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How to Build a Website From Scratch – The Right Way – 3 Easy Steps

How to Build a Website From Scratch – The Right Way – 3 Easy Steps

We work with a lot of clients that start out building their own website on any number of “do it yourself” platforms like Weebly, Wix, GoDaddy, Square and more. And every once in a while, we support this and help improve these websites – usually because of budgetary concerns. Because of this, we feel it’s important to help others understand best practices for how to build a website from scratch on one of these DIY platforms. Our intention is to save you money, time, and frustration.

NOTE: We absolutely feel the best possible investment you can make in the growth of your business is a stand-alone website. You’re facing an uphill battle if you try to go it alone. There are many reasons for this, that we’ll include at the bottom of this article. But we do want to help if you choose the DIY model.

#1 Content – The One Word Answer to “How to Build a Website From Scratch?”

If you aren’t willing to write content when you build your website…at least 3000 words of it to start and more over time…then you’re wasting your time. Your website will not be found in organic keyword searches unless you point ads to it or have very little competition. Content is the #1 essential ingredient in being found. There’s an expert recipe for creating awesome searchable content. But you can get by just starting with 300 words about each of your services or products, 300 words about you and your team, 300 words about frequently asked questions, and 300 words about anything else important to your customers. Try to write 10 pages.

If you can afford it, hire an expert to look at the content through the lens of a search engine. Maybe even have this expert (hint: us) map out the keywords you should write around. If your eyes started crossing just now, then just write. The only point here is that there are ways to make the content better and give each page a better chance of being found.

Adding more content over time is the key to building your website to become a marketing tool for you. Stagnant websites don’t get as much love, period. Think of your website as a honeycomb. Every page adds a cell to the comb and every cell attracts more bees. Buzz. Buzz.

#2 SEO Tools

Every one of the DIY builders has optional tools for creating metadata. Use these tools to the best of your ability (or hire us to help). The most useful reason is because you can craft your SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). These are the little snippets that show up in searches. Like this one:

how to build a website from scratch

A SERP has a title, a URL and a description.

The DIY builders most often will let you craft these SERPS. Again, there is an expert recipe for this, but the best thing to do if you are going it alone is to try to attract a click. Use action words. Highlight the best of what they’ll learn if they click.

#3 Design

Almost every single DIY website we’ve seen has too many images that take up too much space, are too large, and don’t fit well with the text. Because you aren’t a graphic designer, the chances of you having the same issue are pretty good. So. Follow my father’s advice: KISS. Keep. It. Simple. Sweetie.

One photo per page. Try not to have it be a ginormous photo. Try really hard to make sure it isn’t pixelated. Try to have the content come FIRST, before the photo, so that the search engines will get to the content before running into an image.

Why Don’t We Want You to Follow Our Three Steps for How to Build a Website From Scratch?

I like the bee reference from before, so let’s continue with that. No matter what you do, using a DIY builder means that you will be part of a hive – a very, very, very, very big hive. And so when a search engine finds you, they’ve had to enter that hive and there are a lot of distractions. Even if you have your own URL pointing to your section of honey – there are still obstacles and it’s really noisy, so a search engine won’t stay too long. They prefer websites that have their own piece of property.

Also, you don’t own a DIY website but more, you’re renting it. You own the content, which is another reason to invest in that because you can take it with you when you’re ready.

Last, you won’t be able to easily change the way it looks once you’ve chosen a template so it’s harder for the website to grow with you. Whereas websites we create for you are modular and can morph and change and grow over time. Plus, there are tons of other options for search optimization, functionality, and beautiful design.

The biggest issue is always cost. Keep in mind that we offer payment plans and also think about the investment against a bigger picture. Your website is the single biggest and best marketing tool you can have for the ongoing growth of your business. Somewhere around 90% of people look at a business online before buying from them. That’s almost everyone. Mic drop. 🙂

 

6 Brand New Website Launches of 2019

6 Brand New Website Launches of 2019

We’re proud to announce that we have not one, not two, but six new website launches to share with you! From storage facilities to a family therapist a beauty guru, take a look at our newest additions to the UplinkSpyder web.

