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8 Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers in 2024

Roxana David Roxana DavidWebsite Development Expert April 09, 2024
April 09, 2024
It pains me to say it, but fan mail is mostly a thing of the past. These days, if you’re looking to establish a connection with your audience, a strong online presence is the way to go. But unfortunately, many authors – even renowned ones – have websites that look uninspired or outdated.

Sure, maybe Zadie Smith can get away with a so-so website, but most authors really need a website that can attract new readers and pique the interest of existing fans.

That means you need a website builder with high-quality templates and design tools that reflect your genre. The best builders also offer features that cater to your unique needs as a writer, like a blog or newsletter, SEO and marketing capabilities, or even direct integrations with Amazon and QuickBooks.

I tested the major site builders on the market to see which ones offer the best features for authors. In the end, I found 6 builders that are bound to be ideal for at least one kind of writer. Wix strikes the perfect balance between ease of use and creative freedom, making it a great option for most types of writers. You can try Wix for free or read on for more author-friendly recommendations.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers in 2024

  1. Expert’s Choice
    wix-logo Wix
    Wix is a popular choice with our readers
    The most versatile customization features and seamless integration with Amazon.
  2. sire123-logo SITE123 An incredibly simple editor with advanced language features and easy contact forms.
  3. squarespace-logo-1 Squarespace Elegant, attractive website templates and top-notch marketing tools for writers

What We Look For in the Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers

There are plenty of good – and even great – website builders out there, but many don’t have the specific tools that authors and writers need to cultivate their online presence. In order to narrow down the list, I made sure to only select builders that met these essential criteria:
  • Quality templates. Whether you’re looking to sell your newest book or just keep your fans updated, your website is going to reflect your brand. I only included builders with high-quality and professional-looking templates.
  • Customization features. As a creative, it’s important to have the final word over your website, and templates can only get you so far. I chose builders with customization tools that will make your site stand out from the crowd.
  • Ease of use. Most writers aren’t also designers and coders in their downtime (although kudos if you are!). These builders give you the tools to easily create your site with no prior experience.
  • Ecommerce. Though I can’t overstate the value of a good portfolio, you might want to use your website to do more than just showcase your work. These builders include tools to help you set up an online shop for anything from paperbacks, to merch, to e-books.
  • Extra author features. The builders on this list offer tools that, while not absolutely essential, are certainly convenient. Think blogging, reader reviews, and the ability to create newsletters.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Dedicated Website Builder for Writers

Choosing a specialized site builder for writers might seem like a good idea, but you should be aware of the downsides. These builders are usually focused on portfolio display or lists of publications, but they don’t give you a fully functional website with room to grow.

Your portfolio is important, of course, but all the website builders on this list have the ability to create a great one – along with many additional useful features for your site.

The last thing you want is to have to rebuild your website from scratch later on when you realize you’ve totally outgrown the limitations of a dedicated website builder for authors.

Still, if you’d like to check out this route, jump down to see which specialized builders I recommend.

1. Wix: An Easy-To-Use Builder That Can Foster Your Creativity

A Wix website template for authors and writers
Wix offers tons of templates for every kind of writer.
In the same way that changing just a few key words can alter the meaning of an entire paragraph, small details in your site’s design can significantly alter its look. Granted, not every writer is looking to fine-tune every single aspect of their site, but if you’re looking for maximum design freedom, Wix’s is the way to go.

Wix has an extensive library of over 800 high-quality templates (including a dedicated category for the literary arts) that you can customize as much, or as little, as you like. Even better, Wix’s drag-and-drop editor is incredibly intuitive, even if you don’t have previous site-building experience.

Wix’s versatility doesn’t end with your site’s visual design. You also get access to a huge range of apps and features for creating virtually any kind of site – everything from a book launch landing page to a full author portfolio.

The only thing to be aware of is that although you can access most of Wix’s features on the free plan, you’ll need one of the dedicated ecommerce plans if you want to sell your work online.

wix logo alt 2

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Features

  • Extensive app market. Not only is Wix one of the most feature-packed builders on this list, it also offers over 240 apps and integrations that allow you to connect directly to your Amazon page, display real-time reviews, and more.
  • Personalized SEO. Wix comes with an AI-powered SEO (search engine optimization) wiz designed to give you personalized tips to help you rank higher on search engines.
  • Outstanding contact forms. Do you want fans to contact you through your website? How about press inquiries? Wix comes with tons of pre-made contact forms to help you interact with visitors on your terms.
  • Separate mobile editing. Wix’s templates are what I would call semi-responsive. This means that Wix automatically resizes certain aspects of your site to work on mobile screens, but you can edit the mobile version separately for an even greater degree of creative control.
Read our expert Wix review for more details.

