Tag - designing new site

What's the Rumble?

cones heartHello all! So here's what's been going down in Charlietown. I'm in the process of designing a swanky new site, which is why when you connect to the 'website' from the blog, you get er... a second blog, or a maintenance page with my lovely fellas on it telling you what's going on. I had to strip away the domain name and ya da, ya da, ya [insert technobabble here], anyway, that explains some of the weirdness going on. Until the new site launches, it's business as usual on this blog and the current weekly writing series will still be posted here.

What does designing this swanky new website entail? This is my first venture in creating a website pretty much from scratch in Wordpress. Well, the base template is there and you gotta do the rest. I made sure to choose a theme template that would allow me to tear it apart and put it back together. I should probably add that I'm not a programmer. I'm a Google-the-hell-out-of-what-I-don't-know-and-figure-it-out er, but I've been doing THAT for years, and when you do something long enough, you get pretty good at it. I'm more of a designer than a programmer. When I see the word HTML, I instinctively groan. But a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

code orangeI've spent the last week pretty much from sunup to sundown wading through code and style sheets to customize everything on that sucker. So I had my blank canvas, and soon started painting. I wanted the graphics on the site to be my own, and those that couldn't be my own, licensed. So far, the only thing I haven't created myself are my social media 'follow me' icons--though I did have to alter the colors to fit my theme and make one icon based on the others because the pack didn't come with a Goodreads icon. I know, you're wondering why if I can make my own graphics didn't I just make a bunch of icons? Because it would have taken me forever to think up one design and go with it. Sometimes having too much choice can be a bad thing. It was easier for me to browse, find a set I liked and go with it. Also it was one less thing I had to spend ages on designing. I want the site to look great, but I don't want to spend a year on it because I have books to write gosh darn it!

Anyhoo, I had to create a color scheme that would be used throughout the site, change the fonts, their color, their size, add individual sidebars to most of the pages, insert images and links, create buttons, badges, and headers from scratch in Photoshop, format all my book covers and any other images I needed, type everything out, link everything, move all my posts and comments from this blog to the integrated blog on the new site (and oh my god, those bloody little hearts you see in the blog titles? Now I have to manually remove them all. Way to go Charlie). I have to re-categorize and re-tag all my posts, deal with the evil RSS feeds, and you get the drift.

love booksThere are 44 pages so far, nicely streamlined and purty. Why go through all this trouble? Because my website represents me as an author, and as this is my career, I want to make sure that I'm putting my all into every aspect of it. But this website isn't just about me, it's about the readers. Without readers I would have no career. So, I've done a good deal of research to make sure the new site has more than just the usual blurbs, excerpts, and promo stuff. I want fun, exclusive content, and engaging extras because my website is as much about the readers as it is about me. I want to give something back, show my appreciation, because even though I might not know you or chat to you because you're somewhere out there in the ether, I want you to know I care and this isn't all about me. (There's also going to be some fun bits for fellow authors).

So I'm also going to ask those brave souls who leave comments to volunteer information. I've already come up with some fun new pages, but I'd like to know:

What do you want to see more of on author websites? What do you like or not like? What frustrates you? What keeps you coming back or sends you running for the hills? We're talking author websites so it doesn't have to pertain to any specific genre. The floor's all yours!


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