How I got off social media, and made a personal site for my art, hobbies, and dwindling sanity.

This page will be geared towards helping other artists with minimal coding skills get a personal site + store running. I'll show my own weird roundabout route to making a site that suits my personal needs as a professional artist. If you're not an artist, it could help as well!

Note: I'm using my desktop computer to do everything. If you only have a mobile device, your options are more limited and you might just have to settle with carrd.

Here we go!

Last updated: April 14th, 2023

Why make a site?

Every single artist I know hates social media. We all feel pressured to be on there to show off and monetize our work. No matter how financially dependent we may or may not be, we shouldn't throw all our art efforts into the black hole social media. And that's where a personal site comes into play.

I've seen other artists say making a site is intimidating. They don't even know where to start, let alone code. They don't have time to learn coding, and it seems hard compared to just making art. I'm a tech noob too, with very limited time and limited language learning skills. But I managed to throw something together that I liked. So let's decentralize from social media by learning together!

We already have twitter and insta and tumblr. Why go through the trouble of making our own sites?

An Art Gallery: You can't find shit on socmed.

It's easy to lose art we make and enjoy in the constantly updating landscape of social media. You post something one day, and it'll be buried by 1000 other posts by the next. How many times have we tried going through an artist's media tab to look at their work, but it's full of reaction gifs and gacha screenshots? Now imagine you're a recruiter trying to hire an artist, but you can't find their art.

It's much easier for viewers to peruse your art (and become fans or hire you) if you have a curated gallery on a static site. Upload and delete what you want! Make multiple pages for different styles and mediums! Display your art exactly as you want it to be seen, rather than let twitter destroy your hard work with crops and compression!!

Social media has become increasingly hostile to certaint types of art as well. We blanket the hostility as a "porn ban", but topics considered too "pornographic" for social media can be the most mundane things: from LGBTQ resources, anti-racism education, sex education, sexual assault survivor resources, or just porn (which has the right to be shared).

A fairly minute proportion of my art depicts sexual acts. But any person who depicts anything vaguely counter-culture, be it fluffy gay hand-holding, activism resources, or depictions of violence and sex ("romanticized" or not), is affected by the "porn bans"

It's much easier to find web hosts that allow more freedom than the mass communication (beholden to advertisers) that is social media.

A Store: You can't list items on socmed.

Most socmed platforms (twitter, tumblr) have no store support. You're gonna be using clunky google forms to take orders, and getting burnt by people who promise to buy your thing but never send you money. Having a shop outside of social media means that you can just set it up, and link to the listing whenever someone wants to buy something. Most store platforms automate the process of getting money and buying the shipping label, so you don't have to manually do all that like you would with a mail order form.

Social media platforms (instagram, facebook) that do have a marketplace often have one static look for everyone. There's a lot of stuff from a LOT of people with no curation, and it all looks unprofessional and unbranded cuz the used cars are next to the used toilets are next to Aunt Karen's misinformation campaign, and those are all next to your art.

Social media is meant to supplement your shop as advertising. We post that we have a new thing out on a bunch of different platforms, just trying to get people to go to our one store platform. Big ass corporations and small artists alike use social media this way!


This site, SCUMSUCK.COM, is hosted on Vercel. I type the site's HTML and CSS in Visual Studio Code with the Live Preview extension to see changes without needing to upload. I then sync to Github via Github Desktop or use VScode's built-in Source Control tab, then push it to Vercel for the final site that you can see here.

My Journey:

I moved to Neocities as my art portfolio host in the Summer of 2021, because Wix did not allow me to sell "adult content" (my eroguro art). Plus the drag-and-drop site customization is slow and didn't allow me to have full control of the site's look.

Neocities' adult content policies are relatively lax, and having full control of the HTML/CSS has been fun. I've been learning HTML/CSS by myself by using the "view source" and "inspect element" tools on websites I like, and building fansites for fun.

I've since moved to Vercel on a whim. Vercel is a good bit more powerful than Neocities. My images load faster, and there's tons of tools to connect to (like the aforementioned Git version control).


When making art, it's always great to have visual references for what is possible for your current skill level.

The design of this site is inspired by:

  • 2007-2014 Tumblr blogs.
  • 1990's-2000's repositories, such as the bluntly humorous rotten dot com library, or the paysitesmustbedestroyed archive's simplicity.
  • 1990's-2000's cutesy Neopets pages.

For many people of my generation, these sites were the first experience we had with the concept of HTML/CSS, and I carry these experiences with me into my adulthood.

I'd like to maintain the 90's web feel of my childhood, with modern accessibility. I do not believe that old web aesthetic needs to have constant flashing gifs and unreadable font and color combinations. Especially if those things can actively harm and alienate people. I use the content of my website (the words, the thoughts, and images) as my creative expression, with the web design accentuating my creativity.

What websites from the past or present do you think look cool? You can learn from those sites by using the "view source" and "inspect element" tools when you right click on the page.


