Some women change their hair when they're in a new mood. Me? I change my website. 🙂 No, it's not changed yet, so clicking over will produce the same pages as always. But, I can't ever settle down with a look. (Notice my blog changes from time to time — like today.) I visit other sites and I want to change mine.
Lately, I've been worried about how strongly my site is geared to my romantic suspenses. I have a dual writing personality now! I need to reflect the classic romance/Harlequin Presents side of me, and so I've been working on something that combines the two in a plain (for now) way.
I plan to pay someone to develop a site (or sites), but I can't do it yet. There's the issue of name, for one thing. What name will I write under? I am very flexible about this. I am open to the idea my name may not be the best for selling books, but it's a bridge I plan to cross when I reach it.
Bottom line for me is that this is a career and I plan to do everything necessary to succeed at it. If separate names are the ticket, I'm there. If a completely different name from my own is best, I'm there. If I need to pay a web designer, I'm there. (Hubby, if you're reading, quick, look over there! Is that a naked woman/iPhone/new TV — or something equally interesting to you I see? Quick, better click over!)
So, what are the best writer sites for you? Is there a site you like, either for the colors or the ease of use or the graphics? If you have a website, did you pay someone? Do you plan to pay someone eventually? What do you think about homemade sites with popular site builders? Does flash bug you (it does me)? What about music (ditto)? Anything I missed? Give me your thoughts! 🙂
I don’t actually have broadband yet *GASP*. Part of me likes to shock the hell out of people every time I say that but it basically comes down to it being one of those things on my to do list that I never quite get to. Because of my ancient methods I’m in love with all webpages that load quickly 🙂 and although I do have some qualifications in web design I think I’ll eventually pay someone too (that way I won’t spend more time designing my page then on my writing 🙂 )
As a web designer and an avid surfer, there are several things that bug me.
1. Flash. Especially the kind that doesn’t give me the option to skip the intro. I’m sure that cool video is the perfect advertisement for your new suspense, but its annoying and I don’t want to watch it. Let me (and the people without high speed) pass.
2. Music. Give me the option. Don’t just force it on me. Some people (not me of course) web browse at work and there’s nothing that points a big lighted arrow above your cubicle like “Rock You Like a Hurricaine” blaring suddenly.
3. Those funny mouse icons that drag hearts or bubbles or other nonsense across the screen.
4. Hard to read text, either impossible colors or fonts. Yes, my website is black with gray and white text, but as a trade off, I did not pick a difficult font to read. I think its pretty readable that way.
Basicly, I don’t like cutsie stuff. People come to your website to access information about you and your books. That should be what they get, in the clearest and most straightforward fashion.
Off my soapbox now. I think I will probably do my own website until I get to the point that I need something flashier than I can produce. I am far from being that important.
Let me know if you want/need help.
Ditto on everything Smarty Pants said.
Dark text against a dark background (like black on dark blue) is tough for me to read too.
I’ll probably pay someone eventually to do my site (once I have income, for example), but not just yet.
Don’t forget, there are some great templates out there for free that you can tweak until you decide you want to pay someone.
I think a good header is important. That catches the eye right away and sort of sets the mood. But please don’t have the cutesie stuff.
Good luck with your hair, uh I mean website.
Wow, Nikki! Dial up? 🙂 You know what they say — once you go broadband, you never go back. 😉
SP: Excellent thoughts! Thank you for giving them. ROFL about the music at work. Yeah, I hate flash and music, and I dislike video trailers. More on that topic tomorrow, I think.
I’m with you on cutsie. I’m in my 3rd or 4th incarnation of this website now. As I learned, I updated and changed things. Now, I have an iWeb template, which makes thing kind of difficult with my host. I’m working on another iWeb template. *sigh* Thanks for the offer of help! I think your site is cool, and the one you did for Kathy rocks too.
PC: Your site is nice, and your designer is a bargain! 😉 So far, I’m tweaking iWeb templates. Since I made the switch to Apple, my ability to work with other templates is either gone or I haven’t figured it out. I do have a cool web designer for Mac, but I don’t know how to use it. 🙂
PM: I think you are SO right about the header! That’s why I want to pay someone. I want someone to design something for me, you know? I’ve tried to learn how that stuff is done, but I’m not really good at it.