Designing a website that works

Jan 24,2017 | Terri Luckey


So when I went to a marketing workshop a few months back and they gave us recommendations for website marketing, I was expecting to hear that some of these features would be a great addition. But instead, they warned us against complex sites. Unfortunately, my website at the time fell into the category of what you shouldn’t do. Ouch!

This workshop was the first time I’d heard those tips. I’d been given other recommendations for an author website—to draw interest to my novels by including character pages, weapons pages, and things like that—but at this workshop they took more of the less is best attitude, and advised us to keep our websites simple.

So anyway, I thought I’d pass their tips on and let you decide whether you agree with them.

  1. Avoid clutter on your homepage! Keep your website clean, easy to browse and simple, but especially on your home page!  Have a navigation bar with six pages or less, a few pictures and that’s it. To include a couple of visuals, like an author picture, and the cover of the most recent book, but eliminate any other clutter. Most people look at a home page for five seconds before going on. If they can’t find what they want in that five seconds, they’ll leave.

  2. Everything important should go above the fold. Visitors won’t always bother to scroll down, so make sure the important things are at the top of the page.

  3. Make sure the website is mobile compatible and looks great on a small telephone screen, because many viewers will be using their phone to browse the internet.

  4. To include a separate book page with buy here buttons, not to have the books all on the homepage.

  5. To include a contact page.

  6. To include a newsletter sign up.

These recommendations were for authors, but the majority could be applied to any website. They said focus on making the website easy to navigate, clean, and simple. So I hired a website designer and asked her to streamline my website.

I really like the way it turned out. It’s a blend of the different recommendations. It still includes stuff to catch interest like my plant pages, but it’s presented more cleanly. If you want to check it out, here’s the link:

So what do you think? What do you like to see in a website? Will you leave one that looks cluttered? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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