It is 2020, and we are devouring information like never before. It is also easier than ever before to create a website in South Africa with all the awesome new software available at our disposal.
Gone is the days of complicated platforms, nerdy coding skills and expensive upfront payments to create a website. We live in a beautiful time and to own a business of some sort and not having a website could lead to missing great opportunities.
It doesn’t matter where you live, in beautiful sunny South Africa or the foothills of Mongolia. If you run a business, you need to create a website today.
Just a quick note: don’t fall for the “build a website in 10 – 20 min” trap! It might seem awesome and easy, but who wants to publish a website that only took 10 minutes to create? Not you!
A better question is, who wants to spend time on a 10-min website build?
You want to learn how to do it professionally and beautifully.
Let me show you.
13 Steps to how to create a website in South Africa.
1. Determine Your Goals for your website.
This is a crucial step, you should write down on a piece of paper why you want to create a website. For many, a website is just a 3-5 page digital property for their business on the internet.
To tell you the truth, it should be much more than that. Your website should be a living asset to your business. If you think about it, it is your number 1 best representative.
It is always online and ready to welcome new clients and if you create a website just to have one, then it won’t be beneficial at all.
Your website can sell products, capture leads, provide solutions and much more.
Figure out your “why” and stick to it.
2. Benefits of a website.
It does not matter if you are a company or a moms and pops shop on a corner. A website could have major benefits like:
- Providing information 24/7
- Increase your advertising efforts
- A lot cheaper than print media
- You can reach a bigger market
- Promote and sell your services and products
- Great for people to find your contact number
- Create a 2-way communication channel
- Educate your customers with blog articles
Above all, it gives your business authority. Just think about it, when you do a search for a business and can’t find it you immediately think it is not a legitimate or lesser choice.
The best thing of all, to create a website in South Africa is cheaper than ever before. You can build a professional website for less than a dinner for 4 at your local steak restaurant.
Related article – 8 reasons your business needs a website
4. What info should a website contain?
Like I mentioned before a website should be much more than a piece of digital information in a dark corner on the internet somewhere.
A website needs to be well-designed and above all, have all the content a visitor needs to make an informed decision.
According to the Entrepreneur magazine, a website should consist of 10 components.
Let’s look at a few you will be able to control when building your website from scratch.
A look and feel of a website go a long way when keeping visitors happy and scrolling around on your website. The human brain can understand a single image much faster than a piece of text.
This is why when you create a website in South Africa you need to focus on the best theme and Page builders out there to give your website a good fighting chance.
A clear description of who you are and what you do needs to be your focus point right off the bat. Be precise and let your new visitors know what they can benefit from your website without trying to look for it.
Make it easy for visitors to contact you. Don’t just have a contact form on your “contact us” page. Try to spread your contact information throughout your entire website. This will make it easier for visitors to leave you a message or even call you.
Use calls to actions
These are usually in the form of a button. You can use call-to-action buttons to entice visitors to take certain action like contacting you or requesting a quotation.
These calls to action buttons should be spread throughout your website but one place where you should not overlook this, is on your hero image above the fold.
We refer to “above the fold” as the piece of website you first see before you start to scroll.
If you run a service-based business or even selling products offline, ask your clients for a testimonial if you don’t have any. Testimonials are great for social proof and it will give your website a great boost of trustworthiness.
Before you jump in and create your website, think of the design. It is essential to have a good design website where your website leads the visitors on a path you desire. This will help them not be confused and trying to figure things out on their own.
If you decide to add a blog to your website (by the way, great choice) you should focus on creating good quality on-topic content that answers your visitor’s questions.
This will help tremendously, visitors will trust you more if you can provide a good solution.
Ok, finally. The about us page is probably one of the most important pages on your website and you have to go out of your way to make it as detailed as possible. Remember, your brand or company needs to sell trust first before anyone will buy from you. So make sure to add the “why’s, who’s and how’s in your about us page.
Read more here about the perfect about us page.
There you go, I feel the above mentioned is most important when you create your website. There are more points we can discuss, but this article is about how to create a website in South Africa so let’s get to it!
5. Choosing a domain name
Well, if you have an offline business, then you don’t really have much of a choice to name your website the same name or something close to it. If you are starting out and want to build an online business I would suggest the following.
Keep it relevant – If you want to sell beard oil products try to stay on the topic like www.beardorigins.co.za or www.thebeardedguru.com. This way it is much easier for humans and search engines to figure out what your site is about.
