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5 Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers (Tested by an Author)

Feeling overwhelmed by all the available website builders? Not sure what terms like “bandwidth” even mean or why they matter? Well, I’m an author too, and I’ve spent the past ten years building and working on websites with many different website builders.

This guide to the best website builders for authors and writers will walk you through the most important things I’ve learned about site builders, including the five site builders I most enjoyed working with.

Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers

What authors and writers should look for in a website builder

There are two types of features to consider when you’re looking at website builders:

  1. Core features that are important to everyone building a website.
  2. Author-specific features.

Let’s go through what to look for in each categoryโ€ฆ

Core features

Custom domain. Most paid website builder plans include the cost of a domain for at least the first year, with some permanently including the price of the domain. Free plans will typically require you to use a subdomain, which adds the host name to your site name to create a website address, such as โ€œx.jimdosite.com.โ€

SSL certificate. An SSL certificate helps you add the โ€œsโ€ in the โ€œhttps://โ€ part of your domain, signaling to Google that your site is safe for visitors.

Bandwidth. This is the amount of data that can be transferred from your site to users’ browsers per month. The best plans have โ€œunmeteredโ€ bandwidth, which means your site will never “run out” of bandwidth.

Storage. This is the amount of data you can store on your site. A static author site can generally get away with a low amount of storage, but a blog with new content being added all the time will need more storage to accommodate growth.

Analytics. These tools help you understand who’s visiting your site and what content they’re most interested in so you can make more of what’s already working. Most website builders offer some proprietary analytics tools and several also combine with Google Analytics.

Ecommerce tools. Selling signed copies of your books through your site is a great way to earn additional income. If you want to do this, make sure your website builder has an affordable ecommerce plan and easy-to-use ecommerce tools.

SEO tools. The best website builders let you customize the SEO title and meta description for every page and post. Some may also offer SEO analysis on individual pieces of content or other advanced SEO tools.

Author-specific features

Blogging tools. Every website builder has some kind of blogging tool, but they vary widely in terms of SEO-friendliness, flexibility, and ease of use. Your blog posts should have as many formatting options as regular pages, built-in SEO tools, and an organization system that uses categories and tags so search engines can easily index your posts.

Blog-centric and author-centric templates. The best website builders for authors and writers offer templates designed to highlight what writers do best: create blogs and books. If you’re a writer who wants to start a blog to build an audience while preparing to publish a book, look for a website builder that has both types of templates so you can switch in the lead up to your book launch!

The best website builders for authors and writers ๐ŸŒ

1. Bluehost Website Builder

Best website builders for authors and writers: Bluehost homepage

โš™๏ธ Features

Note that features marked with a * are restricted to specific plans.

  • Unlimited storage
  • Custom domain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Over 1,000 layout options
  • Compatibility with WordPress.org systems, including thousands of plugins
  • Free version of the Creative Mail plugin for email marketing (up to 1,000 contacts and 5,000 emails sent per month)
  • Accept online payments with WooCommerce*
  • Domain privacy*
  • Unlimited store products*

๐Ÿ“Œ Overview

The Bluehost Website Builder is a front-end editor with a specialized theme that has over 1,000 layout options and is based on the popular WordPress software. This means you can build your site in the simple editor, while also taking advantage of the thousands of WordPress plugins available to add all kinds of functionality to your site.

I like this option because it gives you the simplicity of a website builder, the powerful blogging tools of WordPress, and the option to expand your site (and business) in countless ways down the line. However, it isn’t compatible with most WordPress themes, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the many WordPress themes for authors.

๐Ÿ’ต Pricing

Bluehost Website Builder Plans start with the Basic plan at $2.95/month ($35/year) for the first year (renews at $10.99/month). If you want to access ecommerce features, you’ll need to spring for the Pro plan, which starts at $9.95/month ($119.40/year) and renews at $14.99/month ($179.88/year).

๐Ÿ™‹ Who this site builder is best for

The Bluehost Website Builder is ideal for writers who want their blog to be the main attraction of their website. It’s also a good option if you plan to offer additional services/products like online courses to your audience, though you will need to learn the somewhat more complex WordPress dashboard to do this.

2. Wix

Wix

โš™๏ธ Features

Note that this list focuses on features included with paid plans and features marked with an * are limited to specific plans.

  • Custom domain (free for first year)
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Video storage (amount varies based on plan)
  • Over 800 website templates, including writer-focused templates
  • Basic SEO tools
  • Ecommerce capabilities*
  • Event management*
  • Order management*
  • App Market with over 260 apps for increased functionality

๐Ÿ“Œ Overview

Wix has consistently been one of the top website builders for all users for several years now. The core of the platform is its visual site builder, which features over 800 templates, including a variety of specialized literary arts templates. There are also easy-to-use SEO tools and blogging tools, although I found them too basic to meet my personal needs. And, if you want to add online courses or a community to your site later on, it’s easy to do with apps from the App Market.

The one disadvantage of using Wix as a writer is that the built-in SEO tools are pretty limited. However, there are analytics apps for Wix that can give you comparable functionality to the analytics tools offered by other website builders.

