How to Create Your Own Website: A Guide from a Professional Web Designer

Over the years, I have worked with a diverse range of clients, which has allowed me to learn and implement a myriad of website creation strategies. Today, I want to share some of these valuable insights with you. So, without further ado, let’s dive into how you can create your own website from scratch.

Step 1: Define Your Website’s Purpose

The first step in creating a website is to define its purpose. What do you want to achieve with this website? Whether it’s an online portfolio, a blog, an ecommerce store, or a professional site for your business, being clear about your site’s purpose will guide every decision you make moving forward.

Step 2: Choose the Right Platform

There are several website creation platforms available today, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. These include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify among others. If you’re starting and prefer a hands-on approach, I recommend WordPress, which is highly customizable and powers around 40% of all websites as of my knowledge cut-off in 2021. Alternatively, for those wanting a more streamlined, drag-and-drop interface, platforms like Wix or Squarespace may be more suitable.

Step 3: Select a Domain Name

Your domain name is your online identity. It should be unique, memorable, and represent what your website is all about. Domain names can be purchased from registrars such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Bluehost. Remember, choose a .com domain if possible, as it’s universally recognized and easy to remember.

Step 4: Choose a Web Hosting Provider

Once you have a domain, you’ll need a server to host your website. This is where hosting providers come in. Choose a reliable provider that guarantees minimal downtime and offers excellent customer service. Some popular hosting providers include Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator.

Step 5: Design Your Website

When designing your site, consider your audience and your website’s purpose. Use a responsive design to ensure your site looks good on all devices. Keep navigation intuitive and straightforward. Ensure your site loads quickly, as load times can impact user experience and search engine rankings.

Step 6: Add Relevant Content

Content is king in the digital world. Make sure your website offers valuable content that aligns with your site’s purpose. Be consistent in your tone and style. If you’re not a seasoned writer, consider hiring a content writer to help you create compelling content that will engage your visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Step 7: Optimize for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial in increasing your website’s visibility on search engines. Use relevant keywords in your content, optimize your images, and use meta tags to improve your site’s SEO. Additionally, consider creating a blog to provide fresh content, which search engines love.

Step 8: Test and Publish

Before you hit that publish button, ensure that your site works perfectly. Check all links, load time, and responsiveness. Once everything looks good, go ahead and publish it. Congratulations, you now have your own website!

Creating a website is a journey, not a one-time event. As you grow, your website should too. Regularly update your content, look for new ways to optimize, and stay on top of current web design trends. If you need help creating a website or want professional advice, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to help!

Remember, the online world is your oyster, and having a well-designed, functional website is your pearl. Good luck, and happy website building!

Standing Out Among Chicago Web Development Companies

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the demand for high-quality, reliable, and innovative web development services is higher than ever. Businesses all across the Windy City are in need of professionals who can take their online presence to the next level. Among the numerous Chicago web development companies, there’s one name that consistently stands out: John Schuster.

A Pioneering Force in Chicago’s Web Development Scene

Having published hundreds of websites and thousands of web pages since 1997, my track record speaks for itself. My longevity in this field is not just a testament to my experience but also a reflection of my adaptability and commitment to stay on top of the latest technologies and trends.

Unlike other web development companies, I don’t lock you into any proprietary code or platforms. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to choose the best solutions for your specific needs. Whether you’re looking to build a custom web application or a user-friendly eCommerce platform, I provide services tailored to your unique requirements.

Offering More Than Just Development

My services extend beyond just web design and development. From content editing to creating copy and images, I aim to serve you punctually and professionally beyond your expectations. I understand that a successful website isn’t just about how it looks, but also how it functions and serves your business goals.

Moreover, I believe in empowering my clients. I will instruct you and your team on how to update and maintain your website yourselves. Of course, if you prefer, I can also provide affordable maintenance packages and take care of updates on your behalf.

