How to create a website with Notion without any coding expertise
Set up your website or blog in minutes!
- Notion is an all-in-one workplace for all your note-taking, task management, and project/data/knowledge management needs.
- In addition to these applications, Notion can also be used to create websites for a portfolio, blog, help center, roadmap, and other objectives.
- You can create website with Notion in just a few clicks without requiring any coding expertise and can manage all your content on it effortlessly.
- Furthermore, if you want a custom domain for your Notion website, there are services that let you access the private Notion API to unlock functionalities and set up Notion as a CMS.
If you ever wanted to create a website (or static web page) to showcase your portfolio or write blog posts, it is now easier than ever before to create a web page on the internet. That too, without requiring the know-how of coding. And no, by that, we do not mean creating a site using website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and the likes. Instead, what we are talking about is creating a website using Notion.
Notion, for the uninitiated, is the same app that has single-handedly replaced a bunch of different productivity apps and integrated their functionalities into a single app. You can think of it as an all-in-one workplace for all your note-taking, task management, and project/data/knowledge management needs. One where you can take notes, set up to-dos, create a knowledge base (wikis, databases, etc.), and manage your projects, among other things.
If you thought Notion’s scope of use ends here, you are in for a surprise. You see, in addition to doing all the things we’ve just mentioned, another useful (read slightly understated) application of Notion is to create websites (or web pages).
While a website created on Notion is nowhere close to its full-fledged counterpart when it comes to performance, it is a good alternative for when you need a quick web page up and running.
Notion for websites
When you think of websites, there are numerous reasons and objectives behind why you would want to create one. Ignoring the commercial and other service-related reasons people have websites for, an average person might think of websites in a different light. In general, this can be either to put out a portfolio (or personal resume) with all your projects collated in one place or to set up a blog where you share your musings and talk about things that intrigue you.
In either case, what you need is a sleek web page. One that does not require you to know to code and is easy to manage. That way, you can focus solely on the content and not have to worry about maintaining your site regularly.
Similarly, another use-case where you can use a Notion website (or web page) is when you need to add a temporary (lightweight) page on your website. If you are a startup/business with a small team, this is probably going to help you set up quick web pages for help/guides/FAQs, etc., on your website — in a way that will make it easier to update the contents of these web pages far easier.
Now that you’ve seen some use-cases where you can use Notion to create web pages, let’s dive in and check out how you can create one yourself.
Creating Website using Notion
To create a website with Notion, you need to, first, sign up for an account on Notion. Once you have a Notion account, download the app on your computer and sign in. [Notion is available for macOS and Windows.]
With the app downloaded and set up on your computer, follow the steps below to create a website (or web page) with Notion.
I. Create a page
Open Notion and click on the Add a page button from the sidebar (left-hand) menu to create a page. This is where the entire content for your website resides. Notion supports nested pages, so you can create multiple sub-pages within a page.
II. Set up your page
When you create a page, you get a blank canvas with the Notion editor on your right. Essentially, this is the space where you edit your page and add elements (or blocks) to it. Now, you have two approaches. You can either select one of the Notion templates to set up a layout for your web page and edit it later. Or, alternatively, you can design the entire web page from scratch using different blocks. [Blocks are all the components that make up a page like headings, images, tables, blockquotes, code snippets, etc.]
1. Creating a web page using Notion templates
If you are just getting started, you can use Notion templates to get your page up and running quickly. Notion offers a bunch of different templates for different settings. Some of these include those for job board, help center, roadmap, blog post, inspiration, and more. You can find these templates on Notion by clicking on the Templates button in the editor window. From here, select the template you want and click on the Use this template button to add it to the editor window. Once added, the template can then be configured and edited to your requirements.
2. Creating a web page manually using Notion
While the template approach works fine, it does not offer enough flexibility. So, if you have been a Notion user for some time and are comfortable using the Notion editor, you can start adding different blocks to your page to curate all the elements you need on your website. To add a block, click on the space you want to add an element and type forward-slash (/). Now, enter the name of the element. For instance, if you want to add an image, you write /image; to add an (H1) heading, you write /h1; and so on.
