5 Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers in 2021
February 22, 2021
Inside this Article
What We Look For in the Best Website Builders for Authors 1. Wix – The Best Collection of Templates for Writers 2. SITE123 – Perfect for Authors Who Want to Get Online Quickly 3. Squarespace – Advanced E-Commerce and Blogging Features 4. Weebly – The Cheapest Way to Sell Books 5. WordPress.com – Lots of Free Widgets, Including Goodreads Integration Some Final Thoughts on the Best Website Builder for Authors FAQ
Can’t wait to get started? Here is the BEST builder for writers in 2021
Even if you’ve never built a website before, Wix is your best choice. It’s the only builder with a special template category for the literary arts . Not only that, but you can easily integrate your site with Amazon. Click here to get 50% off any Wix plan.
Let’s face it – many author websites look boring, amateurish, or just outdated. You don’t want one of those, and that’s why you need a website builder with professional-looking templates you can customize to reflect your own personal style.
But when it comes to building websites, design isn’t everything. The right website builder will come with the right features, such as a blog or newsletter where you can share your thoughts, integrations with Amazon and Goodreads, and more. You can even build your own online store and sell your books directly from your site.
I tested the major site builders on the market to see which ones offer the best features for authors, and Wix was my favorite. With its wide range of features, you can easily create the website you have in mind. Click here to try Wix for free , or read on for more recommendations, pro tips, and time-saving tricks – so you can get back to writing your next bestseller.
Jump down to see other recommended website builders | Comparison table | FAQ
What We Look For in the Best Website Builders for Authors
To narrow down the dozens of website builders out there, I focused on the features that matter most to authors:
Well-designed templates: If your site is going to represent you, you need it to look good. I chose the builders that offer the most attractive designs. Some even have templates created specifically for authors.
Personalization options: Templates are nice, but you want your author website to reflect your own personality. These builders allow you to customize your site’s design and make it your own (some offer more freedom than others).
Ease of use: You don’t need any design experience to use these platforms, and you certainly don’t need to know how to code. Building your website will be quick and easy, so you can save your time for writing (or, if you’re like me, for procrastinating).
Extra author features: These builders let you enhance your site with a blog, reader reviews, or even your own online shop to sell your books.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Dedicated Website Builder for Writers
Choosing a specialized site builder for writers might seem like a good idea, but you should be aware of the downsides. These builders are usually focused on portfolio display or lists of publications, but they don’t give you a fully functional website with room to grow. Sure, your portfolio is important, but all the website builders on this list have the ability to create them – along with many other useful features for your site.
The last thing you want is to have to rebuild your website from scratch later on down the line, when you realize you’ve totally outgrown the restrictions of a dedicated website builder for authors. If you’d still prefer to check out this route, jump down to see which specialized builders I recommend .
Wix has the best selection of templates for writer websites. Click to see them all.
Wix has more than 500 free templates, and it even has 16 templates specifically dedicated to the literary arts . Whether you’re a novelist or a children’s book author, you can find at least one template made specifically for you.
Since all Wix templates are fully customizable, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Literary Arts category. You can choose any template you like from the library and make any changes you like. One of the advantages of choosing a designated author template, though, is that they come with preset sections for books, an author’s bio, press reviews, and upcoming events – like in the example below.
I like how Wix lets you add an event calendar. Think book signings, poetry readings, and more.
Heads up about the templates: Make sure you spend some time choosing the right one. After you’ve started editing, you won’t be able to switch.
There are many features you can integrate into your site, either through the editor itself or via the Wix App Market:
Add a blog to publish chapter samples or short stories
Directly display your books for sale through the Amazon app
Allow visitors to download files, such as free excerpts and e-books
Use the Wix Forum app to create a community for readers to share and comment
Insert a Wix Countdown Clock to generate buzz for your next book release
SITE123 has plenty of useful features for an author site. You can:
Insert testimonial blocks to highlight readers’ reviews
Add Timeline to display your body of work visually
Choose your preferred blog style to publish teasers, short stories, or chapter excerpts
Add an Events page to showcase upcoming book releases or signings (shown below)
Use SEO tools to make sure potential new readers can find your site easily
SITE123 lets you choose from different types of pages to add to your website.
SITE123’s 24/7 live chat support is also really helpful for beginners. I used the live chat a ton while writing my SITE123 review and never had to wait more than 30 seconds for an answer.
SITE123’s free plan is pretty limited, with only 500 MB storage, SITE123 branding, and a SITE123 subdomain. But it still allows you to build a fully functional site quickly and easily.
Free Plan Available?
I love how Squarespace’s templates have that clean, minimalistic design.
Squarespace is well-known for its trendy, polished templates. In such a competitive industry, you want your website to reflect who you are and look its absolute best.
Along with attractive templates and standard edits to your website (like adding images, pages, and text blocks), Squarespace also has some unique features for authors – especially if you like blogging.
A Squarespace blog lets you:
Organize your posts according to categories and/or tags
Enable or disable reader comments for individual blog posts, or even set a time limit for comments
Use accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to make your posts load faster on mobile devices
Automatically push content to your social media accounts (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more)
Weebly may not have a huge number of themes, but the ones available are all beautifully designed.
Weebly has a simple, streamlined drag-and-drop editor. Although it offers fewer themes than Wix or Site123, the selection is attractive, and every theme can be customized exactly as you want. If you don’t like the free themes on Weebly, you can also import third-party themes from marketplaces like ThemeForest . Unlike Wix, you can change Weebly themes at any time, giving you more flexibility.
