Author Websites: A Frugal Writer's Guide - article

When building an author website it’s important stuff to consider all of the costs and to plan a budget and goals for yourself.
A lot of places charge anywhere from ten dollars a year and up for a domain name. When looking at a service, make sure it is one that you can afford and look at any extra costs. Some additional costs might be taxes and certain federal fees, private registration fees, spam control fees, and multi-year registrations.
Once you have a domain name you will need someone to host it. There are several companies that provide this service. One is Godaddy. Cost wise you may want to look at some of the other options out there such as Blogger where they will host your domain for free, or Freewebs where you can host your domain for a small cost per month. Where you host your domain will be important not only for cost but support. Things you should also consider: how stable will my website be? Will it always be up or is there a lot of time where it won't be? How is their customer support if something happens? Are design templates available? Is there a site building tool?
There are other free services as well for items you may need for your website. Some such as a guestbook or a newsletter service comes with joining their website, such as Bravenet. Other applications like contact forms or chat box features may require you to pay a fee or to simply register for the specific product. Blogger and WordPress already have some of these features in them you may want for free by signing up for their blog to use as your blog.
If you want things somewhat set up for you, you can always look for website templates. These can help you to place links, move items around in an easy fashion. There are a lot of free services out there to help with these and also some who charge per template or per month. You just need to look for a template that suits what you need and that you can work with. Many web hosting services provide templates as part of their service.
It’s easy to find free or low cost options on the Internet today. It’s wise to do some research, compare vendors, and ask your own network of friends and colleagues to ensure you work with reputable companies. A little bit of research goes a long way.

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