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Beginner's Guide

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This beginner's guide will help you create your website using Zoho Sites. Here, we will walk you through the steps that you need to know before you publish your website for the first time. After that you can't possibly go wrong because it is all that easy. Throughout these help pages we have taken Zoomnclick as a demo website for photography.

Getting Started:





To sign-up for a Zoho Sites account, go to sites.zoho.com, click on 'Get Started' and sign up with a free account. Start building your websites once you have created your Zoho Sites account. It all starts with selecting a beautiful theme.


Selecting a theme from the gallery:



Themes are the outlook of your website. Once you have created your account on Zoho Sites, the very first thing you need to do is select a theme for your website. Zoho Sites has a gallery of ready-to-use themes under a range of categories. You can choose a theme from the category that best describes your business. You can also switch to any other theme and back, anytime, your content will be preserved while you do so.

Every theme you see on the gallery can be customized to perfectly fit your needs. With the help of 'Visual Editor' you can customize components of a theme, such as the background image, font styles and colors etc, without using any complex code. Its all visual.

And that is not all for themes. If you are an advanced user, you can also take advantage of the 'HTML/CSS Editor' to customize your theme the way you want.


Naming your first website:


You need to give a name to your website after selecting a theme. This explains the purpose of your website to random visitors without them having to read through the pages. By default, the site name would be 'Site Title'. To edit your site details, hover the mouse over the site option on the right top of your builder page and click on 'Edit Site Details' to make changes.


Creating your website:


Once the design is set up, you can begin adding content to your site. Add various types of contents using elements like Text, Images, Forms, Audio, Third party widgets etc. All you need to do is drag the corresponding element and drop it into your website. You can also choose between two and three column layouts for your website.


Adding elements and content:

Your website can include features like Headings, Paragraphs, Images, Photo Gallery, Audio, Videos, SWF animations, Tables, embedded objects, custom buttons and many more. You can add as many pages and as many elements to those pages as you want.



Once added, arranging these elements on your website is as easy as adding it was. You only need to drag the elements to where you want them on the website. Every element can be tweaked with the properties bar that appears right beside the element when it is highlighted or selected. You can also move the elements around your website using this toolbar.


Making the most of third-party applications:


You can add third-party apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr and Google+ photos etc. in your website to interact with your visitors using various channels. For example, by adding the Facebook widget to your site, your visitors can interact with your Facebook page without having to leave your website. They function as a separate pages from within the page.


Creating custom online forms and connecting Zoho CRM web forms with your website:



You can create forms to collect data from your website visitors. It can be just the email IDs or the leads/contacts for your Zoho CRM or any of your custom requirements. You can also enable email notification for those forms, which will trigger an email to the set email address when someone enters data.


Creating a blog:



Blogs are the best way to engage your website audience and like-minded visitors. Blog is an abbreviation of the word web log and is often used as an online journal that you can open up to comments from others. You can create a blog and publish posts just like you create and design a web page. Here too, you can drag and drop any element that you want into the blog.


Customizing the sidebar and footer of your website:

Every theme has a sidebar and a footer. You could add any element like social media buttons, payment buttons or an image slide-show to the sidebar and footer that you would normally add to the content area. You also have the option to display or hide sidebar in your webpage. You can also create custom sidebar if you want the content in the sidebar to be different from one page to another.


Previewing your site before publishing:

After you have created every aspect of your website, you are now set to open it up for your visitors. But before you do that, you need to make sure that everything is in place, as intended. For that you can preview your website anytime during the process of creation and check how it would appear to a visitor once it is live.



Move your mouse over the Publish button at the top right corner of your site builder and choose the Preview options. Here, you can see how your website would look on a full size web browser, and also on a mobile  phone. Zoho Sites automatically generates a mobile-optimized version of your website, without you doing a thing extra.


Choosing a custom domain name:

The last step to be done with your website is a domain name. Domain name is the unique URL that a visitor accesses on a browser before he lands on your website. It is extremely important that you treat the domain name as you have treated your website. Domain names are a big deal, and here are some points to ponder when picking a domain name.

1. Subdomains Vs. Custom Domains
2. Keyword-laden Vs. Brandable domains
3. Domain extension
4. Brand establishment
5. Business email hosting



You can go with the free subdomain of zohosites.com, or use a custom domain that you might have registered already. If you don't have one yet, you can register one now with Zoho Sites.

Remember;  the domain name can always be changed at any point. It is subject to availability, but can be changed later. So, for now, you could settle for the free subdomain and focus on the quality of content you publish. Once it is up and running, you can get your website an ideal domain name. To learn the importance of a good domain name, you may read this blog Link Here (https://www.zoho.com/sites/blog/domain-names-big-deal.html)


Publishing your first website:


When you are done picking the right domain name for your website, your may publish your website for everyone to view. Users will be able to visit your website regardless of the device they are using. You can publish the subsequent updates simply by clicking the Publish button.


Google integrations:

Using Google and Bing webmaster indexing you can index your website so that people can find you easily from these search engines.





Search engines use robot text to crawl on your pages and index the contents so that the visitors can easily find relevant content that they are searching for.



SEO:
Getting found on search engines:

There is no way a visitor would know your domain name as soon as you publish your website. That is where SEO comes into picture. Search Engine Optimization is your digital marketing tool wherein you tweak your web content in such a way that when users search for related terms on various search engines like Google and Bing, your website appears at the top of the search results. The more relevant your content is, the higher your website appears in the search result and more people visit your website.

Zoho Sites allows you to optimize your web pages to rank higher on these search engines, and therefore, get found by more people, easily.






Post-publish assistance:

With Zoho Sites, you can edit and modify every aspect of your website just as easily as you created it. Be it adding information, changing the layout, inviting others to collaborate on content, adding domains; you  name it, it is easy. Despite that, if you hit the wall, our 24/5 support team is here to help you push through it. Feel free to write to us at support@zohosites.com.




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