Writing Done Right
Author Website Platforms
Summary: This article will break down the types of platforms and author can use to create a website.

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Every author needs a website, but the question is where do you run your website? This article will talk about some options and the pros and cons.

As we embark on a journey through author websites, we need to understand that there are a lot of opinions on this subject. Most authors, however, will agree on this: We do not want to rely exclusively on social media. It is good for interaction with your fans, but, a website is an Internet home for your website. There are many options to get a website and this article will help you to start doing your research. If you want a more specific consultation, reach out to me on my contact form or reach out on my website design form. I have been a web developer for over a decade, and I will be able to give you a free consultation.

Domain Name

The domain name is a user-friendly name that directs your visitor to the website. Websites speak to each other in long strings of numbers called an IP address. Rather than remember those numbers, we use a name that is easy to remember. You can purchase a domain name from the company hosting your website, or you can get it separate from a company like NameCheap. I have worked with all of the various domain registrars, and in my experience, it does not matter which company you use. You WILL have more control if your domain is at a separate company than your host, but you will have an extra bill every year.

Website Builders

SquareSpace and Wix are the two most common examples of sites in the builder category. These are supposed to be user-friendly services that anyone can just point and click and create a website. I have not had that experience with these services, and unfortunately, most of the reviews you will find about them are actually affiliated advertisements (not that I am completely against them; I also use affiliates). Be cautious with these services, and test them out for free for a month if you need to to be sure they are the correct platform for you. It is generally best if you do not buy your domain name from one of these companies.

E-Commerce Platforms

The most popular websites under this category include Shopify and Etsy. The advantages of these are that products are very easy to set up and the transaction fees are generally lower. The trade-off is that, unless you are a wildly popular author, you will not be making many sales directly from your website. You will usually be directing your readers to their favorite bookstore, and often times, that will be using an affiliate link of your own to make a little extra off the sale.

Another concern here is Etsy. This platform recently made a big change where they are starting to take an extra 12-15% commission of your sales to 'sell ads' on your behalf. This further hurts your author revenue, so unless you have a wide spectrum of products that is merely supplemented with books, I would steer clear from Etsy.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

 WordPress is the most popular and user-friendly platform in this category, but it is not without problems. First, where will you host your site? WordPress.com allows you to create a WordPress website on their own self-hosted platform. Security is rolled out automatically, but the fees are much higher. You do, however, lose a lot of control over the website like custom code edits and custom themes to name a few. This is a more expensive option.

You can alternatively purchase a hosting platform through A2Hosting or Siteground and set up your WordPress hosting there instead. This will take more expertise, but the final product is usually better.

WordPress, however, has another problem. The core editor, which used to be as easy to use as a Word Processor was replaced by a monster of a difficult content editor. It has, in other words, become more difficult to use. Test it out and see if the new editor is for you. If so, WordPress is your go-to CMS.

I, personally, have been moving my websites over to the Joomla platform. While they are more complicated to set up, and they take a bit more training, it does retain the simple word processor editor and the sites load a lot faster.


We can't forget about the good 'ol raw HTML for your readers who are technically savvy and like to have full control. An HTML site is the most secure overall. You can host your HTML on any platform with minimal issues. They are harder to update, but the speed and security concerns justify that cost for some of you.