A Commitment to Quality and Customer Satisfaction

The quality of my work and the satisfaction of my clients are my top priorities. All my designs and developments are to the highest standards of the trade. In the unlikely event of a code error, I will re-edit, and re-publish at no cost to you. This level of service and dedication is what sets me apart from other Chicago web development companies.

Chicago Web Development Companies

In a city as vibrant and competitive as Chicago, standing out among web development companies is no easy feat. However, my approach to providing personalized, high-quality web services, and a commitment to customer satisfaction have allowed me to make a name for myself in this industry.

If you’re looking for a web development partner who is as committed to the success of your business as you are, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s work together to create a digital presence that is not just functional and aesthetically pleasing, but also optimized for your business success​​.

Is your business in need of a custom web application? If so, you’ll want to work with a team of experienced developers who can create the perfect solution for your needs. At our company, we specialize in custom web application development Chicago businesses can rely on. We’ll work with you to understand your unique requirements and develop a solution that meets your needs both functionally and aesthetically. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Building a web design portfolio can be a great way to showcase your skills and attract potential clients. But how do you go about creating one? Here are some tips:

1. Choose the right platform. There are many different platforms that you can use to build your portfolio, so it’s important to choose one that will best suit your needs. If you want to create a simple website, WordPress or Squarespace may be a good option. However, if you’re looking for something more robust, consider using Behance or Dribbble.

2. Showcase your best work. When choosing what to include in your portfolio, it’s important to only showcase your very best work. This means choosing projects that you’re proud of and that show off your skills in the best light possible.

3. Use an engaging design. Once you’ve chosen the projects you want to include, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to present them. An engaging design is key to keeping visitors interested in your portfolio. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and includes plenty of visuals to break up the text.

4. Tell a story. In addition to showing off your work, your portfolio should also tell a story about who you are as a designer. Use your About page to give visitors an insight into your process and what drives you as a creative professional.

5. Promote yourself. Once your portfolio is live, it’s important to promote it to ensure potential clients can find it. Share it on social media, add it to your email signature, and reach out to clients directly to let them know about your work.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a web design portfolio that’s sure to impress.

Impact Sport Lighting is a business consisting of lighting professionals with a passion for sports and family entertainment with over 30 combined years of experience in energy-efficient lighting design, manufacturing, installation, and world-class business service and acumen. They just went live with their new website created by my friend and fellow Chicago area creative professional Kody McCormick of The Out Bound Life.

The new website URL is:

Check it out and learn more about what their business has to offer.

Cicero Web Design & Development

Are you in need of an updated website complete with videos, forms, photos, and E-commerce shopping cart functionality?

FREE Instant Web Design Prices

John Schuster has developed some of the best websites for Cicero businesses and organizations.

Get a unique website built with your niche market in mind. John has been providing business owners in Cicero and across the Chicago area with premium web development services since 1997 years. I incorporate beautiful design and integrate all the latest open source technology tools and techniques you need for a powerful website. I work hand in hand with Cicero based businesses to design and deliver high-performance websites that rank great on major search engines and consistently out-perform competing sites.


To take things to the next level, you will need a dedicated website to share your brand in addition to your free blog or Facebook Business page. Visit our portfolio to see how we’ve worked in a variety of industries. Our services include full websites, landing pages, blogs, shopping pages, and more.

Mobile devices account for roughly 60% of the website traffic you receive these days. Does your website support mobile devices? If not, our Cicero Mobile Web Development Team can help you create a mobile-friendly website that displays on any mobile device. We build all of our new sites with responsive web design so they will display on any mobile device: iPad, Android, etc. Additionally, we develop mobile apps.


Instant Web Design Prices


Get local traffic to your website in Cicero, IL. We help you create and implement PPC campaigns to increase your website traffic and track your results. Get highly targeted local traffic or increase your reach. Utilize our web design services in combination with our SEO for positive results!

Trends and technologies are constantly changing and we keep up on the latest updates and developments that you don’t have to. We can integrate useful tools like social media, shopping carts, video galleries and more.

