In the following article, I will discuss the disadvantages and advantages of Notion as a website builder or Content Management System (CMS) and will show you step-by-step how you can convert a Notion page into your personal website.
The great thing about Notion is that it is so much more than just the next productivity app. Since I started using Notion in 2020, the app already replaced tools like Google Docs, Asana, or Evernote from my business workflow.
Just recently I became aware that Notion could also be used as a website builder or CMS.
So, will Notion replace WordPress in 2022?
Let’s have a look at Notion’s website-building capabilities.
First: Why should anybody use Notion as a CMS for websites?
I mean there are plenty of proven alternatives on the market: WordPress, Webflow, Squarespace, Wixx to name just a few.
So, why should anybody use Notion instead?
First and foremost: If you are already an avid Notion user, just sticking to this app and converting your existing pages, might be easier and more intuitive than hoping to a new platform like WordPress or Squarespace. Plus, if you are already writing your blog posts in Notion why not use it as your CMS and publish your content directly from Notion? This could save you tons of time.
However, there are several disadvantages you should be aware of:
First, despite all the available templates and customizations Notion websites look very much like Notion pages. That might not be a big deal within the Notion community. However, for people outside of the Notion tribe, the web pages might look a bit unusual.
Moreover, Notion works best on Desktop but nowadays most websites are accessed on mobile devices. Therefore, Notion is not a good solution for “complicated” websites, where users need to click a lot. However, this is not an issue with simple and minimalistic websites as you will see at the end of this article.
For what user type is a Notion Website working best?
If you wish to create an online shop, Shopify or WordPress in combination with Woocommerce is the way to go.
If you want to sell a product or service and need a landing page, web flow or WordPress Elementor would be the best choices.
However, Notion is a good solution if you just want to publish your personal blog or your personal CV homepage.
- Blogs because of the ease of adding new content to your website. You can write the posts in Notion and immediately publish them on the web.
- Personal CV homepage because of the ease of setting those pages up in Notion, even if you don’t know any Html or CSS.
How can you convert a Notion page into a website?
Let me show you the workflow in the following step-by-step tutorial. As an example, I will try to turn my personal Notion CV page into a public homepage.
One important note: If you want to use Notion as a CMS (and don’t want to code yourself), you still need 3rd party no-code-tools to convert it into a static homepage. Two of the most popular are Super and Popsy. I will test both in the following process.
Let’s begin with Super:
Notion as a website builder with Super – A Step-to-step guide
You can publish your website with super within 3 minutes. To start just Sign into Super and click on “New Site ” on the right top corner of the dashboard.
Enter a name and copy the Notion Page that you want to use for your website.
Within some seconds Super will create the website for you. If you click now on “name.super.site” you can already see the basic version of your template.
Probably this is already enough for you? However, in many cases, you still want to customize it more.
So, what can you do? Let’s look at all the options available.
Here you can change the name of your site and also the link to the Notion page.
Change the default domain name (subdomain of super.site). Alternatively, you can connect with a custom domain. E.g. I could use my philipp-stelzel.com domain for this purpose. This is a premium feature. However, I would recommend it, if you wish to create a more professional-looking site. If you are offering professional services, you should always own the domain of your website.
So far, we just have created a single start page. If you wish to have more than just one page on your homepage add them here. Click on “Edit SEO” to add a Meta Title and Description
If you want to show pages on your site, they must be public in Notion and must be child pages of the site’s home page! This way, super assures that you are really just publishing the pages you want to publish.
Super also allows you to create nested pages (subpages of pages). This is important for your site structure. E.g. a blog post should be nested within the blog page, which would look like this /blog/name-of-blog-post/. To do so, just expand the menu of the page (in this case the blog page and add another page.
In this menu, you can change
- the Site’s language,
- add a Favicon,
- decide if you want to make your website searchable for search engines like google,
- enable to show properties on database pages,
- enable displaying the database switcher,
- enable site search,
- and even select whether your calendar week starts on Monday or Sunday
Add custom code into the head or body area of your website. This is for example useful if you want to track your traffic with Google Analytics. You can also add CSS to customize your site even more.
