Last month, I wrote a blog on how to go about creating a website, or having someone do it for you. I’ve finally finished mine http://lindacovella.com/ and I thought I’d share my trials, tribulations and final success of creating my own website.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
I had decided to attempt the website on my own. I’d heard from other authors that WordPress was very easy to use. Famous last words, as they say.
It wasn’t that easy! And WordPress’s Help link was not much help at all. I began to get discouraged, so I looked over a few of the other choices I’d found in this article from Web Hosting Free Reviews list of their top ten website builders. But I ended up going back to WordPress mainly because the other sites didn’t offer as much flexibility with customization as WordPress.
I always like to have a source I can go to when I run into problems, and as I said, WordPress Help was not the answer. I ended up buying an eBook WordPress: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald I read about on author, editor and blogger Jane Friedman’s resource list for building your first website, which is focused on using WordPress. The book was a big help, but I still ran into problems.
One thing that kept me from moving forward for a few days was trying to insert the pictures and text relating to each picture. I saw easily enough how to download the pictures into the media library. The problem was when I added the text, it and the picture were not placed where I wanted them. Oh, this was so frustrating. I looked in the book I had bought; I looked in the WordPress help; and I asked the question on Google. No help.
Finally, through trial and error, I discovered I had to type the text first, and then insert the picture. Voilà! Everything from then on out was placed in the correct location.
It’s very discouraging when one seemingly simple task stymies your progress, but you just can’t give up. (Or, you can always get some outside help!)
Inserting a custom header is very easy in WordPress. I found an image I liked from clipart in my CorelDraw program. Using CorelDraw, I altered the image, changing some of the shapes, adding color, etc. It took a little time, but the process was fun, and I’m happy with the result.
There are many websites that offer royalty-free photos, clipart, flourishes, etc. that you can use on your website. Here is where I found the flourish I use throughout my website.
After studying other author websites, I knew what pages I wanted to include on my own. I started with the basics: Home page, which I’m going to use as a blog to post pictures and descriptions of some places I visited while doing research for Call Me Butterfly; About Me, with pictures from my childhood, which I’d seen other children’s authors do; and My Books (one now, and hopefully more in the future!).
I wanted to include historical information and a bibliography relating to Call Me Butterfly for readers and for teachers and librarians. And, since my publisher is Pugalicious Press, I couldn’t resist devoting a page to my pugs. I also created a contest page where I hope to get the creative juices of kids, teens and adults flowing.
Footers and Sidebars
It’s a good idea to add these to your site. They can include helpful links to readers and writers, contact information and links to other blogs, etc.
So there you have it: http://lindacovella.com/ Please stop by and let me know what you think.
I’d also love to hear your own experiences with creating a website, either DIY or hiring out.