ā“Misconception: Doesn't it cost a lot to own your own site?

šŸ§ BIG BRAIN TIME: You can make your own site for FREE or $5 or BEST OFFER!

A web host stores your site so people online can look at it. I'll focus on free hosts, with options for paying for more complex plans if you like the host.

My current setup

I currently use Vercel to host my site. Vercel's free plan is very robust, and as far as I can tell it accepts NSFW art. I use the combination of Github desktop into Github to push my updates automatically from my computer to my site. It's very helpful for uploading a lot of images at once.

My current setup may be bit hard to navigate for total beginners. I'd recommend at least learning Git once you've dabbled a little into webdev, because it'll help you backup your site and update it more efficiently.


Neocities is probably the easiest host to use for total beginners.

Neocities lets you do all the dirty HTML yourself, without being locked into a Squarespace or Wix template. It allows any content legal in the USA, which for me is very relevant because I want to upload NSFW art. There are also tons of other independent websites for you to browse on the main page, it's cool to be a small part of a ~community~ that you're not forced to interact with. It's free too!

I've paid $5 every month for a paid plan. With the paid plan you get to use a domain name, and you get a bit more storage space for files. The paid plan isn't necessary at all if you're just starting out. But who knows, you may be a freak like me who uploads 1000 comic pages on your site!

Neocities's downsides are that it only allows certain file types (images, text, but no videos or exes lol), and it is intentionally limited to more basic static site building. There is also no moderation or support, so if you run into a problem with your site or see something really horrible on the Neocities directory, you will most likely NOT get an email response!

As of Feburary, 2023, Neocities does not allow age-related kink (DDLG, ABDL, Lo/Sho) illustrations on their site due to their registrar's demands. Let's see if their registrar has any issue with the hate speech sites!

There are lots of other choices for free site hosts! Neocities is just a stepping stone IMO. I have reviewed some other site hosts on my blog.

Many sitebuilder options like Wix, Carrd, and Squarespace do not let you easily transfer your site should you want to switch hosts (especially because their code is so sloppy). Trust me, it was hell manually transferring my comics from Wix to Neocities.

With a HTML-based site, I could easily save my pages (in text files!) and push them onto another host with the content mostly intact. Especially if I accidentally delete something! I totally did not just do that the other day.

I've heard many good things about using Wordpress as a start for your website, and using the multiple plug-ins for it.

Domain Name

A domain is your site's URL. You type that in to go to the site. Mine is You don't need to buy one, but they look professional and are easy to type. Domain names cost about $10 USD at the low end. You may find sales that lock you into many years of the same domain, and you may pay more for vanity domains like .gay. Check your own country's registrars to see if they have better prices.


  • Google Domains is trusted. It's Google. I've used it before with no problem.
  • Namecheap is another one I've used before with no problem.
  • Porkbun seems to have the cheapest prices for a regular .com address.
  • Pretty much everyone says avoid GoDaddy. I've heard they hoard your domain for ransom if you don't renew it in time. I'm sure they've done other bad things too.

Domain Setup

  1. Buy your domain.
  2. Link your domain to your host. Neocities has its own tutorial on this! The process is much the same on other hosts.
  3. ??? You'll have to wait a while for the domain to connect to your host. It could take a day or so, in my experience with Neocities. With Vercel, the connection was near instant.
  4. Profit.You are now the proud owner of a website with a domain. Please dance and laugh at the peons around you that are still using peepee1523.carrd.poo.

Setting up shop

I'm currently using Ecwid. Ecwid, last time I checked on Jan 2022, allows anything legal in the USA (excluding firearms). That means I can sell my GORE and HORROR and PEEPEE comics. Thanks!

Ecwid's customization isn't the most thorough, though they allow some manual CSS alterations. There are ways to customize your storefront more thoroughly (see the Fujoboard site), but I don't know of them. I've detailed some of my thought process with customizing Ecwid in a blog post.

I'd rather spend more time customizing my personal site, so I'm okay with the restrictive slick template of Ecwid.

Etsy is a good starter shop, because it has a very large marketplace where people are already searching for gifts. In the past 70% of my customers have come from Etsy's organic search function, rather than needing me to shill on social media constantly. I've even grown my audience from people finding my art first on Etsy. International taxes are mostly taken care for you, if you do VATs yourself it's a headache.

The sourest point about Etsy is the high fees (20 cents per listing plus around 10% of the selling price including shipping.) Every "free" platform has its price! The support is very... strange... There have been multiple instances of money mysteriously disappearing people's accounts, with Etsy just hand-waving it was a mistake.

Etsy takes copyright complains very seriously, and too many strikes will lead to your shop being taken down permanently (as well as banning all your side accounts and preventing you from making new accounts). Corporations trawl Etsy's popular marketplace to take down fanart (even if your work is not fanart, and it's just tagged "Itachi" for the Japanese weasel). In the worst case of DMCA woes, competitors will falsely flag your item and Etsy often sides with whoever files the complaint.

