If you’re a book author (as opposed to authors of other types of publications) and looking for web hosting, there are some additional factors to consider. While web hosting for other types of artists may also be adequate for you, I would encourage you to take into account the following items. I have a number of friends who are authors, and in corresponding with them, I’ve been able to determine some of the key features they’re looking for. Choosing a web host that saves time and allows them to focus more on their writing, editing, and proofreading instead of getting their website online would be the general primary goal.
|A2 Hosting||$3.92 mo. – $9.31 mo.||Optimized Page Speeds|
|GoDaddy||$4.99 mo. – $7.99 mo.||Easy Setup|
|InMotion||$3.49 mo. – $7.49 mo.||Max Speed Zone Technology; More Free Ad Credits|
|iPage||$1.99-2.95 mo.||Two Website Builders; More Free Ad Credits|
|SiteGround||$3.95 mo. – $14.95 mo.||Managed WordPress Hosting|
|WP Engine||$29 mo. – $249 mo.||Managed WordPress Hosting|
Here are some of the specific website requirements for authors:
- Inexpensive Solution
- Easy to Put Together and Maintain
- Blogging Vehicle for Driving Traffic to Website
- Promotion and Marketing Avenues
- Communication Channels with Other Authors
- Email Newsletter Signup
For example, if you’re an author that doesn’t currently have blog but want your own website to promote your books, you’d probably be best off with one of the quick-start web hosting options that can create your site with minimal effort from you. Or, say you currently have a blog on WordPress.com but now you want to have a blog with your own domain name with a WordPress.org standalone website, then your best bet would be to look for a quality WordPress hosting plan that allows easier conversion from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
With so many web hosting options available, I’ve divided our recommendations into separate categories that best matchup to the above requirements. Keep in mind that there is some overlap when it comes to hosting plans that include the features above. And, there are multiple options for each category.
For Quick and Easy Websites:
If your primary goals are to get a website up and running as quickly as possible and not have to put in a lot of extra work in creating it, there are some very good options. On the low cost side, iPage offers a hosting plan with excellent features including two website builders you can use to easily create a site. I also need to put GoDaddy in this category. They offer many options for easily getting a website up and running. And, they offer hosting plans in all price ranges.
For Hosting a WordPress.org Site:
WordPress is by far the best blogging platform available. Whether you’re looking to start a new blog or convert say a WordPress.com blog, there are some excellent choices for hosting. Many authors already have a blog with Blogger or another free blogging site. If you’re currently using WordPress.com, the logical upgrade is to get your own domain and utilize the WordPress.org software to create a separate website just for you. In these cases, you’re best off with a web host that specializes in WordPress hosting. There are plenty of choices here starting from web hosting companies that simply provide access to the WordPress software together with excellent customer support, all the way up to managed WordPress hosting plans that will do most of your maintenance tasks while providing expert WordPress support staff.
SiteGround provides outstanding WordPress hosting. I’ve had great results using them for one of my sites. If you’re starting a new WordPress blog or are comfortable exporting your WordPress.com site and importing it into your self-hosted WordPress.org site on your own, I’d suggest checking them out. If however you’re not comfortable with converting your WordPress.com site to WordPress.org, or you need extra help in getting started, then I’d recommend going with a managed WP host such as WP Engine. Be aware that SiteGround is much less expensive than WP Engine.
For Faster Downloads:
Many authors are currently selling their books through amazon—sometimes even offering free download promotions. With your own website, you can certainly include links to your products on Amazon. If you’d also like to provide sample downloads or want to utilize other multimedia files, then download speed becomes even more important.
It’s often difficult to measure web hosting speeds for everyone. But location does play a significant role in download speeds. Ideally, you want your server to be as close as possible to whoever is downloading the material from your website. Content delivery networks are now playing a big role in decreasing download times—however purchasing a web hosting plan that includes a CDN will usually cost much more. As an alternative, you can look for a web host with multiple data centers.
InMotion Hosting employs their Max Speed Zone Technology with data centers on both the West and East coast that can greatly reduce file download times. In fact, you can even test it out for yourself on their website. I’ve used InMotion for years and have never had any problems with speed.
A2 Hosting is another excellent choice as they specialize in fast website hosting and WordPress. Their hosting plan includes a content delivery network, and their optimized hosting environment can speed up your website by reducing your page loading times.
For Optimum Promotion to Target Markets:
- $100 Google Adwords Credits
- $75 Bing Advertising Credits
- $75 Yahoo Advertising Credits
- Free Yellowpages.com Listing
When it comes to promoting your website, advertising credits are usually the vehicle offered by web hosting companies. Surprisingly, there don’t seem to be as many credits offered as there were in the past. However, the above hosting plans do include ad credits. Some web hosts, such as GoDaddy, offer additional product packages to promote your site for additional fees. While these services may save you some time, personally I don’t think they’re worth paying the extra money.
For Communications and Email Signup:
While email list signup is a great marketing tool, surprisingly, most web hosting plans do not include this feature. GoDaddy does offer a separate package for email marketing which includes signup and email campaign features. However, it will cost you additional fees. So if you’re going to spend extra money on email list features, you might be better off looking at AWeber or some other email autoresponder service.
Your Own Books Deserve Your Own Website
Since you’ve put in a lot of work to author your books, it makes sense they deserve to be promoted from your own website. Having your own site can give you and your work greater exposure and more professionalism. And, no matter how simple or sophisticated your website needs to be, there are plenty of excellent choices out there to purchase quality web hosting at all price levels.