The Easiest way to Create a Website Yourself
I am a noob when it comes to website design and website coding. And in all honesty I am happy to remain a noob. I want to focus on what I already am doing, and the goal of the site is that it should be a public portfolio or blog, and I shouldn’t need more than 4 hours per year to maintain it.
Who is this Article for
This is for those who want a website, blog, brochure, or an online portfolio but don’t want to spend the time to learn to code, hosting, security, SSL, CDN, SEO, and all the craziness that comes with it.
I use it for an introduction to my tea brand, and a landing page introduction for us. A picture paints a thousand words, so check out my sites:
Freshest Teas Straight from our Farms to your Cups We at Chaivana grow the finest strains of Tea Hand-plucked with Love…
Evie & Rid
Hi, guys. Here is Evgenia and Riddhwaj. We are from Russia & Assam, sharing our stories with you. ❤️ We grow tea, have…
Best for Blogging:
1. ghost.org — Think of this as Medium but you own it, really simple for writers. Focuses on helping you monetize based on a subscription system. But expensive starts at $7 per month.
2. medium.com — It’s Instagram or YouTube for writers. Free, easy to use app & people on the site are there to read. But like Instagram, what you post is now no longer yours (kinda). If medium decided to put ads asking people to join sumo wrestling, you got no say over that.
3. write.as — Super simple & minimalist blog. You simply — write, put pics & then hit publish. The easiest solution on the list.
4. postach.io — Make your Evernote notes into a minimalist blog. An interesting concept, I don’t use Evernote so it wasn’t for me.
Best for Websites — Online Portfolio, Landing Page, Company Website:
1. carrd.co — Best for single page sites. Brochures, Portfolios, Sample of work etc. Ask yourself if what you are trying to accomplish can be done in one page. I personally use this currently having tried everything in this list.
2. squarespace.com — is like the apple of website design, everything just works and thought has gone into the little things. This is not bad for online shopping. Though expensive, I think its worth it if you are selling stuff on your site.
3. jimdo.com — Something like Squarespace or Wix but easier to use, a lot simpler and its prices (especially in India) are very cheap. It also has less features which is good, because what it does have it does well. It seems to have an online store but I didn’t use t.
Best for Outsourcing / Going Pro:
1. wordpress.org — If you want want a complicated site with many features, this is the way to go. I’ll say go to Fiverr.com to hire someone, they’ll make the whole thing for $100. The most versatile in this list, though I won’t recommend it for beginners doing their site.
2. webflow.com — If I wanted to be a professional website designer this is what I’ll be focusing on. Once again a steep learning curve, it’s like photoshop for site designs.
I won’t recommend:
1. wix.com — I found Wix sites are often laggy & slow; not to mention that Jindo is easier to use. I think it has immense potential and in a few years, it’ll probably be the best. Its a very powerful, and if you intend to have some sort of an online shop you can consider this.
2. wordpress.com — Different from wordpress.org — Beginner-friendly WordPress experience, and good for a free trial, to see what WordPress is about.
- Ghost.org — best for just writing and getting things out there. Closest to Medium, but yours. If your goal is to make a blog and run it yourself and yet has some powerful tools. Nasa, Apple and Mozilla use Ghost for their blogs. I had used it for a while, but pricing wasn’t justified for my usage. If you want a subscription based paid membership, this is probably the best.
2. Wix.com — Works for making a many kinds of sites. I won’t recommend it because the site I built and used for a year came out slow and chunky. It feels like Jack of all trade but master of none. I’ve paid for and used it for a year it was — okay — the site was nice looking but slow. Not professional enough. I think this is growing very rapidly and improving a lot, I suspect within a few years it’ll probably be the best site builder out there. Think of it as Windows XP.
3. Squarespace.com — For making pretty web designs, but not necessarily the best for adding new blog content. Great if you are a painter and looks matter a ton. Its got a ton of power and features hidden underneath a pretty and simple to use interface. This is one of the best tool for beginners, it’s like Apple for website design, everything is simple and just works. They’ve done a ton of thinking at every step and designing a site is easy. It is expensive though, and sites can be slow.
