This is a very important step! Remember that your creation will be the face of your business. When I first started, I was overly optimistic. I could create a website by watching YouTube videos. But with a full-time job of more than 50 hours per week, taking the publishing course, and working on putting the business together, creating a website on my own was impossible.
Conclusion is: if you do not know how to do something, leave it to someone who does. That is a lesson taught, for me. So, when you are at the very first steps of opening up your business, the budget is tight; therefore, you try to do as many things as possible. Don’t let that be making or designing your own website unless you are an IT genius.
So back to my trying to build my own website. I put together a list of steps that one can follow to do that. This is my trial and error list. What I did and what actually worked for me. Keep in mind: What worked for me might not work for you. You might know how to build a website and want to do it on your own! God bless you if you do.
Here is part one of the steps you can follow to create a website for a publishing and selling books business. You can use this as your checklist as you go along.
- Define your goals: Start by clarifying the purpose and goals of your website. Determine what you want to achieve with your online presence, such as promoting and selling books, attracting authors, or building a community around your publishing brand.
- Choose a domain name: Select a domain name that reflects your business and is easy to remember. Ideally, it should include relevant keywords related to books, publishing, or your brand name. I chose ‘’bookfairypubllications.com’’. Thankfully it was available through GoDaddy.
- Find a reliable web hosting provider: Research and choose a reputable web hosting provider that offers reliable server uptime, good customer support, and scalability options to accommodate your growing business needs. I personally chose GoDaddy and bought the name.
- Select a content management system (CMS): Consider using a CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces and a wide range of themes and plugins to customize your website's design and functionality. My first CMS was GoDaddy- I paid someone to create my website on WordPress ($$$ spent for nothing) but later on I found that Shopify is an easier platform. So, I cancelled the 3 year plan with GoDaddy- just kept my domain names and had someone create Shopify website. Moral of the story: Do your research before you pay!
- Plan your website structure and design: Create a sitemap outlining the pages you want on your website. Think about the user experience and design a clean and intuitive layout. Consider incorporating features like book categorization, search functionality, author profiles, and an online store. This was also a trial and error. I looked at other similar sites before I decided what pages I want on my website. I decided to have Home-Books-Write2publish-Bookfairy blog- Contact. These can change as you go depending on your needs.
- Design and develop your website: Customize the appearance of your website using a suitable theme or hire a professional web designer if necessary. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for search engines (SEO) to increase visibility. Now, this was the toughest. As mentioned at the beginning I thought I could do this. Ended up I couldn’t. Or if I could, it would take me forever. I hired a freelancer. (There will be another post on freelancers)
To be continued...