Developing a Website

Why is it important to have your own website?

For most forms of self-employment, a professional homepage is the basic requirement for being taken seriously by customers. A website also serves as the headquarters for all of a company’s content, products and marketing efforts. It can be used to achieve various goals, such as:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Increasing sales
  • Retaining existing customers
  • Being available around the clock
  • Presenting goods/services
  • Recruiting employees
  • Collecting contact addresses
  • Offering support and feedback channels

Unlike social media profiles or business listings on Google, you have full control over the design, layout and communication of your web presence when hosting your own website.

What types of websites are there?

Websites can be roughly divided into 4 different types:

  • Onepager

    A simple one-pager consists of a single page. In addition to the information on the home page, there is also legal information such as imprint, privacy policy or the terms and conditions.

    Examples of onepagers: online business cards, virtual flyers, virtual directions.

  • Simple website

    The design of a simple website includes a home page and several sub-pages. Separate pages are created to present more in-depth company information or to separate different categories on a website, for example:

    • Careers page
    • „About us“ page
    • Contact form
    • Blog section
    • Map with directions
    • Partner offers
    • Services offered
    • Photo gallery

    Examples of simple websites: small company websites/corporate homepages, photography website, restaurant website, cafe homepage and club websites are good examples of this category of websites.

  • Complex websites

    One speaks of a complex website when an Internet presence has many navigation levels and contains technically complex features or large databases, such as:

    • Job boards
    • Large newsrooms
    • Member area with login
    • Online tools like converters
    • Virtual booking systems
    • Download area for tools
    • Portals for classifieds
    • Forums
    • Online image processing

    Examples of complex websites: Large newsrooms, corporate websites of large companies, job boards, classifieds portals, real estate websites, online forums.

  • Online stores (e-commerce sites)

    In contrast to websites that provide information about a topic, product or service, an online store focuses on the sale of goods. Due to the differences in structure and design, web stores represent a category of their own.

8 steps to create your website

Regardless of which type of website you choose, the following 8 steps will help you to create it successfully:

(1) Choose website creation method

There are 4 different methods to create a professional website:

    • Homepage building kits

      Homepage building kits have changed the way websites are created. Instead of programming a website from scratch, elements such as image galleries, text blocks or contact forms are already built. Users only have to push them into the desired position (drag-and-drop principle) and „plug them together“ – like a Lego construction set.

    • WordPress

      According to, WordPress is the most used content management system (CMS) in the world, with a global market share of 64%. Around 130 million blog posts are published via the platform every month. The key factor behind WordPress‘ success is that websites can be created for free. However, the popularity of the CMS has multiple reasons:

      • it is license-free (open source software)
      • more than 30,000 design templates (themes)
      • more than 50.000 plugins to add functions
      • can be adapted dynamically when the number of visitors increases
      • large community to help with problems

      The large selection of design templates and extensions make WordPress the Swiss army knife of content management systems. However, dealing with WordPress requires more technical knowledge than a homepage building kit.

    • Have website built by agency/freelancer

      Through a homepage building kit or WordPress, the creation of a website is no longer reserved for professionals. However, the larger and more complex the homepage is to become, the more sensible it is to use a design agency or a professional freelancer.

      The years of experience of freelance designers and the manpower of web agencies, bring a number of advantages, such as:

      • Avoidance of design errors
      • Perfect user experience – even on mobile devices
      • Support for search engine optimization
      • Support with mandatory information such as imprint and data protection
    • Program website yourself

      Lastly, you always have to option to program a website yourself if you are capable. This is however the most time-consuming option and requires a lot of skill and expertise to deliver good results. Thus, it only makes sense in exceptional cases.


(2) Register domain

The first step on the way to your own website is the domain. This is the name that people type into the address bar of their browser to get to a homepage. A good domain name makes a decisive contribution to the success of a website. Consider the following points when choosing a name:

    • Easy to pronounce and spell. If a domain name can be understood immediately during a conversation in a noisy trade show hall, it’s a good one.
    • Short and concise. A long domain name is harder to remember. The ideal length is 6-14 characters.
    • The best domain extension (top-level domain) is .de, followed by .com, meanwhile more exotic endings like .co or .io have established themselves. It is important that visitors are not irritated by dubious domain endings.
    • Use a unique brand name so that your website stands out from the crowd.
    • Avoid hyphens unless it makes the domain more readable.

(3) Choose web hosting

In order for visitors to access a website, it must be stored on a so-called web server – these are computers that are permanently connected to the Internet. Providing the storage space is called web hosting. Besides the storage space for the website, good web hosting is important for:

    • The loading speed of the homepage
    • Defense against cyberattacks
    • Availability of the website (uptime)
    • Technical maintenance
    • Security copies of the site (backup)

(4) Buy SSL certificate

An SSL certificate is necessary to encrypt sensitive customer information such as address, bank data, passwords. Besides the security aspect, SSL certificates bring other advantages for the website:

  • Better ranking on Google
  • Lock symbol and HTTPS increase customer confidence
  • Visitors do not receive a security warning in the browser
  • Less susceptibility to phishing attacks

For most homepages, a valid certificate is necessary to meet the requirements of the DSGVO.

(5) Determine website design

How must a website be designed to be successful? There is no universal recipe for the perfect website. However, there are various principles for the design of a website that have proven themselves over the years:

  • Simplistic design
  • Easy navigation
  • Clearly structured content
  • Visual hierarchy
  • Grid layout
  • Short loading time
  • Optimized for mobile use

But in the end the website is an expression of your company. Try to make it reflect your corporate design and brand identity so your customers can easily identify with it.

(6) Optimize content for search engines

The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to place the content of a website as high as possible in Google search results. The more visibility a homepage has, the more customers and sales it can generate.

4 simple strategies for successful search engine optimization are:

    1. Identify and address user needs. Which terms (keywords) does your target group search for on Google? Through keyword research, you can deduce what needs your customers have and align the content on the website accordingly. You don’t even need one of the SEO tools from the list above to do this. A simple Google search is often enough.
    2. Publish high quality content The Internet is no longer new, and the demands of website visitors are correspondingly high. Their customers expect high-quality visuals, easy navigation, useful and well-researched tips, and much more. A good way to help keep the quality of a website high is to ask: Could this also appear in a print magazine?
    3. Technical optimization of the homepage Limit website bugs and errors to a minimum.
    4. Building trust through backlinks Another important component of search engine optimization are so-called backlinks. This is the name given to links from other websites that refer to one’s own homepage. The most valuable backlinks come from large, well-known websites.

(7) Check legal requirements

Depending on the type of homepage, various legal requirements must be met in order to avoid Abmahnungen. These are the 5 biggest risks for websites:

  • Imprint
  • Privacy policy
  • Domain registration
  • Copyright
  • General terms and conditions and disclaimer

An Abmahnung can quickly cost several thousand euros and ruin founders financially shortly after the launch of their new website.

(8) Publish website on the Internet

After a final check for spellling mistakes, design flaws and the legal circumstances you are now ready to publish your website!

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All information is without guarantee.