If you’re a writer, your website is your business card, portfolio, resume and all in one. It’s the first impression people will get from you to decide if they want to work with you or not. Which is why choosing the best web hosting service for your website is so important. Luckily, I’ve tested many different hosting services since I started writing my books. This article explains what to look for when choosing web hosting for writing purposes and why some of them are better than others.
Best Web Hosting For Writers
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.
1. Wix – The Best Collection of Templates for Writers
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.
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
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You can learn about other features in our full Wix review.
Wix’s free plan comes with 500 MB each of storage and bandwidth, but you’ll be stuck with a Wix subdomain and Wix branding.
If you want to sell printed or digital books online, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to run an online store. As a free user, you can add an external link to Amazon or Book Depository.
Number of Templates500+ templates in total, with around 16 for authors
|Free Plan Available?||Yes|
|Mobile-Responsive Templates?||No, but each template has a mobile-friendly version and you can use the mobile editor to tweak it to your liking|
|E-commerce?||Yes, but only on paid plans|
|Price of Cheapest Paid Plan||$16.00 per month|
|What Do You Get with the Cheapest Paid Plan?||The Combo plan offers:2 GB bandwidth3 GB storageCustom domain (free for one year with annual plan)Branding-free display|
2. Squarespace – Advanced E-Commerce and Blogging Features
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)
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Plus get a free domain for one year!
Start with Squarespace’s 14-day free trial to build your site and see if you like the platform. If you subscribe to the Business plan, you’ll be able to add an online store to sell your books. You’ll also get unlimited storage – great for uploading videos from book readings or even sketches from the creation process of your graphic novel.
|Free Plan Available?||No (but there is a 14-day free trial)|
|Number of Templates||100+ templates, none specifically for authors|
|E-commerce?||Yes, on the Business and Commerce plans|
|Price of Cheapest Paid Plan||$14.00 per month|
|What Do You Get with the Cheapest Paid Plan?||The Personal plan offers:Unlimited bandwidth and storageCustom domain (free for one year with annual plan)24/7 customer support|
3. SITE123 – Perfect for Authors Who Want to Get Online Quickly
If you’re up against the clock on your publishing deadlines with no time to waste building your website, you’ll probably like the efficiency of SITE123. This website builder has far fewer templates than Wix (and doesn’t have any specifically made for writers), but there’s a nice selection of modern designs.
Get 44 % off your SITE123 plan today!
Save 44 % when you sign up for SITE123’s annual plan
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’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?||Yes|
|Number of Templates||100+ templates, none specifically for authors|
|E-commerce?||Yes. You can technically even host an online store with a free plan, but you cannot accept online payments (offline options, such as pay by phone and bank transfer, are possible)|
|Price of Cheapest Paid Plan||$12.80 per month|
|What Do You Get with the Cheapest Paid Plan?||The Premium plan offers:5 GB bandwidth10 GB storageCustom domain (free for one year)Branding-free display100 mailing list messagesAccess to plugin libraryMore customization options|
4. Zyro – Best AI Features to Help You Set Up Your Site
Although Zyro’s template gallery doesn’t have a specific category for authors, you’ll find some attractive writer-oriented designs in the Blog category. All templates are good-looking and mobile-responsive, and you can edit the desktop and mobile versions of your site independently.
Customizing your site is a smooth process – you can drag and drop elements anywhere on the page, and they will snap into a grid, ensuring your layout always looks organized. You can add image galleries and slideshows to showcase your book covers, customize contact forms, add dropdown navigation, and more.
If you have a pre-existing site, you can import content using the website importer tool, or if you’re in a hurry to launch it for the first time, the AI writer will generate SEO-optimized content for you.
There are also built-in e-commerce features, but you’ll need to subscribe to the eCommerce plan. You get all the essentials – orders and inventory management, the ability to create marketing campaigns, and even sell your books via mobile.