Free plan available?  
Mobile responsive? To a degree. It comes with a dedicated mobile editor.
Cheapest e-commerce plan Business Basic
Starting Price $16.00

2. SITE123: Perfect for Authors Who Want to Get Online Quickly

A SITE123 website template for authors and writers
Site123 offers simple but attractive templates for getting your site online fast.
If you’re up against the clock on your publishing deadlines and have little time to spare for building your website, you’ll definitely like SITE123’s efficiency. Everything from its ultra-simple editor to its easy-to-navigate UI is perfect for getting your site online quickly.

Though it has fewer templates than other builders on this list, there’s a nice selection of modern designs. Some of its author-specific features include the ability to add testimonials, a timeline of your work, an event calendar, and more.

SITE123 has a free plan, but it’s limited in terms of features. The affordable Premium plan offers great value as it lets you connect a custom domain and includes online store tools.

site123 logo alt 2

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Features

  • Advanced language features. If you’re a multilingual author, SITE123 offers easy-to-use tools to help you reach an international readership, like an automatic website translator and the ability to edit SEO tags in various languages.
  • Easy contact forms. SITE123 offers pre-made templates for various types of contact forms, which can help you get in touch with different interested parties on your own terms.
  • Affiliate marketing options. If you run a blog and you’re looking to make a little extra on the side, SITE123 offers affiliate marketing options to help you monetize your site.
  • Plugin extensions. Even if SITE123’s tool catalog is somewhat limited, you can add tons of third-party plugins that you can use to add live chats, marketing features, and more.
For more, check out our in-depth SITE123 review.

Free plan available?  
Mobile-responsive?  
Cheapest e-commerce plan Premium
Starting Price $12.80
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3. Squarespace: Stylish Templates and Outstanding Marketing Tools

A Squarespace website template for authors and writers
Squarespace’s templates are renowned for their minimalistic, attractive designs.
Squarespace is well-known for its trendy, polished templates. And in such a competitive industry, you need your website to look its absolute best. However, Squarespace offers much more than just great templates and design features. You’ll also get author-friendly features like blogging, ecommerce, and marketing tools.

Its marketing tools are particularly useful if you need to attract new clients or keep your readers up to date on your writing. Squarespace allows you to create stunning marketing campaigns with ease, which you can use to promote your newest books, announce events, or contact potential clients. And if you’re hoping to improve your chances of being discovered, Squarespace has you covered with some of the best SEO tools out there.

There’s no free plan, but you can try out any plan with a 14-day free trial. Personally, I recommend the Business plan, as it’ll let you set up an online store to sell your books and gives you unlimited storage space.

squarespace logo alt 2 1 1

Save up to $30.00 on your Squarespace plan today!

Plus get a free domain for one year!

1097 users used this coupon!

Features

  • Squarespace Blueprint. If you have a specific design in mind, you can use Squarespace Blueprint to build your own template. This tool lets you pick pages, sections, and style options one at a time to create a unique look. Plus, you get expert design tips to guide you
  • Effective analytics. With Squarespace, you can easily access important information such as bounce rate (what proportion of visitors leave before visiting another page), unique views, the devices that your site is viewed on the most, and more. This information can help you optimize your site to your specific needs.
  • Simple yet powerful ecommerce tools. Squarespace’s ecommerce tab makes it easy to set up an online store for both digital and physical products. The friendly user interface makes personalizing your store surprisingly simple.
  • Social media marketing. You can use Squarespace’s Unfold mobile app to promote your work on social media. This platform provides custom Instagram templates for photos and videos, plus a variety of fonts, filters, and stickers to elevate your content.
Check out our expert Squarespace review for more.

Free plan available?
Mobile-responsive?  
Cheapest e-commerce plan Business
Starting Price $16.00

A template from Webador customized for an author website
Webador templates give you a sense of the different creative choices you can make
If you want to make it easy for your readers to reach out to you, Webador has all the tools you need to succeed. For instance, you can add a rating system and a comment box anywhere on your site, either to boost engagement or gauge your readers’ reaction to a particular book or article you wrote. Also, you can add widgets for social buttons and custom contact forms.