- Change color code. Default is a light theme, you could also use a more neutral look, a dark mode or a blackout (even dark) theme.
- Custom Navbar. Add a Navigation bar to the heading area of your page, choose a logo, clickable pages, or even add a call to action to your heading area.
The basic version of super is free. If you decide to pay $12 per month, you will also get the opportunity to connect your Notion site with a custom domain, password protect your site, and create customized themes and code. I would highly recommend this option for persons who are serious about building their website.
Click on the link, to see the free website I have created with super: https://philipp-stelzel-cv.super.site/
Building your website with Notion and Super is easy and can be done by anyone, even without any knowledge of Html or CSS. The only downside of Super is that it kind of lacks options for customization in the free version.
Can Popsy beat Super in this field? Let’s have a look!
Building Notion Websites with Popsy – A Step-to-step guide
Start by pasting the Notion URL of your page into the field on the popsy start page. Proceed, by naming your site.
In the next step, you can choose the category of your site. In my case, I am choosing CV.
Now your site is getting created. To finalize the design, you either choose one of the available themes, or you can also stick with the simple Notion look.
Popsy also allows you to do some more specific customization. Even after choosing a theme, you can still change the background color, or the fonts and colors of headings, text, and buttons
Similar to Super adding a Logo and Favicon is also possible in the free version.
When you click on the tool symbol in the heading area, the page settings will open. Here you can change the page name, add a meta description, and a page description for Social Media sharing.
How to publish a Popsy page?
Just click on the publish button. One of the biggest pros of using Popsy is the fact that you can use a custom domain for free. This way the domain ending pospy.site is not displayed in the URL and there is no Popsy badge on the website. Still, you can also use a popsy-domain, which will end with popsy.site after beeing published. This way you also don’t pay any money when publishing your website.
In my case, I chose philipp-stelzel.popsy.site. Click on the URL to see how my finished free Popsy website is looking.
Advantages of a Pro Account
If you are paying for the premium account you get the following features.
- Add Google Analytics tracking code (This tool provides very useful data if you’re serious about your page)
- Add custom HTML and CSS to your website (to customize it even more)
Super vs. Popsy
Both Notion website builders offer almost similar features. During my review, I tried to build two similar sites with super and popsy. Decide for yourself which design you like more:
Personally, I found that Poppy is offering more value in the free version. Mostly because it offers more options for customization and because you can use a custom domain. Consequently, Popsy is one of the cheapest website builders for custom domains on the market.
It is also a little bit cheaper than Super in the Pro version. Super costs $12 per month for one website, while the monthly price for Popsy is $8. So, if you just want to publish a simple website, Popsy seems to be the better choice. However, I did a speed test of both my sites with tools.pingdom.com and the results were as follows:
- philipp-stelzel-cv.super.site/ needed 0.8 Seconds to load, while the loading time for https://philipp-stelzel.popsy.site/ was 2.98 seconds.
This is pretty long, and would definitely hurt your SEO rankings on Google. Thus, if you are serious about your website project I would rather opt for Super. See a comparison of all the features in the following table:
|For||CMS, Blogs, Personal||CMS, Blogs, Personal|
|Paid Plan||$ 12||$ 8|
|Templates||4 included||8 included|
Notion Websites vs. WordPress
At the moment, I am using WordPress for all of my professional websites and I will keep on using it even after this test.
Why? Simply, because WordPress is offering much more options for customization at the moment. But, if you have no prior knowledge of web design you can definitely use Super or Popsy. Both tools make it super easy to build a website or start a blog and offer you everything you need for starting a personal homepage.
Did you enjoy reading this post? Follow me on Twitter for more!
PS: Like/Retweet this tweet below if you can:
In my new article, I discuss the pros and cons of Notion as a simple website builder. Plus, I will show you step-by-step how you can easily convert a Notion page into a sexy personal website with @PopsyHQ and @super_ https://t.co/g2J02PtHUQ
— 🚀 Philipp Stelzel – Digital Creator (@dePAKES) March 14, 2022