7 Ebook Tools You Need To Try Out

Are you a first time self-publisher?  Do you have an eBook without a cover? Look no further, I'm going to show you 7 websites that will solve your problem.

If you're looking to earn some extra money or make selling eBooks part of your business then this blog post is for you.

There's no doubt self-publishing has exploded globally within the last five years.

People all over the world want to publish their own works on a free platforms (if they can) to keep their costs down.

Finding platforms that offer a product that is easy to use, enables you to create your own design and text and save it as an eBook cover can be pretty hard to find.

I've put together some of the platforms I've used as well as some that other bloggers have recommended.

Try out some of these cover creators for size:
The New EBook Self-Publisher

If you're just starting out, you need to do a lot of experimenting to understand how to create an eBook cover.

I've tried a number of different options for my eBook covers, and having an easy to use dashboard is always helpful.  Both Fotor and PicMonkey provide this for any new starters.

Some necessary features to look out for:

Custom canvas (so you can create different sized eBook covers)
Be able to save the JPG
Ability to add fonts of your own or have a good selection to work from
Letter Spacing

I'd love to hear your comments about eBook cover websites you've used in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


8 Simple Proof Reading Tips

It's essential in any field of writing, whether your a student writing a college essay or writing a blog post or article, your own eyes are the best spell checker you'll ever need.  You can't always rely on your computers spell checker, things can be easily missed.  You'll find 8 tips to help you get the most out of your proof reading.

1. Concentration is crucial

When you're looking for mistakes it's vital not be distracted.  Concentration is key, this means closing yourself off from any surrounding distractions and potential distractions. You need to stay away from social media, emails, TV and radio and your cellphone or tablet.

2. Write it down

You read paper differently to reading a screen.  So try printing out a copy of your writing, try reading it outloud to yourself, you'll find your ear will catch the mistakes your eyes have missed.

3. Look out for Homonyms

Words that have different meanins but share the same spelling or pronunciation are homonyms.  If you decide to change complement with compliment your article could turn into a catastrophe.  There's no harm in using a dictionary.

4. Look out for Apostrophes and Contractions

It's easy to mix up they're, their and there.  These small mistakes can often harm the validity of your writing.  Keep in mind that apostrophes are never used to shape plurals.

5. Review the Punctuation

There's nothing wrong with focussing in on the words but don't leave out the punctuation.  Take notice of capitalized words, extra or missing commas, full stops used incorrectly etc.

6. Study it Backwards

Our brain usually becomes blind to our own mistakes and automatically "corrects" words inside sentences.  Try breaking this pattern by reading the text backwards.

7. Investigate the Numbers 

When using numbers in your document make sure the value of an aquisitiion is correct, e.g.:

$10,000 instead of $100,000

8. Let your friends or family Proofread Your Document

No harm in asking someone you know to run their eyes over it.  They can pick up on any mistakes you might have missed.  An extra set of eyes can work out whether the sentence makes sense or not.

Read more: The Benefit's of Writing on Hubpages8 Rules of Writing on the InternetRespect Writer's Online By Not Correcting Their MistakesA Simple Guide to Writing an Article in 30 Minutes or Less


[Blog Images] How to Choose the Best Fonts for Your Business

Your company brand can easily be defined by which font you choose, this shows just how powerful fonts are to making your brand more recognizeable online.  You need look no further than Coca Cola with its white swirly font on a red background.  Pairing the same fonts consistently will help people recognize your business, so it's important to really think about which fonts you think are going to be suitable for your brand.

What should you be looking for to create beautifully crafted images?  The following tips will show you how to choose fonts that will give your brand a professional look.

Use No More Than Two

To stop your designs looking messy, choose no more than two fonts.  You should consider two fonts, one for titles and headlines and the other for body text.  Check out your favourite brands and take note of how many fonts they use and how they use them.

Use Serif and sans serif

Serif and sans serif refers to the little feet and tails at the end of letter you see on fonts like Times New Roman.  "Sans serif" simply means without serif or no tails or feet.

