What did you use to build your website?
This awesome question came to me hot at 8:30 am. Nonetheless let me answer your questions. Congrats! You’re choosing to build a website in this decade vs. say, the 90s when you actually had to know how to code like a gawd.
Hey Onicia is a series where I tap into my type-A side and answer questions from my friends about this starving artist life. If you find this helpful, share with your twitter homies or thank me with ice cream. Want to chat or collaborate? Holla at me!
Heads up: This post is different to other “how to start a blog/website” articles because I’m not about pushing expensive super-pro solutions just so I can earn a commission. Yes, making money requires spending money. However, your first time doing anything will be trial and error. Don’t go breaking bank without fully testing if this new online venture is for you.
I built my website (www.oniciamuller.com) with Weebly. Psst, use my affiliate link for 10% discount.
Why I choose Weebly
Although I’d taken website building and coding classes in high school and undergrad, I can’t do everything. Any skills I’ve developed have been for the sole purpose of making my writing profitable. I chose Weebly because it was drag-and-drop. I have to option to use custom HTML and CSS but it’s not required.
Why I hate Weebly
About 2 or 3 years into the new site, I realized Weebly was a nightmare to blog with. Clarification: blogging is easy but navigating and updating old post is aaararrrggggg!!!!
Yup, I is articulate.
Intense internet research led me to determine that my best option was to customize a Blogger site OR level up and move my entire set to WordPress. Yes, WordPress is the king of blogging platforms. HOWEVER! If you’re an up-and-coming artist/entrepreneur just looking for a simple web presence, most drag-and-drop platforms (e.g., Squarespace, Wix, etc.) should be able to accommodate you just fine. All the platforms cost about the same anyways.
My hacker friend Darren Butcher and I tweaked a FREE blogger template to match my Weebly site (I designed it myself, BTW). And you’re on it right now! It’s nearly seamless.
A hybrid website is when you use two website management systems. I accomplish this by creating a subdomain (blog.oniciamuller.com) and associating it with my FREE blogger account. Hosting my domain with Google makes creating subdomains and custom emails easy and CHEAP.
Sure, to get your Blogger site popping, you will need to know some HTML. Alternatively you can rock out with a cheap Blogger theme ($10+) or hire a web designer.
How much should a website cost?
Websites have about 2 - 3 annual costs.
Domain name - $12+ I prefer Google domains because it’s a flat rate until GoDaddy and other sites. Note: I wouldn't buy a domain name before I know exactly what the project is, checked social media, confirm ni trademark infringement, and know when the site design will be ready. Don't want to buy a name if the site won't be ready for six months. Earliest I would do is three months.
Hosting - $8+/month
Hosting makes your website available on the web. You buy from a hosting company or pay your preferred website design platform.
Website design - $200+/year
This is the company you use to create your website interface. With Weebly you can have your domain name, hosting, and website theme all for one price. Weebly offers a free domain name for one year when you buy a subscription.
Wondering if you, le starving artists, should invest +/-$250 per year in a website? Well, here are at least 5 way writers can utilize a personal website.
Should you splurge and hire a professional to set you up? You’ll know by answering these two questions:
- Do you plan to be in business for at least 5 years?
- Do you think you can pull at least $500 in revenue within 12 months?
If you said ‘yes’ to both, then hot diggity, start with a FREE blog. Then in about 6 months get an upgrade. (Psst, return here to use my links for fiya discounts.)
“If you have a goal that requires money to be spent on it, don’t tell yourself that you can’t afford it. Don’t use yourself as an excuse.” - Breaking The Piggy Bank
Issa investment, not a splurge!