Photo by JMR_Photography via Flickr

Your author website should be eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing, and well-designed. But when working with a Web designer to create your Internet masterpiece, it’s important to keep in mind that there are often additional costs on top of the quoted base price.

Whether you’ve got endless resources or are on a budget, ask your designer what the various elements of your site will cost before you fork over a deposit. How much for that awesome custom design you’ve been dreaming of? What about the Web security to protect your author website from hackers?

Here are the questions you should ask so you (and your wallet) will be prepared.

5 Hidden Costs Of Building An Author Website

Hosting: Some Web companies’ designers prefer that you host your site on their server. That can be beneficial, but you should ask: Is it a yearly or monthly payment? And what benefits do you get from hosting with them (e.g., regular site backups, site maintenance, etc.) versus finding your own hosting solution?

At Web Design Relief, we offer a hosting care package that goes above and beyond normal hosting plans. We’ll perform regular WordPress updates, site backups, and troubleshooting.

Web protection: It’s absolutely vital that your site is protected from hackers and nasty spambots, but that protection may come at a price. Find out if your Web designer will charge for installing software, scripts, or plugins that will protect your website from outside threats. And are these included if you host with them?

Aside from the possible cost of increased security, it’s also important to understand what type of protection you’re getting. Is it filtering your blog comments so you can deal with less spam? Does it hide the version of WordPress you’re using, making it more difficult for hackers to find holes in the security? Don’t be afraid to ask!

Plugins: Plugins are fun! They can add a little flare and customization to your site or provide necessary elements like social media integration, mailing lists, and more. But installation isn’t always easy, and they can be expensive. So before you get knee-deep in plugins, ask your Web designer how much adding them will cost you.

Content updates: As a writer, the content on your site is bound to change frequently. Perhaps a new story gets published every month or your new book art just came back from the press. Remember that time is money in any business, and Web design is no different. Ask your Web designer what their cost is per hour to make content updates to your pages.

It’s also important to find out up front if you have control over the content on your site; if not, what’s the cost for your designer to make updates? At Web Design Relief, we give full content control to our clients—but you can still come to us if you need help!

Custom Design: Aside from the basic colors and structure, perhaps you want a homepage that really “wows” your visitors. Keep in mind that the wow-factor isn’t necessarily free, and often any extra design means extra money.

That’s not to say that you have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful site. At Web Design Relief, we’ve priced our various packages and add-ons to fit every writer’s budget, so you can get an attractive custom design at a friendly cost.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

As with any long-term commitment, it’s essential that you get what you pay for and aren’t surprised along the way by unexpected costs and fees. Don’t be shy when asking your designer for an accurate estimate or quote. At Web Design Relief, we’re committed to being up front about all costs our clients may incur while building an author website.

Our pricing page is thorough and easy to follow, and our designers make it a point to inform you of any extra fees in the consultation call. Are you ready to begin building your author website today? Contact us!

Photo by JMR_Photography

QUESTION: Has a fear of being hit by hidden costs stopped you from building your author website?


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If you need help nailing your brand, you’ve come to the right place. The designers know what questions to ask, what imagery translates best to the screen, and how to make your original idea come to life on your webpage. Conventional or quirky, your idea is in good hands with the Web Design Relief team.

—Darlene Eliot, Writer
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Working with the Web Design Relief team was a total pleasure. They made the process easy, in-depth, professional, and lyrical. I wanted a site that leaned toward the bohemian and yet held an edge of minimalist sophistication. I couldn’t be happier with my very inviting and creative site! We should win awards with this one!

—King Grossman, Writer
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I cannot possibly detail how professional and helpful Web Design Relief has been in helping me launch my collection of short stories—there are just too many things they have done! They’ve been there for me all along the way, guiding me in developing my book and into the 21st century of web design and social media platforms. It could have been a bewildering journey; Instead it was one that was organized and so pleasant. Truly, Web Design Relief has blown me away by what they have created. The first time I watched my book trailer (who knew there were book trailers?), I cried. That team perfectly imaged what my book is about. I want to thank the whole team for their skill and creativity. I appreciate it so much.

—Cyndy Muscatel, Writer
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I’m pleased with the look of my website. The team at Web Design Relief listened to my suggestions and added a few of their own to make my website look exactly how I envisioned it. I would definitely recommend using Web Design Relief if you are looking to create a website.

—Marion Hill, Writer
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