Which is a Better Place to Create a Website/Blog? Weebly or WordPress for selling Your Books directl

  1. Christina

    Christina Member

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    I am about to re-do my author website. It's pretty sad currently and I'm hiring a web-designer. My question is whether to stay to WordPress or move to Weebly? Besides providing links to CreateSpace and my eBook on Kindle, I'd like to also offer visitors the ability to purchase directly from me at my website. What is everyone's opinion on this? Firstly, is it a good idea, or not and why? Secondly, which is a better site to use for building direct purchasing, Weebly or WordPress? Thank you for any and all opinions and experiences.
     
  2. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Wordpress is a versatile platform that has been around for a very long time. You can get free ecommerce plugins, not least Woocommerce (something I use on a non-writing website), but support plugins for that do cost.

    Additionally, if you have your own website and domain address with a Wordpress install, you retain full control - whereas if you set up an account with Weebly then you're giving them full control of that - which is not so good if their venture capital dries up and they fold like lots of similar services have.

    Really, my first question is whether you think you can actually make significant sales through your website? Secondly, would be why you think you can offer a better sales experience than Amazon? Those are proverbial questions - once you control your own sales you are in full-business mode territory with IT compliance, IP protection, payment gateways, accounting requirements and VAT charges, and it really can become a headache.

    By all means, try it if you think you can demonstrate the need and want to supply it - but if it's simply something that sounds like a good idea, then you're almost certainly better off simply using direct links to Amazon.
     
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  3. tinkerdan

    tinkerdan candycane shrimp

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    My first question would be; how well are you doing with your present website? If you have a presence on the web that has a good flow of traffic then it would make some sense to do the best to improve it with the addition of features that might help sell your books. One could assume, since you are hiring a web designer that you might be doing well even with your self described sad website. But if you are not doing that well then you might want to rethink the web designer unless they have some great talent and are offering a great price to construct the website.

    The tools on either Weebly or Wix are pretty intuitive and the roughest part would be deciding how you want to present the site. Truthfully though you need to build a presence, which means that you have to be giving the readers something more and that often involves weekly activity.

    I have to admit that I don't have much presence on the web; though I do have a blogger account and a Wix account and a Weebly account and at one time I had a domain name with another service. I was doing reviews and sometimes personal rants on a steady basis and publishing on the four platforms with the hope of attracting some audience. Along with that I have advertised my own books and even set up links and since I have published the books also on Smashwords I have used links on Smashwords for my giveaways.

    It's true that Weebly and Wix might fold someday, but a lot depends on what you are presently using and on whether you are using WordPress with an outside service or whether you have your own server and a static account at home. If you have the home server and use WordPress then it might be best to stick with that. Otherwise if you are paying another service then your options might open.

    If you own your own domain name, that's pretty portable throughout. Otherwise in some cases you can let the outside service purchase the domain name for you, which is what I did, but that means that when you leave you lose control over the domain name until it lapses and is freed up. (My domain name has freed up, but I've not been compelled to purchase it yet, since my web presence hasn't moved much.) If you purchase the domain name then you can carry that wherever you go.

    I don't care much for WordPress, but that's based on the sites I've visited that use it. I've never used it on any of the websites I have, but it is an available option. I think that Weebly and Wix tend to push their own interfaces, but I've not done the paid accounts and in most paid accounts that I have worked with the WordPress has been an option in tools. I think that if your are comfortable with WordPress then you should look for that as an option. (Unless you intend to rely on your web-designer for all your changes.)

    Using your own domain name is probably more important than which service you use; since once you have a presence, that domain is where people will look for you to be at.

    If even with your present website you don't have a presence then it opens things up pretty wide; because what you're doing now might be building the presence you need.

    Bottom line for me presently is that I'm using mine as an author's page if readers have an interest and I'm presently trying to build a reader base.
     
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  4. Jo Zebedee

    Jo Zebedee writes books about people.

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    I'm wondering what the benefit of selling direct over print on demand is? Once postage costs are taken into account, are you making anything more?
     
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  5. Christina

    Christina Member

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    Good point Jo.
     
  6. Christina

    Christina Member

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    I didn't know that about Wordpress and Weebly. Thank you for sharing, and you make some good points about selling using Amazon only as opposed to selling directly from my website. I probably will use links to Amazon only. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I appreciate you're helping this along.
     
  7. Christina

    Christina Member

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    I too am trying to build a reader base and web presence. Though I've had a website for awhile now, I've not had the chance to really get into pushing things along. I'm gearing up to go full-steam ahead however and publishing a book this year. My name appears often all over the Internet and so if I'm going to really go full-steam ahead, then I want a site I can be proud of. I have experience with Wordpress, but I'm not a pro by any means. This is why I'm hiring someone. Once they set everything up, I think I can manage the site. This person I'm hiring will offer suggestions and tips if I need them too.

    I have been pondering the domain name thing for awhile now and may purchase one later this year.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for offering your opinion.
     
  8. NbDawn

    NbDawn Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has run both a website and blogs for many years, I can tell you that the blogs get a lot more visitors and a lot more attention. If you're paying someone to do your website, you will have to pay them every single time you want to make an update. However, if you learn to use a blog, you can update it anytime you want. Wordpress is fairly easy. And linking from Wordpress to any place you might be selling your book, such as Amazon or Smashwords, is fairly easy. I also use my Wordpress blogs in combination with my Amazon Associates account to supplement my book income with sales from Amazon. For example, if I write a review on a book I read that is not mine, I can link my review to the book in my Amazon Associates account. And if someone buy's that book, even though it is not mine, I get a commission payment. I never heard of Weebly. I think Wordpress is better known and you will find a lot more user-friendliness and help when it comes to working a Wordpress blog.

    Websites are harder because you also need to do a lot of search engine optimization (SEO). This can be a very complicated and time-consuming process. After running a retail website for pet products for several years, I've decided it simply isn't worth the effort. You don't have to do SEO on blogs in order to get followers/readers.

    Your best options are social media and a blog. If you still want to do a website, find one you can update yourself and simply consider it as a supplemental site, not a primary site. If I do a website for my book, it might be simply as a way for my book readers to see my drawings, maps, indexes, and other book "extras".
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S Well-Known Member

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    Hi Christina - I use Weebly for my website and it's been a positive experience (I did a blog post here about setting up a site in Weebly, which might be of help).

    In terms of selling books from your site, you can use Weebly (on the paid service) as a transactional website but I think you'd be better off just adding links to Amazon etc.
     
  10. E.Maree

    E.Maree Well-Known Member

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    Wordpress with Woocommerce is very powerful for e-commerce, but for books you'll have a much easier time using POD. Posting books is super expensive unless you have the sales figures to justify a business account, and the time spent packing and posting is significant (and honestly pretty miserable).

    You can still sell e-books directly though, with very little effort! I think WooCommerce can do that, or if you want even less effort there's Bookfunnel (best for freebies), Gumroad, Selz.com (used by Joanna Penn) and Payhip (used by Chuck Wendig).
     
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