I really appreciated that Webador has beginner-friendly blogging tools to help you create compelling blog posts. For instance, you can add photo albums and videos to your posts to complement your writing. Also, you can share your posts on social media to encourage visitor interaction.

Webador has a solid free plan that includes access to all of its templates, blogging features, and unlimited storage. That said, you’ll be stuck with Webador’s subdomain and ads, which doesn’t look professional. Webador’s paid plans are worth the upgrade, as they remove the platform’s branding and ads and provide features such as contributors, customizable forms, advanced reports, and more.

Features

  • Multi-purpose templates. Webador offers 50+ mobile-friendly templates, but instead of categorizing them, it displays a variety of published websites that are currently using each template. That way, you can see how far you can go in terms of design.
  • Grid-based editor. You can use Webador’s intuitive editor to drag and drop any element onto your page and it will automatically snap onto a grid. This ensures your layout stays clean and visually appealing. 
  • Excellent media streaming widgets. Webador offers media streaming tools such as audio and video players, which can help you promote your work.
  • Easy SEO settings. Webador lets edit your site’s SEO settings easily by modifying page titles, meta descriptions, visibility on Google, and more.
Read our in-depth Webador review to learn more.

Free plan available?  
Mobile-responsive?  
Cheapest e-commerce plan Pro
Starting Price $4.00

5. IONOS Website Builder: A Professional Author Website on a Budget

A template from IONOS that can work for an author website
IONOS offers sleek website building tools at a great price.
IONOS is a fast-loading, easy-to-use builder that offers amazing value for those looking for a professional site without having to spend a lot of money. Though you can create multi-page websites with IONOS, its editor is best suited for crafting professional-looking single-page websites such as an author’s bio or a book launch landing page.

Its simple section editor allows you to easily make both broad changes to the overall design of your site and granular adjustments to the position of individual elements.

To get started with IONOS, I strongly recommend the aptly named Starter plan. For only $6.00 a month, you get access to features such as a free domain for one year,  professional email address, 10GB of storage, and up to 10 pages, which is a solid offer.

Features

  • Integrated photo editor. Enhance your photos by editing them directly in IONOS’s built-in image editor. You can add overlays and backgrounds, use Instagram-like filters, and more.
  • Free business email. You get a free business email when you sign up with any IONOS plan. This feature is extremely useful for freelancers, copywriters, and any authors who want a professional contact email.
  • Professional designers available. If you’d prefer to focus on your craft and leave the website building to designers, you can get one of IONOS’ professional designers to build a custom, fully-optimized site for you.
  • Performance checker. IONOS includes a useful performance checking tool to help you diagnose your website’s responsiveness, loading speed, and security.
Read our expert IONOS review for more details.

Free plan available?
Mobile-responsive?  
Cheapest e-commerce plan Starter (with a store)
Starting Price $6.00

6. Shopify: Best for Selling Your Work Online

A template from Shopify that can work for an author website
Shopify’s themes come with 2-4 alternative color palettes.
Shopify has top-notch, mobile-responsive themes that put your work in the spotlight. Though they can be pricey, the designs look sleek and professional and include effective built-in tools. Product pages to showcase your books, social media apps to connect with your audience, and even countdown timers for events and promotions can do wonders for your online presence.

Shopify may not have the most advanced customization options, but that makes it simple to build and manage your online store. You can easily add products, track orders, and set up payment methods, all from Shopify’s intuitive dashboard. Additionally, Shopify ensures a smooth customer experience with features like customer login areas and product filtering to make it easy for your readers to find what they want

Offering great value, most of Shopify’s features are available on all plans. Even on the cheapest plan, you get access to features such as unlimited products and storage, abandoned cart recovery, and discount codes. Higher-tiered plans provide advanced reports and lower transaction fees. You can use Shopify’s free trial to test the platform before committing.