Some of Zyro’s standout features include:
- Live chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to interact with your site’s visitors
- News and events pages to promote upcoming book signings or workshops
- A blog section to share your thoughts or book excerpts (together with an AI Blog Title generator)
- SEO tools like AI Heatmap and Facebook Pixel to measure your site’s performance and increase conversions
Zyro doesn’t have a free plan or a free trial, but there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. The eCommerce plan includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, selling up to 100 products, apps, and more.
|Mobile-Responsive Templates?||Yes – you can edit the mobile version independently|
|E-commerce?||Yes, available on the eCommerce plan|
|Price of Cheapest Paid Plan?||$2.61|
|What Do You Get with the Cheapest Paid Plan?||The Basic plan offers: Custom domain24/7 customer supportFree email for 3 months AI tools|
5. WordPress.com – Lots of Free Widgets, Including Goodreads Integration
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.
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).
|Free Plan Available?||Yes|
|Number of Templates||100+ in total, around 15 free themes for writers; you can also purchase and import third-party themes|
|Mobile-Responsive Templates?||Varies by individual theme|
|E-commerce?||Yes, but only on the Business plan and up|
|Price of Cheapest Paid Plan||$45.00 per month|
|What Do You Get with the Cheapest Paid Plan?||The Personal plan offers:6 GB storageEmail and live chat supportFree domain for one year (with annual plan)Branding-free display|
- 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 create a budget-friendly, but professional-looking website, go with SITE123. You get all the features you need and you can sell your books 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.
wix for authors
Before we dive in, just a few things to bear in mind. Wix allows you to customize your site as much as you want, so you can change the colors, fonts, and layouts on any template to suit your needs.
Also, if you’ve already envisioned a perfect template to reflect your style as a writer, you can choose a blank template and start building everything from scratch.
However, be sure to take your time before you make a final decision. Wix doesn’t let you switch between designs without losing your edits, so once you make your choice, you’ll need to stick to it.
Now, back to work.
Andy Decker – Best for Showcasing Your Portfolio
This template is a great option for a writer’s portfolio website. Its modern design with full-width images is bound to attract the viewer’s attention, and there are specific sections for your bio, books, press reviews, and more.
You can customize the Books section by uploading your own book covers, and thanks to the Wix Stores feature, you can sell your books directly from your site.
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Limited-time offer – Don’t miss it!
Emily Clark – Best for Selling E-Books
This charming template is the perfect way to promote your latest publication and tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your writing process. The homepage puts your latest work in focus and helps convert readers with a Buy Now CTA button.
What’s great about this template is that it lets you upload digital files, so visitors can download your work in e-book format.
I particularly like the sliding format of the Press section, but I’m also a big fan of the Book Signing page, which displays the location of your upcoming events on Google Maps along with event details and a registration form.
Samanta Jones – Best for Writers With a Blog
The bold and dramatic design of this template would work well for any writer, but it’s particularly good if you’re in the thriller genre. There are sections for your bio, previous works, and upcoming news and events, and the homepage features your latest publication along with press reviews.
A standout feature on this template is the blog section, where you can keep your audience up to date with your latest activities or share chapter samples. And you can set up an online shop and sell books directly from your site.
Of course, there’s an all-important contact page, so that your readers can easily get in touch with you.
T.S. Hewitt – Best for Literary Traditionalists
I find the black-and-white retro style of this template very appealing – it gets back to basics with a focus on the writer’s craft.
You can showcase your novels or poetry collections, tell your story in the Bio section, inform your audience about upcoming events, and sell your books straight from the website.
Also, this template lets visitors subscribe to your newsletter to learn more about your latest activities.
Noah Matthews – Most Versatile and Elegant
Regardless of what kind of author you are, this template’s sleek and sophisticated design will show off your work in the best light. The homepage displays your latest book cover, and there are specific sections dedicated to your background as a writer, your works, press reviews, and book signings.
Much like with the Emily Clark template, reviews slide in horizontally against a subtle starry background. You also get a preinstalled online shop, so you can start selling your books right away.
Eduard Miller – Best for Poets
I love the “Edgar Allan Poe” vibe of this template, and the Walt Whitman quote on the homepage makes it clear that this template is designed for poets. Of course, you can customize this template to match your style, and with a little work, it can be a good choice for any writer.
While many other templates make visitors scroll to find important sections, this one puts all the essentials in the center. You can upload your photos, share your story, and present a different poem every week to keep content fresh.
