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Old 01-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
Bri Perkins
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Free website provider?

While I work on my debut novel, I want to begin building a fan base. I was wondering about making a website to do this, posting some short stories I have written in the past.

What are some free websites I can use to make my own site?
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Hi Bri--
Well, I'm not sure websites have anything to do with basic writing questions.

I know you're excited about getting started on your first novel and everything. It's really great, but you don't seem to be researching anything on your own. Please try it.

Try searching on Google. Really, try searching. Are you looking for a blog? Or just some free hosting space? Whatever you want, Google (or your search provider of choice) has the answer. Trust me on this.

But if you really want help, then yeah, I guess I can help. A blog is probably easiest if you want to interact with any fans you get along the way. Take a look at wordpress, blogspot, livejournal, etc. etc. Do your research and figure out which one of these will work best for you, pick it, and start your internet adventure.

Last edited by Dorky; 01-12-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorky View Post
Hi Bri--
Well, I'm not sure websites has anything to do with basic writing questions.

I know you're excited about getting started on your first novel and everything. It's really great, but you don't seem to be researching anything on your own. Please try it.
+1

I'd also suggest that, while there is a plethora of info to be mined here, posting question after question doesn't necessarily write a novel. At some point, you really do need to sit down and ask yourself: is this helping me write, or is this just another delaying tactic so I don't have to face the possibility of failure? (I know quite a bit about delaying tactics, myself, and the fear of failure. Neither get you anywhere you want to be. Trust me on this one.)

That said, I second the recommendation for a blog. It's probably the easiest, quickest way to get your content online. You don't even have to learn HTML or anything - just sign up and go. (Unless, of course, you're in delaying-tactic mode, in which case I'd rather not enable you.)
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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A blog is the easiest starting point. Wordpress can be configured as more of a static site than a blog, if that's what you want. Wordpress.com blogs are free, for the basic configuration - http://www.wordpress.com/

I've got to echo what Brightdreamer has said though - this will all be moot if there's no novel!
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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I agree with what others have said here. Google is your friend.

I use Wix. It's free and has the option of premium membership with added features (like your own domain name) for a small monthly fee. It's easy and the website templates can be made into something pretty amazing with patience and a bit of knowhow. I'm not very tech savvy, but the Help Center takes you though it step by step, and, well, I really like what I've managed to put together. They don't have a blog option as of yet, but it's coming soon. Then you'll be able to blog on your author site and interact with your readers.

It's just what I prefer, but as others have said Wordpress, Blogger and Live Journal are all good options.

I also wanted to add that worrying about an author site at this point is a bit premature. You need to write something first.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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Don't listen to the grumpsters above Google is a mine field of information that can be overwhelming to navigate. Sometimes its easier to first ask the opinion of people you trust, to help set you in the right direction.

It's also great that you want to pin up a few of your short stories. It takes years to build up a blog following, and if you only start once your book is published, it's going to be a little late. (Don't take my word for it though, I've had a website for 3 years and am yet to put any content on it )

If you want to get a website up and running you are going to need three things:
1) A domain name. eg www.Briperkinsthedaugherofherfather.com
2) A host- a computer that will host your website.
3) Software to build the actual site.

Lets start with number 3 first. For a casual developer, your best bet is to look at a content management system. Drupal, joomla, wordpress etc. These allow you to create great looking websites that can handle a ton of information, quickly and easily. I use joomla, but by all accounts, wordpress is the way to go.

Now for number 2, the host. www.wordpress.com has set everything up for you, you just need to sign up, choose a template, and you can be up and running in no time. But unless you pay every month, you are going to have to use their domain name- ie something like www.wordpress.com/briperkins. Its not as professional, but is a lot easier to set up and is probably the best place to start. Find a few tutorials on youtube, and you should be set.
Once you are confident with the process, you can always then move to the next step of setting it up yourself.

Just for more info, I use awardspace to host my site, they're cheap and have a great free option.
I use godaddy to keep my domain- That isn't free, there is a nominal yearly fee.

This should probably be moved to tech help, but if you have any further questions, don't hesitate
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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For right now, Blogger does what I need it to do. (link in the siggy down below) It does look like a blog, of course, but through use of templates and tabs, I (hope I) have all important information (places to buy, free downloads) organized neatly and logically. Somewhere down the line, I might register my own domain name and have it redirect with my existing site/blog, but I haven't done that yet.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorky View Post
Hi Bri--
Well, I'm not sure websites have anything to do with basic writing questions.

I know you're excited about getting started on your first novel and everything. It's really great, but you don't seem to be researching anything on your own. Please try it.

Try searching on Google. Really, try searching. Are you looking for a blog? Or just some free hosting space? Whatever you want, Google (or your search provider of choice) has the answer. Trust me on this.
I agree with that as well. It's great to be keen and confident and that will get you far, but you have to figure out some things on your own or other people's patience will begin to wear thin pretty quickly.

I would recommend that you first go to section 808 the library and browse through some books on how to write, or go buy a good one. You write very clearly so you probably don't need a style guide, but there are some great books on writing novels that go through everything you need to know in order to get started.

You are asking such primary questions here that frankly, talk of building a fan base already seems rather conceited but could very well be the opposite. You can get things done on your own without people to cheer you along each step, I promise. You can do it.
That said, blogging is a great way to practice writing but it can also be another form of procrastination. However, I do second using either wordpress or blogger; both can connect to other apps like facebook, tumblr, etc. But concentrate first on your creative efforts if that is what you want to be doing.

