Building Your Author Web Site

Or as I like to call it: How to Almost Ruin Your Liver in Two Days

When the World Wide Web first came on the scene, many of us built our own web sites, some for commerce, some for nothing more than showing off family photos.

Well let me tell you, things have changed since then. I found this out the hard way this week when I decided to build my own author site. Relying on my past knowledge (which might have–MIGHT HAVE!–rivaled a modern four-year-old’s), I created an HTML file and formatted it with all the nifty tags I remembered.

Eh-yeah, that’s not the way things are done nowadays. Oh yes, it worked – in some browsers, but guess what? Internet Explorer isn’t the only sheriff in town today, and what works in one browser may not work on the rest. Plus nowadays, sites are relying on these things called style sheets. STYLE WHAT?

Oh.My.Word.

*cue crickets*

Hey, I’m a smart lady. Determined, I searched until I found a how-to guide I could understand. (It was probably written by the four-year-old I mentioned earlier.) I played around with extremely basic CSS code until I figured out what stuff did. You can do this, too, but you will need to take the following steps first:

Step 1:

Purchase enough port to anesthetize a battalion of Cumberland County militia.

Step 2:

Go to the grocery store and bring home snacks. Plan for a siege. (Be careful if you decide to reverse Steps 1 and 2. Just knowing what’s ahead of you is reason enough to open the port once you have it.)

Step 3:

For their own safety, it will be necessary to banish all living creatures from the house. Send the kids to Grandma’s house, book a hotel for your spouse, and board the pets. Don’t forget to remove the houseplants. After a single day of staring at code, your plants’ vigor will irritate the crap out of you. I won’t even mention FLOWERING PLANTS, those hateful bastards.

Step 4:

Find a how-to guide you think you can follow.

Step 5:

Start drinking.

Step 6:

Follow the guide one piece at a time. Remember, you can’t learn it all at once, particularly since you probably replaced Steps 3 and 4 with Step 5 and you’ve been drinking since you hit the house.

But Jules, were you successful?

Yes, I was, and thank you for asking! I’ll need a week of de-toxing, and it’s going to be hard to explain why there’s an African Violet uprooted and lying on my wintry lawn, but damn it, I finished my site. It’s rather “no-frills,” but it has everything on there I want, including the social media buttons and a contact form (so I don’t get spammed).

You may know nothing about building a web site, but don’t let that stop you. What did you know about writing a novel before you started typing your first words? You can do this, same as I did. The process has left me with less enamel on my teeth, and my neck and shoulders burn, but guess what? I have an author site!

Yay me!

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Fiction That's Plaid to the Bone

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