These fonts are normally easy to read, making there letters stand out from one another, which is why it's usually a top choice for text to appear on all screens. Serif fonts usually convey a more sophisticated feel and give a classier look to your message.  A great combination would be to use serif fonts for titles and sans serif for body text.

Apply the squint test

PicMonkey has a ton of fonts ready to use, including caligraphy inspired creations.  You can use these fonts for logos but thinks twice before you use them in the draft body of a document.

Suitable absurdity

You can create feelings by choosing the right kind of font for your own brand, if you're looking for a creepier font why not try sinister scrawl or undead text fonts.  Although these are great for certain holidays I wouldn't recommend them for your everyday use.

Contemplate Colours

Marketing materials may include coloured titles but I wouldn't recommend using colours on the body of the text.  Always make sure your images pass the squint test!


You can discover new ideas all over the place.  Check out Pinterest or look up "fonts" on Google.  Take note of font combinations you see in shop windows, magazines and advertisements, take pictures of your inspiration to keep track of what you've seen.

You can pick up fonts from free resources, and many artists sell font combinations,  Make sure you ask their permission before you use them.

You can find a number of fonts on PicMonkey for your business designs, you'll find them in Text Tab of the editor.  If you can't find what you need then any fonts you have installed on your computer will also show up in PicMonkey in the Yours tab of the Text Tool.

Let your creative juices flow when you join PicMonkey.  Start your FREE Trial Today!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


10 Cool Gifts for Writers

If you're a writer I bet you're really tired of getting the same boring old notebooks and pens as gifts.

Even though notebooks are an essential part of any writer's toolkit, there are plenty of other non-notebook gifts out there.

So let's kick-off the list of non-notebook gifts for writers.

1. The sweatshirt, out of print t-shirt or tote bag

Writer clothing can be pretty nerd at times, but some are really quite fashionable, like Out of Print t-shirts, hoodies.  Which usually feature iconic book covers.

2. Audible Subscription

If you can't remember whether your special writer friend likes sci-fi or non-fiction then look no further than Audible membership.  This can be used to download audio books and magazines straight to their PC or tablet.

3. Rite in the Rain Pen

Yes that's right you can actually get an all weather pen, the Rite in the Rain Pen suitable for the wettest days.  you can pair this up with a Rite in the Rain notepad.  Handy for those days where you want to go outdoors and get some fresh air.

4. Guidebooks for Writer's

Why not help your writer build their bookshelf, hone their craft and actually make money from writing with these writing memoirs and guidebooks.

On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King

The Elements of Style  - William Strunk Jr and E. B. White

Finding Your Writer's Voice: Making Your Writing Unique and Unforgettable - Bria Quinlan and Jeannie Lin

5. First Lines of Literature Coffee Mug

Get the first lines from some of the most well-known works of fiction, on a mug.  An unusual and clever little gift for any writer.

6. I'm Silently Correcting Your Grammar Sweatshirt

If you can't help correcting grammar then this shirt is for you.  A great gift for anyone who loves grammar and punctuation.

7. Amazing Story Generator

Get your favourite writer the Amazing Story Generator with 1,728,000 story prompts.

8. Vintage Canvas Leather Messenger Travelling  Brief Case

This classic yet snazzy messenger bag is suitable for any author on the go or travel writer, who loves to throw everything into one bag.

9. Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard

If you're writing friend loves anything futuristic they'll just love this keyboard.  Any gadget lover would jump at the chance to try this piece of kit out.  Works on any flat surface and can be simply attached to your key ring.

10. Typewriter Jewellery or Cuff links

Personalised jewellery, you can't go wrong.  Give your favourite writer their initials as a typewriter or ring.  Perfect for guys to, with typewriter cuff links.

