Free Parenting Tips AppFree Parenting Tips App

Author Topic: Setting up a free website  (Read 3302 times)  

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Setting up a free website
« on: March 25, 2014, 07:33:53 AM »
I have my own website and domain name (shelaghwatkins.co.uk) but I've set up free websites for different series of books. I used webs.com to set up the website for the Planemaker series:

http://planemaker.webs.com/

If you've tried webs, post a link to your site here. If you sign up and need assistance, post a link to your new site and ask for help.

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 03:33:52 AM »
There doesn't seem to be much interest in author websites. Are they a waste of time?

Offline Catana

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 759
  • Gender: Female
  • Eastern U.S.
    • View Profile
    • Maverick Writer
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 05:37:17 AM »
There are already several threads about author's websites, including one that's been running for the last few days.

C.S. McClellan

Offline FAUSGA

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
    • View Profile
    • Author Website Design & Book Cover Design
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 07:25:06 AM »
I think any serious author that has a long term business vision knows that having an author website is key for many many reasons! I think there is interest among authors, but I could notice is not a number 1 priority for a lot of people. In my humble opinion, that's a huge mistake!

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10021
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 07:32:49 AM »
I don't think my website does much to help sales, but I think it's important to have somewhere that shows your books and gives a bit of a bio etc. I have sample chapters and odds and ends of my writing, plus links to interviews, so anyone who is interested in learning about me as a writer will get a good idea from my website.

When I get some free time I will do an upgrade  ::)

www.just4kix.jimdo.com.

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 07:46:19 AM »
Hi Jan,

I checked out your website and it's full of information! You could set up free websites for each category. A children's books website could be made more interactive with things for children to do connected to the stories in the books. With webs.com you can add a link to another website on the navigation bar, so the individual websites could be directly linked to "Just4kix books".

Offline John Daulton

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • DaultonBooks.com
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 08:23:27 AM »
I don't think they are a waste of time. I think for people who are prolific bloggers, they can be super effective for book sales. But even people who blog irregularly (like me) or people who don't blog at all can still get huge benefits out of them. I get about 25 or so hits every day, with occasional spikes here and there if I write a blog about something that people are interested in. But I think having one is pretty important, as FAUSGA said "for any serious author that has a long term business vision." People who hear about your books are going to want to go check out your books and your bio, maybe browse through a cover gallery or your blog. Roughly 80% of my traffic is from new/first time visitors. I'm sure someone might say I should have higher return visitors for various reasons, but that's not my point. My point is that obviously people come look, and if I didn't have one, well, those 25 per day wouldn't be able to see if my stuff might be interesting to them. In my mind, not having that there for them would be a huge career mistake.

As far as webs for free sites is concerned, I have no experience with them, so I can't comment. I put mine up using Godaddy and Hostgator. Cost is pretty minimal. I tend to be leary of free stuff because, well, its the old "The only free cheese comes in a mousetrap" thing. But if you found a good one, that's cool.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:26:14 AM by John Daulton »
Old school, real fantasy meets modern science fiction. The series isn't blowing up the reading universe by accident. You haven't read this before.
Magic, aliens, dragons, mech-warriors and romance ... same series.
John Daulton | John Daulton Blog | Galactic Mage Series on Facebook

Offline A.C. Scott

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • Gender: Male
  • NYC
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 09:03:19 AM »
Are you being paid by webs.com? Because it feels like you are pushing their service more than the idea of a website for authors.


Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10021
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 09:46:09 AM »
Hi Jan,

I checked out your website and it's full of information! You could set up free websites for each category. A children's books website could be made more interactive with things for children to do connected to the stories in the books. With webs.com you can add a link to another website on the navigation bar, so the individual websites could be directly linked to "Just4kix books".

Thanks for checking out my website. I don't think I could cope with more than one  ::) I like the idea that if someone Googles 'Jan Hurst-Nicholson', my website is the first thing that comes up, so they get all the info they need (or I'm willing to divulge   ;) ).

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 10:19:56 AM »
Are you being paid by webs.com? Because it feels like you are pushing their service more than the idea of a website for authors.


I wish! No, I pay for my domain and websites: http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk and http://mandinampress.co.uk. I set up the free site as an extra and recently added two new ones. I have three webs sites that cost nothing to set up or run:

http://shelaghwatkins.webs.com

http://foreverseries.webs.com

http://planemaker.webs.com

I see you added your book to your signature!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 10:21:57 AM by Shelagh »

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 10:26:25 AM »
Thanks for checking out my website. I don't think I could cope with more than one  ::) I like the idea that if someone Googles 'Jan Hurst-Nicholson', my website is the first thing that comes up, so they get all the info they need (or I'm willing to divulge   ;) ).

For years, my website appeared at the top of the first page on Google. Eventually, it dropped down the rankings. Now, searches on my name and any of my books pull up Amazon listings. I'm okay with that!

Offline zoe tate

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4647
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 10:51:33 AM »
The problem with many of these free sites with site-builders is the inevitable announcement at the bottom: "Make your own free site with XYZ". Some people feel that looks a little unprofessional.

