Website Design KISS

As you can see, we’ve got a whole new look to the site and a big thanks to the designer – MJ from Sizzle Designs. I absolutely love what she’s done and I hope you do as well. It’s clean, but its mood definitely reflects my romantic suspense and paranormals.

So there are a few little tweaks on things I didn’t think about immediately (sorry MJ!) and then there’s the reconstruction of the pages from the old website.

Why reconstruction? Well, I’ve learned a few things and also didn’t realize just how long it had been since I updated some of the pages. So little by little, I’ll be working on those, especially since I’ve got the second SINS book – STRONGER THAN SIN – due to be delivered later in the year.

Here’s what I’ve learned and will share with you in the hopes it will help you with your own website design.

  • Keep It Simple Stupid: Yep, I let my natural desire to bling just put way too much stuff on certain parts of the site. So to keep it looking clean and professional, I’m trying to unclutter.
  • Let the program do it for you: There’s a number of places where it would be way easier just to let programming bring in content. For example, on my Cook’s Treat page I’ve figured out how to feed in all the blog posts that had recipes. Much better than my remembering to code and add those blog posts every time. Now I’ve got to work on putting them in alphabetical order, but at least there’s no more recoding to do!
  • Forget about links to third party news articles: I’ve discovered that online newspapers, etc. don’t keep their articles up for long periods of time and the URLs no longer work. So, rather than having a lot of dead links (as I had on my Press Page), I’m going to just stick to mentioning the articles without a link. But if anyone knows of a good link checker, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • Don’t mention dates without a year!: I didn’t realize how many times I said, “this October” or similar and forgot to go back and update it later. So “this October” was actually like three Octobers ago! Be specific with dates or maybe better yet – if the date isn’t important, leave it out.
  • Using Categories Correctly: Remember that comment about letting the program do it. Well to do that you have to be consistent. WordPress and many other programs let you create “categories” for your links and blog posts. Be consistent when you use those so that you can pull up just the content you want rather than a mish-mosh of unrelated posts. Also, create categories that will actually assist you in gathering data for your website visitors.

Thanks for dropping by! I hope this Tuesday Tip was helpful!

Also, please be sure to drop by tomorrow to share some time with a wonderful friend and fellow author – Amanda McIntyre. Amanda will be sharing some of her recent exploits with us and anyone who leaves a comment on tomorrow’s blog by midnight EST will be eligible to win a SINS OF THE FLESH t-shirt!

Tortured by Amanda McIntyre

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