๐Ÿ’ต Price

Wix offers a free plan with up to 500MB storage, no custom domain, and ads running on your site. This is a great way to test the site builder without committing any funds, but it won’t work for a serious site.

In terms of premium plans, Wix’s pricing structure is robust. Website plans, which are ideal for personal sites and businesses that don’t plan to sell products directly through their site, start at $22/month for access to the core site builder and blogging tools + 2GB of storage.

For access to ecommerce features, you’ll need to invest in a Business plan, with the most affordable option being the Business Basic plan at $27/month.

๐Ÿ™‹ Who this site builder is best for

Wix is ideal for writers who aren’t great at learning new technology but who still want a lot of options for expanding their site as their business grows.

3. Squarespace

Squarespace

โš™๏ธ Features

Note that features marked with an * are restricted to specific plans.

  • Free custom domain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Video storage (amount varies based on plan)
  • Dozens of high-quality site templates, including blog-focused templates
  • Email through Google*
  • Ecommerce tools*

๐Ÿ“Œ Overview

Squarespace has earned its way onto this list of the best website builders for authors and writers by providing some of the most attractive templates in the website builder space, including some excellent blog-focused templates. The site builder, blogging tools, and SEO tools are also all high quality and easy to use. Plus, there are Squarespace extensions that can add a huge range of features to your site.

I was slightly disappointed that Squarespace didn’t have any book-focused templates, but the builder is flexible enough that, with a little extra creativity, you can still create a great landing page for your book.

๐Ÿ’ต Pricing

There are four Squarespace plans, starting with the Personal plan at $16/month. For ecommerce features, you’ll need to spring for the Business plan at $23/month.

๐Ÿ™‹ Who this site builder is best for

Squarespace is a great option for writers who want to use their site primarily as a way to house a blog.

4. Jimdo

Best website builders for authors and writers: Jimdo homepage

โš™๏ธ Features

Note that this list focuses on premium features. Items marked with an * are restricted to specific plans.

  • Free domain
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Custom email address
  • 40 templates
  • Analytics
  • SEO tools*
  • Online store*

๐Ÿ“Œ Overview

Jimdo is an incredibly easy-to-use site builder with a guided setup process and a small but excellent collection of website templates. If you want to create a writer’s portfolio in minutes, you can do it with this tool, without getting overwhelmed by features you don’t even plan to use.

Unfortunately, Jimdo’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. If you want to sell products on your site, you need to decide at the outset to create an Online Store instead of a Website; there’s no way to transform one into the other later on. There also isn’t much in the way of blogging tools. Instead, you get the โ€œNewsโ€ tool, which functions like a blog but with very limited features.

๐Ÿ’ต Pricing

Jimdo offers a free plan with 500MB storage and up to five pages.

The most affordable paid plan is Start plan for $9/month, which gets rid of ads and gives you a custom domain and email address. You can access ecommerce features on this plan if you’ve chosen the Online Store option.

๐Ÿ™‹ Who this tool is best for

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the options offered by the other website builders and you just want a simple place to post book news once in a while, Jimdo is a great choice.

5. Zyro

Zyro homepage
Zyro homepage

โš™๏ธ Features

Items marked with an * are restricted to specific plans.

  • Free domain for first year
  • Free email for three months
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited storage
  • Over 100 templates, including 20 blog-centric templates
  • Automated and manual SEO tools
  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • AI Writer
  • AI Heatmap
  • AI Logo Maker*
  • Ecommerce tools*

๐Ÿ“Œ Overview

Zyro is a little-known website builder that offers a great range of features at an affordable price. This includes AI site generation, over 100 high-quality templates, decent blogging and SEO tools, and some interesting AI tools. You can also change key SEO information in the โ€œSettingsโ€ area for a given post or page.

The one thing this website builder lacks is extensions. You can access some great ecommerce tools, but you won’t be able to add courses or membership areas to your site down the line.

๐Ÿ’ต Pricing

There are three Zyro pricing plans, with the most affordable being the Website plan at $2.99/month. For ecommerce capabilities, you’ll need to sign up for the $3.99/month.

๐Ÿ™‹ Who this site builder is best for

Zyro is a great option for writers who want a good balance between website, blog, and ecommerce features, all without spending a lot of money.

So, what’s the best website builder for you? ๐Ÿ

Now that you’ve got some understanding of the best website builders for authors and writers, it’s time to choose the right one for your career. Luckily, this is a pretty straightforward choice based on what you want your site to do:

  • If you want the ability to expand your site in countless ways and offer things like courses and/or a membership community, choose the Bluehost Website Builder or Wix.
  • For great blogging and SEO tools, choose Squarespace or Zyro.
  • If you know you need a website but you’re overwhelmed by all of the options and you just want something affordable and simple, choose Jimdo.

๐Ÿ˜Ž If you want to build a blog as part of your writer website, you can also check out our huge collection of tips before starting a blog.

So, what website builder are you choosing? Let us know in the comments below!

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