Don’t Know How To Code? Build Your Website Anyway.
Here’s how to build a website: without code, without cost.
If you want to earn money from the internet, building your brand is no longer optional.
Now one can ask — even if you need to show off your personality — in this day & age of LinkedIn, Notion, LinkTree, and the likes, can they substitute for your website? The answer is yes and no.
Yes: For when your work is coherent and easily demonstrable without the need for heavy customization.
Are you a writer? Put all your work on Medium and keep sharing on LinkedIn. Are you a designer? Behance portfolio.
Software developer? GitHub!
For all of these use cases, the profile of the individual is crisply defined. Putting the links to these resources on your profile will give the hiring manager/recruiter/profile visitor enough indication of your competence, which essentially solves a big chunk of the purpose. It, however, may not give an idea about who you are holistically and hence might be insufficient to introduce yourself to your audience.
No: Some people, including me, find it fairly hard to bucket their experiences.
I’m an engineer turned liberal arts grad who joined an F500 as a management trainee, went into program management in a Big Tech Co, but is actually interested in the intersection of social impact & revenue generation and wants to build my own thing from scratch. (Confused? Same buddy, same.)
All I know about myself is that I like to solve problems and build things — which bucket can I classify myself in? I found traditional structures woefully inadequate. Additionally, one goal of mine is to eventually build something of my own, and for that, I need a strong personal brand and clear Call To Action once an audience member is interested in my offerings. Adding such personalization and monetization strategies is increasingly difficult on standard social media.
I only had a small problem — I could neither code, nor did I have any money to hire someone to do it for me. And that’s where No-Code came to the rescue.
What are No-Code tools?
Coding, as it exists today, is not how it began.
The past of coding goes back to Cobol & C, which were extremely rudimentary as languages (read = much closer to how machines ‘talk’, than to how humans converse), requiring large amounts of code to do even simple tasks. The next phase of evolution was object-oriented programming, where we realized that simple repetitive instructions can be bundled together for humans to create a more ‘modular’ language — you pick and choose the pieces, create combinations, and call on the computer to decode what you mean. Python is an excellent example of the same — it reads more like the English language than many other early-stage languages.
The next step of evolution was naturally to build ways so that the machines talk our language, not vice-versa. Thus, No-Code tools were born. The No-Code tools that I have come across today deploy a drag and drop functionality. That being said, multiple applications currently in development that can even build features of an app or a website by simply understanding what we’re saying!
No-code is here and it won’t be long before this functionality encompasses text-to-speech and you’ll be (literally) talking to your computer to build the next big thing.
A small side note: no-code web tools aren’t new. Wix, Squarespace and the likes have been around for a while. However, the host of applications available, the possibility of customization, and the increased number of features & integrations per application have made it a viable & exciting space to watch out for!
So… I don’t need to pay someone to make my portfolio?
Well, If you have fairly basic expectations (or huge expectations and some time at hand) — the answer to that is no!
No-Code democratises technical skills for the everyday person. For example, someone like me who had completely forgotten everything about domains, hosting, design and websites in general was able to get mine and my father’s website up in no time!
How did I do it?
I started by listing my requirements — which were fairly simple:
- Simple, clean, no-fuss UX: I wanted a clean way to present my work, my personality, interests, projects, hobbies etc. It can get confusing at times when your website has too many elements and I needed a guide to get that right.
- Templates for inspiration: To pick aspects of them that I might not have thought of, or to take design inspiration
- Not very time-intensive: Either extremely intuitive or a flat learning curve
- Support available online: I see no shame in admitting that I do, in fact, Google things plenty of times while building anything 😬 Additionally, strong customer support was key for me because I might not understand how the back-end logic for everything worked.
- Learning opportunity: Sure, I did not want to invest too much time in it, but I wanted to use this opportunity to build a skillset in a tool that could be useful in the future.
- Cost: Essentially, something free. I might have to spend on the domain name & hosting, I didn’t want to put too much into my site before it even started making me money.
A pretty good starting point — for anyone looking for all website related No-Code tools — is this list: https://www.nocode.tech/category/website-builders.
Next, I had to choose one to work with, So, what did I choose?
And the winner is… carrd.co! 🎉
- Functionality: Carrd was the easiest, cleanest option to make websites where I can dictate the UX of my site.
- Flat Learning Curve: If you’ve used drag and drop tools before, this is a piece of cake. The user interface is simple and convenient, and by the time you’ve made your first website, you’re already a pro.
- Support: The Carrd community is fairly active and there are plenty of tutorials available online to create the final website. Add to that, Carrd is run by a meticulous developer, who replies to all his queries personally — taking customer support to a new level.
- Cost: The basic functionalities ($0) of Carrd were enough for me to make all the pages that I wanted my site to have, and I dabbled into the Pro Trial to check out the features. Additionally, the Pro standard is $19 for a YEAR which is insanely cheap for a product this powerful.
- Integrations: Carrd also has a decent number of integrations available — if required. For example, if I want to add a Stripe widget to add payments to my website, I can do that with a drag & a drop! This functionality is available for pro users only, but it is helpful to know of the possibilities.
These reasons made the choice fairly easy and made my life significantly easier. I definitely put a little more thought into what actually goes into the website — a topic for another article altogether. I will also be writing a step by step tutorial on how to use this tool, along with all that I learnt about it.
My website was ready in 2 days flat, without working full-time on it. Compare that with hiring an entity, explaining your requirements, getting a draft, making edits, and paying them.
No-code was a game-changer for me, and could be one for you too.