The good news is that it can be totally avoided simply by using a self-hosted WordPress blog on free hosting somewhere like byethost.com, where they don't put their own promotional links on their free customers' pages but try, instead, to impress people with the free service in the hope of selling them future paid upgrades. It's a much better business model, I think. There are many hosts like that, including some pretty good ones, and no time-limits on how long one can host there free of charge.

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10021
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 11:15:42 AM »
The problem with many of these free sites with site-builders is the inevitable announcement at the bottom: "Make your own free site with XYZ". Some people feel that looks a little unprofessional.


I don't think mine says anything like that, but perhaps other people can see it. The .jimdo probably gives it away, but I could avoid that if I upgraded and paid for the website. I just use mine for info, so I doubt whether it would be worth it - especially with today's exchange rate (though it's great for royalty payments ;D)

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline A.C. Scott

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • Gender: Male
  • NYC
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 11:24:37 AM »
Quote from: zoe tate
There are many hosts like that, including some pretty good ones, and no time-limits on how long one can host there free of charge.

I use Amazon EC2. I think they have a free tier. I pay 15 a month right now. I also found out I get access to their email service included in that so I can avoid using mailchimp, which is much more expensive as it scales. You have to be pretty tech savvy though because you just get a headless VM, which is no problem for me, but several companies sell self-hosted services you can put on top that make managing it easy.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 11:26:33 AM by A.C. Scott »

Offline zoe tate

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4647
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 11:25:12 AM »
I don't think mine says anything like that, but perhaps other people can see it.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Jan, but it's actually quite prominent on your site. Much more so than on Shelagh's, actually. It even has a logo, and some bold print, and so on, before the promotional link.  :(

I could avoid that if I upgraded

Please excuse my comment that I would want to, rather than having that on my web-pages.  :-[

Offline A.C. Scott

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • Gender: Male
  • NYC
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 11:40:55 AM »
I see you added your book to your signature!

Yes. Thanks again.

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10021
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 12:24:48 PM »
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Jan, but it's actually quite prominent on your site. Much more so than on Shelagh's, actually. It even has a logo, and some bold print, and so on, before the promotional link.  :(

Please excuse my comment that I would want to, rather than having that on my web-pages.  :-[

Thanks. Will have to have a look from someone else's computer.

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2014, 12:34:23 PM »
The problem with many of these free sites with site-builders is the inevitable announcement at the bottom: "Make your own free site with XYZ". Some people feel that looks a little unprofessional.


I don't mind if webs.com advertise their service on my free sites. They have to get something out of offering a free service! Without a personal domain name it's pretty obvious that the site hosting is provided free. A well designed free website is better than a badly presented site that is paid for. The same with paying for editing. Polishing a badly written manuscript won't make it shine.

Offline Shaun Dowdall

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • Gender: Male
  • York Uk
    • View Profile
    • Shaun Dowdall
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2014, 02:04:29 PM »
I've just gone self hosted and I must admit the benefits are huge for increasing professionalism and freedom of customisation. I love working on my website now and plan on setting up a new one for each book series I write.

Offline Patty Jansen

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11646
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2014, 02:13:05 PM »
People are always carrying on about what is or isn't "professional" but you know what,most people wouldn't be able to tell an author's free site from a self-hosted site. Or care. They care that they searched the author and something meaningful came up.

I self-host mine because it allows me to do stuff that a free wordpress site doesn't, like use affiliate codes and embedded mailchimp forms. I can also install paypal buttons and use all sorts of plugins that free wordpress doesn't offer. That's why I do it.

Offline '

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2014, 02:20:40 PM »
I've just gone self hosted and I must admit the benefits are huge for increasing professionalism and freedom of customisation. I love working on my website now and plan on setting up a new one for each book series I write.

I noticed two things when I visited your site, Shaun. Firstly, you're a geek who's into gaming, so you should have no problem designing your website from scratch. Secondly, the site is powered by Wordpress, one of the best sites around for free blogs.

Offline Shaun Dowdall

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • Gender: Male
  • York Uk
    • View Profile
    • Shaun Dowdall
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2014, 04:13:23 PM »
I noticed two things when I visited your site, Shaun. Firstly, you're a geek who's into gaming, so you should have no problem designing your website from scratch. Secondly, the site is powered by Wordpress, one of the best sites around for free blogs.

It's become a bit of an obsession of mine playing around with it :D

Offline Catana

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 759
  • Gender: Female
  • Eastern U.S.
    • View Profile
    • Maverick Writer
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2014, 05:58:33 PM »
Thanks. Will have to have a look from someone else's computer.

Jan, you can see your site the way someone else sees it by signing out. First, make a note of the URL, minus your ID info and other identifiers that are just for editing.

C.S. McClellan

Offline Wayne Stinnett

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3671
  • Gender: Male
  • "I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns."
    • View Profile
    • My Website
Re: Setting up a free website
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2014, 06:30:53 PM »
The problem with many of these free sites with site-builders is the inevitable announcement at the bottom: "Make your own free site with XYZ". Some people feel that looks a little unprofessional.

That and having a web address that's easy for people to remember. I toyed around with a number of web addresses, trying to come up with one my fans could easily remember. The one I finally chose was my 12 year old daughter's idea.

www.waynestinnett.com

Easy enough for me to remember anyway. By paying yearly, it's only $4.99 a month.
NINC President-Elect, 2018. My Amazon Bestselling, eleven-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag