View Full Version : Website question
Oct 16, 2011, 11:49 AM
Hopefully this is the right forum for this :).
Anyone have any suggestions on a good template-based website provider? In my current laid-off-from-my-job state, I've decided to take a crack at writing fiction since I have nothing better to do, and I'm hoping to self publish a chapter at a time on the internets so I need a site. Ideally it should support a comment system so that any friends or relatives I manage to convince to check it out can easily give feedback on any chapter to help me improve. Also ideally it should be pretty cheap. Being that it's all text and will not have very many visitors my bandwidth needs should be pretty low.
I know a little bit of HTML and CSS (and have reference books available, not to mention the interwebs) so I could probably build my own website from scratch if I really wanted to, but it would take me a long time and probably not look very good in the end since I'm not a designer so I don't really want to bother. Any advice anyone has on this topic would be most appreciated, thanks!
P.S. I never visit this Computer Talk section of the forum, so if this is mainly for hardware stuff and this belongs in a different section, mods please feel free to move it :).
Oct 16, 2011, 02:30 PM
If you can find a compatible webhost and install WordPress (http://wordpress.org/) (some webhosts have something that'll install it for you too) there's a ton of options. Personally I use it for my site. Only problem is that it requires a bit of maintenance compared to, say, a static HTML page, such as the database.
WordPress also has a list of recommended hosts though they cost: http://wordpress.org/hosting/
Also a nice directory of free ones here. Use the power search to get it down to the WordPress-compatible ones: http://www.free-webhosts.com/ (on the search select PHP & MySQL and anything else you want)
If you like the idea, let me know and I'll recommend a couple of good addons.
Oct 16, 2011, 02:44 PM
Google "Blog + fiction" and there is quite a few themed blog sites for writers.
You might want to read about your rights first:
And also you might want to write in a pseudonym in case something that you write my adversely affect a future hiring.
Oct 16, 2011, 05:57 PM
Another friend of mine also suggested Wordpress so I might give that a go and see how it works, thanks for the recommendation!
Also thanks for that link GG. I'm not too worried at this point (worrying about IP theft is for people who have IP worth stealing haha) but it seems like something I should definitely learn anyway. As for the pseudonym... I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I necessarily agree. I'm not writing porn or anything. Nothing should affect job prospects and if it does, it probably isn't a company I'd want to work for in the first place. Also I feel that if I put it out under an assumed name I might be more likely to take shortcuts, put out something that I don't really think is done yet, because nobody would know it was me anyway. I don't know, I'll have to think about that one.
Oct 16, 2011, 06:19 PM
Here's a few plugins I'd recommend to you then. I use them myself. I actually use more but a lot of them wouldn't be of real use to you I'd imagine:
Akismet - anti-spam - http://akismet.com/
Admin Menu Editor - lets you rearrange buttons in administration panel - http://w-shadow.com/blog/2008/12/20/admin-menu-editor-for-wordpress/
Broken Link Checker - does exactly what it says - http://w-shadow.com/blog/2007/08/05/broken-link-checker-for-wordpress/
PageMash - If you use pages (instead of posts) you can manage them with this - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pagemash/ (unofficial bugfix here (http://binarym.com/2010/pagemash-trash-auto-draft-and-wordpress-3-0))
Relevanssi - better search function - http://www.relevanssi.com/
TinyMCE Advanced - better editor - http://www.laptoptips.ca/projects/tinymce-advanced/
Widget Logic - if you use widgets (on the sidebars) this'll give you better control. might requires a bit of scripting though - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/widget-logic/
WP-Memory-Usage - Since your site is just a plain one (as opposed to mine), I doubt you need to worry too much, but it's good to have it anyways - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-memory-usage/
WP DB Optimizer - Keeps your databases in good shape. I need to run several times a week but perhaps once a week would work for you - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-optimizer/
WP Maintenance Mode - This'll put your site into maintenance mode so users can't access it. I've used it once or twice when I screwed up something: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-maintenance-mode/
By the way, take a look at my site in the sig (link here (http://thepettyarchives.squareserve.org/)) All done in WordPress. If you're curious I used a slightly customized version of this (http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/painter) theme. A lot of themes can be customized pretty nicely.
Oct 16, 2011, 06:29 PM
Of course this is if you're using your own webhosting and not a wordpress.com blog ;)
Oct 17, 2011, 06:09 PM
Livejournal (or other providers using the same software, like Dreamwidth) has one of the best commenting systems around (e.g., threading), and saves you having to worry about finding a host and faffing around with installing software.
Oct 17, 2011, 08:01 PM
To be honest if I was a writer I'd be a bit reluctant putting my stuff on a third-party service because even if the TOS is good now it might change to "We own all your [crap] and there's nothing you can do about it."
Oct 18, 2011, 10:47 AM
I don't think they can legally do that, no. They'd be opening themselves up to a massive class action lawsuit at the least and an expensive cluster**** of small individual cases at worst.
Oct 18, 2011, 11:02 AM
Well the thing is what's legal in one country might be illlegal in another and the web-service could be hosted anywhere in the world. For example, a developer that makes software that copies copy-protected DVDs (I'm not going into more details) in based in, I think, Antigua, so they can't get sued.