I was clueless when it came to creating my own website and my advice to you is keep it simple. You can easily build the foundation and then add to your site as time goes on. I picked Weebly as my web host based on several recommendations from friends. Originally, I started to build my website with iWeb, but Apple making this defunct meant I had to swiftly move elsewhere. The only spend has been on upgrading to the Pro features and buying my domain name www.piarastrainge.com for 1 year.
All in all I spent a total of £50 on both these things, but that figure would be less if you opted to buy for a longer period of time. I'm 3/4 of the way through my "test" year with Weebly and so far I've been very impressed.
Weebly is easy to navigate and build with. There is a Stats page and you can also link to Google Analytics to monitor your progress / hits. They are constantly working to improve the features they offer, so more and more tools are becoming available.
It's really down to personal recommendations, personal preference and what you feel comfortable with. So do your research, choose wisely and then invest in your decision.
The content you need to be showcasing on your site includes any or all of the following:
An ABOUT ME section - your literary inspirations and aspirations
Sample writing - published and unpublished
News & Events - forthcoming book signings, readings, etc
YouTube video - of you reading from your book / latest work
Blog - I believe this is where people who visit your site really get to know you. I absolutely love blogging because it makes me write every day and I can be totally at ease. We'll talk more about this later on...
Remember - the best websites are the ones you can easily navigate, aren't too cluttered and have colour that enhances rather than blinds you. Check out your favourite author websites to see how they do it.
Trust me, it's a great feeling when you can finally add your own www. to your business card!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.