Short on Time? These Are the Best Website Builders for Authors and Writers in 2023
- Wix – The most versatile customization features and seamless integration with Amazon.
- Squarespace – Elegant, attractive website templates and top-notch marketing tools.
- Zyro – Powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) features to help you build your site.
What We Look For in the Best Website Builders for Authors and WritersThere 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 WritersChoosing 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. 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.
- 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.
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.
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- Stylish, elegant templates. Squarespace offers a selection of over 140 award-winning templates. The templates are sleek and minimalistic, drawing your visitors’ attention to a few key spots on the page while keeping a pleasant visual consistency.
- Powerful 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.
- Newsletter features. If you want to keep your readers up to date with your goings-on, Squarespace provides simple tools to help you create an email newsletter.
Zyro is a flexible but incredibly intuitive builder, which makes it a great choice if you’ve never built a website before. On top of its already easy-to-use editor, Zyro offers a huge collection of AI tools to help you make the most of your site. The AI doesn’t take any control away from you, either, as you can still edit and make changes at any point during the building process. But the AI is great for inspiring and guiding you in the task of creating a unique site. Zyro offers two very affordable plans – Website and Business – with the main difference being that the Business plan allows you to set up an online store. If you’re not ready to make a commitment, Zyro offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- AI heatmap. Zyro offers a free AI heatmap that tells you the parts of your site that are most likely to capture your visitor’s attention.
- AI content builder. Before you scoff, I’m fully aware that no self-respecting writer would let AI write for them, but AI-generated content can deliver a time-saving first draft you can edit to your heart’s content.
- Intuitive blogging tools. Though it’s not the most advanced blogging setup, Zyro provides easy-to-use tools to create visually attractive blogs.
- Plenty of integrations. Zyro offers third-party integrations with software like Google tag manager (which helps you understand your visitors’ behavior), Facebook Pixel (which lets you add targeted ads to your site), and more.
WordPress.com is the self-hosted version of the internet giant WordPress, which started as a widely available blogging platform. Fortunately, even though WordPress.com is now much more than just a blog-hosting site, it still offers fantastic blogging tools. WordPress.com gives you nearly limitless freedom to create posts, pages, categories, and more. It’s also the best choice if you’re looking to start a collaborative writing project, as it makes it easy to manage multiple authors from a single page. That said, it won’t be the best builder for every writer. For starters, the visual editing can be clunky without a third-party page builder, which you can only use on the Business plan or above. Even then, WordPress.com has a bit of a learning curve, so you’ll need to invest some time to learn all of its ins and outs. Still, if you’re looking for a builder that lets you manage every detail of your blog, WordPress.com is the ideal choice.
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- Advanced content manager. WordPress.com offers by far the most advanced tools to help you manage your different pages and blog entries. You can time certain uploads, bulk-edit blog design, create tons of custom categories, and more.
- Blog and site monetization. If you want to earn a little extra from your website, you can add custom-placed ads to your blog and site. These ads can help you generate extra revenue with every visitor that clicks.
- Third-party everything. One of WordPress.com’ biggest strengths comes from its ability to integrate with literally thousands of third-party plugins and themes. Regardless of what you want to do with your site, chances are you can find a plugin that’ll do it.
- Social media sharing. WordPress.com offers easy options for sharing your blog posts from the most popular social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc…). These integrations are some of the best tools for driving organic traffic to your site.
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- Amazing prices for beginners. For only $5.00 a month, you get access to all of IONOS’ features, including a free domain and hosting for one year.
- 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.
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- 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.
Dedicated Website Builders for Writers
- Journo Portfolio. Despite its name, Journo Portfolio offers a decent set of features that go way beyond just presenting your portfolio. Its free plan allows you to create multiple pages, gives you tools to publish blog posts and articles, and provides a range of great themes to choose from.
- 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’re after a builder that will give you a slick site and simple yet powerful marketing tools, then Squarespace is the way to go.
Finally, if you want a flexible blogging builder that can give you a hand in the design process, Zyro is a great fit. Its powerful AI tools can help you with every step of building your site and even provide some inspiration for your content writing.
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|
|Squarespace||✘||Over 140 visually stunning templates and powerful marketing tools||Writers who want a minimalistic site and a strong marketing hub||$16.00|
|Zyro||✘||Powerful AI building tools||Writers with little design experience who are looking to manage a blog||$2.61|
|WordPress.com||✔||Thousands of third-party apps and templates||Writers with a focus on blogging and who don’t mind a learning curve||$4.00|
|IONOS||✘||Exceptional value for money||Contract writers on a budget||$5.00|
|Site123||✔||Intuitive and fast website building||Writers who need to get online ASAP||$12.80|