Author's read it all the time. Experts all tell them they need one. An author's platform that is and one of the key components is a functional website. If you're like me, the first thing you think about is how much is one going to cost.
I've had a custom website built for me. It wasn't cheap but it was well done. It had lots of functionality and eventually it paid for itself. I have nothing but good things to say about the company that built the site for me.
But, like I said, it was expensive.
As I prepare to enter the world of fiction writers, I don't want to spend money on a website. I'd rather invest what money I do have for this new enterprise is to cover design. Covers that look good on a POD version of the book, the ebook version and the all important thumbnail image.
I still need a website.
I lack programming skills. If it is up to me to code the programming for the website I'd like to have, it's not going to happen. So I'm back to paying a lot of money.
That's still not an option.
Fortunately, there are ways Indie authors can create their own websites affordably and not have to learn how to program and write code.
You need three things, all of which fortunately are either inexpensive, if you look, or free.
To build your website for your author platform you'll need:
- a domain name
- server hosting
- a Wordpress Theme
A domain name is nothing more than the URL address for your site. Amazon.com is a domain name. KCSivils.com is the domain name for the author platform I am building to promote my fictional novels as an author.
Server hosting is the actual device that hosts your data for your website. These devices are expensive and require specialized knowledge to set-up and maintain. Spend the time to find a reliable company that provides regular back-ups for your site. I suggest Bluehost. I've used them and had a good experience.
That leaves a Wordpress Theme.
Wordpress is an open source program originally designed for blogging and later expanded to include website design. A theme is nothing more than the design of the home page and the functionality the site will provide.
Wordpress themes are available for free and more advanced themes can be purchased at reasonable prices.
Plug-ins and Widgets allow for easy additions to be made to your Wordpress based website, adding functionality, SEO and other features. Most are free and simple to add to your website.
For those authors who are interested in learning how to set up their own Wordpress based website and in the process saving money for other important things, like cover designs and editing, I'd like to suggest the following book, How to Create a Website Using Wordpress: The Beginner's Blueprint To Creating A Website or Blog in Less Than 60 Minutes by Brian Patrick.
The Kindle version of the book has links to numerous sites and examples of what the author describes. The links alone are worth the $4.99 you'll spend on the book in regards to the time you'll save.
Mr. Patrick writes in an easy to read style. In a month or so, I'll post the link to my new author's platform! That's how confident I am after reading his book.