Naturally, there are pages dedicated to your books, press reviews, and upcoming events, such as book signings and workshops. And the contact form at the bottom of the About page makes it easy for your fans to reach you.
Wix Templates for Writers You May Want to Avoid
Like I mentioned earlier, Wix’s flexibility when it comes to customization is one of its greatest assets. Essentially, you can make any template reflect your style and personality with a little tweaking.
However, if a template is too far away from what you want to begin with, that process can just take too long. Here are some of the designs that (in my opinion) just aren’t worth your while.
Both Tony and Daniel Lunsford have too much white space, which makes the templates feel uninspired. I’m all for a minimalist approach, but white background and black text on every page seems a bit too plain and boring.
These designs could work for some personal projects, such as CVs, but a writer’s website needs to have more personality. It’s all about attracting readers and making your website stand out, and these templates just don’t have what it takes.
Other Wix Templates That Work Well for Authors
Because Wix is so flexible with the changes it allows you to make, there’s no need to limit yourself to the Literary Arts category. If you’re willing to move things around a little bit, there are some amazing designs hidden in other parts of Wix’s template gallery.
Poster Gal – Most Instagram-Friendly
The fresh and simple design paired with a subtle color palette is just the template you need to promote your publications. You can upload your book covers and you get a pre-installed Wix store to sell your work.
What’s also convenient is the built-in Instagram feed that shifts all the attention to your books.
There’s also an About section to share your story and a Contact page for readers to get in touch with you.
Bump & Beyond – Most Visually Engaging
The Personal Blog section has lots of templates that would work well for authors. Bump & Beyond may seem too niche, but with a few customizations it can be a great way to promote your books.
The template’s visually attractive design with full-width images shifts the focus to your photos, and you can easily personalize it by uploading pics of your covers.
As for functionality, this template comes with a built-in Wix Forums app, which can help you build a community of readers. Fans can leave comments, interact with each other, and share and post content to generate buzz for your books.
House of Keto – Best for an Online Book Shop
Don’t shy away from searching through the Food & Travel section, either. House of Keto is another great template for writers who want to sell their books directly from the site.
The Wix Stores App comes preinstalled, as does the Wix Content Manager feature, which lets you organize your content into “collections” so that your readers can easily find what they’re looking for.
Another perk of this template is the built-in Instagram feed to keep your followers engaged. Every page puts emphasis on the images, so your covers will get all the attention. Of course, you can delete the pages you don’t need, such as the Lifestyle page.
How to Choose the Right Template for Your Writing Persona
Your website will represent your style and personality as a writer, so the template you choose needs to appeal to you first and foremost. The right template will help capture your authenticity and prompt the reader to learn more about you and your work.
Remember, your site’s design is the first thing visitors will notice, so don’t be afraid to browse other template categories and pick something that works for you. With Wix’s enormous template gallery, you’re sure to find one you like.
Is Wix good for writers?
Wix is a great platform for writers: not only does it have a special template category for the literary arts, but it also has a free plan that comes with convenient features for authors, bloggers, and journalists, such as the ability to add reader reviews, an event calendar, and more. Read our in-depth review of Wix to learn all about its apps and functionality.
Does Wix own your content?
Wix doesn’t own your text or images, but you can’t download your site or any of its pages from Wix – and you can’t export them to another platform. If you decide to switch to another website builder, you have to manually copy the content from your Wix site into a document on your computer and then paste it into the new builder’s editor.
What is the best website builder for authors?
It all depends on your needs. Wix has a special template category dedicated to writers, and all the templates in this category include some important features for authors, such as press reviews, forums, and built-in online stores.Squarespace doesn’t have an author-specific category, but its templates are some of the most modern and elegant around (plus, they’re automatically mobile-responsive).Weebly is the most affordable option if you plan to sell books directly from your site, while SITE123 offers the quickest way to get your site online. Check out our list of the best website builders for authors and writers in 2022 to help you make an informed decision.
How much does Wix cost per month?
Wix’s website plans start at around $16.00 per month, which is quite affordable. For even better deals, visit our coupon page to get discounts on annual plans.And if you decide not to go with Wix, you’ll find other website building options on our list of the best website builders for 2022.