Not any knowledge of HTML. Not a web designer. Not a lengthy textbook
about “building a website.”
You just need about an hour of time and a slightly foggy notion of what to
Oh, and money?
You don’t even need money. Most platforms for making a website that are out there today are free.
Making a website for yourself is incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that web-building platforms are competing with each other to out-ease the other.
That’s right – there have been reckless innovations in recent years when it
comes to user experience. A few years ago, sure, you may have struggled a
little and pulled at least a few hairs out while trying to get something live.
Now? Not so much.
Here are the three platforms that are the best for writers, musicians, and artists who want to make a website:
WordPress is one of the premier web-building tools around. A lot of major companies use it, including big news outlets like CNN. Just check out their Political Ticker page.
Advantages: Pre-built themes and templates that format your blog for you, an engaged user community that will help promote your blog, and the chance to be Freshly Pressed on the front of WordPress.com, which can really help boost traffic.
Weebly is great if you’re trying to do… well, anything. It’s even more user-friendly that WordPress and you can give your website exactly the look you want.
When I failed in getting even the lowliest of unpaid internship positions for one summer, I used it to create a website for my writing workshop.
Advantages: Flexible templates, extremely user-friendly
Disadvantages: Lack of community that can help promote your blog, clunky design that can be achingly slow at times
Tumblr is an up-and-coming social network with a user retention rate of 80% and a user base that is 50% ages 24 and under.
To be honest, I’m pretty intrigued by it myself.
It’s a young, faster-paced blog platform that really prides itself in being slick. The user base is even more engaged than the WordPress community, which means it’s very
easy to have a post go viral.
Advantages: Highly engaged community can spike visibility to an unholy degree, extremely easy to set up, very supportive groups of visual artists like painters and photographers
Disadvantages: Extremely visual social network that doesn’t do justice to most long-form blog posts, easeof-promotionmeans you can get your work taken, reblogged, and not attributed, still in its adolescent phase in every sense of the word
What I recommend for creative people
Hands-down, I recommend WordPress for someone who is trying to show their artistic genius to the world, be it in the form of novels, paintings, set design, or music.
Simple: the balance of community, professionalism, and flexibility.
While it’s not as flexible and intuitive as Weebly and has fewer engaged users than Tumblr, WordPress is exactly what creative people need to come off as having things together, but still being able to connect with similarly talented individuals.
That said: if you have pretty pictures to show, you should create a Tumblr and a Pinterest, too.
Artists, photographers, set designers, and other people whose work can be shown visually should always have multiple channels to showcase their pieces.
1. These days anyone can make a website. Seriously, anyone. Try it!
2. Don’t be afraid of making a crappy website. The whole thing is a learning process and the point is to get your work up there, so you can experiment with how to make it look good.
3. Making your website look good is step two in the process, don’t worry about it until it’s up. It took me three years to convert my website from garbage bin for rejected short stories to something clean, interactive, and nice-looking.
4. Promoting your website is step three. Don’t do it until you have stuff up there and you like the lay-out. Take your time, this is the front door to your artistic world!
First Photo Credit: Saad Kadhi