In this day and age, a website is a vitally important part of any business. In fact, it might be the only venue you conduct your business on. It’s the first place people go to learn about a brand and the experience people have on your website can impact revenue, customer loyalty, and the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Using a tool like Wix to launch your site is a great way to avoid mistakes that a lot of first-time site builders make. Lean on their templates to easily set up a beautiful, functional website within a day, then tap into their ecommerce-focused offerings to quickly start selling on your new website.
Crazy Egg’s Favorite Tools for Launching Your First Website
When you’re ready to build your first website, you want a tool that’s easy to use, trustworthy, and comes with many useful features. Below, you’ll find our Golden Eggs, our top picks for setting up and launching a great site in mere hours.
Squarespace sports some advanced features for marketing your new website and a stunning array of templates that make your website stand out from the crowd. Try Squarespace on a free trial period today.
More Top Website Builders
The Golden Eggs we mentioned are our favorites, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t another website-building platform that is better suited for you. We’ve reviewed this category in expansive detail, breaking down the top platforms in light of how easy they are to use, their range of customization, support, pricing, and more. Get all the details by reading our post reviewing the best website builders on the market today.
Step 1 – Get Started with Wix
The first thing you’ll want to do when launching your first website is to get started with a great provider that delivers a site-building tool and hosting for your new site.
Wix is a top option because it’s easy for anyone to use between its range of beginner-friendly templates and its drag-and-drop interface. Plus, their paid plans include valuable extras like a free year of domain registration, 24/7 customer support, and more.
If you head over to Wix’s homepage, you’ll see a button that says Get Started. Click on it.
You’ll then be asked to add your details and set up an account.
The great thing about Wix is that you don’t have to commit to a paid subscription at this point. Use the free version to dip your toes in the water and get used to the interface.
If you publish your website while still on the free plan, it will be live and available to visitors, but It will also mean that you’re stuck with a URL like mynewwebsite.wixsite.com. That isn’t great if you are trying to look professional. You won’t be able to get rid of the wixsite subdomain unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
Fortunately, when you upgrade to a paid package, Wix will help you register a custom domain that fits your brand or business and even give you one year of registration for free.
Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll get started on Wix’s site building wizard. On the first screen, click Get Started, and you’ll be taken to the first step in their easy, guided process. Or, if you left the site before moving on from the account creation step, simply log back into your Wix account, go to your dashboard, and click Create New Site.
Step 2 – Choose a Site Theme
The first step is to answer some of Wix’s questions to determine the proper theme for your site. This will help you choose the best template for your needs and set up the overall visual feel of your site without having to do any coding or manual work.
Wix will ask you the kind of site you’re looking to build (such as an online store or blog), the name of your business or what you’d like to call your website, and a few other questions determined by the type of site you select in answer to the first question, like what kind of site elements you’d like to have added (like an online store, events sections, or social media feeds).
Once you’ve answered the questions, you can browse a selection of templates and choose the one you like best. Once you’ve made your selection, click on the template and click Edit.
You’ll then be able to tweak the style, look, and elements that come with the template. Edit everything from colors and images to text, widgets, logos, and much more to make the site your own.
At this stage, it’s smart to give yourself some time to play around with a template. See how well you can adjust the visual and textual elements to fit the vision in your head. If it’s not working out, you can always go back a step and try a different template.
Once you’ve edited the template to match the look and feel you want, save your edits and start adding your content and site elements.
Step 3 – Place Site Elements and Content
Once you’ve chosen a theme and you’ve finished editing the visual elements of your site, you’re ready to move on to actually updating the content.
You can start by adding any elements that you feel are missing. The term “elements” refers to anything from text fields, image containers, and buttons on your site to widgets for contacting you, streaming videos, web store features, and much more.
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor makes it really easy to place these elements where you’d like them on your site pages. And you can edit everything text-based and update headers, buttons, and more with your own copy. Try and personalize all of these with your target audience in mind.
Wix’s templates usually have placeholder or example text in content-heavy sections to give you an idea of what kind of function that section should have and what you should be writing there. You can also look at other websites you admire or that are in your niche to see what kind of copy they add to their sites in similar sections.
If you really want to create good copy that converts your visitors into subscribers or shoppers, check out our Crazy Egg guides on writing web page copy like this one.
You should also consider adding some keywords to your written content to boost your chances of being found by your ideal audience. We’ve written many whole guides on using keywords and applying SEO strategies on your website. Start with our comprehensive post on optimizing your website for SEO, if you’re interested in learning more.
