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How To Build Your Own Website

Hi, my name is Justin Rule, and I’ve launched over a thousand websites. My company and team at Launch Kits is the highest-rated web design company in the country, but I want to tell you how to build your own website. 

I want to give you the simple five steps to launching and starting your own website from scratch. A website that will get you found online. No gimmicks, no bias, just the simplest way to DIY a website.

As you begin to poke around and do some research, you’ll see claims that you can build a website in minutes online – and you CAN (sort of).

But you do need to think about the future of your website. 

Who’s going to update it?  

Who’s going to maintain it? 

Do Google and other search engines even care about it? 

There are over 250,000 websites launched every day – what will make yours matter if it’s launched in minutes? 

With this 5-step guide, you’ll understand how to build a relevant and compelling website that will get found by search engines and ultimately help your business grow.


  1. Plan your website: Establish a goal, define your brand, target an audience, and pick a domain.
  2. Design your website: Do It Yourself (DIY) or hire someone to Do If For You (DIFM?). Don’t forget hosting.
  3. Create great content: Select 5 core page types for your site, write your content, then add great images.
  4. Plan your marketing: Get leads and begin marketing to your new prospects.
  5. Grow your website and brand: Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics and backlinks to win organic traffic, and consider paid traffic options.


Begin with a plan. 

Are you building a website to promote your brand so that if someone searches for you by name or service, they can find you? 

Or are you building a website so you can sell products online with e-commerce?

Also take some time to think about the brand that you’re presenting online. What’s your language and style? Is it elegant and boutique, or casual and informal? Are customers supposed to “Contact Us” or is it informal, as in “Yo, Click Below And Let’s Chat!” 

Think about the way you want to represent yourself with the end in mind and define your brand from the start. 

Establish Realistic Goals

“I want to be able to search my name and come up first on Google.” 

That’s a realistic goal. 

“I want to be able to search for ‘home construction company near me’ and be first on Google.” 

That’s an unrealistic goal that’s not likely to happen in the first six months if you build your own website. 

I’ve launched and supported a thousand websites, and achieving number one on Google for competitive keywords is a long-term, marathon training goal – which you CAN accomplish, just not in six months. 

Picking a Domain

The other part of your launch plan has to be your domain. How are people going to find you? Are they going to look you up by name or go directly to your website? Should you have a .co, .net, .org, or .com website?

You can get our tips for choosing a great domain – which we’ve refined over the last decade – free on our website by clicking this link

An Exclusive and Descriptive Name

You also need to make sure that your desired name is available before you launch your business! Use your state’s LLC registration system, small business directory, or DBA registry (all can vary by state) to check who or if anyone is operating with the same name as you, or something similar. 

Make sure that you have a name that’s available, and also make sure that your business’ name describes what you do!

Find Website Inspiration

Building a website is kind of like being an artist. If you’re painting a portrait, it helps to have a model on which you’re basing your artistic interpretation. 

For your website, begin to think about what kinds of websites and designs you like. Pay attention to other web designs and inspirations as you go through the world, and make a list of websites you love or admire. 


Now you get to design your website. 

The second step in launching a website after you’ve figured out what you want to build and some basic branding is actually doing it.

You have two options: do-it-yourself (DIY) or design-it-for-me (DIFM). 

Do-It-Yourself Website-Building 

There are a lot of good DIY website builders out there: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and GoDaddy all allow you to pick a template and spit out some webpages. You modify the content on those pages and can go live through their system when ready. We talked about some of the pros and cons of these builders on this blog.

Depending on the platform, you may need to really roll up your sleeves, managing updates through their system, picking your own host, connecting and managing your DNS, adding an email address, handling DKM settings, and more.

For many people with the patience and design eye, this is a great option.

Do-It-For-Me Website Building Option

Your second option is to have some “do it for me”, which might include hiring a local digital marketing agency (often beginning at $5000 for a custom site) or just finding a friend or cousin who builds websites from his basement. You could even find a business partner whose skill set might be more in digital marketing and design.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to outsourcing your website build. 

When you do it yourself, you’ll spend less money, but you will unequivocally spend a lot of time. 

If you hire someone to do it for you, you’ll spend money, but use not nearly as much of your time. How much should you spend? We discussed it in this article.

Let’s Talk About Hosting

I want to briefly touch on hosting because it can be a confusing (and annoying) facet of building a website, whether DIY or otherwise.

Website hosting is the land that you rent on the internet to build your website house. With no hosting solution, there is nowhere for your website to “live.” A host serves a different purpose from the design of your site, and while some tools are combined, many website builders will require a separate host.

If you select a do-it-yourself option, like Wix, Weebley, Squarespace, and GoDaddy, those typically have hosting built in. 

If someone builds your website for you, or you use a platform like WordPress to build your own site, you’ll also have options: Kinta, Flywheel, Blue Host, and more. Navigating this alone can be challenging, and hosting can feel unintuitive for the uninitiated. 

