Saturday, July 15, 2017

One day I'll sort out all my websites

One day I'll sort out all my websites, blogs, links, connections and other wondrously ethereal e-things. Meanwhile, in an effort to answer a friend and at least sort out what I've got, here's my quick and easy guide to getting started with a blog.

Note to self - "a blog," not a gazillion blogs!

Note to anyone reading this - HELP! Any advice you can offer would be most welcome!

blogger.com - (Was it blogspot before it was blogger, or was it the other way around...? Anyway, this is where I started long years ago...)

Blogger let me create blogs free - so I foolishly made five of them:
I used one of blogspot's gadgets to create text with links and added lines across the top of each blog with links between them - so the webpage linked to the blog, etc. Then I had my first ever book released and just "had" to have a special blog/free website for that. Hence

Blogger's become more sophisticated now of course. It lets you create pages (much better than multiple blogs), and even set up a "landing page" that functions like a website. A neat pages "gadget" creates a bar of links across the top or down the side, and life is wonderful... unless, like me, you're already attached to the separate blogs you made earlier.


  • blogger has various templates (themes); you just choose one you like
  • then add and remove things on the layout page
  • including clever gadgets
  • some of which might be pictures of your books with links to your books on Amazon (for example) down one side of the page, as long as you choose an appropriate template.
  • you can move them around (drag and drop) on the "layout" then look at the "preview" page until you like it, then "save"
  • once you include a navigation bar and you can soon make it look like a pretty sophisticated website


  • Blogger's fairly clunky, moderately intuitive, and pretty easy to use with lots of good instructions to help you out.

    Wordpress.com - offers pretty much the same sort of thing (a free blog) but it's not connected to google

    • It gives a more sophisticated appearance (perhaps - depends how well you choose)
    • with more sophisticated gadgets
    • but it's slightly less friendly if you don't know what you're doing.
    Wordpress also has a version that gives you real websites, but then you need to pay for website hosting. Our writers' group uses Wordpress software and hosts the site on ipage: http://portlandwritersmill.org/. Once I started running part of our website, Wordpress automatically gave me a blog, so I run that at

    Weebly.com is great for a free fun visual site - another author introduced me to it, so I set up a book page there quite a while ago - another place I need to keep up to date!



    Weebly's really easy and fun to experiment with, but the instructions tend to be cryptic unless you're accustomed to playing with icons. They'll keep trying to sell you stuff as well, in particular stuff to help you sell your stuff, but I haven't paid them anything yet.


    Wix.com - is used by one of my publishers  https://www.linkvillepress.com/. Again, it creates a very nice visual site.


    Goodreads.com lets you create a free blog.

    And http://www.hostingadvice.com/how-to/free-web-hosting/ is a good resource to find out about other free (and cheap) options.


    But all of these leave you with strange-looking web addresses. If you want a "sensible" link to your website you'll have to pay someone for the privilege of "registering" your domain name. I pay GoDaddy.com for my  names - it's where I started and I'm comfortable staying there. though I'll have to learn how to set up a domain name that looks right when you go to the page, and lets you link to subpages and posts. I'm working on it. (That publisher, above, seems to have got it all worked out--can you spot the difference between their web addresses and mine when you go to their pages?)

    http://www.top10bestwebsitehosting.com/DomainHosting-Comparison compares different options for domain registration.

    At the start, I registered too many names - all offered cheap to new customers. Cheap gets more expensive when you come to renewals, so I let most of them drop. I just kept three, below:

    And that's my infinitely tortuous blogging world--all sorted out and singularly messy, but it works.



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