Read more: "Just Write" Best Advice for Any WriterHow to Stay Fresh as a Writer: 10 Ideas to Start Your OriginalityQuick Guide to Writing 2000 Words a DayHow to Make Writing Your Business

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Self-Hosting Basics] HTML Cheat Sheet

Having a basic understanding of HTML will give you a huge confidence boost when you start managing your website. Being able to make simple changes yourself will not only save you time but also money, because you won't need to outsource your problem.

I've devised this guide for total beginners, so even if you've never looked into HTML before you'll be able to make any changes quickly and easily.

You'll soon be able to master HTML with just a little bit of knowledge to get you started.  You can find below a few of the most common post and site formatting options you can use when coding in HTML.

What is HTML?

Also known as Hypertext Markup Language and the main programming language of the internet, also one of the simplest to pickup.

By recognising basic HTML commands you can do things like:
  • Embed and add analytics to your website
  • Sort out image alignment issues
  • Format your blog post for easy readability.
You can locate your HTML files by logging into your host.

Simple HTML Tags

Every piece of code has opening and closing tags.  A command will start and end with it.  Depending upon the HTML tag you choose the opening and closing brackets will be formatted by this.

It looks like this: <p>This is a real sentence.</p>

The first <p> tag starts the sequence and it ends with the </p> tag. The final / in the closing tag is very important, without this tag your code won’t function properly and will lead to formatting errors.

 Common HTML tags are:

<strong> </strong> - For bold text or headlines.
<em> </em> - To italicize your text.
<body> </body> - For the body of your html document.
<a> </a> - Allows you to insert links.
<center> </center> - Allows you to align your text in the centre of the page. <head> </head> - This the header of your website.

There are a lot more HTML tags you can use to change your website.  You can find more common tags below.

Headings with HTML

Another great formatting tip is to organise your text using various headings, this will give your blog post a logical structure.

More common headlines are:
  • <h1> </h1> - Surrounds your page and post title. 
  • <h2> </h2> - Main headlines with your blog post will use the h2 tag. 
  • <h3> </h3> - Headlines within h2 tag will use h3 tag.
With the above headline structure, you'll have a more logical post structure, making it easier for your readers.

HTML Tips for Beginners

Let's put the above information into practise.  Discover below how to properly format your text using the HTML tags highlighted above.

Formatting Your Design

You can make certain portions of your text stand out by using bold, underline and italicise, see below:
  • <strong> </strong> - To bold your text. 
  • <em> </em> - Italicize your text. 
  • <u> </u> - Underline your text.
You can use these tags in your existing paragraphs to change the formatting of words, it will look something like this:

<p>This sentence that has<strong>boldtext</strong>, <em>italic text</em>, and <u>even a bit of underlined text</u.</p>

Linking Within Your Content

When you add a link to your content you'll be using <a href> tag. You'll also require the URL of the website you want link to.

 A link to, let's say, HostGator.com, would look like this: <a href="https://www.hostgator.com">visit HostGator</a>. 

Within the quotations is the site you want to link to, the text will be hyperlinked within the

Add an Image to Your Site

Your users will connect to your website more readily when you add images.  You can do this with the code below:

The image tag is <img src=" ">. Notice that there is no end tag for the img command.

To pinpoint the image you'll need to upload from another point online, always make sure it's an active URL where you can visit the image.

The code should look something like this:<img src="http//myimage.com/thisismyimage.jpg">.

How to Align Your Text

With the following code you'll be able to justify your text exactly how you want it.

Use the following commands:
  • <p align="left"> </p> - Left align text within the p tags. 
  • <p align="right"> </p> - Right align text with the the p tags. 
  • <p align="centre"> </p> - Centre align the text within the p tags.
How to Add Block quotes to Your Website

You can break up the formatting of your content by highlighting quotes.  Creating a separation so your readers can tell you're quoting someone else.

Simply add the <blockquote> </blockquote> tags to any content you wish to format.

With the simple tips above I hope you can make the clear changes to your website.  Tell me about your HTML experiences in the comments below.

