How to build your author website through distinct design and solid fundamentals
Last updated 03 April 2023
Written by Jin Wang
A professionally designed and distinct looking website tells visitors that you’re serious about your writing career; that you care about your online presence; and that they should invest their time in getting to know you.
Sure, you can use a cheap online template that looks fine, but these are often developed incorrectly and lack the ability to be customised; and usually don’t include all the key features you want. Templates are also quite recognisable and don’t offer any individuality or exclusivity of use.
Just because you’re an author, it doesn’t mean you need a ‘lined notepad’ theme background – too obvious right? Your books have beautiful and unique cover art. So why wouldn’t your website be the same?
You want to promote yourself as a unique brand. Having a distinct website unlike anyone else’s, will leave your visitors feeling like they’ve experienced something quite special. And at the end of the day, that’s how we all want to feel.
User Experience Design
In the same way that a search engine uses a complex computer algorithm to calculate the value of a page, a human’s ‘website visitor’ experience is equally complex. Getting your user experience right will not only help you rank better in a search engine like Google, but will increase social sharing of your content, links to your website and valuable word-of-mouth promotion.
Think about your own experiences when visiting websites. You want the site to:
- Be easy to understand
- Have intuitive navigation
- Load quickly, especially on tablets and mobiles
- Deliver visually attractive design and engaging content
Consider the three C’s of navigation. Clear, concise and consistent.
Navigation works best when the user hardly notices it’s there. Much like road signs, we use them to help us get where we are going.
Consistency is also important in ensuring visitors don’t get lost along their travels. Navigation should always be simple, unadorned and direct ~ with the main objective of helping visitors easily navigate their way through your great content.
Optimising your site for tablet and mobile devices is no longer optional, it’s essential.
It’s now generally accepted that mobile visits make up roughly 30% of all traffic, irrespective of industry. Industries that include younger people in their target audience, actually see a much higher use of mobiles and tablets to access the web.
One of our clients, the author of a popular book series, sees that 42% of her 2,000 visitors per month are viewing her site on a mobile device.
As of April 2015, Google made it clear that websites that are not usable on handheld devices will have their search rank penalised.
Ensure your website is mobile-optimised so you don’t miss out on the ever-growing number of mobile users.
Great! You’ve now got yourself online with a stunning professional author website design that’s easy-to-use and mobile-friendly.
But want to know the biggest myth on the internet and how it’s hurting your site?