Don’t be Taken to the Website Design Cleaners - 5 Tips on Creating Your New Site

There is an abundance of website design and hosting services on the internet. You can get services that handle both the design and the hosting, or services that provide one or the other. Whatever your needs, there is a service out there for you. But . . . consumer beware.

Some design/ hosting website services prey on unsuspecting and naive individuals new to the marketing arena. They charge to not only create a site, but they keep control of managing the site. The customer is only allowed to add or edit content on the site.

This means you, the owner, can’t add links, change images, or tweak the site for SEO optimization, such as page title optimization. I get upset when I hear of occurrences like this. There is no reason why a design and hosting service needs to control website functions and features to the point that an author or individual needs to pay the service to add or delete a simple link.

You really need to be aware. There is so much information online advising the basic dos and don’ts of creating a website, but you do need to do a bit of research to find it. There are plenty of legitimate and reasonable services out there. If you’re confused or uncertain, ask around.

Here are 5 starting tips to create an author website:

1. Choose an effective domain name. Think about it carefully. You want a name that will be search engine effective, reflect what the site is about, and is able to grow with you (unless you are creating the site for a specific book). You can also use the subheading to elaborate on the domain name.

2. Decide if you have the skills, or want to learn them, to create a website of your own.

3. If you decide you need help with creating a website, look for someone who wants to establish themselves as a website creator, or someone who does it in her spare time, or a writing/marketing service that does it as more of a courtesy to clients, you will pay much less. And, try to make arrangements that will include the designer teach you how to manage your own site. This will make updates, changes, and posting much easier, and cost free.

4. If you feel you can create your own, you can choose a free hosting site, such as WordPress, Weebly, or Blogger. On the flip side, if the thought of having to create a website feels daunting, go for It’s very user friendly and good for beginners. And with its updates, it has a number of features much like a website.

5. Keep in mind that down the road you may want to have a website that can be effectively optimized and that’s more SEO versatile, so you may want to have a WordPress site through a hosted service from the beginning. The prices range from around $3 to $12 per month – depending on how long you sign up for. And, they have occasional specials where you can sign up for as low as $3.49 per month (I use Bluehost for my hosting service and I love their service).


While these five tips are just the starting point for your author website, they will hopefully help you from being taken to the website design/hosting cleaners.


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Joylene Nowell Butler said...

These are wonderful marketing tools, Karen. Marketing can be such a frightening task. Thanks for making it bearable. Happy New Year.

Karen Cioffi said...

Joylene, I'm so glad you find the content here helplful. Have a great new year!

Anonymous said...

Karen, thanks for sharing these tips.

Karen Cioffi said...

Susanne, my pleasure!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I have a Mac which includes a free iweb program, allowing me to design and renew my website at will right from my computer. It took me a bit of time to figure out how the program and how hosing, etc. worked, but the learning curve wasn't too steep. Of course, there is always more to learn, so thanks for your post. Beryl Reichenberg

Karen Cioffi said...

Beryl, how cool is that. A website right from your computer. I'm sure it won't be long before other computers will be offering something similar.

A learning curve is true of almost all tech things we need to do. I does pay to just jump in and do it!