How a “code-dummy” like myself built a fully functional website for my side hustle in 3 hours.
A funny story behind my last side gig and a review of a hidden gem I stumbled upon.
Before we start, I would lie if I told you that I have no experience at all.
I have been into digital marketing for quite some time, with good projects in my portfolio and proven record of actual work, and I assume it is pretty safe to say that I have strong foundations regarding (almost) all “to-do’s” that are required during the process of materializing your idea and making it come to life.
On the other hand, I quickly realized that, for every project I worked on, regardless if it is mine business or some of the side gigs — I had a developer behind me to do the actual building and implementation regarding all ideas that came to my mind, and that I wanted to create!
In that specific moment I started laughing because I just realized why I love this industry in first place…
I just realized that I can automate the complete user acquisition process from multiple channels, but here I am, sitting in front of my laptop, looking at my wireframe and all funnel flows in it, realizing that I am not sure how to build a website from scratch because I NEVER DID IT MYSELF.
(kudos to all my dev friends and colleagues that done the heavy lifting for me…)
Now, I used many LP builders before, like LeadPages and ClickFunnels for my marketing needs, but I have never created a basic website from scratch by myself and now — I had to do it.
Let the fun begins…
So, I sat down and started connecting the dots…
I knew my needs, I knew what I want to achieve with my website, I had the content, and the complete wireframe…
I just needed to learn the moves…
Looking at the powerhouse website builders; on the one hand, I had Wix and Squarespace.
Pretty much the two most accessible tools on the market, but, for all their accessibility, they do have pretty steep price points and as a marketer — if something sounds “too good” — than it probably is.
Considering the number of sorely missing features from their cheaper subscription options, and the fact that you don’t have complete ownership of the website you end up building on one of these platforms, it’s best to put these two aside.
Plus, the remarking efforts of Wix are almost as annoying as Shawn Menses ads on YouTube, so this was my chance for revenge…
On the other hand, you have WordPress, inarguably the most customizable and flexible CMS out there, but not strictly a website builder right off the bag.
Cue the real dealbreaker.
Having experience with hosting, domains, website security, performance, and everything in-between is a tall order, which was not a big issue for me…
in order to actually do some work I still lacked the necessary coding skills…
WordPress.org doesn’t work on the same “log in and start building” basis as the other two builders I mentioned earlier…
So the whole idea for me at that moment was to find the “tool” that will help me leverage the benefits of Wordpress while giving me a dummy drag and drop building option, with some templates I could use and edit… I went trough Google, suggested articles, Product Hunt, Facebook groups, and came across a handy platform called 10Web.
What’s the Big Deal?
What’s so off-putting about starting on WordPress.org is all the fetching you have to do. You have to get yourself a hosting service, a domain name and all the technical specifics that come with them.
You need to figure out what theme to use (and pay for it since everything that is good — costs money), and all the necessary plugins to tailor your website to your needs (builders, survey tools, live chat, etc…)
After all of that, comes the maintenance part, i.e. all the components you need to maintain a high-quality website, such as backup, security, etc.
What I found in my brief time using 10Web, is that having every single component accessible through a single interface, while retaining all of WordPress’s good stuff is in theory as close to the ideal platform as it gets.
How Does It Work?
The thing that struck me first is that the entire process is linear. Starting from hosting, to building, customizing, and ultimately launching your website, which is unheard of in the realm of WordPress.
Guys behind 10Web have trivialized the process of building your website to the same level of Squarespace and its ilk.
You simply sign-up, and you’re immediately taken to your dashboard; this is where your website is hosted, where you build it, launch it, and maintain it.
EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE BABY!
When you first install a website, you’re given a subdomain (you can add your own domain if you already have one), this completely cancels out the necessity of going out of your way to purchase a domain for your website, before even building it.
Given the fact that I am a spoiled millennial from digital industry — this is a big deal for me.
Then you’re redirected to the website builder section.
This is where they had my love.
Here you have a selection of pre-made templates to preview and choose from.
Once you’ve picked your website’s template, you can just click the edit button and start building your website.
It is like I was in ClickFunnels, building my funnel, but I am doing it on Wordpress, at friction of the cost, with EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE.
The builder’s powered by Elementor, which is one of the most popular page builder plugins for WordPress.
(This is a strong claim, backed by few searches on Google, I admit it, I have read it on the Internet, since as I said, I am not into Worpdress world that much…)
It uses a drag and drop system, where you simply drag different elements to where you want them on your page, then customize them to act and look the way you’d want them to.
Now, what really impressed me is that it is super intuitive, where you personally never touch a single line of code, yet your pages’ code stays concise and optimized.
For average user, this is not important, but if you are into SaaS industry and you do marketing for a living, you know how hard it is to create a flawless user journey.
Kudos to the 10Web team.
There’s a plugins section in the dashboard that lets you add plugins to any additional functions that you find missing. When you’re done building your website, it’s just a matter of saving the changes you’ve made and you have yourself your very own website.
The icing on the cake is even though my experience was more than satisfactory up to this point, with the hosting and builder, there’s all the rest of the stuff that comes baked in the dashboard too.
Worth mentioning is the fact that after I build my website, I played around with the platform and found that all of your website’s security, backup, speed optimization, and even its SEO tools, are all included in the dashboard, with some seriously useful options and functionalities to boot.
“I GOT THE 99 PROBLEMS BUT THE CODE AIN’T ONE!” — Jay Z
So, What’s the Catch?
Well, it’s still WordPress in spirit. While that’s not inherently a bad thing (quite the contrary in fact), there are only a couple of things that sullied my experience of this whole thing, but I’d say that it’s not a huge deal considering the massive number of positives outweighing it.
For example, if you’re serious about the project you’re starting, and you want to take things beyond just building a website on a whim, then the subdomain 10Web gives you won’t do you much good when things start picking up a bit.
It’s great if you just want to test things out and build yourself a website on WordPress, but in the long run, you should get yourself a proper domain for your website.
“Buy your domain — do not be a rookie.” — Dalai Lama
The other one is the fact that while you can install, activate, update, delete, and insert plugins in your website through the 10Web dashboard and builder, to customize and access any specific plugins’ settings, you still have to go to your website’s WordPress dashboard.
That’s one of the very rare cases where you’re forced to switch to a second dashboard.
Both cases weren’t too much of a problem to really affect my experience with the product, and it’s my understanding that they are working on providing website domains and not just subdomains in the future.
Overall, it’s a noteworthy effort to bring WordPress to the accessibility levels of a platform such as Squarespace.
While there were a couple of hiccups that I wish were done differently, there’s no denying that the amount of consumer-friendly features that WordPress brings to the table compared to other platforms, makes it worth your time.
If you are a marketer that lacks true coding skills (like myself) — this is something that will make you feel like eating yo Moma’s ice-cream pancakes for the first time again!
If you are an experience Wordpress guy, then this is something you should not miss, since if it was easy for me, I guess that it will be a walk in the park for you.
Either way, you should check out this platform and give it a spin. I guarantee you will not regret it.