Showing posts with label website hosting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label website hosting. Show all posts

The Author Website: Which is the Best Hosting Service?

 


Contributed by Margot Condor

Make no mistake, as an author you are embarking on a business. To be successful you must be willing to step outside the creative space and learn how to market your product. Even if you’re traditionally published, there will be an expectation that you get involved in the process of driving traffic to your bookstore.

Websites are no longer optional investments for businesses in the twenty-first century, if you’re a professional, an online presence is important. Sure, social media landing pages are good, but if you want to put yourself out there as a serious writer, you need a website.

The question becomes how much are you able to invest in that website?

As a new author, I have only just begun to research the various options for creating one, and I can tell you I hit a wall immediately when it comes to cost.

What I find absolutely maddening is the fact that many of these sites do not have an easy-to-find cost options page. When I tried to Google this simple question and I get directed to a page that says “Get Started.” Basically, it means unless you commit, you don’t find out what you will be paying! They obscure the cost and want you to join before that information can be seen. I really don't like the lack of transparency!

This article will explore the various options I researched. In order to get the information, I share with you here, in some cases, I just had to ask other authors what web hosting service they use, how easy their site was to create and use, and what they paid. I’ll explain later what I finally decided for myself and why.
 
Let me begin by suggesting that you buy your own domain, (this is the URL of your site) this can be added to any of these plans to make it easier for your readers and fans to find you. I use Dynadot: https://www.dynadot.com/). On the average it is around $12 a year.

I should say that there are several sites offering variations on the same basic package, they have templates, and they are easy to set up, even if you know nothing about coding, which I don’t. When you find a template you like, you can customize it to fit your needs. Drop in your own images, add your text, add pages, there are a lot of ways to make them unique to you. The template is just a place to start.

I was so impressed with the variety of options out there now. Many years ago I designed my first artist’s website with the help of my husband who does know all those magical things that turn a series of digits into images on your screen.

The design part was a laborious endeavor and took me forever. Of course, at that time, the only way to get a website designed, other than going through that grueling process, was to hire a pro to do it. But that wasn’t affordable for me or many creative people I knew. It still isn’t.

A DETAILED LIST OF HOSTING SERVICES FOR AN AUTHOR WEBSITE

1. WIX was the first to show up on the market that let you drag and drop your art into easy-to-use templates. The problem there was the lack of a personal URL. Last time I built a WIX website for an art collaboration they offered a way to get around having a link that featured WIX in your e-mail address rather than your name, by opting for a paid WIX site rather than the free one. Now… they no longer offer the free variant.

It is difficult to find the payment options on their site, so I’ll just give you that direct link: https://www.wix.com/upgrade/website

It starts with 3 GB of storage space for $16 a month, to 100 GB of storage space for $45 a month. Each of their tier options offers a variety of services. On the upside, they have a huge choice of templates, more than most: 900+ and 250+ apps. It’s easy to use and not a bad price, depending on how much you plan to load on your pages.

2. WEB.COM is another do-it-yourself website builder. They offer a free domain with your website package. With drag-and-drop template designs. They give you one-hour free tech support with their experts. It will work with WordPress, eCommerce, and shared hosting platforms. You can also move your existing WordPress website to Web.com hosting. They have a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Evidently, some sites crash a lot. They promise theirs will not.

Web.com offers 24-7 customer support by phone or through their online help center. They do not have a free plan. Their low introductory rates draw users in, but renewals are much more expensive. For example, starting at $4.95 to $19.95 per month, that only lasts for one billing cycle. Afterward, they jump up to $9.99 to $39.99, which is a significant increase. So, once you’ve committed and built your beautiful website, you end up paying a lot more than you expected. Seems dishonest to trick people who are not paying attention to the small print.

But if you stick with them, one upside is the social media integration for platforms including Instagram, Disqus, and Pinterest. You can showcase your Instagram Feeds, add a Pinterest “Pin It” button or link all your social media profiles. With the eCommerce Essentials or eCommerce Premium plan, you can sell on Facebook or Instagram to get your followers on your sales funnel. https://www.web.com/

3. GO DADDY has a free option; just pick a template to start. There are 15 categories with twenty options in each one to choose from. Add your content and business info to make it yours. Use built-in marketing to let people know you’re open for business. Manage everything from one dashboard on any device. Upgrade to an online store when you're ready to start selling. Their paid options are from $12 to $23 a month.

