So, you’re an author and you need a website to promote your writing. Everyone from your publisher to your editor to your publicist is telling you that a website is a must-have. What to do?
You have two choices: build it yourself, or have your author website built professionally.
Why not do it yourself? I mean, with all of the fancy DIY website-building tools out there, it should be a piece of cake, right? Drag and drop this, color that, get some pretty pictures, and within a few hours (or so they tell you) your super-duper website will be up and running.
You could do this. It’s not rocket science. If you can chew gum while you tie your shoes, you can probably build some semblance of a decent website in a week or three.
But should you?
I’ve always been a do-it-yourselfer. Didn’t matter what needed doing, I was sure I could do it in at least a passable fashion. Hire a plumber? I don’t think so. Electrician? Ditto. Fix a car? Ha! Plumbing, wiring, drywall, painting, engine rebuilding, upholstery, you name it, I could get it done. Eventually. Still can.
I have come to the conclusion though, after many years of diving into rabbit holes that proved to be less-than-easy to get out of, that doing everything myself just because I can isn’t always the wisest course of action.
Staying true to form, one of the first things I did was buy a service manual for it. I intended to do everything myself – service, adjustments, repairs. Then I started looking at what was actually involved. Even though I’ve built up quite the tool collection over the years, there some special ones required that I didn’t have. The next scheduled service procedure would take me a solid day to do.
I made a radical – for me – decision. I called the Harley-Davidson dealer and scheduled them to do the service. I want to ride the thing, not work on it.
It is the same thing for you and your soon-to-be website.
Yes, you can do it. Absolutely. But maybe, as in my case, it isn’t the best thing to do. Even with all of the fancy tools available, you will still have to spend quite a bit of time and effort. That’s the tradeoff. In order to build your own website, you’ll need at least some knowledge of:
- PHP coding
- Setting up hosting
- Troubleshooting when things don’t work
Then, there’s software and learning to use it – an image editing program, a good text editor, an FTP client.
OR – you can, as I did – have the professionals do it for you. Yes, having professionals build a website for you costs a little bit of money. Professionals do. But you may just come to the conlusion, as I did and many authors have, that doing it yourself just isn’t worth the hassle and meeting the Red Queen isn’t your idea of a good time.