Moreover, Notion also allows you to edit and stylize different elements and change their formatting and color. For this, you need to select the text or the element and choose a styling option from the menu. Similarly, you can also change the font-family and the font-size for your blog page by clicking on the three-dot menu on the top-right and selecting the desired option from there.
Once you have the page set up — using either approach — you are ready to move on to the next step.
III. Making a Page on Notion public
Making your page live on the web is an important step in creating a website with Notion. What this step essentially does is generate a link for your selected Notion page. This link can then be shared with the people you want to showcase your website via message. Or, it can be added to some other website or platform on the internet.
To get a shareable link for your website, first, save the changes you have made to your page and click the Share button at the top. You will now see a few options in the menu. Here, toggle the button next to Share to web. Finally, click on the Copy link button to copy the website URL.
Other sharing options
If you want more control over sharing, Notion offers a few different options. These include:
1. Allow editing: allows anyone you’ve shared your website URL with, who also has a Notion account, to edit and make changes to your web page.
2. Allow comments: This gives people with the link the ability to add comments on your page.
3. Allow duplicate as template: provides other Notion users the option to duplicate your template and start using it for their website.
4. Search engine indexing: indexes your website URL on Google. [Limited to Pro plan only.]
For accessing these options, click the downward-facing arrow next to Show link options in the Share menu. And, to enable or disable them, toggle the button on their right.
Besides sharing your website link, you can also directly add people to show them your web page or give them access to collaborate together. To share your web page with other people, click on the Share button, and in the menu, click on the input field that reads Add people, groups, or emails. Here, enter the name of the person or the group, or add the email address of the person whom you want to invite. Once added, click on the Add people button to add these people. You can also choose what privileges you want to give to these people. The available options include: Edit, Comment, View, and Full-access. [Full-access is available with the Pro plan.]
With your Notion website now public, here are a few things you need to know:
1. The web page you just created on Notion reflects any changes made to it in real-time. So, if you were to modify its content, the people you’ve shared its link with will get to see the changes instantly.
2. If you have multiple sub-pages linked to your main web page, all of them are visible as soon as you make the main page public.
3. As you would’ve probably noticed by now, the websites you create on Notion have Notion’s own domain name in them. For instance, it may look something like https://www.notion.so/Talking-Watches-4692551ad5794ed3b568c9. Although this is completely fine if you are creating a web page for personal use, those who want a more professional website need to get their custom domain name.
If you want your Notion website linked to your domain name, the first thing you need is a custom domain. [You can get a domain from domain registrars like GoDaddy, Hostinger, Hostgator, Bluehost, and the likes.] Once you’ve got one, you need a service that transforms Notion web pages into websites. In this regard, there are platforms like HostNotion and Super, which let you connect your custom domain name to your Notion web page.
Using Notion as CMS
Notion is far from becoming a full-fledged CMS (Content Management System). Although, if you manage to get around its restrictions and get hold of the Notion API, there are ways to turn it into a CMS. To do this, what you essentially need are two things: Notion’s private API and knowledge of frontend development. Sadly though, the API access is currently limited and in Beta. But, as a workaround, people have managed to use Splitbee’s Notion API worker to get hold of Notion’s functionalities and implement the service in a way that suits their requirements.
A worker is essentially a wrapper for the private Notion API that offers quick and easy access to your Notion content — something you need to turn Notion into CMS. The Notion API worker is hosted on Cloudflare, with their free plan, and can handle up to 100,000 requests per day. You can check them out over at GitHub to get started.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about creating a website with Notion. If you follow this guide, you should be able to create a web portfolio (or CV): to showcase your skills, a blog: where you write about your favorite topics, an online journal: to share with friends and family, a help center: to assist people with your service, a roadmap: for your team members to follow, and a whole lot more. Moreover, if you plan on using Notion as CMS, you can also do it using the available resources. However, a word of caution before you proceed: if you don’t have enough experience with frontend development, you might find it hard to work your way around.