Building Your Website


All the big writers (and plenty you’ve never heard of) have one. A website is where everyone from readers to journalists can easily learn about you, read your work and contact you. So how can you get one?

Ask anybody in marketing or advertising and they’ll tell you a website is a tool to generate enquiries about your service or product. So while it’s unlikely you’ll make a sale of your novel just because you have a website, to many it means the difference between an overworked homemaker on the back room PC and a professional who treats writing like a business — even if you’re an overworked homemaker on the back room PC.

However you build your site, it will be a collection of (mostly) HTML and image files, a quite specialised skill. Engaging a professional web development company is expensive, and for an everyday 5-7 page website you could be up for a couple of thousand dollars. That kind of professionalism might suit you, but if you’re a struggling writer like most of us, there are more options.

If you’re computer savvy enough, you could invest a few months into learning basic HTML. Plenty of free or cheap programs let you build a website just like you assemble words and graphics in a word processor, writing the HTML in the background. But be careful — most of them produce clunky, unprofessional-looking sites and you have very slick competition. If you just don’t have the time or interest, find a knowledgeable freelancer.

Some services provide a templating service where you sign up online, launch your website with one click and start changing colours, layout elements, applying text and uploading pictures yourself via a user-friendly interface in your browser. While they seldom break design barriers, they’re serviceable, robust and usually include the hosting.

There’s also been a shift away from dedicated HTML knowledge with the rise of the producer/consumer. A new blog is published every 8 seconds, and the reason is simple; it’s ridiculously easy. Essentially a web page to which you make regular updates, there are a million free blog services. You can be signed up and blogging away in a few clicks, usually with a bit of freedom to manipulate your design as well.

Links

A Google search will reveal literally thousands more blog, software and template sites, but the following are among the most popular and powerful.

Software

Adobe Dreamweaver (part of Adobe Creative Suite 3)
Coffee Cup

iBuilt
Web Creator
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4
Microsoft Frontpage
Templates

Templates Box
Templates4Net.com

Free Templates Online
Blog sites

Blogger.com
WordPress.com
Movabletype.org
Createablog.com
Thoughts.com


Full client and publication list:

  • 3D Artist
  • APC
  • AskMen.com
  • Auscam
  • Australian Creative
  • Australian Macworld
  • Australian Way (Qantas)
  • Big Issue
  • Black Velvet Seductions
  • Black+White
  • Bookseller & Publisher
  • Box Magazine
  • Brain World
  • Business News
  • Business NSW
  • Campaign Brief
  • Capture
  • CHUD.com
  • Cleo
  • Cosmos
  • Cream
  • Curve
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Dark Horizons
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Desktop
  • DG
  • Digital Media
  • Disney Magazine
  • DNA Magazine
  • Empire
  • Empty Magazine
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • Fast Thinking
  • FHM UK
  • Filmink
  • Follow Gentlemen
  • Geek Magazine
  • Good Reading
  • Good Weekend
  • GQ
  • How It Works
  • Hydrapinion
  • Inside Film
  • Internet.au
  • Loaded
  • M2 Magazine
  • Marie Claire Australia
  • Marketing
  • Maxim Australia
  • Men's Style
  • Metro
  • Moviehole
  • MSN
  • Nine To Five
  • Paranormal
  • PC Authority
  • PC Powerplay
  • PC Update
  • PC User
  • PC World
  • Penthouse
  • People
  • Pixelmag
  • Popular Science
  • Post Magazine
  • Ralph
  • Reader's Digest
  • ScienceNetwork WA
  • SciFiNow
  • Scoop
  • Scoop Traveller
  • Seaside Observer
  • SFX
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Australian
  • The Retiree
  • The Sun Herald
  • The West Australian
  • thevine.com.au
  • TimeOut
  • Total Film
  • Video Camera
  • Video&Filmmaker
  • Writing Magazine
  • Xpress
  • Zoo