Family Roots Therapy

Family Roots Therapy, based in Portland, helps young children and families through trauma. The psychiatrists at Family Roots believe that too often, children’s issues are treated as an afterthought and because of that, they commit themselves to deliver timely help. Their website features an easy-to-navigate layout with friendly imagery. There’s also a simple portal where clients can make appointments, pay bills, or send a secure message to therapists.

Castle Storage

When you visit Castle Storage in Eugene, you’ll immediately notice a large dragon. Her name is Ophelia and she guards her treasure as well as yours.

The Castle Storage website was built with Ophelia in mind. The imagery was fun to work with on this one! Rich brick textures and gold highlight the site, while information and a payment portal for users are easily accessible.

Planet Storage

Planet Storage’s website is just plain fun. Buttons glow green and playful alien caricatures (hand illustrated by our designer, Alina) guide visitors through the website.
Based in Eugene, Planet Storage has out of this world staff who readily help answer any questions you may have.

Swiss Clinique

Swiss Clinique treats clients to the pampering of a lifetime. This new website (our second build for this Orange County day spa) features information on owner Evelyne’s luxurious services and hosts an upgraded e-commerce portal for sales of “Swiss Approved” skin care and makeup products, some of which Swiss Clinique is the sole US distributor for.

Elizabeth Rumley

A pharmacist turned lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur, Elizabeth Rumley’s website has a deliciously clean layout. If an ocean breeze scent could exist on a website, this is where you’d find it. Elizabeth writes about her two sons and husband, her life in San Antonio, Texas, and her love for Monat hair products.

KKNX Radio 84

Who doesn’t love the classics? Hosted by “The Voice” John Mielke and the most knowledgeable DJs in radio, KKNX Classic Hits radio (105.1 FM) spins only the best tracks (plus news, weather, and sports!). Listeners don’t have to tune in to the radio though – they can listen anywhere, thanks to the website’s live streaming option.

If you’re in the market for a website, marketing help, or content creation, give UplinkSpyder a call. We specialize in creating personalized websites for your brand. If you work with Uplink, you can rest assured that no one knows the web like a Spyder.

2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

2018 was a busy year for us – and an exciting one at that. We’ve introduced new Spyders to our team, renovated and expanded our work-space (our “web”, if you will), added more businesses to our already awesome list of clients, and spent many hours doing what Spyders do best: writing, designing, and marketing.

To celebrate this incredible year, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite 2018 projects for your viewing pleasure. But first, a word from our fearless leader and CEO:

Our ten year anniversary as a company is this year — April 2019 — and it’s pretty remarkable to take a look at how far we’ve come and how much has transpired in those ten years. We started out of a home office with two clients.

When I look back, I see the huge mistakes we’ve made and tried our best to learn from and I see a landscape of beautiful and impactful work — but most of all, I see the relationships we’ve built over the years and continue to build. That’s why we do this work. Because we love to serve others and help other businesses grow and have successes of their own.

I want to take this moment to say thank you to all of you who have trusted UplinkSpyder — and the Spyders that work here — with your website, design, marketing and content needs. We have big plans for the next year. I’m really excited. I never thought of myself as a business owner, much less a successful one, but God has graced Emmanuel and myself with many extra chances to learn and grow. Employing others is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of our lives and I’m so very grateful I continue to have that opportunity.

Please take a look at a very small sample and a few cool statistics from the last year of our first decade. And stay tuned for more awesome to come…

Happy New Year!
Deanna Rivera, CEO

2018 at a Glance

13,506+

Hours Creating Awesome

In 2018, our Spyders spent over 13,500 combined hours working on your website, blogs, social media, newsletters, and more – and guess what? We loved every minute of it. We find joy in creating a website with a beautiful, mobile-responsive design that wows both your customers and search engines. When we see your keyword rankings improving, or a Facebook ad generating tons of clicks to your website, we literally high-five each other for a job well done. Your success is our success.

