Monday, August 03, 2009

New Website is Up, Sort Of

Last Friday, we talked about writers having a website to put information on to showcase their work or sell their books. Some people have websites, some don’t. Most of those who do seemed to feel it was important so that when readers want to find out more about them or their books, they’d be able to find them easily. Quite a few of you said you hosted your webpages and your blog both on WordPress. A couple of visitors said they needed a website, but didn’t have one yet and asked where I registered my domain name and who hosted my site.

All in all, I thought we had a great discussion. And I learned from the comments that were left.

In the post, I mentioned that I was doing a re-work of my site. Partly because it was white lettering on a black background, which I’ve heard people say is hard on their eyes. Partly because I was just tired of it. And I said I thought I’d have it up by today.

It took many more hours than I had expected, but the new version is up. There are still some glitches. The book cover for my book won’t show. I need to work on the spacing on some pages. And I’m going to take down my picture - good gracious, my face is huge! But I flat ran out of time to do more, so I’ll work on it bit by bit this week. So, for now, it’s a work in progress. If you drop by to see it and want to make suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them. And if there’s something on your site that you think I should do on mine, tell me and leave your URL in your comment. I’m in the mood to try to make my site much better than it has been. And I appreciate all suggestions.
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37 comments:

  1. I like your new site, Helen. The photos at the top add interest and I like the color combination - it is easy to read. You also offer a good variety of of information and links. I'm inspired to work harder on mine!

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  2. Definitely easier on the eyes than the last site. You need to do something with the "Welcome to.." just under the pictures at the top. It's a bit too stark, especially that font, and make your name a bit bigger to stand out.

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  3. I like it, Helen. I can't handle reading white on black...gives me really bad headaches...so this is a vast improvement in my mind.

    Great job!
    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  4. Thank you, Anton, for the suggestions. I'm making notes!

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  5. Looks good, Helen. I also agree authors should have a website. I just purchased one, but it is still "parked" until I get it all in shape and ready to publish. Lots of work to do, but it'll be worth it.

    The Old Silly

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  6. It looks great, Hel. I love the pictures changing on the banner and the colors are easy on the eyes.

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  7. I really like the site for all the reasons mentioned above, but I also like the tone of the writing. It is very warm and welcoming and as a writer, I would feel comfortable approaching you for help, advice and support.
    Karen

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  8. I like it Helen. The colours are nice and friendly.

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  9. Thank you each for taking the time out of your busy (I know) day to take a look at it. I really appreciate it.

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  10. It looks awesome. Did you use a site to host it that allows you templates to choose from? Or did you program all of this yourself? I used to do HTML programming but once websites became more complicated I was lost!

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  11. Change is good. IMHO, I think the text is a bit too large, but I really like the way it flows rather than how your previous site is broken up.

    Stephen Tremp

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  12. Thanks Stephen. I'll try out the next smaller font and see how it looks.

    Stephanie, I created the site myself, but I don't know code. I use Dreamweaver, which allows you to write code, if you know it, or use the WYSIWYG side. Or you can do a split screen to see both at once.

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  13. Hi Helen,

    Agree with Stephen. I do think the font is a little large. Not that my eyes are great, but your blog size font is nicer to read. That's my only criticism.

    I didn't see a counter? How will you know who's checking in?

    It is is time-consuming. I often go back an tweak mine, which covers both my writing and my paintings. Perhaps they should be separate.

    With much admiration.

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  15. Okay, that's two votes for making the font smaller. I think I have it set at "large" right now, so I'll take it down to "medium".

    And, Fran, you're right, I don't have a counter. Haven't put one up on my site. I shall look into getting one for the website. I use StatCounter on the blog. I need to figure out how to load Google Analytics.

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  16. I like it - really liked the fact the photos changed as the mouse ran over them. (And there was your wonderful photo, too!)

    As said above, maybe the font's a little big? The welcome page seemed to scroll down a bit far...

    As for hit counters - my sites are both thru Earthlink, so I can privately check the hits by the hour if I like.