Keep it short – A good catchy name will always do better than “www.unclemikesbeardoilproducts.co.za”
Extensions – If you are catering for the local market think about a .co.za domain and for the international .com or .co
So, I love a Namehero. It is a hosting company in the U.S. and they are really focused on super fast load times and of course reliability.
You can register .co.za with them for $4.95 (R82.86) and a .com for $12.95 (R215)
Try them out and see if your new website name is available. – Namehero
6. What hosting will be the best for me?
This is undoubtedly a major player when it comes to building your website.
OK, so what is hosting?
A hosting company owns servers and is willing to create a space on their servers for you to host your website. This will allow your website to be viewed on the internet for a monthly “rental” fee.
Like I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of NameHero. They have super fast and reliable hosting.
Namehero is extremely focused on getting your new website to load at blistering speeds because we all know Google hates a slow website. (If your site loads slow, Google won’t rank it at all.)
Their support is 24/7 and out of this world. An excellent option at a steal of a price.
What do get with a new hosing package?
- Free domain registration worth (R80)
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited SSD storage
- Free LitesSpeed
- Free Cloudflare
- 24/7 Support
- And much, much more!
In the end, you won’t be able to look past the hosting fees if you are serious about building a website that matters. We all pay some or other way for hosting.
7. What platform should I use?
There are so many options available out there on the internet at the moment, it can be a bit overwhelming. Even companies in South Africa offer website builders you can easily use to create a website.
I am going to recommend 1 option for you.
It is called WordPress, and if you are a little familiar with it, you should know it was quite a learning curve, but it is by far the best option if you want to customize and make money from your website.
WordPress powers one-third of the world’s websites. This is because WordPress enables you to do so much more than any other platforms out there.
It is simply the best choice in my opinion. If you want more options, check out this post.
I am specifically talking about WordPress.org here and not .com! Confused? Don’t worry.
WordPress.org is totally free to use and the best option between the two. The way you get hold of the software is to install it in your Cpanel after you registered for hosting and a domain name.
Join our Awesome Community →
8. Page Builders and Themes
You have to love technology and the awesome transformation it has brought with it like the super-easy page builders you can use to create a beautiful website in a matter of a few drags and drops.
It is that easy. No coding involved and no special technical skills needed.
Before we dive head first into page builders I want us to talk about themes and why we need them.
It is no secret you will be able to find 1000 000 and 1 themes for WordPress, free and paid options. A theme is the overall look and feel of your website. It adds styles, colours and all sorts of elements to your site.
Now, choosing a theme can be frustrating and overwhelming, to say the least, but let me introduce you to the Astra theme.
Astra is one of the fastest-growing themes in the world and for good reason. Many themes out there have poor coding, SEO issues and just plain slow.
Not Astra, Astra is a lightweight build theme that is specifically optimized for speed and performance and for that reason alone you don’t have to look anywhere else.
Now, on to page builders. What is a page builder, well, it is exactly what it says it is. It allows you to build beautiful and modern websites without any coding or experience. Most page builders use the “drag and drop” function as their main way of building pages.
You literally drag an element onto the page and edit it the way you want to look and feel.
Simple, plain and easy.
I have come to love 2-page builders in my life, and they are:
DIVI: Divi is just an amazing page builder with a ton of features that will make your site stand out from a sea of mediocre websites. It is easy to use and understand. You get tons of layouts and templates you can use to create a website in a matter of minutes.
I trust Divi to get any of my websites online and looking excellent. The only drawback I have with Divi is there is no free version. You will have to pay to play and at the moment with the Rand is struggling to keep its head above water it may be a bit steep for most.
Brizy: Oh boy, I really learned to enjoy and love Brizy so much the last couple of months. It is truly an amazing builder and you can start with the builder absolutely for FREE! Can you imagine?
It is easy to use and understand with a boatload of features that will make your site look awesome. You will be proud of your website and your friends won’t believe you were the designer.
Brizy does however come with a Pro (R900) version that unlocks a treasure chest of excellent elements you can use to give your site that ultimate professional look.
Brizy is the new kid on the block and will lack a couple of features when comparing to DIVI and other well established page builders. This however should not stop you in any way as a beginner, it boasts more than enough features for you to get started, both free and premium.
It still beats asking a web design company to create a website they don’t even care about!