183,000+

Words Written *Since June

Just over the last 7 months, we’ve written over 183,000 words to help increase website traffic and pull customers in based on careful SEO research. This is done through your website’s “normal” content outlining your services, but also through our new content marketing packages for blogging, which…not to toot our own horn or anything…are pretty freaking great. We can’t stress how important it is to regularly post blogs to your website. Don’t think your business needs a blog? We’d love to tell you why that’s not the case.

439+

Newsletters Sent

Over this past year, we have sent over 430 newsletters for our clients, and that doesn’t count the additional efforts we make to ensure each of those newsletters get opened and clicked on. This includes automated emails (triggered by contact forms, pop-ups, etc.) and newsletter re-sends, with new subject lines, to people that didn’t open them originally. With email marketing, and all of your marketing efforts, consistency is key! We help our clients stay in their customers’ inboxes through well-crafted newsletters, helping grow their audience along the way.

+53%

Average Website Growth as Compared to 2017

Our existing websites, that we maintain and update regularly, experienced an average of 50% growth, compared to 2017. That’s because we don’t just launch a website and then wave good-bye. We become business partners with our clients, constantly helping them discover new ways to grow their business. When you work with UplinkSpyder, you work with a team of individuals that become your friends, and treat your business like our own.

23 Websites Launched

2018 was the year of experimenting with new design methods, further content analysis, and improved user experience. Through all of the 23 websites we built and launched in 2018, we were able to create something unique, which we are very proud of. Your website is the heart of all your marketing, so if it doesn’t truly reflect your business, has false information, or doesn’t show up properly on a mobile device, it’s not benefiting you at all. In fact, it may be hurting you. Luckily, we happen to know a group of talented Spyders (not the creepy, crawly kind) that can fix these issues for you.

25 Brands Created

When a new business owner comes to us and says “I don’t have a logo yet,” or “I don’t have a brand yet,” – it’s music to our ears. Our favorite projects are the ones that we help you shape from the beginning. In 2018, we helped 25 businesses find their identity. Check out some of the highlights below.

Thanks for reading all of that,
but the proof is in the pudding.

Check out a few highlights from our web design and branding of 2018:

10 Crucial Elements Every Website Should Have

10 Crucial Elements Every Website Should Have

I’ve personally been involved in website development since 2001. It’s remarkable how different making a website is today from even 3 years ago. The tools available to us that really help your website shine, what search engines care about, and of course the proliferation of mobile devices has dramatically changed the landscape. (more…)

The Importance of Looking Good on Mobile

The Importance of Looking Good on Mobile

¡Buenos Dias!

I’ve been learning spanish on my phone. Every day, I spend 10 minutes on this app and so far, it tells me, I’m 11% fluent. It is a cool little app, I’ll tell you what. Did you know that tortuga is spanish for turtle? I love saying that word.

Why do I tell you about this? Because every day, people spend more and more time on their phones and tablets. If you aren’t paying attention to how your business is represented on mobile devices, you’re not only behind the times, you are potentially losing 77% of your potential customers.

That number comes from having just looked at the analytics (statistics) for 10 of my client websites and 5 of their most recent email campaigns. Here’s what I found out:

  • 7 of the 10 had more users view their website on mobile than desktop.
  • In 6 of those cases, at least 10% more users were on mobile/tablets.
  • In the most extreme case, 77% were on mobile/tablet.
  • For email, 3 of the 5 had more users view the email on mobile than desktop.

If you have more clients that are business professionals, you’ll have fewer mobile visitors. But even the lowest statistic showed 30% on mobile. That’s a big chunk!

And don’t think it is just the young! Baby Boomers, that HUGE generation everyone is always talking about, are online MORE than millennials and the numbers keep climbing. They also spend more money online than any other generation, and they consume way more content. Facebook is their favorite, by the way, as a side note.

The moral of this story is – pay attention to how you are represented on a phone and tablet. Think about things like responsive websites and social media and ads that show up on apps. Or let me think about it for you. *wink*

Blessings,
Deanna