June 30, 2017 9:01 am

June is Entrepreneurs “Do-It-Yourself” Marketing Month. Inventors, small business owners, and entrepreneurs have the go-getter mentality needed to take on projects and do it all themselves. One project people are wary to do themselves, however, is creating a website. Sure, having a website designed by a professional web designer is great, but sometimes it is not within your budget or timeframe. Building a DIY website for your invention is definitely possible with the right tools, a little patience, and a lot of hard work.

1. Use a WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG is an acronym that stands for “What You See Is What You Get,” meaning what you see on your computer screen as you’re editing your website is exactly what you’ll see when your site is published. Using a WYSIWYG allows you to create a website without writing any HTML or CSS code. Website builders such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix allow you to create a professional and visually appealing website without having web design experience. There’s also options to fit every budget.

2. Draw a Wireframe

Once you’ve figured out what website builder you’d like to use, you’ll need to create a wireframe, or a sketch which displays the functional elements of a website, used for planning a site’s structure and design elements. Taking this step will help you to organize your content and decide what interactive elements, such as buttons, forms, and videos, will be included on your site. At a minimum, you should plan out the following pages: home, about, contact, products, FAQs, and privacy policy.

3. Write Copy

Using your wireframe, plan the text that will go on your website. This will include headlines, page names, blurbs, bullet points, and paragraphs that should be on your site. You should write your website copy in a way that is short, sweet, and to the point – no one will read rambling paragraphs when you can sum it up into organized headlines and bullet points. A quick Google search for “website copy writing tips” will give you some more detailed information on how to write effective website copy.

4. Create a Draft for Review

Now it’s time to combine the written copy and wireframe into the website builder and create a draft of your website. Try not to worry about colors or other exact details at this point; just get all your ideas and concepts into the site. You should spend a lot of time ensuring that you like the placement of your pictures, videos, text and how they all work with one another. If not, WYSIWYG’s make it easy to drag and drop to reorganize your information. Browse your website as if you were a visitor and see if the organization of the information makes sense to you.

5. Check Over the Working Parts

Buttons, forms, and links have to work correctly for your website to function and attract attention. Scrutinize your site by clicking every button, testing every form, and visiting every link. This attention to detail will help you to have a complete, professional website.

6. Finalize Design Elements

Now that you know everything is on your website and it all works, perfect your design elements. Make sure you’ve chosen a cohesive color theme and that the fonts on your website jibe well together.

7. Have Someone Check it Over

You’ll need another few set of eyes on your website to ensure that everything is in order – after you’ve stared at something for so long it can be easy to for your eyes to glaze over. Plus, it’s always helpful to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion on your website design. You may go through a couple revisions in this step, but trust us, it’s worth the patience to have a polished, error-free website.

8. Go Live!

When you have completed all of these steps – and not a moment earlier! – set your website to live and start sharing links to your website on social media and through email. Be sure to keep track of your website’s traffic using the built-in analytics section in your website builder.

Building your own website is a must for many inventors, small business owners, and entrepreneurs due to limits on their budget or timeframe. However, creating your own website in 2017 doesn’t have to be hard. With the use of WYSIWYG website builders such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, you can have a professional looking website with some patience and a little elbow grease.

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