luke hollis

Poet's Guide to Web Representation

Poets need websites

Authors have websites, but it's much more common to find a poet's, Poetry Foundation, or even faculty pages before their own site. So my question: poets, why do you hate websites?

It's not hard! We owe it to ourselves to have content available online in a centralized hub listing publications, articles, a biography, etc.

So if you're a poet currently publishing, make one for yourself--it can be as easy as setting up a Tumblr or using an out-of-the-box theme with Wordpress. You can take as much or as little liberty to customize your theme as you'd like. It's never been easier to teach yourself how to code! ( was a long time favorite).

What it involves: (for Wordpress or Drupal)

Setting up your own website involves a few simple steps (that can get a little sticky, but keep your cool--it works in the end).

1. Buy a domain

First, buy whatever domain you want your website to be called, e.g. or You have to buy a domain from a registrar such as,,, or many others.

Google around for best practices in picking the right domain name for you, but in general, it should be something easy for people to remember.

2. Buy a hosting plan

Next, get a hosting plan for server space where you can store the files that you want to share with the world. I like a web hosting provider called Future Quest, but there are many good ones out there. is a common choice for many people just breaking ground in the web. If you're not expecting too many visitors immediately, you can probably choose the lowest-level plan for web representation. Make sure to compare some prices here, though.

3. Pick a Content Management System

So you're serious about the website now--you've got your domain and hosting plan. Now you need something to create and manage your site! A content management system lets you do just that. Wordpress and Drupal are two of the most common CMSs and most user friendly. If you're feeling a little more tech savvy, I'd recommend Drupal--otherwise, Wordpress is probably going to be the easiest to use from square one.

Setting up your CMS: it can be a little bit of a challenge getting your CMS set up on your web host, but often times if you talk to your hosting provider, they will assist you in getting everything put together. Last time I checked, GoDaddy has a one click Wordpress or Drupal set up. Web Faction also has super quick and easy CMS set ups.

4. Pick a Theme

Finally, the fun part--picking out a theme for your website and making choices about the design. Look around at other websites that you admire and come up with a list of adjectives that you want to describe the design of your site. Then, after clarifying a little bit more of the vision of what you want your site to be, browse theme repositories such as Theme Forest or Installing a theme can involve a lot of different steps, but instructions should be provided for how to install the theme you downloaded.

So, there's the quick and dirty of steps to get your site up and running for web representation.

Feel free to comment or email me if you're an author or poet looking for help with web representation! I'm always glad to help a fellow writer get on her or his feet with the web.