Customizing your site is easy, with 25+ ready-made elements you can drag and drop onto any page.
For your author’s website, a few standout features of Weebly include:
Downloadable documents via Scribd
A blog to share your thoughts with the world or publish writing samples
Contact forms for readers, literary agents, or other site visitors to get in touch with you
Social media apps and buttons to help you get more followers
Custom surveys to collect feedback from your readers
With Weebly’s free plan, you’ll get 500 MB storage, but your site will have a Weebly subdomain and Square branding. Upgrading will unlock more storage and the ability to connect a custom domain. Weebly also offers the cheapest e-commerce plan with no limits , allowing you to sell your books for much less than other site builders.
Learn about other pros and cons in our detailed Weebly review .
Free Plan Available?
WordPress.com has more than 100 free and premium themes, with around 15 themes designed for writers. If you upgrade to the Business plan, you can also purchase themes from third-party providers ( Template Monster is one of my favorites).
With a free WordPress.com plan, you can:
Display your books on Goodreads on your site
Add a “milestone” to count down to an upcoming event, like a book release
Add a Google Translate button to display your site in different languages
Take advantage of built-in SEO tools to grow your readership
Good news for the easily distracted writers among us: Once your website is published, you can write blog posts distraction-free by using the Full-Screen Editing or Spotlight modes.
You can easily import your previous blog posts from most popular blogging platforms, such as Tumblr, Blogger, and Medium.
If you already have a blog, it’s easy to import your posts into WordPress.com.
With WordPress.com’s free plan you’ll get a generous 3 GB of storage , but your site will have a WordPress.com subdomain and WordPress.com branding. The free themes and widgets give you lots of options, but if you want to sell your books, you’ll have to upgrade to the Business plan (or settle for adding a link to Amazon).
Jump over to our expert WordPress.com review for some pro tips on using the platform.
Free Plan Available?
Try WordPress.com for Free >>
Dedicated Website Builders for Writers
Journo Portfolio. Despite its name, Journo Portfolio offers a decent set of features that go way beyond just presenting your portfolio. It has a free plan, allows you to create multiple pages, gives you tools to publish blog posts and articles, and has a range of great themes to choose from.
Clippings.me.For a fast way to build your online presence as a writer, Clippings.me offers different themes, a section for your bio, and a place to upload and categorize your work. It’s still fairly limited, but it does give you a great-looking portfolio, and its paid plans offer advanced analytics tools, too.
Booklaunch.io. If you’re a book author looking for a way to showcase your published works, Booklaunch is a great place to start. It’s free for the first page, but if you opt to pay, you can create unlimited pages, build an email mailing list, and integrate with some third-party apps. Plus, you can build your pages using your books’ ISBN numbers to allow Booklaunch to pre-populate your pages with cover images, titles, colors, and more.
Some Final Thoughts on the Best Website Builder for Authors
Still not sure which is the best option for you? Here are some quick recommendations:
If you want the largest selection of designated templates for authors, Wix is by far the best choice . You can also take advantage of its great free apps, including the Amazon integration.
If your priority is to sell your books at the lowest cost to you, then go with Weebly . You can sell unlimited e-books, printed books, and other merchandise directly from your site on the cheapest plan.
In most cases, it’ll be worth the added cost to upgrade. You’ll be taken more seriously as an author with your own domain name, and you’ll often get access to better customization options or add-on features. All of these site builders offer reasonable starting prices and a minimum 14-day money-back guarantee, so you can try a premium plan without risking your hard-earned cash.
Check out the table below to find the best website builder for your author’s site.
Stand-out features for author websites
How can I build my author website on my own?
A website builder is the easiest way – all you have to do is choose your favorite template and customize it however you like. Wix has some great free author website templates with built-in sections to promote your book, upcoming events, and display press testimonials.
Before you get started, you also want to choose a good domain name. You could use your own name or go with something more creative. See our ultimate guide to choosing a domain name for some expert tips.
Next, add some content to your site, like an ‘About Me’ section, some details about your book or your writing, and a contact form. Once you’re happy with your site, just click the Publish button!
Can I sell my books on my website for free?
Yes, there are ways to do that. For instance, Weebly lets you set up an online store on the free plan – just keep in mind that this option is only available in the US and a few other countries.
With Wix, you have to upgrade to a paid business plan if you want to sell on your website, but there is a workaround – you can use Wix’s free plan and install the Amazon app, which lets you display your books on your website with links to purchase on Amazon.
If you think you’d be better off with a paid plan that lets you build a full online store, make sure to check out our website builder coupon page to see the latest deals available.
What is the best website builder for beginners?
Any DIY website builder mentioned in this article is easy enough to use, but if you’re looking for something that’s absolutely foolproof, go with SITE123 . It’s more limited in terms of design options and extra features compared with Wix or Squarespace, but you can still have a good-looking in almost no time at all. Plus, there are some great deals for SITE123 going on right now.
On the other hand, Wix has templates specifically for writers, making it easy to build your website, and you’ll have the advantage of having a more customizable design to work with.
The truth is, you can still create a great author’s website with almost any of our recommended website builders , so don’t be worried if you’re a website building beginner!
Andrea is an experienced content writer, copywriter, and editor with special interests in graphic design, sustainable development, travel, and literature. Originally from Texas, she has lived around the world and makes frequent trips to explore new places and visit family in Japan.
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