4 Tools to Easily Set Up Your Own Website for Free (With a Custom Domain) | by Burk | June 2022
No WordPress here!
An online presence isn’t mandatory for online success, but it certainly can’t hurt to direct your fans to a little space of your own on the web.
It gets overwhelming pretty quickly, though. A gazillion services to choose from.
- Some are great, some suck.
- Some are free, others get very expensive.
- Some are easy, others require a PhD in computer science to get started.
Let’s review some platforms for beginners and the less tech-savvy.
I wouldn’t recommend messing with a WordPress.org install or paying a monthly fee for a web builder like Squarespace, WordPress.com, Wix, etc. at first.
I really wouldn’t.
In many cases, it’s a waste of time and money. Even if you plan to start a blog. We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Believe me, I’ve done it a thousand times in the past. I created WordPress blogs and developed WordPress themes. It’s fun, but it’s not easy. And the tools that make things easier aren’t free. Or cheap.
Instead, let’s look at other routes you can take.
The easiest way to start a simple, yet functional and useful website is a landing page service like Linktree, Bio.link and others.
Everyone must have seen them by now. Linktree is just one of many similar platforms. Linktree is good, others might suit you even better. I have compiled a short list of Linktree alternatives here.
- Landing page builders are fast and anyone can make them. No learning curve involved.
- Linktree and other sites are free to some extent, with optional paid plans
- for some sites you can add a custom domain, which means that instead of linktr.ee/yourname you get yourname.com (simplified example), for most this is only available in paid plans
- Landing page sites offer useful analytics for visitor insights
- They offer dozens of add-ons, integrations, and more.
- You can customize your small site in several ways
A custom domain is hard to find with Linktree-like platforms. Bio.link will soon add this feature for free which is amazing.
Linktree and alternatives usually only offer one landing page. You might need more than that.
In that case, take a look at other site builders for free. A hybrid between Linktree and a “real” website would be services like Carrard Where milkshake.
With these two platforms, you can create visually appealing sites with multiple pages or maps. It’s not extensive, but a bit more than what Linktree offers.
Did you know you can quickly turn a Notion page in a website? There are many tools that do just that. Most of them cost, however. One of the most popular is Super.
If you hunt a little more on the web, you will find free alternatives. One of them is poppy.
It’s an extremely simple service, in my opinion, but the result is an attractive and highly customizable website on top of Notion.
And the best part: Popsy is free, even if you want to add a custom domain.
Notion is also free, of course, and a great way to combine a powerful productivity tool with your website building needs. I use Notion for everything. I write my Medium stories in Notion (on the go too!). I created a Notion writing system called Medium OS. I’m a huge Notion fan.
Even if you need a website, blog, and store to sell digital products, you can get it all for free. No need to pay for Shopify, a website and a CMS.
Just use gum path Where Pay. Both marketplaces are free to use with the ability to connect a custom domain to your site.
Gumroad has a unique design. I like it. It’s not customizable, however. Payhip offers many options to make your site look the way you want. Here are my Gumroad and Payhip sites.
Both services have a space dedicated to the blog. Both also serve as newsletter tools. Another huge plus.
Of course, Gumroad and Payhip are great for selling your digital products. Each of these tools is fairly easy to understand and set up.
- free and personalized domain support
- You can build a website, online store, blog and newsletter platform with one tool
- Payhip is highly customizable
You might need a website, but you definitely don’t have to pay to get one at first. So don’t!
You can use wordpress.org for free if you want to develop a complex system, but for most of us that’s overkill.
Instead, use one of the 4 groups of tools to create a working website in no time and for free. With the addition of custom domain support on most of them.
- Linktree and similar services
- Carrard or Milkshake
- Concept-based website builders like Popsy
- Gumroad or Payhip
PS: Are you an average writer? Nope, then register here*. Also, check out Average operating system, my complete writing system for online writers. And while you’re at it, Subscribe to my newsletter. It’s free. And priceless 😉
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