- Coding a website from scratch is an ideal way of building a website, but because it requires working expertise with multiple website technologies, it is not ideal for those who want to create a website but are not familiar with such technologies.
- In contrast, Notion offers a convenient solution for creating portfolios, landing pages, blogs, help docs, career pages, and other similar kinds of websites.
- But since Notion is ideally not meant for creating websites, it has limitations. One such is the lack of an option to set up a Notion website on a custom domain. This is where Potion comes in and makes creating custom websites with Notion a lot easier.
The internet accounts for over 1.7 billion websites across the globe. These websites act as online identities and span across various categories, ranging from news, social media, and eCommerce to blogs, portfolios, and landing pages, among several others. Basically, any entity that needs a digital presence today has to have a website.
In this regard, we have lately seen an influx in website builders that promise to simplify website creation and setup. But because most of these tools still demand some design know-how, the barrier to entry has remained high all this time — until Notion came out a few years back and made building websites a lot easier than ever before.
However, since Notion is ideally not meant for creating websites, it poses some limitations: you can only create specific kinds of websites with it, and you still have to use a third-party service if you wish to host your Notion website on a custom domain.
To this end, there are a few services that allow you to set up your Notion website on a custom domain. But unfortunately, most of them come with limited functionality and do not provide much value for their subscription cost.
In comes Potion, a service that promises to help you create custom websites (Notion websites with custom domains) in minutes — all while ensuring good SEO and speedy performance.
What is Potion?
Potion is a website builder for Notion that helps you set up your Notion web pages on a custom domain. It works by turning Notion into a CMS (Content Management System) such that you get the flexibility to populate the content of your website/webpage in Notion while it takes care of the rest of the process.
Although there are a few other Notion website builders that offer a similar service as Potion, the overall functionality offered by most of them is very limited, and there is only so much you can do on them besides just putting your Notion website on a custom domain.
Potion, on the contrary, gets the upper hand over such services due to its extensive offerings. Since, in addition to assisting you in setting up your Notion webpage to a custom domain, it also provides:
- Customization options: to modify the appearance of a webpage
- SEO features: to improve the website’s ranking
- Page optimization: to improve website loading times
- Automatic URLs: to help you automatically generate SEO-friendly links for the website
What Kinds of Websites Can You Create With Potion?
A website can fall into various categories, and you can pick a style accordingly to suit your objective. If you know how to code, you have better chances of creating a website pretty much exactly how you want it to be. However, if you plan on using Notion to create a custom website, it has some limitations — in terms of style and other elements — that make it suitable for creating only specific kinds of websites.
Now, because the content of your website still lives on Notion, Potion inherits Notion‘s limitations. As a result, when you put Potion to work in tandem with Notion, it works well with the same kinds of websites as Notion, like portfolios, landing pages, blogs, help docs, career pages, and info products.
Why Would You Want to Use Notion as a CMS?
Coding a website from scratch is, without a doubt, an ideal way of building a website if you want the flexibility to control how various elements live on your page and how they function together. But because this approach requires working expertise with multiple website technologies, it is not ideal for those who want to create a website but are not familiar with such technologies.
A traditional CMS simplifies this equation to some degree, although it still demands time and effort for you to use it effectively in your workflow. Notion, on the other hand, turns out to be far more effective than traditional CMS platforms for most of your website needs in this regard, thanks in part to its note-taking ability and various customization options (including Notion templates) that make populating content on a page a lot easier.
In fact, not just that, but the seamless syncing feature that instantly updates the webpage when you make changes to it in Notion, and the drag-and-drop functionality, which lets you move the elements of the webpage to suit your preference, further strengthen Notion‘s case for an ideal CMS for most use cases.
Having said that, though, there are some downsides to using Notion as a CMS that you must know: it is not very efficient for data management, and it is limiting in terms of how you can adjust the appearance and position of the on-page elements.
