Author Website Design: Tips for Writers

WWW iconThe internet has become such a pervasive force in so many aspects of our lives, it’s foolish to overlook it even when you don’t quite understand it. Chris has been a writer for years, and I’ve come to the profession more recently. Chris had someone design him a website and blog six or seven years ago, when we really didn’t understand how things worked online. The website was written in HTML by a computer pro. Unfortunately, that meant a steep learning curve when it came to doing changes or updates. With the upswing in ebooks and online marketing, we decided we needed a website that reflected his latest work, and was easy to update. Since he was busy finishing up the fourth book of the Scimitar Seas novels, as well as starting an exciting new project, and I’m kind of a perpetual student anyway—I love learning anything—I took on the task. Talk about steep learning curve!

I am by no means an expert at putting together a website, but I’m good at research and at figuring out how to do things, and I found this to be a challenge. One issue was finding the answer to a question in plain English; many forums are computer folk asking questions of other computer folk, talking way over my head. Though I had some problems developing and implementing the website, after hours or days of searching and fiddling, I fixed them. So I thought I’d pass on some tips and hints for others who would prefer to spend their time writing instead of wrestling with HTML and permalinks and such.

In future blogs I’ll discuss the references I found useful, certain methods of achieving a particular look or function on the website, some of my favorite plugins and widgets, and more. I welcome comments, especially if you’ve found an easier way to do something that I struggled with. Also, if you see something on the website that you would like explained, just ask.

I look forward to an interesting dialogue.


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