It's surprisingly easy. And a lot of fun, too.
What provider should I use for my author's website? Wordpress vs. Weebly -- and why?
I've studied other authors' websites and noticed many authors use Wordpress. However, I've used Wordpress for a travel blog (although that was 6 years ago) and didn't find it as user friendly as I wanted. A few years ago, I created a website using Weebly for a non-profit I was volunteering for and found it to be super easy to use.
My ideal website features: fairly inexpensive (or with a free option), easy to use, and looks professional. I also wanted a blog section.
My choice? Weebly. Weebly is a drag-and-drop website provider with a variety of themes.
Best of all? They have free plans. Editing my website is easy and it only took a few hours to set up.
Now, onto the how.
How do I set up my author's website?
1. Create an account on Weebly. If you want, this referral link gives you 10% off if you decide to go with a paid plan (and gives me a discount too): https://www.weebly.com/r/YB4UP7
2. Answer a few questions, ex: "Do you want to sell online?" (For me, that was a quick no for now)
3. Choose a theme. There's tons of options and it's difficult to pick the right theme! But don't worry, you're not stuck with one theme. You can switch later. When you click on one of the below images, you can see an expanded "live" version to test out. Once you're ready, click "Start Editing".
4. Start adding in your content! I recommend a minimum of 3 sections: 1. Homepage, 2. Blog, 3. About. Other pages that might be fun to add: Books (or WIPs), pages highlighting some of your other hobbies or projects -- anything that strikes your fancy.
5. You'll see a prompt asking if you want to transfer a domain, buy a domain, or use a Weebly subdomain (free). I bought a domain from Weebly, BUT if you do buy a domain from Weebly, please buy privacy protection right away! I didn't know about it and got spammed by 50+ calls/emails over the next few days from businesses trying to sell me their website-related services. Ugh. And then I bought it and the calls went away. An article on where to find the Privacy Protection section is here: https://hc.weebly.com/hc/en-us/articles/201103198-Update-a-Domain-s-WHOIS-Info
6. You may also get a prompt asking if you want to get a paid plan. That's up to you. There's different tiers, but some of the features I like from the $8/month "Starter" plan (the plan that I got) are that there's no Weebly ads, you get a free domain for a year, and no "Powered by Weebly" footer. But the nice thing about Weebly is you can just stick with the free version forever or until you decide to jump for a paid plan. When I
7. After you're ready, click "PUBLISH". Any changes you make on your website won't be sent out into the world until you hit publish.
Have fun making your new website!
About Julie Abe
Julie writes magical MG and YA adventures. Julie's debut, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH, is a middle grade fantasy releasing in 2020 (Little, Brown Young Readers), and the magic will continue in 2021! She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.
How I Got My Agent!
My Top Questions for The Call
Tips for (Before) The Call
How-to: Create an Author's Website
4on7: Author Mentor Match