Last edited by Wilde_at_heart; 01-12-2013 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorky View Post
Hi Bri--
Well, I'm not sure websites have anything to do with basic writing questions.

I know you're excited about getting started on your first novel and everything. It's really great, but you don't seem to be researching anything on your own. Please try it.
+1+1

In your new members thread you say that you are studying creative writing at university - do the lecturers/tutors/mentors not give you advice on the many things you you have asked about?
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri Perkins View Post
While I work on my debut novel, I want to begin building a fan base. I was wondering about making a website to do this, posting some short stories I have written in the past.
This strikes me as putting the cart waaaaaay before the horse.

There are a lot of unpublished writers who post excerpts on websites. They don't wind up with a "fan base"; they wind up with maybe a hundred internet buddies.

And that's a very good thing, but please note that people who aren't writers also set up websites and wind up with a hundred internet buddies.

While you're trying to launch your writing career, please don't think in terms of "fans"--because you haven't got any yet--think in terms of "friends". The people you meet online may help you by spreading the word about your release dates, etc., but they'll be doing it because they like you and consider you a friend. It'll be because they've been interacting with you, person-to-person albeit over an internet connection, for a while.

Fans come later, after you've been published. Fans are people so won over by your writing that it's immaterial they've never personally interacted with you. You're not going to have any appreciable number of fans until you've got a book (or several short stories) published and widely read. In the meanwhile, make friends.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ave View Post
If you want to get a website up and running you are going to need three things:
1) A domain name. eg www.Briperkinsthedaugherofherfather.com
2) A host- a computer that will host your website.
3) Software to build the actual site.

Lets start with number 3 first. For a casual developer, your best bet is to look at a content management system. Drupal, joomla, wordpress etc. These allow you to create great looking websites that can handle a ton of information, quickly and easily. I use joomla, but by all accounts, wordpress is the way to go.

Now for number 2, the host. www.wordpress.com has set everything up for you, you just need to sign up, choose a template, and you can be up and running in no time. But unless you pay every month, you are going to have to use their domain name- ie something like www.wordpress.com/briperkins. Its not as professional, but is a lot easier to set up and is probably the best place to start. Find a few tutorials on youtube, and you should be set.
Once you are confident with the process, you can always then move to the next step of setting it up yourself.

Just for more info, I use awardspace to host my site, they're cheap and have a great free option.
I use godaddy to keep my domain- That isn't free, there is a nominal yearly fee.
This is all very good info. However, as Bri is looking for free services right now, I still think the many blog services listed so far are better for her.

Bri, if you do want to move into getting your own domain and everything, here are a few more things to take note of.

If you want to get your own hosted space and domain, this takes more work. You’ll have to research reputable hosts and registrars. For domain names, I recommend Namecheap.com, Gandi.net, and Name.com. Hostgator is good too, both as a registrar and a host. Godaddy is not that great, IMO, and a lot of people transferred their domains from it last year after the sopa/pipa fiasco.

Domains have a yearly fee, but you can often pay a cheaper price by paying for multiple years at once. Hosting plans can be paid monthly or annually, again with annual prices being cheaper in the long run.

Now that you know that you know that, here are some options:
1) WordPress is free, but you can pay them a yearly fee to get your own domain. This is by far the easiest route to go. Blogger also has the option for you to get a domain and use their services. For both, you can either buy your domain on your own and edit the DNS so it points to WordPress/blogger, or you can buy it through them.

2) Find a host that has cpanel and has a WordPress/Drupal--or other blog/CMS--setup option. Almost everyone has this. How does this work? Well, you go into your site’s control panel, choose “Wordpress”, and it will install it for you. Keep in mind that you will have to update the software on your own, but this is easy enough (usually).

3) You want to do it all on your own! Congratulations! You have picked the most troublesome path. So you have a host and a domain, but don’t want to install through the control panel method mentioned in #2. What do you do? Download the .zip or .rar or.7z (or whatever format they used to compress it) with the files you need to setup a blog. Now you need to unzip everything, edit a few files here and there, setup your SQL database, upload all your files in the directory you want under the correct CHMOD settings, and voilá! Your very own blog/site is now live on the internet!

For reference, I use method 3 for my personal and private blogs. I use method 1 for my public ones.

I’m still recommending the free services at blogger, livejournal, and WordPress for you though. Keep in mind that some blogging services only let you have full access to the layout code if you pay up. If you’re comfortable with using a pre-made template, then you won’t worry about it. If you want control over every liittle thing about your blog, this might put you off a service. Please take some time to research the pros and cons of each service so you can pick the best one for you. Alternatively, try them all and then stick with the one you like best
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:48 AM   #12
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I'm moving this to the blogging forum, where it's a much better fit.

And yes, Bri, this is putting the cart way before the horse.

Didn't you ask essentially the same question before regarding your fan fiction?
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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I would definitely recommend Blogger (which is where I have my blog), Livejournal (though I'm not sure how many people are on Livejournal these days), Wordpress. You can also create a blog/website on Weebly.com. It means that your domain name will somethingsomething.weebly.com, but it's free and it's a place to put up your content. You could even use Tumblr.

I started my blog almost four years ago because I wanted one central spot on the Interwebs to post a novella I was writing to share with my friends. I don't remember why I chose Blogger, only that I knew it was free and a lot of blogs I read were Blogger blogs.

It depends on how you like the look of the different services and what you're looking for--each one's different, of course. Blogger lets me play with the template without worrying too much about code, for instance.
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