Why should you create a website

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Have you been relying on social media to promote your content? How did you cope with the uprising of new platforms?

Discussion of decentralising the web has been going on for a while. Creating your own website is one step away from big tech companies, and most importantly owning your content. (Even though you probably still hosting on their server)

Content with an audience will be rewarded by a less biased system called search engine. Optimising your content to be discovered is some work but it’s still better than personalised recommendations on your social feeds.

I believe if you had your niche, audience would find their way to your website (FOR FREE) Hobbyist website are highly underrated and here’s a list of my favourite hobbyist websites

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  • The Garden by Maggie Appleton

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  • A11y Library acquired by Stark

How can I create my own website for free?

The cost of creating your own website has dramatically went down over the years, for beginners, most of the popular blogging platforms (like Wordpress, Medium) are free. If you are looking for more functionalites, there are still bunch of options with generous free tier. One thing that is rarely free but optional is your custom domain. (e.g. juxtdesign.cc). Blogging platform would allow you to use their subdomain, like juxtdesign.wordpress.com, but I would highly recommend to bought one at first place as it will be a permanent address to your website. (It cost around $10-20 USD per year at very least)

What content should I use for my website?

World wide web is more than just online stores, app landing pages and social media. Try create one today!

If you have some content, try to think what else could you offer to your audience. What would they really need to get started, instead of copying pasting content from your social media to the website. The best of websites are that it could be flexible as you want.

  • Calculator: Anything your project can help calculate? Any special formula that you know can quickly help people visualise (E.g. How Much Does a Website Cost in 2022?)
  • Wiki / Knowledge Base: If you have extensive domain knowledge, you should definitely consider creating a library or a series of blog articles guiding new audience to get started
  • Online courses: Creating a online course be too much effort, what about designing a curriculum, a list of things people should know to get started

How can I get started?

The cost of creating your own website has dramatically went down over the years, especially if you are building a static site, there are bunch of options with generous free tier.

Webflow is great for designers, with their powerful web editor. Working with some templates will help you make a simple landing page, but I would recommend to avoid the CMS part (this is where the cost goes up).

Notion is also a good place to experiment your ideas, by making your pages public, especially if you have a lot of data / resources. Although you cannot you need to use third party service like Super to convert to website. It's a good place to gather your content with a system.

Gatsby is a React-based static generator that I personally love to use for my own portfolio as well as this website. It required some coding knowledge but with great extent of customization.

A more traditional approach would be Wordpress, Wix or Squarespace, they are still a great option with flexibility to create whatever you want.