4. Wordpress.org — I won’t recommend it if for beginners. It’s versatile, too versatile. This is an option I tried very hard to get right, I purchased hosting for 3 years in one shot, I thought spending 3 years of money will guilt trip me into figuring it out — Nope, I was spending over 60% of my time figuring out stuff and not writing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most powerful tool on the list and most commonly used throughout the world. It’s easily best if you plan to Outsource the design. Find a web designer to run it for you, great for make-it-forget-it websites that you plan to potentially grow in future.
5. Write.as — Perhaps the closest to Medium.com in terms of minimalism, even simpler. But with great simplicity comes fewer features. So if you just want to write and hit publish, this is it. You can use your domain name. And it looks pretty in a minimalist way.
6. postach.io — Similar to Write.as, super simpler and minimalist. It turns your Evernote notes to a website. Amazing for existing Evernote users. Minimalist, simple, and it feels like sharing your notes with everyone. Connecting with Evernote gives it the best phone app.
7. Wordpress.com — It is the managed version of Wordpress.com, and it handles a lot of things for you. Also, a free trial gives you the feel for it, no doubt that WordPress is the most powerful tool, but do you need a tank to squat a fly? It’s got a free page to use before diving into WordPress.org. If your goal is a versatile website that does many things, this is for you. If you want a blog or just a one-page site this is not worth the time.
8. carrd.co — For Single page sites this is the best and the simplest tool out there. If you want a page that says, “Hey I am Mr Designer, here check out some pics of my works. And this is the link to my Instagram, and amazon or unsplashed link where you can buy my work.” THIS IS IT. I love it. This is truly amazing for a single page site and not commonly known, plus the rates are very fair — $19 / year. Yes per YEAR for 10 sites. I use this for both my personal and company sites. Ask yourself if what you want can be done with one single page, and if the answer is yes then use this.
9. Medium.com — It’s been called YouTube for writings, pretty cool & mostly free. But it’s not yours, it’s like how in a Twitter or Instagram page, you post stuff there and connect with people but it’s still your profile on that platform. If tomorrow they decided to put ads there, then nothing you can do about it. But it’s amazing for what it offers, just write and other people will find you, they are there on medium to read as one goes to YouTube to watch videos. I decided to keep my blog on medium, because I am here to write, I don’t care about monetization just yet.
10. jimdo.com — Simpler than Wix and Squarespace. A great learning experience and super simple. Plus prices are fair (atleast in India, try a VPN to get same rates :). Great for managing your site with almost no coding experience. Its less powerful than Squarespace in terms of features offered, but its also cheaper and simpler. So try them both to make a pretty looking site, again not for blogging, and results can be a little chunky but undeniably pretty and a beginner can learn to use it and manage a site quite easily. Plus a great learning experience to dip your feet in, for first-time website builders. I am rooting for jimdo, I think its got some super potential, especially with its focus on online stores and ecommerce.
11. webflow.com — Lastly, WebFlow. If I were to ever become a website designer, make professional looking websites (I am talking Apple.com quality of prettiness) this is the tool I will want to learn to use. The whole builder resembles photoshop and that’s a good thing. Use WebFlow if you want to go Pro someday and get paid over $1000 per site.
I tried all of the tools in the list. And I feel carrd.co is the best for single page sites. And their rates are preposterously fair, I use them for both my sites. I would ask myself if a single page site is enough for what I want to present. For a vast majority of us it is.
Initially, I had tried WordPress and found it to be really complicated, things break all the time, then moved on to Ghost.org for a blog, Ghost was a really good blogging platform, especially if you have paying subscribers (which I don’t). But after much thought, I have moved back to Medium because of the sheer convenience. My goal is to get into the habit of writing, I don’t care much about making money from it right now. My wife and I did want a website and we have evienrid.com which is made on carrd.co and it points to our medium blog and our Instagram pages.
I feel that getting into the habit of writing is more important. If you put quality content money will come eventually, so if you’re starting pick the simplest tool at your disposal and start.
If you want to get into website design professionally I would suggest Webflow or Wix because I feel that they are the future. Wix for more casual, and Webflow for the kind of site that someone like Apple would be happy to use.