4. WEEBLY is impressive, although, similar to these others. I like their clean and simple interface, where everything is easy to find. Including their price structure which is quite affordable. They have the drag-and-drop builder, like the others, but also some extras that are not common elsewhere: Advanced animation effects, custom fonts, video background elements for dynamic designs, and you can add your own videos too. There is a built-in photo editor. This web builder appeals to the artist in me.

5. PUBSITE: I was very interested in this site. A couple of writers’ webinars I attended gave presentations about this site and it looks like an amazing place designed specifically to support authors. It is also a do-it-yourself website platform. It lets you easily display all your books, excerpts, videos, social media links and feeds, author tours, and online bookseller links, and you can sell your books directly from your website. Seems there are two options for blogging, design in-site or import your WordPress blogs that you created elsewhere.

It sounds very user-friendly and they have thought about everything you need as a writer. Pub Site has a monthly fee of $19.99 which includes hosting. Which comes to around $240 a year. Not bad considering all they offer. Everyone I have talked to who uses it has had great things to say about it. 

6. SQUARE SPACE:  I have several writer friends who swear that Square Space is the way to go. Honestly, after researching it, this is my least favorite choice, and I would not recommend Square Space to any writer who is not very tech savvy. This site does not offer a free plan either.
 
The cost to build a website with them depends on the number of pages, custom features, and functionality you choose. You pay extra for search engine optimization. You pay more if you have a project deadline, like a book launch. You pay differently depending on the expertise of the person designing for you. The cost of expert help is around $100 an hour. You’ll end up paying at least $2000 on the low end for their help with the design.

They want you to buy your domain name through them at the cost of $20 to $70 yearly. (I pay $12.00 a year at Dynadot.com) Then on top of all that, their yearly hosting fee is between $200 to $600 with an average cost of $300.

7. CANVA PRO is what I will be using, I saved it for my last entry as I am sharing more links on this one. I am already paying for the pro app to make leader magnets and social media ads. Canva Free, Canva Pro, Canva for Teams, and Canva for Education users can publish websites for free. But you get a lot of extras with the paid options.

There are a ton of templates for anything you want to do, all for $120 a year. Included in all plans are: Docs, whiteboards, presentations, social media templates, video, print options, and of course Website hosting is included in that price. All designing is drag and drop and easy to use. My feeling is that their design options are as good as any of the other sites I researched, but in addition you can create a lot of other things to help with promotion.

On the Pro option, they have amazing goodies: starting with 100 million stock photos, videos, and graphics, (if you need them. I have my own images that I created; I don’t use stock). But that alone is huge! For authors who want to self-publish, you can use their royalty-free stock and design your covers in Canva.

Logo and brand kits are available. There are some impressive video editing tools. For example, you can remove images or backgrounds in videos with one click, you can auto-match soundtracks with video footage. You get Magic Eraser, Magic Write, and Beat Sync.

Another cool feature: you can schedule social media content on 8 platforms! There is 1TB of cloud storage, which is way more than the other sites offer. That beats all other sites on options and price.  I’m not sure I will use all of that, but it is included.

Be sure you build on a website template. They have other templates that look similar which are for portfolios. I made the mistake of building a whole website design with multiple pages and then realized I could not make it live because it was not made for website. The tabs look different: a website template has a little square icon on the tab, all other design templates have a circle with a C in it.

Here are some additional links for “how to” if you also want to try Canva Pro:

How to use your own domain with Canva
(You can buy your domain URL through them or with an outside hosting company).
https://www.canva.com/help/publishing-websites-own-domains/

How to create a blog on Canva:
https://www.canva.com/learn/how-to-start-a-blog/

Your blog can be linked to your Canva website:
Choose the "embed" option in the Canva design editor then paste a link to the blog post into the embed field. The blog post will then appear in the design where you can resize it to fit into the design as you like.

Here it shows you how to do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eSkF6NR9Ys

You will first need to host your Blog elsewhere. Hostinger.com is an affordable option. It manages over 29 million users across 39 countries worldwide.

Hostinger's Key Plans:
Single Shared: $1.99 per month (discounted price)
Premium Shared: $2.99 per month (discounted price)
Business Shared: $3.99 per month (discounted price)

Creating a newsletter on Canva:

https://www.canva.com/newsletters/
https://www.websitebuilderinsider.com/how-do-i-create-a-newsletter-on-canva/

Newsletter e-mail from Canva:
https://www.websitebuilderinsider.com/how-do-i-make-a-newsletter-email-on-canva/

I haven’t finished building my website yet. But I hope you will look for Margot Conor and check out what I put together with Canva! I’ll be posting updates there. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margot Conor has been writing for as long as she can remember, but it wasn't until the COVID lock-down that she had enough time to dedicate to the craft and bring something to completion. Having finished her first novel, she went through the grueling two-year process of editing. Now she has jumped into the author's world with both feet. She's preparing to debut her first novel, which means learning how to promote it. The last year has been spent attending many writing retreats, seminars, and writers' events. She also listened to presentations specifically on the topic of publishing and book marketing. She will be sharing what she learns with the reader.