Instant Web Design Prices

Get E-commerce capabilities and accept payments online.

Our expert Cicero E-commerce Web Development experience can guarantee a website that will help you start selling online without difficulty. We use open source WordPress software, themes & plugins to get you up and running fast.

Fill out the form for a web design price quote and we will call you to discuss the details.

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Video is one of the most powerful types of web content that features high engagement rates, helps improve the site’s ranking, and greatly enhances the visitor experience. Today, the role of videos has changed a lot: apart from the commonly known as entertaining, it’s now used to promote, educate or support an audience in a variety of aspects. 

In this article, we’ll discover the key secrets that will help you to produce professional-like video content and make the most of it once it’s live. 


Best Practices of Implementing Video Content into a Website

#1 Keep Your Video Short and Straight to the Main Point 

The video should be placed on the front page, ideally above the fold so that new viewers don’t have to put a lot of effort into finding your video. Make your video stand out from the rest of the content, not just randomly placed on a page. 

Once the location is selected, ensure it comes with an exciting, bold headline that captures attention and a strong CTA, so that users know what to do after they watch your video. Finally, don’t forget to set up a custom thumbnail to make it more engaging and professional and let your customers know it’s really worth reviewing. 

#2 Add Captions or Subtitles

Add subtitles to video if you want to drastically improve the website engagement. According to recent surveys, 69% of users view videos with the sound off in public places, and 25% watch with the sound off in private places. 

To make your videos accessible regardless of the user’s environment, adding captions will be a thing. It also benefits people with special needs that cannot percept sounds in the usual way, therefore site owners can maximize the target audience pool.  

#3 Adjust for Mobile Users

Usually, when business owners create websites, they prioritize web users rather than mobile users. However, the majority of Internet users are landing on a website from their smartphones. In 2021, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.32 billion, which means that over 90% of the global Internet population uses a mobile device to go online. 

Prioritizing your video to smartphones can surely enhance engagement rates and make your videos more convenient for smartphone reviews. 

#4 Avoid Background Videos

If combined with the actual video content on a page, background videos can take away the whole purpose of video content on a page. As a rule, it looks extremely overwhelming and distracting for the end-users, so they are less likely to hit the “Play” button. 

To prevent this, make sure the page contains a plain, transparent background that will bring emphasis to your video.

#5 Pay Attention to SEO Recommendations

Whether you’re taking your video to live on YouTube, Vimeo, or your own website, it’s always great to consider adjusting it to the SEO best practices. This way, the content you’ve posted will not solely be engaging, but also findable in search. These adjustments don’t affect the content of your video, but can instead drive more high-quality leads and reduce the bounce rates. 

Where Can You Use Video on a Website?

There are a variety of options where you can insert video content to enhance the website’s performance. And, depending on the page type, you’ll need to create specific content that uncovers a certain intention. Here are some common recommendations on what type of video content can be a good fit:


With these easy and simple video hacks, you’re more than sure to make the most of your video content! Still uncertain about that? 

Then, it’s time to get started with the practice!

There are many Chicago web designers for small businesses. But finding the right one can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you find the best Chicago web designer for your small business:

1. First, identify your needs. What type of website do you need? Do you need e-commerce functionality? Are you looking for a simple, informative website?
Knowing what you need will help you find the right designer.

2. Second, take a look at portfolios. A good designer will have a strong portfolio that showcases their skills and experience. Pay attention to the websites they have designed and see if they match your needs.

3. Third, don’t forget to ask about pricing. Be sure to get an estimate of the total cost before you make a final decision.

4. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for references. A good Chicago web designer should be able to provide you with references from past clients. These can be a great way to get a feel for their work and customer service.

following these tips will help you find the best Chicago web designer for your small business needs. With the right designer, you can have a website that is both professional and effective.

When it comes to branding strategies, it is important to focus on elements that can boost recognition and reach out to the target audience successfully. In this day and age, the competition is rising each day so businesses or startups must establish a strong brand identity from the beginning. One of the first things that you should pay attention to is the logo design. It’s usually at the center of every branding strategy so it needs to convey the right message.

