Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kate's Guide to Author Websites, Part II

This is part of Kate's Guide to Author Websites.

Choosing Your Path
The nuts and bolts of getting your author website up and running involves three basic actions:
  1. Register a domain name.
  2. Choose a hosting service.
  3. Create the website itself.
Unfortunately, you really shouldn't look at these as a step-by-step process of decision making, because they are deeply interdependant. Deciding on a path is like building a tasty, well-balanced meal from a bunch of casseroles.

Click on the links above for details about each.  However, it's a lot of information, so I'll make it easy for you by providing three options you can use right now with no further fuss.

Path One
Make a website here on blogger.com.  If you don't want to extend your existing blog, create a new one.  Use a different email address if you need to (I recommend creating one on gmail.com)  Go to Customize->Posting->Edit Pages to create new pages, and add navigation.  Under Settings->Publishing->Custom domain, you can purchase a domain name for $10/yr.  Your blog is still hosted for free here on Blogger, but both the original blogspot.com and your new domain name will both point to it.

Path Two
If you want something less bloggy, go to weebly.com and create a free website.  The process is self-explanatory.  If you like what you come up with, go to the settings tab and click on Change site address.  Choose Register a domain if you don't already have one.  They will do the DNS setup for you and charge about $40/year.  If you want to save a little money but have a little more work to do, purchase the domain at GoDaddy.com for about $10/year first.

Path Three
Hire a professional and let them handle all this stuff.  I'll talk more about hiring a professional in a later installment, but perhaps the most interesting point is that it will probably cost at least $2000 if it's worth doing at all, and there are still lots of decisions to make.  So actually, there is some fuss with this one.

Check back for Part III: Design Considerations


  1. Two THOUSAND pounds? *dies of shock* I am in the wrong job.

  2. Actually, 2000 US dollars (on the low end), but you get the idea. Professional website design is expensive because it takes a lot of time, requires both artistic talent and technical skill, a ton of knowledge, and some very expensive and hard-to-learn software. It's not going to be a cost-effective investment for everyone, but sometimes it's what you need.