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Robere210
01-16-2014, 09:00 AM
I have completed my novel and now am looking for a good web design site to build a website for it. I've looked at several web design sites, but I don't yet see a template for a novel. Ideally I'd like to include the first chapter or so, and some pictures, and a link to where the novel could be bought, as well as a page about the author (me). Does anyone have experience with doing their own website? And what about hosting it? Does anyone have any advice?

I have a small amount of experience in coding html.
Thanks!

Medievalist
01-16-2014, 09:34 AM
I have completed my novel and now am looking for a good web design site to build a website for it. I've looked at several web design sites, but I don't yet see a template for a novel. Ideally I'd like to include the first chapter or so, and some pictures, and a link to where the novel could be bought, as well as a page about the author (me). Does anyone have experience with doing their own website? And what about hosting it? Does anyone have any advice?

I have a small amount of experience in coding html.
Thanks!

I'd suggest you look at using WordPress. WordPress.com offers free sites with hosting, but you are somewhat limited in your design options.

WordPress.org is a complete free package, but you'll need to pay for hosting. Most ISPs or web hosts offer simple one-click install scripts for WordPress.

I'd suggest you begin by looking at other author's sites—see the sigs of AW members for instance.

I'd also suggest you reserve a domain name based on the name you will use as an author. Try for .com or .net.

You can create a free test site at wordpress.com, just to get an idea of what is possible. Just create a site you don't plan to keep to give you an idea of what's possible.

You'll notice you can obtain a domain and hosting through them, but that you'll have to pay more money for more control over the HTML/CSS etc.

Lots of people use a free wordpress.com site (or blogger site) to start, and simply point it at their domain.

I'd strongly urge you to not go crazy spending money until you're earning money. You can start small and grow big.

Filigree
01-16-2014, 10:03 AM
I bought a couple of domains from Domain.com (good prices, great service, far less predatory than GoDaddy), then used the free Wordpress theme 'Dusk to Dawn'. I minimally customized it.

Until I'm pro enough to pay someone to build a 'real' website, the wordpress blog makes a great central site for my writing and art. It's simple to maintain and very easy to add/remove content as needed.

Robere210
01-16-2014, 10:25 AM
Thanks Lisa. Love your Vermeer avatar!

Have you read, "The Man Who Made Vemeers", about the Dutch art forger Han Van Meergeren? It's a good read.

bearilou
01-16-2014, 05:58 PM
I'm going to second the wordpress option. I registered a domain name, got the free code, uploaded it to my web host. I know just enough about it to be dangerous and I had no problem getting it set up and ready to go for a project I'm indulging in.

There are many lovely themes for wordpress that you can download for free. A little bit of a learning curve to customize but it's not dentist chair painful.

GinJones
01-16-2014, 06:49 PM
Not quite on topic, but consider having a website FOR THE AUTHOR, not for the book. Presumably, there will be more books, and you don't want a separate site for each book.

Which may be what you meant, but I've seen websites for single books, and it seldom works.

EMaree
01-16-2014, 06:57 PM
+1 to the Wordpress recommendations, +1 to everything Medi said, and +2 to both Medi and GinJones' suggestions to buy a domain for your author identity rather than a single book (or as well as, if your budget and time allows for a microsite focusing on one book).

Alice Xavier
01-16-2014, 08:05 PM
Agreed about making the site for the author and not just the book (because then you'll have to keep buying domains and building sites for each new book or renovating your site every time you want to feature a new book).

And definitely pick up a domain and some hosting and set up Wordpress - not quite as easy as making a blog on Wordpress.com, but you have way more freedom and flexibility.

As for finding the right theme, I discovered pretty quickly that the options for author themes are sorely lacking. There were a couple fairly decent themes for authors with a single book to promote, but they lacked book-management-specific infrastructure. There were zero options for authors with larger catalogs (like me), so I ended up coding my own theme so that I can list my books independently from posts or pages and do special things for them like put up retailer links and classify them by genre and series and stuff.

Robere210
01-16-2014, 08:08 PM
.......consider having a website FOR THE AUTHOR, not for the book.....

Thanks GinJones. That had occurred to me.

V.J. Allison
01-16-2014, 08:12 PM
I agree with everyone else on setting up a site for you as an author, because you can show multiple books and give a little biography about yourself, or even have a quote from one, or more, of your books on it.

I use GoDaddy.ca for mine (I'm Canadian) and it's under my pen name dot com. I'm a bit of a techie and design hound, so that's why I went with them for mine. I chose something simple and focused on me as a writer, because I'm not published yet.

Wordpress is a great site for blogging and setting up your own website, whether you use their free version or pay for it. I've seen some wonderful designs on there when I had my blog on their site. It's pretty easy to use, and you can upload your own graphics to it to make it more "yours".

Medievalist
01-16-2014, 09:03 PM
Thanks Lisa. Love your Vermeer avatar!

Have you read, "The Man Who Made Vemeers", about the Dutch art forger Han Van Meergeren? It's a good read.

I have not; I'll watch for it.

There's an entire sub forum devoted to blogging with lots of stuff about Websites:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=90

And do check out Book Promotion Ideas and Advice (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48) too.

robjvargas
01-16-2014, 09:20 PM
I use GoDaddy.ca for mine (I'm Canadian) and it's under my pen name dot com. I'm a bit of a techie and design hound, so that's why I went with them for mine. I chose something simple and focused on me as a writer, because I'm not published yet.

Reiterating a piece of advice stated on numerous other threads like this: A Web host provider like Godaddy will also offer to register our domain as well. That's called being the registrar for the domain.

Don't.

For example: if you get into a billing dispute, and your Web host is also your registrar, they can take your site offline *and* lock the domain from being used elsewhere. For myself, I used register.com to reserve the domain, and a small Web site host, Fatcow, to host my site.

This does not *prevent* the possibility of an offline domain. But it does give you options for workarounds should a billing dispute take place.