Read more: Write a Successful Series on Your Blog in 7 StepsHow to Stay Passionate About Your Blog[Combating Bloggers Block] 9 Types of Blog PostsTwo Important Elements that Create Successful Blog Content


[Blog Images] How to Make Words Look Good

Have you ever looked at an image online and thought, what's that all about?  That's because your eyes are struggling to deal with everything that's being presented to them.  People need visual cues to establish some kind of importance.  Your eyes flow more easily across a document when a visual cue is in the frame.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win
In this blog post I'm going to show you create eye catching designs using the following features:
  • Position and grouping
  • Spacing
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Colour 
  • Alignment
Position and Grouping

By grouping similar items in a more thoughtful way you can create an impact and strengthen meaning.  By isolating the first and second clauses the contrast between them become more emphasised, giving readers a big "volia" when the come to the concluding clause.  "Whitespace" is created when we separate text elements and add non-regular spacing between them.

Negative space or white space doesn't need to be white, it can be used between paragraphs, letters and objects to emphasise ideas and improve readability.

White space is good.  So use it and embrace it!


As you can see in the quote above all of the text runs together, making reading pretty difficult.  When you look at the quote on the left, a simple adjustment improves the layout.  By easily adding a break after the quote, it creates a space between the quote text and author's name.  With this simple change, the reader can tell the difference between the quote and the attribution.


A simple change in the weight of the font (i.e. light, bold, regular) can change the emphasis of the word.  If you're ever unsure about this try altering the emphasis in the following sentence: "I didn't say we should kill him!"

A simple change in emphasis and the sentence sounds completely different.


By changing a font you can add or take-away its eye-catching-ness, and the level of importance in a design.  Large letters scream "Eyes here!", where as smaller text lets your readers know the information isn't as important.


Knowing when to use colour is another important part of creating images that stand-out.  If you're background is busy, using a simple muted colour well, will really set your image apart.  On a more muted background it can make your text feel more natural piece of your design.


Left-aligned - Large chunks of text is the alignment of choice, because we read left to right.

Right-aligned - Harder to read and should be used sparingly in design because its difficult to read across a ragged left edge. Can work particularly well with an image featured on the left side.

Centred-text - Can also be difficult to read but works well in design contexts.

Justified alignment - Space is created between words on both left and right sides, this makes designs look very polished.  On the downside words can also appear haphazard and characters craggy.

Keep the font party going when you upgrade to Premium: Start Your Free Trial Today!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Free Ebooks] 24 Places to Get Public Domain Books

Every year the intellectual property rights on certain publications expire.  These works become available for public use, meaning anyone is free to use it, or reuse it if they wish to publish a new edition.

A book entering the public domain can vary from country to country.  Also some rights depend on registrations, but the most important point is how many years have passed after the death of the author before the works enters into the public domain.

25 Places to Get Publish Domain Books

1. Projeckti Lonnrot

Public domain books in Finnish and Swedish.

2. Wolne Lektury

Collection of free public domain books in Polish.

3. Classical Chinese Literature

A selection of Chinese classics, each character hyperlinked to its definition and etymology.

4.  Planet Publish

Popular works in pdf format.

5.  Classic Reader

3810 titles by 358 authors are in public domain.

6.  Great Books and Classics

Discover classic writers and philosphers from Sophocies, Epicurus and Sun-Tzu.

7.  The Online Books Page

Over 1 million free  book managed by the University of Pennsylvania.

8.  Classic Literature Library

Organized into collections you can find the complete works of William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens amongst others in public domain.

9.  Open Culture

A popular blog that curates access to educational and cultural media.

10. Legamus

You can find free audio books from texts entered public domain in Europe.

11. LibriVox

A comprehensive library of free public domain audiobooks.

12. Authorama

An easily navigable site that lists completely free books from a variety of authors.

13. Bartleby

An offering of free Harvard Classics.

14. The Literature Network

Over 3,600 full books and 4,400 short stories and poems from over 250 authors.

15. Books Should Be Free

You can find thousands of free public domain books as audiobooks or text files in 30 languages.

