With all of the social media training I’ve been doing, I’ve come to realise just how important a good website is. Not only does it provide me with a place to ‘put’ everything, it also gives me an opportunity to connect with the world at large without needing to be a friend or part of their network. So, I have spent the last few days completely re-vamping my website which was tired, old and let’s be honest – static.
I decided to stay with GoDaddy as I still really like their easy to use drag and drop builder but, as with any web host/builder, there is an annual cost involved. In total I’ve paid around £150 for annual hosting, domain name and other necessities but I decided not to take the business email option and am sticking with my personal one for now.
However, the costs as I’ve just discovered, don’t stop there:
- I wanted to add a sign up form (well, multiple ones for different uses) in order to allow anyone interested to sign up to my newsletter, giveaways and free gifts. You can do this using a free provider such as MailChimp, however I have to say that I personally found their interface difficult to navigate and integration into my site was even more tricky. The main issue for me though was that I couldn’t seem to change the text on the signup button (which by default says Subscribe) and that was something I wanted to be able to do. Cue purchasing the inbuilt GoDaddy signup form which did everything I needed it to do – at a cost.
- GoDaddy have a fantastic helpline and after talking to them about the signup forms it became apparent that my site was not secure ie. I didn’t have an SSL certificate attached. Previously this was not a problem. Visitors would occasionally get a pop up warning them they were visiting an unsecured site but since January this year, Google have been cracking down on unsecure sites. This means that if you don’t have an SSL certificate, all of your visitors will potentially be notified that your site is not secure which means that a number of them will leave before they’ve even got there – I know because I rarely click a site which is unsecure. The solution? Purchase an SSL certificate. Yay – more cost.
- The website that I have built is currently optimised for desktop only which means that although it can be accessed through tablets and mobiles, it will not display correctly. This looks bad for potential new visitors, especially as far more of us access the internet from our mobile devices now as compared to desktops. As someone who is serious about building up my brand and author profile, I need everything to be professional which means I need my site optimised for mobile. Guess what? That costs too.
So, back to the title of this post.
My monthly chocolate fund is now non-existent and I have had to agree to all of these costs forming part of my Christmas and birthday gifts until the end of time – or until I make enough money to pay them back.
Okay, I may be a little tongue in cheek here but we are certainly having to make financial sacrifices in order to fund this self-publishing journey. I guess it’s kind of a catch 22 situation. There is the option to do as much as you can for free and hope that’s enough to bring in interest and sales, or spend money on marketing, websites and other promotional activities to increases your profile and thus your visibility.
When thinking about all of the cost implications, I’ve almost forgotten that this is about one simple book that isn’t even published yet.
Oh well, as long as said book to sells enough copies for the chocolate fund to be reinstated I’ll be fine.
PS. Those of you on desktop, check out the fruits of my labours here – Author AnnMarie Wyncoll – I’ve not done the mobile optimisation yet. I need to wait for next month’s credit card bill….