I always set off with high hopes of being able to pump a search term into Google and getting back some high quality information from amateur websites. In particular when researching for a novel it always seems easier if you can get some information from reading a screen and type up some notes in your electronic research file, rather than sitting down with an actual book and writing notes by hand, and then going back to your laptop to type these up.
Yet the amount of good information actually out there that isn’t of a superficial nature is quite limited. For what I’m researching, medieval towns and the medieval church (particularly monastic orders), there is some good info on the towns, but very little detail actually on medieval monasticism. The one good site I did find for monastic orders was unfortunately written from the point of view of a roleplayer and only went up to the 12c, so no good for me.
Which leads to the conclusion, that actually the old-fashioned book is what you need. And this means that unless you are an academic with a library that has access to a comprehensive collection of e-books, you are going to need to either use your local public library service or get onto amazon or second-hand booksellers to get what you need. Luckily my local library service seems to have most of what I need!
The great site I found for medieval towns was Medieval English Towns.
The site that was interesting for medieval monasticism, but not thorough enough for me was Aedificium.