9. Designing your website.
It is easy to fall in the trap of all things shiny and let me tell you when it comes to web designing, less is more. Go by the K.I.S.S principle.
K.I.S.S – Keep is simple, stupid! Try to keep your site clean and neat, stay away from moving components, large images and using too many bright colours.
If you start a certain look and feel on your site then stick with it throughout your website, don’t change the stray from the look from one page to another.
Use natural colours that are easy on the eyes and when you create your blog keep it black on white! Simple and easy to read.
Don’t be a plugin hoarder, plugins are like APPS for your phone. If you install too many it will slow down your website and might even crash it.
Just remember, Google dislikes slow websites and if your website is slow you will get a bad ranking.
Check your website speed with GTmetrics
Focus on the visitor first, Lead them through your website with minimal friction. Make it easy to find info and be clear and precise. Many websites try to use impressive words that no one understands.
I have seen it many times, like affiliate programs in South Africa. I still can’t figure out what they do or sell.
Keep it simple.
Other than that, just enjoy designing your website. It should be an extension of your personality.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. When you design your website it may look fine on a desktop but completely out of sync in mobile. Luckily for you, the page builders we use can quickly sort out any problems when it comes to mobile optimization.
10. Tips about your “about us” page.
If you set out to create a website in South Africa or anywhere in the world you should have an “about us” page.
This is one page you can not overlook, you need to think it through. You can use the following tips to help you out.
- Be a human and not a company.
- Try to build trust
- Tell the reader who you are and why you do it.
- Tell a story, connect with them as a human.
- If you have qualifications, show them to build authority.
- Use photos of you or staff, don’t use stock photos
- Tell the reader what they can expect from you or the company
- Entice them to take the next step.
You have a golden opportunity to build trust and tell your visitors why you are the best option and not your competitors. Use the “about page” as a short CV to create facts and not fluff.
11. How much does it cost to create a website in South Africa?
What a question! Well, it depends. Will that work for you? Not? Ok, then let me ask you this, are you willing to save a lot of money by doing it yourself?
Yes? Then listen up. You can start a website today and complete it on your time for a total amount of R1131 – R2794 depending on what payment option you use for hosting!
If I can give some advice here, start with Brizy as it has a free plan that will help you get your website of the ground much cheaper than DIVI
But if you are serious about starting an online business or website that attracts many visitors you should really consider upgrading to a paid plan when you are ready.
If you think about it, it still beats paying some random guy R4500 – R7000 to create a website he doesn’t care about. Then, every time you want to do or change something on your website you need to pay again.
Why if you can do it yourself?
12. Optimize your website for the number one spot.
It has become more difficult to land the number one spot on Google due to sheer intelligence of search engine algorithms and that is why we should go out of our way to focus on search engine optimization.
Also known as SEO. SEO is the art or practice to follow a set of rules to make search engines like Google prefer your website above someone else’s for the same related search query.
I can write a whole book about search engine optimization and I still don’t know the half of it. But a good place to start is by using plugins like Rank Math.
Rank Math is an amazing plugin that will help you to optimize your website for better rankings in Google. It is not a magical solution, it only provides actionable steps you need to take to optimize your site for ultimate performance.
Rank Math will be a solution for your on-page SEO and for your off-page SEO you will need to create awesome content that people will link to and share.
This is called link building and link building is one or not the most important ranking factor for Google and it works like this.
You write an amazing piece of content and a website with a higher domain authority links to your content. This passes what they call in the industry “link juice” to your website.
These tell Google that an authority website linked to your website so your content must be good and in return they will bump your website higher in the rankings.
I am not going into depth with this here, but if you want to read more about link building use this LINK and learn from the master himself that is Rand Fishkin from moz.com.
13. Promote your website.
Congratulations on your website! Now it is time for promotions. You should do everything in your power to make people aware of your new website and you can use the following methods.
- Social Media
- Paid advertising
- Social sharing buttons
These are a good option to think about when you want to start a marketing campaign. A quick tip here, if you start with any social media platform, it is good advice to stick with it until you completely understand it and can master it. Then only move on to the next.
If you start with multiple ways you are going to feel overwhelmed and not master any of it.
But you have to start, pick one and go for it. Don’t be ashamed of what you created, you just learned a new skill no one can take away from you.
Embrace it and share the hell out of it!
Affiliate Disclaimer: In this or most of my post I recommend products or services via links or and banners. If any of these links end up in a sale I get a small commision at no extra cost to you.
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