(984) 248-0906


★★★★★ 5.0 Rating

(984) 248-0906

  • Derek Cummings

    Derek Cummings


    June 18, 2024
    Durham, NC

An Efficient Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Website From Scratch in 2024


Themes, plugins, hosting, domains, developers, custom design, stock media, ugh! if you don't know what you're doing, launching a new website can be anything from an absolute nightmare to a gigantic money pit.
Did you know that according to HubSpot, the average cost to maintain a website is between $400 and $60,000 annually? Crazy right?!
Fear not my friend, I will show you how to create your website yourself (with my help) for just over $100!

In this blog post, I'll outline a step-by-step DIY blueprint to achieving the website of your dreams, on an intuitive platform, for a price that won't keep you up at night.
Sound good?
Well, I promise you this, my advice will be unlike anything you've received before! I know because I've been on the other side of this screen more times than I can count.
Shall we?

Technical Details

Step 1: Choosing a Domain Name

Instead of focusing on exact-match domains, resist the temptation to purchase one for your business. For example, if your company sells SEO services in Durham, don't use a domain name like durhamseocompany. There is absolutely no SEO benefit to doing so, and in fact, the opposite may be true.
Consider these tips instead:
● Easy to remember● Short and easy to spell● Relatable to your business● Also something sellable in the future

The Best Deal in Domain Registration

When it comes to web hosting, absolutely NOTHING beats Cloudflare's at-cost domain registrar
● At-cost pricing● No inflated renewals● Free registration privacy● DNS, CDN, and SSL included● Free unlimited domain emails● Advanced security and performance

Tip: DNS Management

I also recommend you switch your DNS to Cloudflare for the FREE security, CDN, and redundancy features, but don't worry about that right now, I'll help you tackle that when the time comes!


Does My SEO Semper Website Come With a Domain Name?

A domain name is included with our monthly web design and SEO package only, however, if you want us to manage your domain for you, that's no problem either, we'll simply bill you for the domain at cost.

Step 2: Hosting Your Website

I've got my domain name, but what hosting provider should I choose?
Yup, that's right, let me show you a better way so you don't have to deal with slow limited shared hosting plans or overpriced managed hosting solutions. 
Unless you're planning on building a bunch of websites, let me show you a better way!

This ties into the following sections, but essentially, what I'm going to recommend is that you leverage the unlimited Google Cloud hosting that's included with SEO SEMPER Professional, our all-in-one do-it-yourself solution.
There are no pricing gimmicks, with SEO SEMPER Pro, it's $99/year from the first year to the last.
Within the first few days after signing up, we'll hook you up with a private curated theme for your niche along with plenty of stock media for you to play with, which brings us to the next section.

Getting Started

Step 3: Choosing a Theme For Your Website

When most people hear website theme they naturally think of WordPress, but unless you want a site that looks like everyone else's, I recommend you use something more exclusive. But first, why a theme?
I've found that one simple thing holds business owners back from doing their own websites...
Getting something down on "paper" is the first challenge people struggle with, followed closely by perfectionism! A solid theme will not only motivate you but help you ideate. Do you know what your message is, but are not sure how to get it in front of your target audience?

One of the greatest reasons to use a theme is for conversion rate optimization. The folks at Template Monster who created our exclusive themes are some of the first to ever do it, they've mastered the flow of users across thousands of niches bringing that data to you in the form of a highly customizable template.

How Does It Work?

Upon signup, I'll personally select and combine the best exclusive theme(s) for your niche, this way, you'll have all the stock content you'll ever need. Need more? Our website builder comes armed with an integrated free stock image search!
Plus, guided by our AI, making changes to your theme is a cinch on SEO SEMPER! 
But if you're ever in need of more personalized assistance, or additional features, we're available for 1v1 support. Now let's talk about the fun stuff!

Step 4: Choosing The Right Colors

Now that you've got your template, the first thing you're going to want to do is update the color to fit your brand.
First, I recommend you upload your logo(s) and go from there. Don't worry, if you get stuck and can't figure out how to do any of this, just click on the chat bubble with my head on it. You'd be surprised how helpful Robot Derek can be for anything from how-to's within the site builder to web design and SEO advice.

Again, if you ever find yourself in need of some 1v1 help, you can either book a web design and SEO consultation or submit a ticket within your portal.

Uploading images in SEO SEMPER Pro is easy! For the most part, it's just point-and-click. In fact, the uploader optimizes the images for you upon upload, saving you time and money compared to WordPress plugins.
Did I mention there's unlimited storage?

Color schemes ARE important, and I have a guide dedicated to marketing color psychology alone, but at the end of the day, it's more so about providing a seamless branding experience.
Updating the color scheme is also super easy on SEO SEMPER. Changing 1 color in the palette settings will change it everywhere that color is currently used in the template, perfect for switching up with the seasons!
There are 4 color fields, each with descriptions of what they're typically used for, but I won't bore you with those details in this guide:


Step 5: Creating Additional Pages

Depending on your template(s), your site should have started off with all the core pages already built for you.
With that said, adding additional pages is intuitive as well! You can either duplicate an existing page by clicking the 3-dot menu next to a relevant one or create a new page altogether:
● Click Home● Add new page● Name it● Click on it● Select blocks● Confirm URL

What if I Have Questions?

Firstly, don't worry. This isn't as hard as it may seem. There are two golden rules to SEO SEMPER Pro; "if you want to change it, touch it," and "if you want to tweak it, see the settings wheel."
I know, not very catchy, I'm working on it :)
But I digress, if you ever get stuck, simply click on my silly face on the bottom-right, and, again, robot Derek would be more than happy to assist, trust me, I trained him. He even knows a little SEO, but don't quote me on that!


Step 6: Launching Your New Site!

Launching your new website is probably the easiest part in all honestly! First, if you haven't connected your domain, you must do that before you continue.
From your account dashboard click Domains and "Use external domain," and follow the instructions to connect your domain on Cloudflare to SEO SEMPER using a "DNS only" a record.


Search Engine Indexing

To be visible on the internet navigate to:
● Login● My websites● Settings● General Info● Un-toggle block indexing
Turning off "Block this website from being indexed," will allow your new site to be discovered and crawled by Google and all the other major search engines provided you've submitted your sitemap to Google Search Console.

What's Next?

Step 7: Search Engine Optimization

Over the next 6-12 months I recommend pushing search engine optimization hard. This means generating new helpful content for your target audience to consume so they become aware of your brand and services. Luckily, most of the technical details will be handled by the theme and CMS.
However, if you haven't already, please ensure you've hit the important search engine optimization basics such as meta titles since these are not generated for you. You can create meta titles by clicking the settings wheel next to each page you've created.
In short, this will change what searchers see in the search engine results pages, so not only is it important for your keywords to be in there, but it's also important to think about how to entice them to CLICK!


Next Steps!

Not to beat a dead horse, but launching a new website can be daunting. If you've managed to launch your site and get Google to crawl it, then congratulations are in order IMO.
Pat yourself on the back!
However, if you got stuck, or life happened and you simply ran out of time, then we'd be happy to design your website for you, or simply pick up where you left off!

 Track and Monitor

Ensure you're tracking your users and the interactions they make with your site. Each button on your SEO SEMPER site can be easily turned into an event in GA4 by way of the "advanced settings."
If you're not growing your business in 12 months, reach out and book an SEO consultation call, I'd be happy to help!


How Much Should You Expect to Pay for Web Design in the Triangle?

In the age of AI and no-code website builders, should you pay an arm and a leg for a website in 2024? What does the market look like in the Research Triangle?