As you are starting out or looking to expand, you want to make sure that more and more people become familiar with the brand. This is where it’s essential to come up with creative branding strategies that can help you win clients. Let’s explore a few ways you can create some highly effective ones to reach out to a wider audience.

Establish Brand Guidelines

This can help you figure out how you want the audience to perceive the brand. With clear brand guidelines, it’s easier to connect with potential customers and engage them on the right platform. These usually include the use of logo design, brand colors, typography, icons or imagery, and tone of voice to create familiarity. It is important to highlight the variations of the brand design and symbols that appear on various print and digital mediums.

The guidelines help create brand consistency which can result in revenue growth of 33 percent. This is one of the first steps that you can take to come up with creative branding strategies for winning clients. Once you follow them closely, it’s easier to define the brand personality and create a positive perception in the minds of the audience. With the logo design, colors and fonts, you can showcase the core values and tell people what makes your products or services different from the competitors.

Before you start working on the guidelines, it is a good idea to focus on the visuals and choose the relevant elements to represent your brand. You can consider a business logo generator for ideas and create a design that matches the industry and nature of work in the best way.

Personalized Messaging

By communicating with potential clients directly via email and social media platforms, you can spread awareness and build loyalty as well. Tools such as opt-in forms or a live chat option on the website are great for providing a personalized experience. You can easily reach out to visitors with special offers, discounts or information about certain products they might be looking for.

It is also a good idea to engage with people via live streaming on Instagram, Facebook or Twitch. This allows potential clients to find out what a brand has to offer and recall the products or services later on too. When it comes to personalization in branding, you can also create a strategy around involving people and promoting a sense of community. Coca-Cola ran a hugely popular campaign where individuals could personalize their own cans or bottles with a name.

Targeted Content

In this day and age, you may hear or come across marketers say that valuable content is the way to success. With targeted content, brands can easily reach out to a wider consumer base and establish a strong digital presence as well. Informational blogs, guest posts and articles with tips or tricks make it easier to connect to people searching for specific solutions.

You can collaborate with popular platforms in your niche to boost traffic to the website too. Having an educational blog also increases visibility as the particular topics or keywords can show up in organic search results. Targeted content by brands is a great way to win more clients with a creative strategy. Publish how-to posts or talk about the features of your products in long-form blogs.

Parsley Health is one example of a business creating brand awareness with their targeted content that focuses on the personal health, healing and fitness. The blog has insights, tutorials and fitness routines for visitors or members to looking for more information about the wellness brand.

Collaborate with Niche Influencers

This can not only help you build a large following but also become an authority in your industry. By collaborating or working with micro-influencers from your niche, you can promote the products or services to a wider audience successfully. To find the right platform for the business, be it Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and reach out to influencers that have an established following.

By going live, creating a contest or announcing a giveaway in collaboration with an influencer, brands can find it easier to win potential clients. It is important to make sure that you work with people that have similar values and can represent your brand in the right way.

For example, if you are looking to promote makeup or skincare products, then find micro-influencers that can show people what different items can solve for them. Charlotte Tilbury managed to increase their following and gain more visibility on Instagram by collaborating with various influencers.

To Sum Up

These are some of the ways to win clients with creative branding strategies. You can follow a few of them to boost awareness and create a recognizable brand in a short span of time. Before anything, it is important to find your audience and locate where they are based. This way, you can come up with a focused strategy to attract the attention of potential clients and customers immediately.

With years of experience, John Schuster provides clients in the Elmhurst area with outstanding website design services. Over the past several years, I have served a number of businesses in Elmhurst and the surrounding areas. View my portfolio to see the website design services I have provided to clients in Elmhurst, IL.

For more information about the website design services that John Schuster provides to Elmhurst businesses and the surrounding area, call today.

Elmhurst, IL Website Designer