How to Build a FREE Author Website in Under 15 Minutes

We are back with the continuation of my author website posts, as promised! This post will walk you through, step by step, how to build a completely free author website in less than 15 minutes using Wix, one of the leading website platforms.

Wix is an easy to use, easy to upgrade website platform that also offers custom domain hosting if you ever wanted to upgrade and add a custom domain name.

I also just want to throw out there that this is NOT a paid or commissioned post. I currently use WordPress through Lyrical for my website, but I did previously use Wix for my author site. This post is intended to help authors who might be overwhelmed at the prospect of building out your website.

As I mentioned in my first Author Website post, having a website as an author is pretty much essential. It’s a place for readers to find all of your information, all in one place. If you think you don’t need a website, really evaluate why. Why would you not want to have an easy place for your readers to find information about your books?

Now, let’s get into the real reason you’re here. Let’s build your website!

Set Up Your Wix Account

First, go to wix.com and create an account. I suggest using an email address that is associated with you as an author, and if you don’t have one of those, now is a perfect time to create one!

Make a free gmail account with your author name. For example: authorjessicastaylor@gmail.com or jessicastaylorauthor@gmail.com. You’ll need it for your Wix account, but it’s also just a good thing to have as you progress in your journey as an author.

Once you make your Wix account and tell them you want to create a website, it will take you to this page:

Type in “Author” into the search bar, hit Next, and now let’s get into the meat of this blog post.

Creating Your Author Website

Next, Wix will ask you what your goals for your website are and what features you want to add:

This section is really up to you and will be unique. Whatever you want to have on your website is fine! But please don’t worry if you’re not sure. If you just want to hit “Next” and go on, you can always add these things later.

For my website, I’m adding the “Online Store” option (I want to sell signed paperbacks and merch eventually), and then I hit Next to proceed.

Now, Wix is going to make things really easy for you. It’s going to offer if you want to let Wix build the site for you, or if you want to build it yourself from a template:

If you’re a control freak like me, you’ll likely want to work from a template (I’ll cover that in another post). But if you’re really looking for something quick and easy, chose the Wix ADI and let them make your website for you! Here’s what it will look like:

First, it’s going to ask you what the name of your business is. What this really means is “What name do you want to show on your website?” Fill that in here, and then hit Next.

It’s unlikely you already have an online presence (i.e. another website or a Google store), but if you do, fill it in here. If not, click Skip and let’s keep going!

Then, it’s going to ask you to fill out your “profile” information. Do not stress about this. If you have a logo, use that in the logo field. Put your name as your pen name (if it’s different from your real name) and then fill out any of the other fields you want. Don’t want to fill out any of them? That’s totally fine too. Just hit next when you’re done.

Here’s an example of what information I filled in. (Please note, my logo was not showing for whatever reason, but I did upload one.)

Now, choose a theme you like. This is going to be used for Wix to generate your website. Hate them all? That’s okay, just pick one for now, you can always change it later.

Then, Wix is going to ask you for a color palette. It will automatically select them from your logo (like I did below), or you can input the colors yourself. Either way, once you’re happy with the colors chosen, hit “Use These Colors.” Don’t want to pick colors right now? That’s fine! You can also hit “Skip.”

Customizing Your Website Content

For the next step, Wix is going to have you choose between three homepage setups. Don’t stress, you can re-organize the sections later. Just pick the one you’re vibing with. Once you select it, you will be moved to the next step.

Next, Wix is going to offer up some premade pages for you. If you want to add any of these, hit +Add Page at the top of each option. You don’t have to add any of them if you don’t want to, but I do recommend at least adding About and Work (your books). Once you’ve chosen what pages, if any, you’ll add, hit “Edit Site.”

Next, Wix will show your premade site. Some of the information is filled out for you, but now you get to personalize it and make it your own. This is what my premade site looks like.

Hover your mouse over each section of your website and it will bring up two options: Edit or Design. To change the layout, you’ll hit Design, but to change the content, hit Edit. Let’s update some stuff. I’ve clicked Edit, and it brings up the panel on the left hand side. I have the option to change the site Title, the subtitle, the image, and the button – both what it says and where it leads.

The first thing I did was update these features, and update the picture to one of myself and not some random lady.

Continue going through each section on your website until you’re happy with what it shows. Once you’re done, click publish in the top right corner. It will autogenerate a Wix domain name. You can change this later if you upgrade to a paid domain, but for now, this will work!

At any time, to customize your site, go to Dashboard, and then Edit Site. If you ever have trouble, Wix has tons of help articles, and an amazing support team.

To see the test website I created while making this blog post, check it out here: https://jessicaschmit107.wixsite.com/jessicastaylorauth-1

There you go! You’ve got your website set up! Again, as I mentioned in my first post, this is a free site, and while it will serve its purpose, eventually it’s recommended you upgrade a bit to look more professional. But you have time!

If you have questions, or want to chat about me building your website for you, please reach out! I’m available via email at jess@readsbyjessica.com, or via DMs on Instagram! I love making websites, and there are so many free options available for you!

In my next website post, we’ll get a little more complicated and talk paid domains, upgraded features, and maybe even get a bit into WordPress!

I truly hope this post has been helpful! If it has, I’d love to see your websites you create!

#authorresources #branding #websites