If you’re wanting to share the words in your head (and/or heart) out there for the world to read, then you need a website. And because most writers I know are not web designers, you’ll likely be looking for a good website builder for writers. But there are so many platforms out there to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one is the best.
Regardless, it’s a tricky balance. You want something that impresses readers. Let’s face it. People do judge a book by its cover, and your website is the cover for all of your online writing efforts. But you don’t want (or need) to get bogged down in lots of complex design.
That’s where a good website builder comes in.
If it’s doing it’s job well, then a good site builder will simplify some of the more complex design work, so that you can focus more on your writing. And the less you need to stress out about the design of your website, the easier it’ll be to just relax and get into writing great content that looks great for the readers you want to impress.
Selecting the Right Website Builder for Writers
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when building your blog website is deciding on which platform to use. As you decide, there are a few things you should consider…
Using a true blogging platform like Blogger, WordPress.com, Typepad, and many others are great places to easily start a writing online. They’re usually free to start, and have a variety of built in templates that can help you implement a little bit of design into what you’re doing relatively easily. So they are simple to get rolling, which gets you focused on your writing with minimal time/effort.
The downside is two-fold. First, you don’t own the platform. That means the platform maintains a certain amount of rights over your content and can use it in various ways. Sometimes that means they could do things like put ads that you don’t profit from (or even approve of) in your content. Generally, it’s going to be better to pay a little bit to ensure that you have greater control over your environment. The other downside is that it can be a little trickier to move to a better platform later when you want to scale and grow your website. It’s not impossible, but it could end up costing you a more later on as you explore expanding your functionality.
Website Builder Platforms
Site-builder platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and others are usually very attractive to people who want to build a website because of how easy it is to build something “pretty” with little to no website design experience.
But honestly, it’s not always as easy as it seems.
Having a page-builder is great, but you still need a little bit of an eye for design and the ability to piece things together well. There plenty of well-intended sites out there that resemble the website version of nailed it fails and just don’t quite hit the mark. And even more so than the blogging platforms, migration is even more difficult if you ever want to move out into a better platform. All of this really just leads to a lack of flexibility and the inability to keep up with your growth well.
The Best of Both Worlds: WordPress with Divi
The option we really like is a self-hosted WordPress website (often referred to as WordPress.org) with the Divi theme (from Elegant Themes). WordPress is by far the most used platform for building websites. At it’s core is a rock-solid blogging platform. And it has a well developed eco-system of themes and plugins that will allow you to do virtually anything you want.
And with the themes, Divi is more than your typical theme (or layout/skin for the site design). It’s core is the Divi page builder. So it uses a sort of building block method to allow you to create any kind of layout you want. But it also has hundreds of pre-built layout packs that you can use for your design, or that you can use as a starting point to customize for your needs. Each layout pack has several pages, so designs for various pages on your site (home page, about page, contact page, etc.) all have a starting point for you to build from.
P.S. All of our managed WordPress hosting plans include the Divi theme at no additional cost to you, saving you $89/yr!
6 Pre-made Divi Layouts
The Divi layout packs are great because not only do they give you a great, professional design that helps you put your best foot forward, but it’s also flexible enough that you can customize it in any way you want. So when you’re looking for a website builder for writers, the key here is to find something that gets you close to a layout you like, and then you can tweak and adjust as needed to fit your brand image.
With that said, here are a few of our favorite layout packs that provide a great starting point for writers.
- Author – Great for writers, especially those who already have books available for sale. It brings a nice focus on featuring the book(s) and the author.
- Influencer – If you want to be an influencer, then this layout will help you look like an influencer. After all, as a writer you are an influencer with your words!
- Travel Blog – You don’t need to be a travel blogger to use this layout. It’ll work well for anyone who wants to feature their writing along with some strong visuals.
- Technology News – In the same way, don’t let technology hold you back from this one! This is a great layout for organizing and featuring your writing.
- Magazine – As a content producer (fancy term for writer), your blog/website can function much like an online magazine. And you can use for your solo writer and if you feature other writers on your site regularly.
- Podcast – Many writers are also becoming podcasters with their content too. And if that’s you, then this layout can help you with that!
The great thing about these layouts is that they can fit any style you want to go for with your website. And the modular structure means that you can add or remove any element you want on any of the pages.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the layout packs…
1 – Author Website Layout
Divi’s Author layout pack has a simple, clean design that many writers are looking for these days. And it brings a nice balance between showcasing the products (books, or whatever else you want to sell) and you as the author.
The pre-built pages include home, about, landing, events, shop, blog, and contact pages.
Landing pages could be used for individual book pages, and can be easily linked to the online retailers where people can purchase the books online. Alternatively, you can implement WooCommerce (free e-commerce shop plugin) if you want to sell books or other items directly.
This is a great website builder for writers who have any books currently published or expect to be releasing one in the near future.
