I have been creating websites since I was a twelve-year-old boy with a desktop PC, gothic eyeliner, and absolutely no life. I learned HTML and CSS by opening source code and staring at it until it inhabited my mind like a parasitic Yeerk (a 90s book junkie reference if I ever heard one), and I trudged through graphic design on a copy of Photoshop "borrowed" from Napster. Back then it was a slow, tedious process that involved literally chopping up large graphics and placing them 0 pixels apart on the screen so that they wouldn't take two hours to load--literally.
Today it's much easier, thank the Andalites in their spaceship above (okay, no more Animorphs references--but K.A. Applegate is still one of my fav authors of all time!) There are dozens of sites that offer hosting and site-building of various kinds. From the user-friendly, point and click Weebly to the blogger-aimed WordPress, there are thousands.
A lot of authors go with quick and easy, thinking it's good enough. After all, we're judged on our books, not our websites, right?
Honey, your website is your personal book cover. And we all know people judge on those!
Websites are more important than people realize. People judge professionalism by the website. Has your site been obviously thrown together in a site builder? Does it look like a blog when it's really an author information site (as opposed to an author site that has a blog page in its links)? Has it been ten years since it has been updated? Then you are not looking professional.
If your site doesn't look professional, people are less likely to believe your books are any good.
I investigated dozens of website platforms and tried at least three for my author website site before settling on Wix.com for my website. I wasted a lot of time playing with Wordpress and Blogger, only to realize that they are best used for what they were created for: blogging and journaling. Wix, on the other hand, is for creating professional websites--exactly what authors need. It is worth the price.
I chose the Business Premium package, which is $13.00 a month once you figure in the 50% discount they are pretty much always giving out. (Note that to get this discount, you must pay a year upfront.) But your image is worth the investment!
Professional authors have professional websites.
Wix is a fantastic investment. It has hundreds of easy-to-use templates, the Business Premium package comes with a domain for a year (after that it's $15 to renew annually), and the blog function is seamless. You can also easily create a store with the Business Premium package (and link it to Printables, which means you will be able to add Print on Demand t-shirts and other swag that will be Printables problem to ship out!)
Wix has hundreds of easy add on apps, including social media functions (the Instagram feed on my homepage, for example), and you can create an overall color scheme for your entire site that you can change all at once. (Say I want to change the color of all the links on all my pages--I can do it with little more than a click!)
It is a little annoying not to be able to change templates once you get started, but you can always create a new site and transfer the info from one to another with copy/paste. It takes longer, but since author sites don't tend to be all that complex, it can be done within a couple of hours.
Overall, I have been very happy with Wix, and I would recommend it to any of my fellow authors.
I received no compensation of any kind for this review.