16. Google Book Search

You can perform any search with Google Books search, when you see Preview or Full View under the book's title, this means you can read its scan in the browser.

17. DailyLit

Get an ebook delivered in daily installments, delivered by mail or RSS feed.

18. Manybooks

A popular catalog of public domain ebooks, garnered from Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive.

19.  Feedbooks

A site devised with mobile reading in mind, so you can download free ebooks directly to your tablet or smartphone.

20. Open Library

Over 1,000,000 free ebook titles available on this site, with a steadily growing lending library of over 200,000 contemporary ebooks.

21. Internet Archive

A massive archive of text, audio and video files including public domain titles.  You can read over 5 million books from over 1,500 collections.

22. Digital Public Library of America

Get universal access to digital resources of America libraries and archives.

23. Europeana

Gain access to millions of digitized items from European archives, libraries and museums.

24. Project Gutenberg

The biggest destination for free ebooks on the internet.  Established by Michael S. Hart in 1971 it's the first ebook initiative in the world, with over 44,000 publications which are available for download on .mobi and.epub among other formats.


[Self-Hosting Basics] How to Deal with Website Downtime

How to Pinpoint and Avoid Website Downtime

When your website goes down it can be a very worrying and discouraging experience to go through.  You probably think that just because your website has gone down there is something wrong with your website and nothing can be done about it.

Protection and prevention are the best remedies when your site goes offline.  Don't worry, if the unfortunate event does occur, there are plenty of steps you can take to help offset the situation.

This post is for you if you're looking to prevent site downtime.  I'll show you below websites can go offline and what measures you take to get through it.  By acting now and implementing the steps below you can make sure your blog or business doesn't suffer for too long due to website downtime.

The Reasons Websites Go Down

Websites can go down for a number of different reasons.  If the cause was simple one the problem could be immediately solved.  Even massive websites like Twitter and Facebook suffer from outages every now and again, so you're not alone.

Server Support (Maintenance)

Often times your website will go down due to server software updates, causing an interruption to the service.

This is usually done off-peak when traffic is quiet, depending upon the location of your server.

Too Much Traffic

You're host may not be able to cope with the number visitors, and is unable to handle such large volumes of traffic.

Your website may also go down if you're using a shared host plan, and other websites using the same server are also receiving a surge in traffic.  "The bad neighbour effect" as its known is also possible, but most hosts try to prevent this from happening.

Website Coding Mistake

A single piece of missing code can break your site, along with many other techinical errors, can take your blog offline.  If you're receiving a message that has no relation to your server, it may lie with a site plugn or theme conflict.

Website Invaded

A hacker may decide to flood your website with traffic, to try and bring your site offline.  Without proper security protocols your site is wide open for any hacker to take control, and take down your website.

Free Hosted Website

Your current website host may not be able to handle the amount of traffic, or it may just be a low-quality host needing a lot of downtime.

How to Stop Your Website from Going Down

Keeping your website online is in your own hands.  Learn some proactive measures you can take in the steps below to ensure your website stays online.

Choose a Stable Host

The uptime of your website is going to depend on the host you choose.  A low quality host will help increase downtime with your website.  A huge factor in choosing the right host depends upon how much traffic your site will receive.  You'll require a website host that can handle massive spikes of traffic or a steady volume.  Read about HostGators 99.9% uptime guarantee here.

Look at a CDN

A CDN can enhance your site in various arenas.  In peak traffic times, CDNs can act like a buffer and deter DDos from attacking.  Free CDNs like Cloudflare are a great starting point, and can improve existing hosting environments.

Update Your Site Regularly

If you're website requires themes and plugins make they're updated regularly otherwise you run the risk of leaving your website open to attack.

Look Into a Monitoring Service

A website monitoring service will tell you whenever your site goes down.  A service like this can keep you in the loop if your website goes down.

Renew Your Domain Name

When it comes to the end of your yearly payment cycle make sure you set your hosting and domain name on set on auto-renew and you renew your hosting name.

