As you might have heard, I'm redesigning my website. It's long overdue. Very long overdue.
A few weeks ago, I spent some time browsing other authors' websites. I wrote notes of what I liked, of what worked well and what didn't, and what would be best for me. I realized my tastes are minimalistic. I didn't want anything full of graphics, blinking lights, or a soundtrack.
I designed a new look. A chore I thought would be simple with the sort of layout I wanted, but it was the little things that made it into an hours long job.
Background image / header. Most authors have a personalized header. Some use a background image. I prefer the latter. But what to use? My first idea was to find an image or series of images that captured what I write. Bad idea. So much of my time wasted browsing images. I found the majority of authors use images from the covers of their books. Though I wanted a gorgeous new image, I thought that maybe people who visited my site would think the image was from one of my books and get confused. So I decided to go with one of my cover images.
The color palette. Many paranormal romance authors feature red and black on their sites. Urban fantasy authors use red and black too, or blues, grays, and black. Romance authors have a lot of reds and pinks. While I'm partial to blue, I want my site to stand out. The background image I chose led me to pick from a color palette I never expected. Dark and light browns and golds. Browns? I know, I know, but it looks rich and casts the right atmosphere.
Fonts. I'm still changing my mind about fonts. I'd just have everything in Courier or Times if I had my way. I'm not picky, but a lot of people are really enthusiastic about fonts. Font matters as much as the color palette in creating the right look. So, I've been trying out a ton of them. I like simple and easy to read fonts. I don't like the fancy scripts or very genre specific ones for me. I'll decide on something sooner or later, and it'll likely be in the Courier family.
I've handed my husband all my notes. He'll be programming the new design for me. I just hope he doesn't spend all his summer evenings playing Skyrim and forget about my site!
If you have a website or a blog, how much time and consideration did you put into the little things?