Wherever you build a website, you will be paying for hosting, and in your host, you want speed, security, and large bandwidth. The type of hosting – whether it’s dedicated, shared, high-speed, or not – and how to manage your host, are options you have to consider in building a website.


The third step to building a website is content. 

However you’re building your site – DIY or outsourced – you’ll have to produce content about yourself, your services, your brand, your refund policies, your appointment expectations, the customer experience, and more. 

All of these help communicate, in written language, what you do and why you’re the best for your prospective customer! 

The copy you write – about yourself, your mission, your process, your services – works for you in two ways:

  • First to customers. As they read it, they obviously need to understand you, your services, your brand, and why you might be a good fit for their problem.
  • But importantly, your copy also communicates to Google and other search engines like it. Your copy and content must resonate with Google if you want to show up in organic search results over time.

The dream for most businesses is to “rank” on Google for relevant search terms, or keywords. 

If you’re a plumber, you want to show up at the top of the search results any time someone in your area punches “plumber near me” into their browser or Google search bar.

This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and there are tried-and-true best practices that can help you get found online.

Pages To Include On Your Site

The size of your website matters, and 5-8 core pages is a great start for service businesses. That begins with a homepage that’s designed as a pathway to your other internal pages, for both users and web-crawling robots. 

Research shows most first-time visitors don’t use the main navigation menu across the top of your site – a first-time visitor scrolls the homepage and clicks somewhere on that page. 

The second most important core page is your “About” page. What’s your mission? What’s your purpose? What’s your connection to your community and the world? Tell your story and tell it boldly. Tell it well and don’t shy away from it. You have to set yourself apart from your competition. 

Third, good websites will have two or three primary “Service” pages with 800 to 1200 words (critical for Google to understand what you do) each describing your capabilities, the problems you solve, the process people go through to engage with you, and provide local proof and testimonials.

Another great page is a “Testimonials” page or a “Gallery” if that makes sense in your vertical – something that proves on your website that you can do what you say you do. 

Finally, you want a Contact, Quote, or Schedule page – somewhere for your customer to take action easily. 

These five types of pages will help you not only resonate with customers, but with Google as well. 

Write Great Content

You can write your own content, and of course the big trend right now is AI generation.

Can you use AI to write your service page content?

With 100% certainty, my answer is no, you can’t simply use an AI generator to write about “plumbing services near me” or “deck remodeling” or “painting services”. 

And the reason is that AI generates copy based on all the other content that’s out there! It may or may not accurately reflect you, but more importantly, it won’t be “set apart” because it is in many ways an “average” of the internet.

If you want to use an AI generator to get started, this can be a cool ideation tool. 

It’s almost like asking an expert or somebody else what they would do and then taking notes and writing it yourself. Be careful if you’re considering using AI tools in your content generation. 

Select Great Images

Finally you’ll need images on your website. 

And here’s the big problem: a lot of entrepreneurs go to Google Images, search for their thing, and start saving images.

You can’t do that!

You need images with free licenses or common license rights. Here are some free tools you can use to get license-free images: 

You can, of course, also use or and pay for images. 

Another great tool for images on your website is

Birme compresses your new images to be web-friendly in the size and dimensions that make sense, and it can change image titles to be super SEO-friendly as well. For example, if I download a stock image of someone building a website, I can use Birme to compress it and rename the image “Launch Kits website design demo photo”. 

When that image is on my website, that whole title gets indexed with Google and can actually turn up in a variety of searches in my vertical. 

Of note, if you get spam or contact messages from your website purportedly from someone saying you have their images and owe them money, ask your web developer. This is a common spam tactic. It’s generally not legitimate if you’ve used freely licensed images. 

Sometimes individuals do inadvertently use an author’s image and don’t correctly credit it, which you’ll need to take care of, but we (or your web developer) can help you with that. 

A Final Note On Content

You can do all that work – and with some elbow grease, you can probably do it well. Or you can work with a great website SEO content provider online like SEO Content Hero or Niche Copyworks  – both are quality sources that do affordable, original, and creative content work for both search engines and customer experience. 


It’s time to think about how you get leads. 

There are really three main ways to get leads. 

  • Organic
  • Paid 
  • Referral

Organic Lead Generation

Organic visitors or leads occur when people are searching for you because they heard about your business or they’re looking for services like yours online. You get organic leads by creating a lot of quality and informative organic content: YouTube videos, helpful blog articles, social media content, or even engaging in discussion groups or forums online. That’s all organic. You’re not paying per visitor, and the only cost is your time to create content or “add value.” 

Paid Lead Generation

You can also pay for leads of website traffic. You can promote posts on social media or run a local ad campaign with Google. With a Google ad campaign, if someone searches for a “realtor near me”, you pop up on Google, guaranteed. The cost to run paid traffic can be anywhere from $0.10 to $10 (or more) per click.

Referral Leads

The third way to generate leads is by paying for leads through referral partners like Thumbtack or Houzz. If you’re an approved contractor, with Houzz for example, you set a bid, and their system can send you contacts who are looking for precisely what you do!