Things to Do When Your Site Crashes

If your website does go down here are few things you should do before terror sets in.

Check It's Offline

Make sure that your website is actually down.  Try looking it up your mobile phone or tablet.  Phone a friend and get them to pull it up on their computer.

Find Out the Cause

Try to get to the root of the problem, to help determine the outage.  Have you forgotten to renew your domain or hosting?  Is it because of a surge of traffic?

Contact Your Webhost Support

Go to your website host and see if they can diagnose the problem.  After all that's what they're there for.  A really good host will work with you to help sort out the issue and fix it.

Alert Users

If you have a lot of followers relying on your blog, let them know the situation straight away.  You can do this via email or social media.  Never leave your users in the dark.

Most of us will go through this at one time or another.  Hopefully the above tips will help minimize the problems downtime might cause.  Choosing the right host that's properly equipped will help you handle any issues that may arise.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more about Blogging: How to Craft a Legendary Blog Post in 10 Steps[Blog Content] Create Scannable Blog PostsBlog Posts How Long Should They Be?Blog Posts: Utilising Titles Productively.8 Steps to Forming a Blog Post Idea


15 Ways to Write in Plain Language

Writing clearly, simply and in plain language has made it much easier for people to understand legal documents and government forms.  Any information supplied through online publications giving information explaining a process, writing should always be plain and to the point.  Below are some concepts behind plain language:

1. Who are your readers?  Understand and identify their needs.

2. State the purpose of the fontent in an introduction or during navigational content.  Recognize what your readers need to do after reading the content, use your writing to show them how to do it.

3. Arrange the content so that it makes sense to the reader.

4.  Make requirements and responsibilities clear.

5.  Use tables, examples, anecdotes, images to provide clarity.

6.  Keep sentences short, avoid double negatives and keep the subject, verb and object close.

7.  Keep paragraphs short, stick to one topic.

8.  Use second-person pronouns to write to the reader, instead of third-person pronouns.  This will help you to write with an active voice.

9.  When indicating a requirement use must, not shall:"You must include a sample".

10.  Refrain from smothered verbs: "We will decide soon," instead of "We will make a decision soon".

11.  Don't confuse readers with elegant variation, use the same accepted terms every time you refer to them.

12.  Stay away from jargon and legal terminology like herewith, use terms your audience knows.

13.  Present information in a question-and-answer format, using conversational wording.  Providing clear and concise responses.

14.  Exclude unncessary words.

15.  Link wisely.  Don't use generic linking like "click here" etc.

Read more:


[Blog Images] Pairing Your Fonts Like a Pro

There's an art to pairing fonts, its not as easy as it looks.  In this guide I'm going to give you some easy tips to create your own designs, allowing you to create designs that flow and have texture.

Understand your font types

In PicMonkey there are many different types of fonts, but they're broken down into five main categories: Serif, Sans Serif, Handwriting, Script and Display.  PicMonkey has other themed fonts, but we're going to check out the most basic fonts for the moment.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

These can make great headline grabbers or great for accentuating a point. They'd be difficult to find in a large body of text but great for catching someone's eye.


A lot of these can look like someone's real handwritten script, and some, such as Bilbo Swash Caps, are more calligraphic than others.  Great for special occasions such as weddings.


These fonts are meant to mimic someone's handwriting, and some, such as Edo, can seem bold and loud.  If you want something a bit more subtle you could try Sue Ellen Francisco.  These fonts are perfect for crafts and cards.

Sans Serifs

As the name implies these are fonts without serifs.  This gives them a more clean and modern look.  Usually used for minimalist designs and easier to read on screen.


A more distinguished font that makes your text look more classic and clean, they've been around since Times Old Roman.

Pick a font with feeling

Choose a font that suits your feeling, something you want your audience to feel as well, when they read your blog post/advertisement/flyer/invitation etc.

Give your readers the right vibe and ask yourself how does that font make me feel?  

