Building your own Website

How I built this Website originally

 
I used NameCheap for my DNS and routing ($10 a year). I used their Namecheap Logo Maker to build the Logo for this site. I use Netlify for my hosting, as it's free and offers SSL as standard. I use Publii for constructing and uploading the website, its fast and easy to use. For this website I use the Documentation Theme ($30, once off). I use Soundgasm to host my free audios, and Anchor to distribute my Podcast. My Digital Storefront is run through GetDPD ($10 per month) as they specialise in Digital Products. My free Newsletter is run through ButtonDown.

The Process of Building a Website

Following this process will allow you to build a FAST, secure website that costs less to run per-month than any other site guide I've seen out there. This site has SSL, traffic analytics, contact forms, and is CHEAP to run.

  1. Find the Niche. Do they have money? Can you reach them? What are their problems? Come up with ideas and proofcheck. DO THIS FIRST!
  2. Get a relevant domain from Namecheap ($10-15 per year)
  3. Register a free email address from ProtonMail (free).
  4. Create your content / product. Do this BEFORE messing around with site.
  5. Open account with Netlify (free).
  6. Build your Logo with Namecheap or LogoHub
  7. Download Publii, build your site content.
  8. Setups Menus, upload to Netlify.
  9. Enable SSL.
  10. Redirect Domain Name to Netlify using these instructions.
  11. Track users with Clicky.
  12. (Optional) Embed a Contact Form using JotForm.
  13. Optimise site as described below.

How I would build this Website, starting over from scratch

Honestly, there's probably nothing I'd change - I'm very happy with the simplicity, resiliency and security of my current setup. However, there is another path I could take.

StackBit is still in BETA and should not be used for production sites.

Setting the whole thing up from start to finish would take less than ten minutes. I'd still use NameCheap ($10 a year) so my DNS was hosting-provider independant. 

I'd build the site using StackBit, a kind of meta-environment for Static Site Builders. I'd choose a Theme, use Hugo as my Site Generator, Forestry as my CMS, then deploy to Netlify and Github for hosting and SSL.

I would write my Pages and Posts in plain text and save them locally. I'd then upload them into Forestry CMS, add formatting, headings, images and hyperlinks and push the changes to the site there. I'd keep a local, hardcopy backup of all site text, images and audio, as well as all design files and notes in ARQ, and I'd use DropBox to link a simple, one click download for all the free files so people can dump them and look at them later as desired.

Measuring Website Performance

Use GTMetrix to run both Google's PageSpeed Insights and Yahoo's YSlow tests at the same time, it also has a lot of useful information on how exactly to optimise the speed of your site.

More testing tools include Googles PageSpeed Insights, CoffeeCups Sonar or SolarWinds PingDom

Optimising the Performance of a Static Site created with Publii

In descending order, the biggest differences you can make are:

  1. Get a _headers file for content caching, upload this through the file browser section, there's an example _headers file in the downloads section, just open it and change the URL to your own.
  2. Optimise Image Sizes using https://tinypng.com/
  3. Combine, Minify and Defer loading of JS and CSS https://jscompress.com/ 

Optimising Website Performance of a Wordpress-based Site

In descending order, the biggest differences you can make are:

  1. Use a fast Hosting Company like NameCheap ($4pm) or Siteground ($5pm)
  2. Install AutoOptimise or WPRocket
  3. Combine, Minify and Defer loading of JS and CSS https://jscompress.com/ 

Creating Written Content for a Website

 
Depending on the content, it can vary a little as sometimes I'll use Evernote to capture ideas. Generally when I’m writing, I use WorkFlowy for the Outline and Research Phase, Cold Turkey Writer ($10, once off) for the initial draft. I write and store all my posts and pages in Evernote. Final formatting and adding links is done in Publii before publishing to the site. I'm currently writing a book, and for that I use Scrivener
 
I'm looking at writing all my future content in CommonMark-compliant Markdown for maximum ease of moving it around if needed, and because I don't need anything beyond basic formatting, links and headings. For writing that I'll use MarkText, then insert links and images directly before publishing.

Macintosh Specific Software Choices

 
If I was writing on a Mac, I'd use OmniOutliner, Ulysses and Bear

Further Resources

The Best of the Best and the Essentials 

 
 
 
 
Static Website Hosting - https://www.netlify.com/ 
 
Podcast Hosting - https://anchor.fm/
 
Content Management System - https://getpublii.com/
 
 
Improving Speed - https://gtmetrix.com/

Information

 

The Big Master List of Tools both Used or Useful

God Bless America.

 
 
Domain Name and DNS Services - https://www.namecheap.com/ 
 

Managing your Email List - https://moosend.com

Online Forms and Collecting Data - https://www.jotform.com/

Writing a Privacy Policy - https://www.privacypolicies.com/  

Improving Speed and Performance -https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ , https://tools.pingdom.com/ , https://validator.w3.org , https://gtmetrix.com/ , https://varvy.com/ 

Gethering Website Analytics -https://clicky.com/ - https://www.inspectlet.com/ - https://logrocket.com/ - https://www.fullstory.com

Optimising for Mobile Users - https://varvy.com/mobile/ - https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Formatting and CSS - https://www.w3schools.com 

Minifying JS / CSS - https://jscompress.com/ - https://www.minifier.org/ 

Incorporating Emoji - https://getemoji.com  

 
Selling Digital Downloads - https://getdpd.com/
 
Collecting Online Payments - https://snipcart.com/
 
Selling Tickets to Events - https://www.stickytickets.com.au/
 
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - https://www.semrush.com/ 
 
Screen-sharing and Troubleshooting - https://anydesk.com/en 

WordPress Specific

 
 
 
 
Privacy Respecting Analytics - https://wordpress.org/plugins/matomo/ 
 

Static Site Specific

 
Site Builder and Content Management System - https://getpublii.com/