2 ways to create a ⚡ fast personal website for FREE cover image
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2 ways to create a ⚡ fast personal website for FREE

📅 2020-Mar-28
Having a personal website & blog is the usual starter package for anyone who is looking to express themselves online. However, it is often not obvious where to start, due to the following uncertainties:
1.
Which domain do I want?
2.
Where do I host my website?
3.
How do I customize my website?
4.
Which content management system (CMS) do I use?
5.
How much should I pay to maintain a personal website?
I know, because I went through the same line of questioning myself. So, with this article, I look to educate fellow creators in my position on the options that worked for me.
If you've been following my latest projects, you'll know that I've been a fan of using Notion to be intentional and gamifying my life, greatly enhancing my productivity and organization. One of Notion's great features is to be able to make any page public, and indexable on search engines. Thus, its been a recent trend for many creatives to use their notion homepage to publically share their personal statements, resume, and projects.
However, just publishing my notion homepage publically was not the most optimal solution in my view, so I embarked on a journey to examine exactly what could be done with this flexible tool. After a weekend of tinkering, and help from various community resources, I've found 2 ways to host your own website, with Notion as a CMS, for the low, low price of $0 / month.
Say goodbye to paid website builders like wordpress, webflow and squarespace, and say hello to GatsbyJs, Notion & Netlify.
With content loading from: blog.conradlin.com
Option 1: Setting up a custom domain for your notion homepage
Why?
You may really like the look and feel of your notion homepage, but want to maintain your personal branding with a custom domain name. This hack allows anybody who accesses your domain to reach your notion page directly.
Pros
Easiest setup <5 mins
No coding knowledge necessary
Minor styling available (custom fonts)
Can add custom scripts (google analytics, chatbots, etc.)
Cons
No custom elements
Mediocre SEO
Slow loading pages
Requirements
Notion.so account FREE
Your own domain ~$10/year
Cloudflare account FREE
Coding Knowledge: 0/5
Knowing how to work with domains: 1/5
Following the guide below was more than sufficient for me to create wiki.co-x3.com, notion.co-x3.com, and getreadyforround2.com; if you want more examples, I can create additional resources on request. How to set up a custom domain for your homepage in Notion 8 Amazing Notion Sites You Can Build for FREE
Option 2: Host a GatsbyJS Blog (with Notion as a CMS) for $0 with Netlify
Why?
This is my preferred option. You may want a lightweight and cheap CMS (and let's be honest, you're probably drafting your content in notion anyway), but with your own personal touch. You're unique and want to express yourself, and having control over the styling is important to you.
Pros
Complete control over how you want to present your content
Extend wherever you like with custom code
Detailed Analytics
High SEO
Cons
May require some understanding of code
Most likely a weekend project if you are applying detailed customization
Requirements
Notion.so account FREE
Your own domain ~$10/year
GitHub account FREE
Netlify account FREE
Coding Knowledge: 2/5 (Enough to know where a chunk of code starts and ends)
Disclaimer: I had little to no knowledge of coding in React before I started this project, and I learned a lot while testing things out. Building my entire conradlin.com website took me between 8-10 hours, but only because I was very particular about styling. I truly believe anyone can learn to code - and this is a fun way to get started. Don't be afraid to try! Create a GatsbyJS Blog (with Notion as a CMS) for $0 with Netlify

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