Choosing a busy font such as Jiggler for a business document would make what saying less serious than say a Serif font.  So choose carefully!

Don't go too overboard and use too many fonts, stick to two or three at the most.  Stick with fonts that compliment each other.

Find the right balance

When you pair up a font is needs to strike the right balance between to the opposites.

So why not turn inspiration into action!  Indulge your creativity and try out PicMonkey Premium.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


[Self-Hosting Basics] A Simple Program For Planning a Website

A lot of people think that building a blog is easy and doesn't require much work.  Wrong! Constructing a website without any clear plan is like building a ship without blueprints.  So many things can get missed out, deadlines can be missed and things can go in the wrong place.  It doesn't matter if you're just starting out in your blogging career or a designer working with clients, this simple guide will help you to plan and lay the groundwork for your prospective website.

Quick note: Not got a website yet, then sign up at www.hostgator.com

What is the purpose of your website?

Is it to open a store online? Increase publicity for your business?  For a charitable cause?  An important of starting a website is deciding what it's purpose is, and who your target audience is.  You need to start setting out your goals, and visitor numbers you expect each month.  The number of people you expect to sign up for your newsletter.  How much money do you expect to make?  Give yourself goals that can be measured that are in line with your marketing goals.  You can use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to monitor your websites performance.

Establish a budget

Setting a budget is really important for any website start-up.  Even if it's just paying business insurance monthly and website costs yearly it all matters.  You need to write down the things you need in your budget so as design, programming and web hosting.  Do your research thoroughly, ask professionals.  Get a feel for your own chosen field.  How do other website owners run their websites?  If you're creating a website team choose members that have good references, examples of work and lots of experience.

Appoint roles

  • Content writer
  • Company stakeholders
  • Web developer
  • HTML/CSS professional
  • Web and graphic designer

Make sure you have a team that knows what they're doing, what is expected of them and how to keep abreast of new developments online.

Devise a content strategy

Decide what kind of content you'll be creating.  This can include:

  • Embedded social media feeds
  • Slideshows
  • A gallery or pictures
  • Video
  • Documents
  • Blog posts

You need to work out how often you want to publish content on your website, whether its weekly or monthly.  You may need to hire a writer who is experienced in writing content online.

Organizing your website

Figure out what pages are required for your website, do you need an About and Contact page?  Whatever you choose should meet your websites needs.

Devise a mock-up

If you're website is complicated create a mock-up or wireframe, this is an outline for your website.  You can create this in Photoshop, not much detail is required.  Don't worry about the details, this is the first draft to give everyone an idea of your website.

Begin designing

A well-designed website will encourage visitor's, an ugly poorly planned website will drive visitor's away.  Here are some basic concepts to keep in mind:

  • Create easy navigation
  • Make your fonts easy-to-read.  Keeps text and background colours simple and easy to contrast
  • Make sure your website is responsive to all screen sizes
  • Keep it light and easy to load
  • Make the company logo and tag line easily seen on the page
  • Styles and colours should be consistent throughout the website
  • All copy should be clear and concise, information such as a newsletter sign up form should be placed above the fold
  • Design it with the future in mind

Iron out all the bugs

By publishing it and testing it out, you can make sure it shows up the way you want it to in all browsers.  Try it out on your cell phone and Ipad.  Test all of your links make sure they work ok.

Manage your website

Once your website is up and running, its a full-time job to maintain it.  You'll understand how useful tools such as Google Webmaster tools and analytics really are for monitoring your website.  You should keep a close eye on your website daily as well as doing weekly checks with Webmaster tools to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Taking the extra time to plan your website properly is worth the investment.  In the long run it will serve you well and give you a product that will serve well over time.

It's time to get started on your website now that you're ready!  Hostgator offers numerous options and budgets to accommodate all users, from newbies to Fortune 500 companies.  Check out what they offer by clicking here.

Read more about Blogging: How to Effectively Monetize Your Blog[Blogging for Beginners] To Host or Not to Self Host?How to Start a Blogger Blog and Make Money

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