A Step By Step Guide To Setting Up A Database Driven Website
Table of Contents 
- How To Create A Database Driven Website
- Choosing a Niche or Topic
- Domain Name Selection
- Web Hosting Options
- Website Building Platforms (ex. Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal)
- Website Design and Layout
- Content Creation and Writing
- Basic HTML and CSS
- Image and Multimedia Integration
- User Experience (UX) and Navigation
- SEO Fundamentals
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Social Media Integration
- Website Security
- Analytics and Tracking Tools
How To Create A Database Driven Website
Create a Profitable Database Driven Website: A Step-by-Step Guide
Creating a successful website, especially one driven by a database, is a complex process. Long after your web host, domain name, and website design decisions are made, you're still left with several challenges in regards to content, mobile outreach, user experience, and website security measures.
However, taking on these tasks one by one can help you stay organized, and improve the overall user experience of your website. This guide will provide a clear, step-by-step resource to help you create a lasting, profitable database driven website.
Choosing a Niche or Topic
Everyone has a great idea for a website. You should start with your own unique perspective and ask yourself what would make a website more interesting or entertaining for it's users. A good way to start is by brainstorming topics that are relevant to you, and your target market.
Next, define a purpose for your website. Is it designed to provide informative content, entertain readers, sell products, or generate leads? Knowing your purpose in advance will help you decide on features, website design, and content creation.
Domain Name Selection
Your domain name is the address people type in the browse to access your website. As a result, it needs to be memorable, and relevant. Finding a spot-on domain name doesn't have to be difficult, but you should take time to come up with a catchy, and relevant name that's as short as possible.
Web Hosting Options
Web Hosting will be the backbone of your website. No matter what type of website you are building, you will need to choose a reliable web host. When selecting a web hosting company, consider factors such as customer support, pricing, disk space, bandwidth options, and server uptimes.
Website Building Platforms (ex. Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal)
Content Management Systems (CMS) allow us build and manage websites with little to no knowledge of HTML or coding. Popular CMS like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal offer users an easy way to build out their website with content, design, and user experience in mind.
Wordpress is the most popular CMS on the web, with over 30% of websites using the platform. It is easy to use, and extendable, allowing users to build out a variety of unique websites.
Joomla is an open-source CMS with many features similar to Wordpress, including plugins, themes, and an intuitive design. Joomla is great for developing advanced databases and complete content management systems.
Drupal offers users the ability to create large-scale websites with complex content systems. As well as being a database-driven CMS, Drupal also offers users outstanding customer support.
Website Design and Layout
Here you will decide the look and feel of your website. Your design should be eye-catching, simple, and organised. Always keep in mind the purpose of your website and how your visitors will navigate the website. Here are some tips to help you build a professional looking website:
- Keep your layout organised
- Choose colors and fonts that reflect your brand
- Make sure the navigation is intuitive
- Include features that add value to your visitors
- Create a consistent look across all pages of the website
Content Creation and Writing
Content is the most important factor in making a successful website. Your content must provide value to your readers, be clear, concise, and entertaining. Here are some tips to help you create content for your website:
- Write in simple language
- Focus on compelling topics
- Include visuals such as graphs, charts, and videos
- Split large chunks of text into shorter paragraphs
- Create meaningful headlines and titles
- Include internal and external links to relevant sources
Basic HTML and CSS
To create a successful website, you should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. HTML is the language used to create the structure of your website, and CSS is used to define the style, colour, and look of your website.
CSS and HTML are the building blocks of every website. Once you've familiarized yourself with the two languages, you can start adding additional elements and features to your website.
Image and Multimedia Integration
Images and multimedia are an important element to any website. Depending on the purpose of your website, and it's content, you may wish to add photos, videos, music, and other interactive elements.
Using the right images and multimedia can help engage your visitors. As well as adding value to your content, multimedia can make your website more visually appealing.
User Experience (UX) and Navigation
UX and navigation go hand-in-hand. Poor navigation can lead to confused visitors, while a poor UX can drive visitors away. Both elements should be simple, intuitive, and easy to understand.
Tips for Good UX and Navigation:
- Provide a search function for visitors
- Make sure the navigation is intuitive
- Group related topics together
- Make use of breadcrumbs for easier navigation
- Try to create a flow for the visitor
- Incorporate popular features such as sorting, filtering, and searching
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a vital component to all websites. Your SEO strategy should include both content and technical elements that improve search engine rankings. This includes keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and other on-site optimizations.
You should also create SEO friendly URLs, which are shorter and easier to remember. This helps both users and search engines navigate your website easier.
As more and more people access the web on phones and tablets, it's important to create a mobile-friendly version of your website. A responsive design is a must, as is providing an easily navigable user experience.
When creating a mobile website, keep in mind the display size, and the user's goal when accessing your website. Your mobile site should load as fast as possible, and offer the same features and content as the desktop version.
Social Media Integration
Social media should be an integral component of your website. You should make it easy for visitors to follow you on social media, and link to external content. This can be done by adding social buttons, embedded posts, and making it easier to share content with other users.
Tools to Help You Connect with Your Audience:
Good website security is essential to protect your data and keep your website running optimally. You should have a good anti-virus program installed on your server, as well as a secure password. You should also stay up to date with the latest security patches, and upgrade your software on a regular basis.
Analytics and Tracking Tools
Analytics and tracking tools are essential to help you measure traffic and user engagement. You should also use web analytics tools to measure how your content reaches its target audience, and the performance of your website overall.
Popular Analytics Tools
Creating a successful website can be a difficult process, but taking it one step at a time is an effective way to ensure success. It's important to consider every element from choosing a domain name and web host, to overall design and content creation. This guide has provided an overview to help make the process a little bit easier.
By taking the time to consider each component of the website building process, from the overall purpose and design, to content creation and security, you'll be able to create a website that appeals to both visitors, and search engines.