Don’t forget to spell-check all your content using a free tool like Grammarly. You don’t want people to land on a site full of spelling mistakes. Apart from that, try to have fun! If you’re building a blog for your first website, make sure your personality shines in your content. If you’re building a business site, stay true to your brand identity and think about what sort of voice and tone will resonate most with your target customers.
Once you’re done, save your site again in Wix before moving onto setting up the site navigation.
Step 4 – Edit Links and Navigation
The next thing you’ll want to do is to add links on your and adjust the site navigation.
Most Wix templates will set up a navigation menu for you, but you may want to alter which options are listed there and what pages they link to. In the Wix editor, it’s easy to change the text and link destination just by clicking on the text container for each menu entry.
Beyond navigation links, you’ll likely want some site elements to link to other portions of your site or other places on the web. Making sure these link destinations are correct is important. Broken links (ones that don’t point to a valid URL) can negatively impact both your user experience and your SEO.
You can add links to any page, button, or text in Wix easily. Just select whichever element you want to add a link to and edit the link by clicking the chain link icon above the element.
You want to go through every single link on your site to make sure the destination links are accurate, including any time you mention another page, any blog posts you add, your footer menus, your buttons, social links, and any forms that are included on your site.
An easy way to check these once you update your site is to save your changes in Wix, then click Preview in the upper right-hand corner. This will give you an idea of what your finished site will look like and help you check if links are pointing to the right places.
Step 5 – Add Apps
Want to really soup up your first website? Tap into Wix’s App Market to implement advanced widgets that can handle things like email signup forms, testimonial sections, and many other elements that can really improve the visitor experience on your site.
You can access the App Market from your Wix dashboard or within the site editor by clicking the fifth icon (four squares arranged in a grid) in the left-hand sidebar. When you arrive, you’ll see a range of different apps that you can install on your site to deliver unique and impressive features to your site visitors.
Some of these are free, others you’ll have to pay for. You may be surprised by the selection of free options, which include tools for social media pop-ups and site analytics.
If you go to the My Business section of the sidebar (the third icon from the bottom), you’ll see that there are additional Wix apps specifically designed to help you with different parts of your business.
Once you’ve added all the relevant apps you need to your site, you have just one more step before officially launching your first website!
Step 6 – Add Legal Pages
The last step is one a lot of folks gloss over. You’ll need to set up pages that cover any legal elements that are important to what you’re using your site for.
If your template didn’t come with any or all of these legal pages, you can generate them for free using a tool like Iubenda. Wix’s Privacy Center within your dashboard also may have settings that allow for you to generate a site banner that accomplishes the same purpose as these subpages.
Step 7 – Launch Your Site
Now that you’ve set up all the pages, apps, design, and content on your site, you’re finally ready to launch!
To do so, just go to the upper right-hand corner of the Wix editor and click Publish.
You can keep editing and tweaking your site once it’s published, but this version of your site will be what visitors see until you save any new changes in the Wix editor.
After your first website has gone live, it’s a good idea to go into incognito or private browsing mode and look at it as if you were any web visitor. Check links to make sure they work, check the loading speeds for images, forms, and content, and test out the navigation and overall user experience. If you notice any issues, go back into the Wix editor, make your fixes, then click Update and review your site again.
Once you feel happy with your new website, take a breath and enjoy the feeling for a bit! Your first website is now live and available to any browser on the internet!
After you’ve celebrated, take care of the true last step, which is a key task for your first website’s continued health and efficacy.
Step 8 – Set Up Google Analytics
The last step you should take when launching a site is setting up Google Analytics on it.
Even though Wix has its own tools for site analytics, it’s a good idea to use Google’s tools at the same time. Google is the biggest search engine and therefore it gives you the best insights into how your site is ranking in searches, how people are interacting with your site and your links, and how you can improve your SEO.
Simply log into your Google account and then head to the website for Google Analytics. You’ll then fill in all of the details about your Wix site and add the URL to your Analytics account. With that, you’re ready to start tracking your site traffic, visitor actions, and much more.
Setting up Google Analytics is easy, but if you want a step-by-step guide showing you exactly how to do it, you can read Crazy Egg’s full guide here. And don’t forget that once you’ve set up your Google Analytics, there’s nothing to stop you from using Wix analytics at the same time to give you an even better idea of your site’s traffic and data.