 You can learn more about Margot and her writing at her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/margotconor/



Is Your Website Really Yours?

I've written about the importance of having a paid website. 

What this means is you buy the website for so much per month or year. It's like buying a condominium. You own the house or apartment, but the grounds and outer structure is maintained by the condominium.

It's the perfect situation. And, there's great customer service. And, you can make the site as unique as you like.

Some of the benefits.

You can do whatever you like to your website. You can:

- Use whatever content management system you want.
- Sell whatever you like.
- Talk about whatever you like.
- Take advantage of lots of pages.
- Take advantage of lots of themes.
- Take advantage of great SEO plugins
- Have a media file with optimization options.
- And, lots, lots more.

So, it's easy to see why you do need to buy website hosting.

Okay, it's June 1st and the Memorial Day Weekend special is over. But, you can still get great hosting for only $3.95 per month. Still a great deal!

And, using a service like Bluehost, you can have multiple websites under ONE account. I have about 8 sites up and will be creating two more very soon - one for my son-in-law and one for my husband. At NO extra cost, aside from the domain name.

I have Bluehost for all my WordPress sites and I love it, so much so I'm an affiliate.

I don't promote stuff like this often, but the Memorial Day sale was just too good to keep it a secret.

If you're in the market for a website or want to upgrade from a free one, check it out today.



ADDED BONUS:

If you use my link above, if you like, I’ll send you a video on getting your site up and running. It’s part of my Get Your Website Created Today e-class and it’s yours free. Once you sign up through my link, send me an email (kcioffiventrice ---at ---gmail) and I’ll get that video off to you.

Get Started Today: CLICK HERE!








Website Hosting - A Bluehost Back to School Special You Don’t Want to Miss

Everyone who wants to sell a service or product or who simply wants a place to voice their thoughts and opinions needs a website. This includes authors, writers, and marketers.

While websites come from a number of sources, free and paid for, it’s the ones with paid hosting that offers the greatest support and freedom.

I don't usually make a promo post, but I use Bluehost for all my website hosting needs and I appreciate their service so much, I’m an affiliate for them.

Being an affiliate, I learn of new deals and pricing AND from August 19th through August 25th, Bluehost is having a SUPER SPECIAL:

12 months - $5.95/mo
24 months - $4.95/mo
36 months - $3.95/mo (best option)

This is an amazing offer.

So, if you’ve been procrastinating about signing up with a hosting service, or if you’re new to the writing and marketing arena, you should absolutely take advantage of this special pricing.

If you’re not sure what some of the difference are between free hosting and paid hosting, let me explain.

Free hosting comes from services, like Blogger.com and Weebly.com. They do provide some useful features, but they are lacking compared to paid services, like Bluehost.

For example, with Blogger you don’t have the ability to optimize your images and you’re limited to 10 pages per site. When it comes to SEO, this is a big deal.

With Weebly, you are only allowed up to six pages per site.

With Bluehost, you can create as many pages as you want on your site. And, there are unlimited domains on ONE account. This means if you sign-up with Bluehost, you can create as many websites (with different domain names) as you like. I currently have about 10 sites.

In addition, free services don’t have support if something goes wrong with your site. Or, if they do, it’s a pain-in-the-neck: difficult to find, difficult to navigate and difficult to get prompt answers. I've just been through this with Blogger.

One of the other BIG differences between the two is Google loves WordPress and most free sites don't support it. This will also affect your SEO efforts.

This folks, is a no-brainer. If you need a website this is the time to get it. If you choose the 36 month plan, you pay only $3.95 per month!

CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM TODAY!

Still not sure?

To make this special offer even better, if you order through me, I’ll add in Create Your Author-Writer Online Platform eCourse Option No.1. You can check it out at: http://www.karencioffi.com/author-online-platform-ecourse/ (scroll down to the Options section). It's a $67 value!

Just send me your receipt. I’ll verify it with Bluehost and then send you your bonus ecourse!

SIMPLY CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW (Although it says $6.95, once you click on the image you'll be brought to the $3.95 page)



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