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AQ's Official Advice - How to set-up and host your own author website?

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#1 Gary Barnes

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:23 PM

I'm having a hard time figuring out which way to go. Not looking for a blob as book site. Can anyone recommend a host that makes it easy for an author to setup his own site and it includes all the social media options?

I want to keep it clean yet have all the tools to create an attractive inviting site.

#2 AQCrew



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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:30 PM

You should use Wordpress.

Wordpress has some great free templates that allow you to hide the main blog page, and then, you can simply customize your standard website pages and horizontal tabs and sidebars to navigate those pages.

You can easily set-up a Wordpress account and you will get a wordpress domain that will look like this: http://www.garybarnes.wordpress.com

Then, you can choose to pay $10-15 bucks per year to "mask" the wordpress domain with your own registered domain name (ie. garybarnes.com) that you control and registered through GoDaddy via SETTINGS--->DOMAIN

You can read more about how and why to register an author domain name here: http://agentquerycon...-a-domain-name/

Wordpress has come a long, long, long way from being just a blogging tool. Their free templates are extensive and you don't have to worry about setting up hosting.

They do offer paid "premium" templates that can range from $75-500 bucks. And if you open a hosting account through a GoDaddy or a BlueHost, you will see these paid "premium" Wordpress templates as options that you can easily set-up yourself.

However, if you're just starting out -- you don't need to go through the paid "premium" Wordpress template route, nor do you need to worry about self-hosting it.

Just follow these steps:

1. Register a Wordpress account and go to the Dashboard:

2. Find a free "themed" template via APPEARANCES--->THEMES and select it

3. Change the theme color and other options via APPEARANCES-->THEME OPTIONS (not all theme have the same number of "options" or color selections)

4. Start building your "Pages" via the sidebar option of PAGES--->ALL PAGES (to modify existing pages) or NEW PAGE to create a new one

5. Hide the main blog page via SETTINGS--->READING--->Front Page Display-->change the radio button from "Your Latest Posts" (which is the same thing as a blog) to "A Static Page"---> "Front Page: drop down menu", select one of the PAGES that you created in Step#4 to be displayed as your website's main page.

6. Remember: you can always choose a different template to see how it looks -- you're never committed to the first and original one that you select. You can always switch templates and colors at anytime.

Wordpress is now the main resource for mid-level designers and web developers who create static websites. If you pay someone $500-2000 to create you a static website, mostly likely, your hired web designer/developer will take your money and go straight to Wordpress to find a paid template they can then easily customize for your specified design & feature needs.

Every writer should know how to create a free Wordpress website. Period. It's one of your best marketing tools that both free and powerful. And if you eventually feel like you need to pay an expert designer or developer, it will help you in your search for an "expert" to have played around with Wordpress on your own.

#3 Cat Woods

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:32 PM

Amen. Wordpress is the word!

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#4 Tom Preece

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:51 PM

Thank you AQcrew for a great specific post. I will use that!

#5 Kmom


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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:53 AM

Thanks AQ I had the same questions. I think I just found out what I'll be playing with this weekend!
That is awesome info!

#6 Zero


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:19 PM

If its something very basic that you need you can also try weebly.com it has great and easy tools to use, (drag and drop) you can also work with them to get a domain name (you pay about $15 and they take care of setting it up for you as well).

Besides the very small weebly ad at the bottom of the website, you will never have any other annoying ads! :)
As a writer you are also your first and most important reader. Do what you love, love what you do.

#7 MarcyKate


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:47 PM

I build websites for small non-profits on occasion who need a nice looking website that's easy to maintain and update - I use Wordpress for all of them (and my own site) because it's absolutely fantastic. It's flexible, it looks good, and it's easy to use! :wub:

#8 Paul Dillon

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:56 PM

I build websites for small non-profits on occasion who need a nice looking website that's easy to maintain and update - I use Wordpress for all of them (and my own site) because it's absolutely fantastic. It's flexible, it looks good, and it's easy to use! :wub:

What MarcyKate said. I build websites too and highly recommend WordPress.

#9 drm


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:06 PM

I'm in the beginning stages of looking at websites/blog, and need the easies and most efficient site possible. I looked at Salon but I think it's limited to Salon members and didn't "pop" if you know what I mean. I looked at Blogspot.com which was okay until I looked at WordPress. I agree with Marcy and Paul. It looks easy to manage, even for me, and has a nice looking format.

#10 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:50 PM

Yay Wordpress! Can't wait to get started! Want to finish my book first before hand so I can say I've written a book. :happy:





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#11 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:29 PM

Wordpress is the bomb. As your career grows you want to edit and adjust things. Believe me i do every time I have something new published. You will relish the freedom of running your own website and not having to pay some third party to make all of your changes. Wordpress is very easy to learn, they have great tutorials and help, an then once you know it you can control every aspect of your own website which is super-awesome.


The instructions given by ACQCrew are right on the nose, do that.

Website: https://andreaklambert.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaLamber


GoodReads Author bio: https://www.goodread....Andrea_Lambert


Amazon author bio: https://www.amazon.c...ine_cont_book_1
JET SET DESOLATE from Future Fiction London on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/0578016257


LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN: EXTRAPOLATIONS ON LOS ANGELES from valeveil: http://www.valeveil.se/posts/196

HAUNTING MUSES from Bedazzled Ink on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/194383752X


WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES from Trans-Genre Press: http://trans-genre.n...the-walls-down/
THE L.A. TELEPHONE BOOK, VOL. 1 from ARRAS.NET: http://www.arras.net/?page_id=658



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