I guess most authors appreciate how important it is to have their own author website these days, but not all may realise why. The most important reason is that this will become the hub of your online presence. Whenever, and wherever, you appear on the web there should be a link to your website. (You should also include your web address in all published hardcopy, as well, of course.) For a very small annual fee you can assign a domain name (such as yourname.info, yourname.co.uk, or yourname.com), with the great advantage this will never change: no matter what method you use in the future to create and maintain that website, and no matter who hosts that website. This ensures links to your website never get 'broken' due to changes of address. A personal domain name also means you will be able to have a permanent email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org). If a personal website is to be your hub, then, it follows it should be your highest priority: so everything else can point to that stable hub.
As a webmaster with my own travel website (http://www.synergise.com) I decided very early on to create my own author website (http://www.iankingsley.com) to be ready for the publication of my debut novel in August 2010. Although I had the ability to create this from scratch, I decided to look into what are called website builders to see if one of these was up to the task. The advantage would be that they would use the very latest standards and techniques (unlike me), and they would get me off to a flying start.
I found that most of the best website builder allowed you to try them out for free, so I tested quite a lot. Unfortunately, none allowed me to do all of the more unusual aspects I had in mind, such as random text selection, password-protected pages (with minimum account intrusion), etc. But they are definitely up to the needs of authors who just wish to create a fairly simple website with the minimum of time-and tears! To help, I have crystallised my thoughts about those website builders I tried out and have written a couple of articles to help fellow-authors in this area. These, and other articles, are listed on my author website at: http://www.iankingsley.com/articles. If you want to more easily keep abreast of future articles aimed at demystifying the subject of websites then I invite you to follow my blog; this will announce new entries. I know technology can be tricky, and even if you have been involved in it all your life, as I have, there are always areas of specialisation you know little about. I hope the starter article on website builders (http://www.iankingsley.com/articles/001-website-builders.php) helps to convince you that you can create your own author website.
I will also be writing other articles of interest to authors because, over many years working in technical publications as author and editor, I have developed some helpful and time-saving techniques I would be happy to share. Perhaps the easiest way to know about these is to follow by shiny new author blog at http://iankingsleyauthor.blogspot.com/ where they will all be announced when they are published. All these distractions take you away from your real love: writing. If my articles can help minimise that task then I am happy to help - although I am not up to the task of answering individual queries since I would then have too little time to do what I love best: writing!