Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free and Low Cost Websites

I've been writing seriously since 1993, yet I don't have an author's website. I often tell myself this is something I should do, yet I keep putting it off. While I do have one published book, it seems like a lot of work to create a website to market only one book. Most of my work has been short stories and non-fiction articles for magazines. Is this really something that needs to be on a web site?

Recently, on one of the forums I frequent, there was quite a bit of discussion about creating an author website. The consensus is that it is important. It also appears that most people believe it is better to go with a paid domain name rather than one of the freebies which are available. Godaddy (https://www.godaddy.com/)seems to be the one most people prefer. They have several plans, one of which is quite reasonable. Still, if I'm not bringing in consistently large sums of money, I'm not sure I want to pay for my website - at least not yet.

Some of the free domain and web sites which have been mentioned as being around for awhile and reliable are Yola, Weebly and Tripod. Of course, there is the sad state of Geocities which many people have used for a number of years. They recently informed their users that they will be going out of business. So how long will Yola, Weebly and Tripod be around?

Tripod apparently (http://www.tripod.lycos.com/)has ads as part of their free service. It has been said that the presence of ads makes your site look unprofessional, yet many writers do use it and like it. I'm looking into Yola (http://www.yola.com/) and Weebly (http://www.weebly.com/)both of which offer free subdomains, and I've been told they do not have a lot of ads. One problem with these two sites seems to be the lack of templates. Still, if someone is technologically challenged, as I am, maybe less is better.

Once I decide I have the time to devote to this exercise of creating a website, I still need to determine what should be put on it. Just as I would check out a magazine before submitting, I will need to look at some other writers' websites to see what they have done with their material. I've seen some sites which are interactive, lively, and packed with information. I've also seem some which are boring and lifeless.

What are you using? How do you feel about the importance of building a website? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

2 comments:

  1. GoDaddy is obscenely cheap - you can go as low as about $3 per month. But if you're looking for something free and easy to use, you might also consider Webs.com (http://www.webs.com/) which has an easy drag and drop website creator, Google Sites (http://sites.google.com/) or Wordpress.com (http://www.wordpress.com/).

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  2. Thanks for the tips on other places to check out. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving the comment.

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