    L. Diane Wolfe
    www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
    www.spunkonastick.net
    www.thecircleoffriends.net

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  17. Never heard of Earthlink, Diane. Thanks. That's three votes for smaller font. If I can ever get caught up on stuff today, I'll change the font first thing.

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  18. Site looks great. Love the pix and the roll over thing-y. Very cool.

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  19. PS yeah on the font smaller and I vote for Arail.

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  20. Well, smaller font definitely wins. Thanks Gay!

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  21. Okay, I've changed the title font so that it's Ariel and my name is a bit larger. I also changed the font size on the Welcome page so it's smaller. (Haven't changed the font size on the other pages yet.)

    See! I do listen to y'all!

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  22. I think it’s very nice, Helen. A real upgrade over what you had. It’s also soothing to look at, so, no one should complain about that. Your face is just right, by the way!

    Best Regards, Galen
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

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  23. I looked at your site this morning, but didn't have a chance to comment. Others covered much of what I had to say. I've gone back after you made the changes.

    I have a couple more suggestions.

    1. Change the "Welcome to the website" phrase to upper and lower case. All upper is too harsh.

    2. Make your name 1-2 font sizes larger.

    3. Make WELCOME 1 size smaller. It should still be plenty big, but look at the overall picture of all the headings at this point and strive for a balanced look.

    4. Think about color. Try a different color for either the links on the side or the links in the text. Maybe black, white, or a deep blue. Or go bold with orange.

    Other than those things, looks good.

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  24. You're very kind, Galen. I feel like a giant head popping out.

    Thank you Carol. I'm going to make those changes on the main page and see how they look. I think I'll change the link color in the side bar - that's much easier to do since it's part of the template.

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  25. I like the changes. Easier on the eyes. I'll keep an eye out for future updates.

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  26. Thanks Stacy. At any time in the future, if you have suggestions, let me know.

    I've made most of the suggestions Carol gave me. Except for changing the links color. Upon trying to do that, I messed up all the links. It was a real mess. I've managed to get it back the way it was -- but I have not given up.

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  27. Your site looks great, Helen! You have received some good suggestions from folks, and I'm coming in to look at it after those changes were made and like the way it looks! It's very bright, warm and welcoming, the pictures at the top are a really nice touch, and the links really stand out well. Good job!

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  29. You're a sweetheart, Connie. Thanks for linking over and checking it.

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  30. Cool site! Loads quick, slick and professional, and easy to read. Good work.

    --Lisa
    http://authorlisalogan.blogspot.com

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  31. Helen I love all the moving bits like the pics at the top and the constantly changing Twitter stuff. The colour is beautiful. I agree the font is a bit big on the welcome. Also I'm not a big fan of that font (Helvitica/Ariel...whatever)it somehow makes me think of those spam letters offering you Viagra. Otherwise lovely.

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  32. Helen, where is your slide show? I really like it. Hope you will put it on the blog or site in future.

    Bargain with the Devil

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  33. Hi Helen, I've had a chance to look at the new website now and find the colours much easier to read. I also like the way they allude to your life as a mermaid, with those watery turquoises. The site's easy to use and doesn't take long to load. I don't know if it's deliberate, but the font changes from Times New Roman under the Marketing/Promo banner. And you shouldn't feel uncomfortable with the photo because you look great.

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  34. Hi, Helen. It's a nice design, clean and simple. I know it's all a matter of taste, but I might suggest you use a lighter shade of green in the text area, so there is better contrast between the black letters and the background. I really like the pictures up top. I suppose you can swap them out from time to time for a fresh look when the mood strikes you?
    ~jon

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  35. Wow Helen -- You certainly got a lot of feedback on this one! I checked out your site a few days ago from a Twitter link, but forgot to leave a comment, so here I am again. I love the color scheme and how easy it is to read your name and see what it is you do. And I can relate that it takes a lot of hours to get it right -- but doesn't it feel good when it looks the way you want it to?? Nice work.

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  36. I am impressed! I love the colour and layout. A very resourceful site, well done.

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