Features

  • Multi-channel selling. In addition to your own website, Shopify lets you sell on other channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and Walmart. You can manage all channels from your Shopify dashboard.
  • Built-in email marketing. Shopify’s native email marketing tool lets you send up to 10,000 monthly emails for free. You can send automated emails tailored to your readership, such as welcoming new subscribers, teasing upcoming projects, and offering discount codes to loyal customers.
  • Extensive app market. Shopify’s robust app store has over 8,000 free and paid apps. You’ll find plenty of tools for independent authors, such as Lulu Direct for printing and shipping your books and Digital Downloads for selling e-books online.
  • Shopify Payments. In addition to offering access to 100+ third-party payment providers, Shopify has an in-house payment solution, Shopify Payments, which eliminates transaction fees. 
Find out more about Shopify in our comprehensive review.

Free plan available?
Mobile-responsive?  
Cheapest e-commerce plan Basic
Starting Price $29.00

Other Notable Website Builders for Authors and Writers

7. Web.com

A Web.com template for authors and writers
Web.com has templates and tools for writers
Web.com is a solid choice for authors and writers wanting to get online without fuss. It’s easy to use, offering different templates and tools tailored for writers to showcase their work and connect with readers. These tools include advanced SEO features tailored for literary content, and specialized portfolio layouts that highlight writing samples in an engaging way.

While Web.com’s pricing is higher compared to platforms like Wix, this is balanced by its specialized features and support tailored to the writing community, such as an hour of design support from an expert. The investment in Web.com can be particularly justified if you’re an established author or if you have a strategic plan to monetize your online presence.

8. WordPress

A WordPress template for authors and writers
WordPress is a great choice if you want a blog
WordPress is huge in the website game, especially if you’re into blogging. It’s super customizable with tons of themes and plugins, making it a sweet spot for writers wanting a blog to showcase their work or update readers on new developments. For example, themes like “Author Personal Blog” and “Novel Writer” cater specifically to a writer’s needs, providing elegant display options for written content. Plugins such as “Yoast SEO” help optimize content for search engines, while “Easy Digital Downloads” offers a seamless way to sell digital books directly from your site.

The downside? WordPress plugins are only available if you purchase the Creator plan or up. However, this is something I would recommend looking into. If you think you might want to scale your website one day, you might need what the Creator plans offers, such as advanced SEO, analytics, and e-commerce capabilities – like the WooCommerce plugin for selling physical books. These are particularly useful for authors looking to broaden their reach and sell their work online..

How to Build Your Author Website

I know, I know – you’re an author, not a developer! Don’t worry, you don’t need to teach yourself how to code to build a great website to boost your online presence. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Choose a website builder. As a writer myself, I recommend Wix. Wix gives you complete freedom to express yourself and comes with all the tools you need to promote your work, maintain your portfolio, host a blog, and more.

2. Design your website.  Luckily, you don’t need to start designing from scratch unless you have a strong desire to do so. Instead, select a template that aligns with your personality and work. From there, you can make adjustments to the template’s design until you’re satisfied.

3. Add a blog. Blogs aren’t just a great way to share your thoughts with your readers – they’re also a great way to improve your website’s SEO. So, add a blog page and update it regularly to keep readers coming back.

4. Connect your domain name. Ensure your website stands out by having a unique domain name. You can either acquire one from your website builder (some packages provide them at no cost) or buy one individually.

Dedicated Website Builders for Writers

  • Journo Portfolio. Despite its name, Journo Portfolio offers users a significant range of features that go beyond simple portfolio presentation. The free plan allows users to create multiple pages, make use of tools to publish blog posts and articles, and choose from a variety of exceptional themes.
  • Clippings.me. For a fast way to build your online presence as a writer, Clippings.me offers different themes, a section for your bio, and a place to upload and categorize your work. It’s still fairly limited, but it does give you a great-looking portfolio, and its paid plans offer advanced analytics tools, too.
  • Booklaunch.io. If you’re an author looking for a way to showcase your published works, Booklaunch is a great place to start. It’s free for the first page, but if you opt to pay, you can create unlimited pages, build an email mailing list, and integrate with some third-party apps. Plus, you can build your pages using your books’ ISBN numbers to allow Booklaunch to pre-populate your pages with cover images, titles, colors, and more.

Some Final Thoughts on the Best Website Builder for Authors

Writers come in all shapes and sizes (and chances are, not one of them enjoyed that cliché), so the best website builder for you will come down to your specific needs. That said, although there are many author-focused website builders, none of them offer the creative freedom or advanced tools you can get with the best general purpose website builder.

Speaking of which, if creative freedom is what you want, Wix is my top recommendation. Its friendly drag-and-drop editor and myriad apps and features make it an incredibly versatile choice for getting the exact site you want.