2 – Influencer Website Layout
The Divi Influencer layout pack is a great design for anyone wanting to build themselves as the brand. Often online writers underestimate how much they really are being influencers, and people who read your work are there to read your work. So building your brand requires a website that features you well.
This layout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. It also has four different blog post layouts you can use if you really want your blog posts to stand out.
The focus here is on style and building an image. It brings you an opportunity to elevate your message with a strong visual impact that stands out from the norm.
3 – Travel Blog Layout
With the Travel Blog layout pack, you’ll find a nice balance between the writing and the visual. And that works great if you’re one of those writers how likes to use strong imagery with your blog posts (or feature your own photography). So don’t let the “travel” part keep you from using this layout pack, because it’ll work well for a variety of bloggers. Home and lifestyle blogger? Foodie blogger? Homeschool mom blogger? No problem! You’ll find this one to be a great fit for just about any kind of blogging you might be doing.
The layout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. And the trip page layout can be adapted for all kinds of purposes, like featuring a series of content you’re working on.
You’ll love the versatility of this one and how it bring a nice balance of content with an elegant design. You likely won’t find another website builder for writers that gets you a simple and effective blog design like this one!
4 – Technology News Layout
The Technology News layout pack is a cool website builder for writers who want all of the focus to be on the writing (and less on the writer). It works well, especially if you have a few core categories you’re writing about and need a good way to organize the different types of content. So don’t focus on the “technology news” part of this layout, and look at the elements as ways to organize your content better.
This playout pack includes home, about, landing, blog, and contact pages. And it includes two sharp-looking blog post layouts that can be used to improve visual presentation of your written content.
So if you want the attention to be less on you, and more on the writing, then this might be the best starting point for you.
5 – Magazine Website Layout
In the Magazine layout pack you build an strong presence for the content, with the more professional look and feel of an online magazine. You can use this as a solo writer, or if you also like to feature other writers on your website too. And much like the Technology News layout, it’s a great layout for managing content in multiple categories for easier grouping and featuring of various types of content.
The pack has layouts for home, authors, landing, categories, and contact pages. Plus, it includes two blog post layouts you can use.
It doesn’t matter if you want to build an online magazine, this website builder for writers gives you a great looking way to present the content you’re writing!
6 – Podcast Website Layout
While the Podcast layout pack might not look like the typical blog, it certainly works well for writers. Many writers today are also converting their written content into audio content and publishing it as a podcast too. When you do that, this layout pack can provide you with a great way to present your content, both written and audio.
The layout pack includes home, about, landing, (all) episodes, and contact pages. It also has two post (individual episode) layouts.
And just to put this out there, you don’t even need to podcast in the traditional sense. You can use audio podcast content or video content (from YouTube, Facebook Live, etc.). And all of that can be shared with the written version of your content too. There are a number of possibilities to take your content production to the next level with this one!
Create Your Own Writer Website Template
The best part about using WordPress with Divi as a website builder for writers is that you can build anything you want with it! Not only can you use these layout packs as a starting point for your development, but you can also start from scratch to build your own layout.
Divi Builder is a modular page builder with a variety of customizable modules that you can use to build out your own design. When you get comfortable with the builder framework (which we are always happy to help our hosting clients with), you can literally look at any website and build the same layout on your website. Granted, some elements will take more customizing than others. But your design options are virtually limitless. And that makes for a great website builder for writers, no matter what your goal is!
Here are a few additional writer websites we’ve worked on with some clients of ours:
- Ginger Harrington – As an author/speaker, this site tries to bring a balance to what she has to offer and building her email list to grow her readership.
- Kim Hyland – An influencer and podcaster, this site pushes the podcast itself to Spotify, but builds a strong brand for everything else about her on the site.
- Robin Dance – Self-proclaimed encourager, seeker, wanderer, Robin features her writing on her blog, other websites, and the book with her readers.
With all of these sites, you’ll certainly find some similarities. But the design of each brings out the personality of the writer well, and helps move their readers towards the things they want to accomplish. And that’s the main goal when working with a good website builder for writers. Whether you’re using a pre-made layout or building from scratch, you should be designing towards putting your best foot forward and accomplishing your goals with your readers.
Wrapping It Up
The bottom line is that you can build an incredible website to showcase your writing! And it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you use the right tools, then you can a place online where your readers enjoy being while they read your (awesome) content. The user experience is crucial to helping you meet your goals. So put your best foot forward!
And that’s what we try to do with our managed WordPress hosting. Ultimately, you can get space on a server to house your website files anywhere. The difference between us and them is not only the additional maintenance (and security) that we take care of for you, or the fact that the Divi theme is included in the hosting plan (saving you $89/yr), but that our team is always here for you to help you learn whatever you need to learn to use these tools to build a great website. Education and support is included, so you never need to worry about feeling lost and on your own! And if you just need us to help out with some of the design/development work for you, we can often get you affordable pricing that won’t break the bank.
If you have any questions about how we can help, that don’t hesitate to grab some time for a free consultation with someone on our team!