Notion‘s database functionality is limited mostly due to its restrictions: lack of better structuring and limitations with page blocks. So there is not much that Potion can do in this regard. As for its appearance and styling limitations for websites, the problem is largely addressed by using Notion in tandem with Potion. Since by doing so, you can now use Potion templates and even modify their CSS properties to customize your website’s appearance to your requirements.
How to Use Potion?
There are a few prerequisites to getting started with Potion. First, you need a custom domain for your Notion website, and second, you need a Notion webpage populated with all the content you want to showcase on your website.
To get a domain, visit any of the popular domain registrars (Google Domains, GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, Hostinger) and purchase your preferred domain name (website name) from there.
Next, go to Notion (app or website) and set up a page. [Check out our beginner’s guide on Notion to learn how to create a page in Notion]. You also need to make this page public to showcase it on the web. [Refer to our guide on how to create a website with Notion to learn how to do it].
With the elementary requirements met, you are now ready to link your custom domain URL to your Notion page and customize its appearance.
- To do this, first, sign up for a Potion account. Potion offers three different plans, so depending on how many websites you have/want to create, you can pick a plan accordingly.
- Once you are in, select Sites from the left-hand menu and click on the Add New Site button at the top right corner of the screen.
- On the Notion Url/Domain section of the Setup page, add your site name, custom domain, and the URL for the Notion page that you want to link to this custom domain. Hit Continue.
- In the DNS section, create the entries as requested. Visit your domain provider and find out the records for your domain name under DNS settings. For root domains, you basically need to create an A record entry in Potion that will link your domain name directly to its corresponding IP address. Similarly, for subdomains too, you have to create an A record for your domain name. [Refer to Potion’s guide on setting up domain to learn how to do it]. Press Continue.
- Finally, in the Options section, select the default font for your Notion website, along with its favicon and the site image. Additionally, enter a description for your website that describes its purpose and appears on Google and other platforms. Once the setup is complete, click on Continue.
Depending on your domain registrar, it may take some time for your domain to point to your Notion website. Ideally, this happens within a few hours. In case, however, it takes longer than 24 hours, you should contact your domain provider to get assistance.
Once the domain propagation is complete, you should have a functional website with content pulled up straight from your Notion page onto your custom domain. To verify if the domain points to your Notion website, search for your domain name in a web browser.
Potion automatically generates SEO-friendly URLs for all the web pages on your websites by default. However, if you want certain pages on your website to have specific URLs, you can use Pretty Urls to do so. For this, go to Potion and select Pretty Urls from the left-hand menu. Here, enter the URL of the page that you want to modify under Notion Page URL and add its custom slug on the right under Pretty Slug.
Now, if you wish to modify the structural elements of your website, you can open it in Notion and add/remove the elements (or blocks). For customizing its styling, head back to Potion and click on your site under Sites. Next, select Live Editor from the left-hand menu and tweak the styling elements using the available options.
If you know how to code, you can inject HTML and CSS into the website using Snippet Injection to add/modify its elements and alter their appearance. Besides, Potion also allows you to add analytics from various analytics providers such as Google Analytics, Fathom, SimpleAnalytics, Panelbear, etc., to your Notion website to help you track its performance and get insights into your traffic.
If you are facing problems with any operation in Potion, check out the video guide below.
Successfully Creating Custom Notion Websites With Potion
Potion is probably the easiest service you can use to set up your Notion website on a custom domain. Not only does it help you take your Notion website live on a custom domain, but it also provides additional features to allow you to customize some of its elements to your preference, needless to say, it also promises to offer good SEO and page loading times.
So if you are interested in creating a portfolio, personal blog, landing page, or some other website along the same lines on a custom domain, the Notion+Potion combination should suffice your requirements.
Potion starts at $8 per month for 1 website. It also has two more plans, which cost $16 per month and $24 per month for up to 3 and 8 websites, respectively. All plans are available as both monthly and annual subscriptions. In addition, Potion also offers a 7-day free trial, so you can test out the service without paying for its subscription upfront.
Potion recently got featured on Product Hunt and made its way on their product of the day list.