As you can see from the previous posts, setting up a website was not a spur of the moment decision for me. The decision was difficult to make and the process was long and tedious. But the end result is something I’m very proud of and something that is changing continuously. I’m actually having a lot of fun updating it and finding just the right things I want to convey to you guys.
With that said, the next step in the process is to determine if you can afford a website. As much as I wanted to, I knew I didn’t have the finances that would allow me to have someone else design my site. I knew this because I continued with my web surfing and checked out all the web design sites. I went back to the author sites I used to give me an idea of what I wanted to create and looked a bit deeper to find their designers. I cruised the pages of the designer sites and was able to come up with quite a few more ideas of what I was interested in. Most of them have a rough estimate for prices, others I had to call for pricing. Some of the people I talked to were nice enough to give me an idea of what exactly I was up against if I went it alone. Not quite deterred at this point, I saved the links to each of these sites for future use when I can afford to have my site redesigned. Again, I’m looking ahead in order to save time and money down the road.
Knowing the top end of the prices that were out there, I now targeted my research towards building my own site. I checked out many different books on website design and ended up buying the ones I felt would be the most helpful as I progressed into this alien world of URL’s and hyperlinks. I read the PRO Career booklet on Building a Website posted on the Romance Writers of America’s website in the Member’s Only section and checked out all the host sites the authors mentioned. This is also where my friendships at GRW came back to help me. I was able to call on my ‘friends’ and pick the brains of several of the authors I had just researched. I admit that I found this one-on-one help much more helpful to me. I was able to ask these ladies questions that I didn’t feel comfortable asking a web designer who I may or may not have chosen.
In the end, I chose to go with the host site GoDaddy.com. Check out their website for more information on prices for domain names, hosting, and the various other options they provide. I also chose to build my site with FrontPage software. Both seemed to be the most user friendly at the time and were given the best ratings from the people I talk to. (and, they were supposed to be really good for a novice like myself)
As you can see, this is a very important step in the process, as was Post #2. Even if you do decide to go with a website designer, you still need to have an idea of what you want before going into it. Not only will it save you time, it could end up saving you money in the long run.
Come back on Friday for a post from my friend Devon Gray on why she decided to set up a site for herself. If you have any questions for Devon or myself, please feel free to post them in the comments section and we will be more than happy to respond.
Have a great week!!!