If you want to get online as quickly as possible, SITE123 is a fantastic option. You can easily navigate its simple interface and add author-centric features to your website, including testimonials and reviews, a blog, event calendar, and more.

Finally, if you’re after a builder that will give you a slick site and simple yet powerful marketing tools, Squarespace is the way to go.

If you want to see how each builder stacked up, take a look at the table below:

Free Plan Best Feature Best For Starting Price
Wix Powerful drag-and-drop editor and hundreds of apps Writers looking for full creative control $16.00
SITE123 Intuitive and fast website building Writers who need to get online ASAP $12.80
Squarespace Over 140 visually stunning templates and powerful marketing tools Writers who want a minimalistic site and a strong marketing hub $16.00
Webador Great audience engagement tools Writers with a focus on blogging $4.00
IONOS Exceptional value for money Contract writers on a budget $6.00
Shopify Extensive online store tools Writers who want to manage marketing and selling from one place $29.00

FAQ

What kind of website does an author need

Your website should be a centralized place for showcasing and selling your work, as well as communicating with your readers. Wix makes it easy to achieve this by offering templates with useful apps preinstalled, such as galleries, contact forms, and social media integration.

How do I create an author website

Building your own author website is now easier than ever thanks to the wide availability of website builders. Although there are writer-focused builders out there, I wouldn’t recommend them, as they don’t have the same feature variety and design tools as other website builders. For instance, a general purpose builder like Squarespace gives you access to a robust set of features, plus in-app guidance if you get stuck.

Can I sell my books on my website for free?

Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There are a few website builders that will let you create an online store for free, but you won’t be able to connect your own domain to your site, and their free ecommerce features tend to be very limited. If you’re on a budget, I recommend Squarespace, as it offers powerful ecommerce features for a very reasonable monthly fee.

What is the best website builder for beginners?

I recommend SITE123 for most beginners, as it offers an extremely easy editor to help you build and design your site. That said, every person will have different needs and tastes. If you want to find the best builder for you, I recommend that you check out our list of the top website builders in 2024.

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Laura Lee Benefield
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I have three books for sale online and I started with simple site got over 500 views but no sales I'm trying wix but I'm having a hard time putting in the pricing of my books are different with different companies over the company that published I published with as a set price but other companies sell at different prices I don't sell it from my home so I don't know how to put in the product price cuz I don't ship from my home it's print on demand I'm just having a little difficult time and need help and deciding what's the best website builder for me and I am a Christian author and I just don't want any nasty ads on my site any suggestions
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Website Planet Team
Thanks for your question and we're sorry to hear you've been having some issues with Wix. In this case, it would be best to speak to the Wix customer support team as they may know the best way to solve this specific problem. If your books are sold through different companies, it might be best to link to each of those companies separately rather than trying to add multiple links to one product. Wix is our top recommendation but Squarespace is also great for building e-commerce websites so this could be a good alternative to Wix for you.
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Chen Pink
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Great comparison for us, the authors to decide which web builder is best to promote our books. Thanks for the useful information!
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Website Planet Team
Hi Chen, thank you for the feedback. We're glad you like our content!
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Rico Lamoureux
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Great article. Do any of these platforms have the ability to showcase books in different sections? For example, if one has book s in different genres?
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Website Planet Team
Absolutely! All the website builders on our list let you organize your portfolio into different categories, and you can do the same with your books. In addition, if you want to sell your books online, builders like Wix and SITE123 make it super easy to create product collections within your store. That way, visitors can browse your books by genre, for example.
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P Walden
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Really great information. It's difficult for me to get through this without live person. I am going to try one of these nd see where I end up. What's complicated for me is the ecommerce portion and setting up.
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anonymus
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The blog has all the information on the best website builders for authors, but In this particular blog you would get the best options which will surely relax your mind and will help you to use the best one. I would surely recommend others to go through this link.
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Barbara Escher
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Glad you did not mention PubSitePro. Pages are PHP and it is not flexible at all. Totally limited template. Used it and wish I hadn't. Now I have to start somewhere else.
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Greg Rohloff
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You mention Amazon and Scribd as sites that can be linked to various websites. Do any of these sites allow a direct link to Smashwords?
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Mary Jaffe
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Great tips. I'm starting out at age seventy-five, so this is helpful. Was looking for responsive attribute. Will dig deeper, but this is good start.
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