View Full Version : Web Design & Development

08-02-2010, 02:31 AM
Has anyone worked with - or know anyone who has worked with - Planet Web Design Services, in Arlington, Virginia?


I'm looking for a good company to build my author's website, and heard that it was good if I could find one that's close to where I live (but not necessarily critical). I found this company, and the rates seemed okay, and the FAQ's appear to be relevant. What say you? Thanks in advance.

08-02-2010, 03:16 AM
Doomie I wouldn't pay anyone until you're making money from your book.

Buy a domain. Use a host that lets you set up WordPress easily. Pick a template.

Those rates for what you want are excessive. You can use free templates.

08-02-2010, 03:24 AM
Ditto. Don't go buying anything yet.

For the present, start with a free Facebook account, get a MySpace page, and set up a blog. Those don't cost anything but your time.

You can buy a domain name for cheap, and get websites for free if you don't mind having ads on them. Most don't.

Many successful writers spend more time posting updates on FB than tweaking their websites. You can tell people where to buy your book in your profile.

08-02-2010, 10:46 PM
@Medievalist and Gillhoughly:

Thanks so much for the responses. Originally, I planned to go with Wordpress because it's less expensive, while allowing me to build a demand (following) for my book. But I ran into a problem or two:

I can't for the LIFE of me figure Wordpress out! I've stared at that site for hours on end, and come away no more knowledgeable than I was before logging on. Then Matera The Mad (was kind enough) to open an account for me; but she vanished for the better part of 3 weeks, and I didn't understand what to do or where to go from that point. I scrapped it.

I remember Medievalist saying in anther thread or two that one can make their Wordpress blog look like a web site, minus all the fees. I actually had a great example from another member but somehow deleted it from my archives {sigh}. Okay, I'm rambling and sobbing. I'll take yalls advice, and find someone who can walk me through the process until I understand what I'm doing.

Thanks again:Hug2:.

Matera the Mad
08-03-2010, 09:41 PM
Um...hello there. Your ever-faithful freelance webster and WordPress maven is still hanging around. WP is different when it's your own site, BTW.

08-03-2010, 09:48 PM
Doomie, there are several books about using WordPress.com or using WordPress on your own domain.

I'd go buy one.

09-17-2011, 01:46 AM
I realize this thread is a little long in the tooth, but since I'm new here I'm gonna toss my 2c into the mix and agree with the others. Stick with Facebook to get started, then once you have enough regular sales, move on up to a website. If you have access to a good website or webspace for free, or very low cost, that's another possible way you can have a beginning website while you're gaining author momentum. Only once you've hit a point where you're pushing 5000 uniques or more a month should you bother paying a professional developer for a private website for yourself and/or your books.

If you're curious, yes, I'm a web developer, but I'm also an author, so I speak from experience on both sides of the aisle. I'm also recommending that, when you do finally decide to go with your own dedicated author website, shop around. Not everyone is going to have what you want, or be able to meet your needs. Also, remember that price doesn't always equal quality. IE, the idea that "the more expensive it is, the better" is false. I've seen website masterpieces created on a few hundred bucks, and I've seen jobs with million dollar budgets turn out to be complete duds. So find what fits you best. :)

03-30-2012, 04:24 PM
I am a web designer, and hands down one of the best user friendly websites I have found that have templates, and are very economical is


You can have your site for free minus the $14.99 one time fee per year for your domain name.

It's very easy to learn, looks great in flash, and will give you something to work with until you're making money and able to afford a designer.

It's NOT without it's pitfalls however. It only has a text site for mobile devices, which isn't bad per se, but it won't give your reader the full experience of what you've got on your site without them being on a desktop.

03-30-2012, 07:28 PM
Using Flash for pretty much anything besides a game is less than smart.

You're disenfranchising large numbers of users. It's a bandwidth and server memory hog. It's not natively searchable. Most Flash pages are implemented in ways that mean you can't link to them directly.

Generally speaking, calling oneself a "Web designer" suggests that you hand-code your own templates.

05-04-2012, 12:18 AM
Be careful of "free," because sometimes they will start charging, ie: Big Step. You can get a web host for less than $100 a year and most will have web design templates in your user control panel.

Personally, I don't think "Word Press" is for a beginner. However, with a web host they should have an automatic install via the UCP.

Long story short, don't cut corners and go with a regular web host.

Good luck !

05-04-2012, 01:08 AM
I had hard enough time figuring out Wordpress for a blog (and I built my own website). Plenty of places out there to have a blog, and I agree, until you've published, not much point to anything else (not even sure one needs a blog until published, frankly).

05-04-2012, 02:16 AM
Apps like Blogger, TypePad, MovableType and WordPress that began as blogging systems are all fully-fledged CMSs (Content Management Systems) that are quite capable of creating /hosting an entire Website, including static pages and media, as well as blog posts.

06-01-2012, 08:58 PM
I can't for the LIFE of me figure Wordpress out! I've stared at that site for hours on end, and come away no more knowledgeable than I was before logging on. Then Matera The Mad (was kind enough) to open an account for me; but she vanished for the better part of 3 weeks, and I didn't understand what to do or where to go from that point. I scrapped it.

I provide training services for WordPress if you are interested :)

What I did for my author site (granted I do design for a living) was use WordPress and load up a template and customized it the way I wanted it. I think overall, it's the most user-friendly CMS out there, especially once you get the hang of it. I recommend it for all my clients.

In addition, what they are charging isn't high at all, however the quality of their work leaves much to be desired from. It's very dated (2000s).

06-01-2012, 11:02 PM
What you're doing on AW is necroing threads.

You're responding to threads from 2010 and older.

Please stop.

Laer Carroll
10-11-2012, 10:45 PM
Lisa, I'm not sure what you're protesting. The reason for threads in the FAQ section is that the topics are of long-standing interest. This is one of them.

I disagree that you should wait till you start selling to create a Web site. It's never too early to at least think about all aspects of your pro career. Creating a good free Web site early is one you should consider.