates available in GetResponse Website Builder.
Examples of website templates available in GetResponse Website Builder.

Now it’s time for some visual research to find some website design layouts you and your target audience would find visually appealing. 

Just like the previous step, you’ll want to start by researching your competitors, going through various website template galleries, and Pinterest. 

The important thing in this step is to remember the goal of your website and the target audience the page is meant to serve. These two factors should help you decide the direction and layout of your website (for example, you could be building a multi-page website or a one-page website)

While you can get some inspiration from them, you don’t want to spend too much time looking at websites from global companies if you’re running a small local business. Not only would such companies have different goals from yours, but they’d likely also have a larger budget and a whole team of designers and developers building the page for them. 

Alright, let’s now move onto the slightly more technical step – selecting your website builder. 

4. Choose your website builder

GetResponse Website Builder.

Let’s start by answering a question – do you really need a website builder to make a website? 

In short, no. 

If you have coding skills you can create a website from scratch using just a code editor and HTML, CSS, and JS libraries like Bootstrap. However, this approach requires a lot of time, skill, and experience. 

You could also hire a web developer to build a website for you. Most likely, such a developer would customize one of the templates they’ve already worked with and set up the website for you using WordPress or another popular content management system (CMS). 

This is a popular approach, especially if you’re planning on running a blog, but it’s not ideal. The most important disadvantage is that WordPress needs constant updating and their dashboard is not intuitive or flexible. And if you want to make any visual changes that go beyond what your template offers, you’ll need to ask your developer for their help.

The third approach – one that is the most cost-effective and gives small businesses like yours all the flexibility – is to use drag-and-drop website builders. They come with free, ready-made templates, intuitive user interfaces (UIs), and don’t require that you know any HTML or CSS. Plus, you don’t need to update them to have your website up and running without any delays. 

Some of them, like GetResponse Free Website Builder, also help you further improve the process of building your website and your online presence by:

  • Using AI to build the perfect website to match your business goals and needs 
  • Giving you access to thousands of free high-resolution images you can use on your pages 
  • Automatically connecting your website with marketing solutions to run email marketing campaigns, connect with your audience through live chats, or run paid ads through Facebook or Google 
  • Automatically making your pages mobile-friendly and secure with free SSL 
  • Giving you free web hosting and letting you register your own domain right inside the dashboard 

To choose the best website builder you should refer to the outcomes of your research in the previous steps. If you’ve narrowed down the types of pages, content, capabilities, and visual layouts you’d like to have on your website, you should browse through the most popular website builders and see which ones check most of your boxes. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, go ahead and try them out. Most of these tools come with a free or free trial account that’ll give you a better feel of their UI and how easy they’re to use. 

On top of that, when choosing your favorite website builder, you may also want to look at these slightly more advanced factors: 

  • Does the website builder come with any specific limitations or, for example, does it offer unlimited bandwidth? 
  • Does the website builder offer search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities? 
  • Does the website builder come with a content management system (CMS), and how complex is it? 
  • How difficult it is to connect other essential tools, such as Google Analytics? 
  • Is it an actual drag-and-drop builder? And does it require additional skills like HTML or CSS?