The Best Way to Build an Author Website

One common question that authors ask is how to build an author website, and some authors wonder if they really need a website at all.

A website is an essential tool for all authors. You need an online hub to send people to (everyone from potential customers and fans, to influencers and the media) and a place to showcase your books and your credentials.

By using a blogging platform to build your site, you can easily create a combination website and blog, all on one site, or just create a traditional website without a blog. For most authors, it’s the easiest and cheapest way to create an author website.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the terminology, a blog is a particular type of website where people post articles periodically. This article is a blog post and you can see a link to the blog section of my website in the navigation menu near the top of my site. Other links in the menu go to other parts of my site.

Here are the platforms that I recommend considering for your author website:

WordPress.org is the most powerful platform, offering the most flexibility and design options, plus lots of “plug-ins” to perform various functions. This is the tool that professional online marketers use. The platform is free, but expect to pay around $10 a month for web hosting services. To learn how to build, use, or improve your WordPress site, I highly recommend Blog Aid’s training programs.

Authors should be aware that there is a different version of WordPress called WordPress.com. There is a free version or you can pay a fee for certain upgrades. I don’t recommend WordPress.com because there are some limitations to the service. For example, Javascript is not allowed, which may cause problems with things like installing an opt-in form for your mailing list. And the terms and conditions of the service limit or prohibit advertising on your site – you can get details here.

TypePad is a good compromise between ease of setup and features. It’s the platform that I use, but I would use WordPress.org if I were starting over today. Expect to pay $9 to $15 a month, and there’s a discount for annual payment.

Blogger is free and it’s the easiest to set up, but it has some limitations in terms of what can be included on the site. This may be a good choice for single book authors who want to keep it really simple.

Related Articles

What’s the Most Important Thing on an Author Website?

Author Blogs – Use Categories to Organize Your Posts

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This is a reprint from Dana Lynn Smith‘s The Savvy Book Marketer.

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