A Final Tip On Generating Leads

From the start of launching your website, you want to have an end in mind: my personal suggestion is that you start with your own “boots on the ground” approach, spending the first three to six months knocking on doors (or doing cold outreach) and haunting online forums where your prospective customers are asking questions related to your industry. This will help you learn what your customers are looking for and what they actually value. 

You can also use a tool like, which is free, to see what people are asking about your industry and to create content (videos or blog content, for example) that answers their tough questions.

One major error I see people make when they start paying for leads is sending new prospects straight to their homepage. That’s a big error a lot of people make – running paid ads to their homepage. 

That doesn’t work. If you clicked on an ad that said “Summer Special, $50 Off Your First Pool Service”, it should take you to a page that’s aligned with the offer! “We’re so glad you’re interested in our summer special for $50 off your first pool service,” and a detailed explanation of how it works, why it’s a great deal, etc.

Make sure that you’re connecting the dots – customers will avoid any friction in the sales process, and you don’t want to make a potential customer think or work too hard. They want a simple, easy pathway – if it gets too complicated, they’ll give up and leave every time.


You’ve done the first four steps needed to build your own website, and now you’re at the last part – growing your website. 

You hit the gym hard, but that hard work only pays off if you keep going to the gym.

There are a lot of opportunities for instant gratification in this world – building and growing your website is not one of them.

To grow your website, I have one simple suggestion: spend “a cup of coffee” with your website every week.

The Launch Kits Cup-of-Coffee Method for Growing Your Business Online

This is my guaranteed-never-fails suggestion for growing a website: 20 minutes every week with your website will change your business and will change your life. 

Here’s why: in 20 minutes weekly you can write a great little article for your website answering common customer questions; you can record a short video answering questions and explaining your process; you can check your traffic data and see what pages are working and where people are coming from; you can research the latest things happening in your field; you can ask for 10 or 20 reviews from customers last month. 

You can do SO MUCH in 20 minutes, but you have to do it consistently. 

The alternative is to pay someone else a lot of money to do all that for you. 

In the first season of your website and business, I think you should know your own numbers and do the legwork every week. You’re the one looking at the data. You’re the one that should get familiar. 

Winning Links to Your Website

The second part of growing your website involves winning backlinks. 

Backlinks are links from other websites to your content or site that help grow Google’s trust in your brand. 

You might say, “I’m the best painter in Tuscaloosa,” and it might be true, but Google has no way of knowing that. 

But if you have a number of trusted industry sources – like a regional trade magazine, a local news source, a painter’s competition, etc. – all linking to your website, you’re beginning to build trust with your potential customers AND with Google.

These links are essentially somebody else saying you do what you do! 

The other way to improve “trust” with search engines is to standardize your information across the web. 

If you set up a Facebook profile and link back to your website, make sure the right name, address, phone number, and website URL appear. Set up a LinkedIn profile, multiple social media profiles, and Youtube channel. 

When Google’s robots and algorithms say, “Man, does this person do what they say they do?” it uses trusted websites across the internet to validate your information and validate your business.

The algorithm essentially says, “Oh, same website address, phone number and url. Cool. Yep, same name, same business. They must be legit.”

Standardizing and capturing your brand on multiple sites is a simple way to do this. The more backlinks and standardization, the more trust. 

Monitoring and Improving Your Website

The more traffic to your website, the more data you have as the entrepreneur about what’s working, what’s not, and where people are going.

We think the perfect website is one that continues to change, but it follows the rules of being fast, easy to use, and with fresh, helpful content!

How To Build Your Own Website Recap

To recap, start with a plan. Plan your website, set good goals, find your brand, and make sure you have a smart domain.

Step two is to decide HOW you’re going to design your own website. Pick a DIY solution or hire someone to build your website for you, making sure that you understand the cost and time associated with both options. 

Number three, you’re making content! You’re either outsourcing and hiring out that content, or you’re writing smart, finding great images, and optimizing them for your brand. 

Number four, make sure that you’re thinking about how you’re going to get leads with this website: organic, pay per click, or pay per lead. Give yourself time to see how that’s working; three to six months is the minimum that you should invest in any of these strategies to be consistent and learn what’s working. 

Lastly, think about how you’re going to grow your website and its presence. Plan for a cup of coffee with your website every week; make sure that you’re building backlinks and understand the power of backlinks to your website; and make sure your visitors have a pathway to become customers. 

But here’s the reality, you can tell from all this that building your own website is a 40 to 60 hour task – at least – and that’s for a small service business. 

I’d encourage you not to fall for the hype and marketing messages that you can build a website in just a few minutes. With a DIY website builder, you might be able to have your website live in a few minutes, but if you want meaningful impact, to be found first for your business’ name, and if you want to grow your brand online, understand that a great website takes time and effort. 

As you begin deciding how to launch your website, we wish you nothing but the best from the team at Launch Kits. With thousands of hours in website creation and SEO, I hope our videos and online content are a good website-building resource for you, and if you decide launching a DIY website isn’t for you, we’d love to help build you the perfect website. 

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