Finally, the state of NSFW art is tenuous on Etsy. They don't allow "pornography", you must censor your thumbnail for nudity, and they've been banning fantasy dildoes that look too animalistic. It's a gamble whether they'll take down your listing for a yaoi manga for being "pornography".

Other store options include but are not limited to:

  • Storenvy (free, but with high marketplace fees)
  • Bigcartel (Only 5 listings for the free plan, I know people use them for flash sales)
  • Woocommerce (free, with the most customization, but you need to have tech knowledge to set everything up)

Don't put your eggs in one basket! Spread your presence all around! Have a personal site shop, have an Etsy, have an Ebay, have it all! The more presences you have around the web, the easier it is for people to find you. And if any one of the stores close down for whatever reason, you'll always have your other sites as backup.

Pretty-ing your site

The simplest, most accessible languages a site can be coded in are HTML and CSS. That's what I'm using right now! HTML is the content of the site, and CSS styles it.

I type all my HTML and CSS in VScode. With Neocities, you can type in their editor (great if you want to code on your phone at 4am) or drag and drop pre-typed HTML files. With many of the more complex hosting options I've mentioned above, you can sync your HTML files directly to something like Github (VScode has a build in syncing option), which will automatically push updates to your site. I dragged and dropped for the longest time, but the Github synchronization has really helped my ADHD and workflow so I don't forget which files I've changed.

Javascript (JS) is used on sites with interactive elements, like form submissions. Some people, like me, have noscript extensions on which block JS from running. Build the most important things on your site to be viewable without JS!

Many modern webdev practices recommend using a Static Site Generator (SSG) to make your site. It's useful if you want the same layout on many pages (like on blogs), or want repeating elements like navbars. It may be a bit heavy for beginners, or folks with only a couple of pages. Astro seems to be one of the easier SSGs to setup, just because they have a tutorial that holds your hand through all the steps. Other SSGs I've seen people suggest are Hugo, Jekyll, and Eleventy.

A Content Management System (CMS) will also help you make a blog and keep track of your posts. I've used Publii for 5 minutes and it seems easy enough to use if you'd rather spend more time writing posts rather than making the site. The customization options are limited, while there are paid and free "themes", but you can mangle it into making blog posts, displaying art galleries (much easier than with plain HTML/CSS), or documentation pages! Plus it'll probably be easier for most people to write in their text editor rather than rewriting all the brackets of writing bold and italics in HTML.

Feel free to Right click-> View Source or Inspect Element on any code element of my website you'd like to copy for your own site. I am not the most experienced or clean coder, but my site works for me!

For absolute beginners, I recommend starting off of a template (see below), and altering them to learn HTML/CSS. At least, that's how I learned HTML/CSS! Via altering tumblr themes! I didn't do any courses, or go through W3school tutorials (those are recommended though have outdated info), because my brain can't work that way. My brain worked best by having a goal in mind, like wanting to make an about page, and search how to do things like "make a navbar" or "have two columns". Turns out flexbox is my best friend!

Coding resources:

Now what?!

Now that you have a site, what shall you do?

  • Use your site to host your Deep Thoughts! I could have written a 5000 tweet thread on making a website... or I could just host it here and have control over the context in which the information is displayed.

    Mirror your thoughts on social media if you want to show them off to strangers, and it'll be a neat tidy one-tweet link with text you can update at any time.

  • Use your site to show off your art in a portfolio! Show only what you want, from 10 years ago or 1 hour ago, not just the pieces that happen to get the most reblogs. Art and writing goes to die after 5 minutes on social media, buried in the media tab for no one to find. You'll want a portfolio if you want to easily show your work to friends, family, strangers, and recruiters.

  • Use your site for FUN and SANITY! It's been very creatively fulfilling to have a hobby like webdev that I don't monetize like my art. Whenever I have artblock, I go to coding and typing (which in turn informs my writing), and it frees up my mind to have something to do on the computer other than work.

  • Use your site for non-commercial, non-artistic purposes! You do not have to make your website professional - after all, that's my my shop site is for. Even if you don't draw or write or main any other creative hobbies, you can make pages about your favorite characters, or to hold thoughts on books you like, or just talk about your dogs! It's actually a great act of resistance to have a website that's not used simply as a business card, going against the current trend of all web development being for monetization purposes. Everyone who has a site about nothing in particular is POGGED UP on a Sunday afternoon, and I salute you.

  • Use your website to link to your favorite things! Link to other sites you like! Link to your friends! Make buttons to share with buddies! Your page can start small, and grow large and long like a beautiful self eating snake. And it's pretty dang cool to link to other link pages that link to other link pages.

The end?

The end for now! I'm still learning web dev, and no doubt my site will change as I grow and change.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments on this page. And show me your site if you make one!!!

See ya real soon....