Keep Your Website Visitors Safer With These Tools | Web Design Relief

You may have an author website with great design elements, informative content, and lucrative promotional material, but this means little if your website isn’t safe! When it comes to your author website, Web Design Relief feels the safety of those visiting your site should be your top priority. Without the proper precautions, you leave your visitors open to having their personal information stolen or their computers harmed by malware and viruses. No one will be able to focus on your writing if their security is at risk! Put an end to cyber threats and keep your author website visitors safer with these tips and tools:

Author Website Safety Tips and Tools 

Strong password protection: Step number one to protecting your website is making sure that no one with malicious intent can get in. Change your password often, every 90 days, in fact, and avoid using the same password for every account you have. The most secure passwords are over eight characters and include special symbols and numbers and at least one capital letter. If you need advice on creating a strong password, there are online resources that can help you.

Quality web hosting: Your website needs somewhere to live, just like you, so make sure it’s a safe place! A secure web host puts protection first, so your web visitors can worry about your next writing release instead of hackers. An excellent web host will make routine backups of your website, install software updates, and regularly monitor the site—just like Web Design Relief’s hosting service.

HTTPS: Unlike an HTTP web address, HTTPS, which uses an SSL certificate, keeps information on your website encrypted. If you’re not techy, you may have just said, Huh? But the concept is simple: an HTTPS address safeguards information like e-mail addresses or credit card numbers so fans can safely purchase a copy of your book directly from your site. An HTTPS secures your website visitors’ information and prevents it from leaking into the vastness of the World Wide Web!

Secure contact form: A contact form is a great way for editors, agents, and readers to send you an e-mail without your actual e-mail address being visible. But you want to protect theirs as well. If someone sends you a message, then suddenly starts receiving spam right afterward, they will likely not be stopping by your site again anytime soon. So make certain that your contact form keeps user data secure and uses CAPTCHA verification so only humans can input information onto your website, and not spam bots. 

Limit user logins: One of the simplest yet most effective tools for online protection is limiting the number of users who can log in to your site. The more users and login locations you have, the more points of entry a hacker has if they gain access to one or more user passwords. Keep user logins to a minimum, especially those who are administrators of your website. 

Account lockouts: Many hackers attempt to use brute force to access websites and steal information being exchanged on it. Brute force attacks use codes and bots to try thousands of username and password combinations to log into your site. How do you stop this? Simple: Adjust your settings so that after three incorrect login attempts, your account is locked!

Smart security plugins: When it comes to your author website, plugins are your friend! While many websites have built-in security, it doesn’t hurt to keep your web visitors fully protected with as many security measures as possible. Plugins like iThemes Security, Google Authenticator, and Jetpack (just to name a few) protect your website by regularly scanning for malware, setting up firewalls, and making it harder for hackers to gain access with modified login methods.

Your author website should be a hub of networking opportunities to not only boost your writing career but also attract literary agents and editors! This is why it’s important to maintain a safe website. You want visitors to return and not worry that their personal information, along with yours, is at risk. This means you should drop dangerous website habits like never changing your password. Discontinue hosting with a problematic or illegitimate provider, and keep just anyone from uploading content to your website. Instead invest in safety with secure servers, plugins, and more!

 

Question: How often do you use an author’s website to purchase books? Did you feel safe doing so?

Self-Test: Is Your Author Website Up To Professional Standards? | Web Design Relief

Your author website is a powerful networking tool, essentially acting as your online business card. Since your website represents you as a writer to readers, editors, or literary agents, it should look professional and polished—not like the cheapest option you could find. Take this easy self-test from the experts at Web Design Relief to determine if your author website is functional and informative, or if it’s filled with common mistakes.

Self-Test: Is Your Author Website First Quality…Or Second-Rate?

Are You Using Good-Quality Images?

A: Yes, all of my images have at least a 300dpi resolution.

B: Some images are blurry, but most are clear.

C: Images? What images?

 

Is Your Font Uniform And Legible?

A: I have a dedicated font for headings and a dedicated font for body text.

B: No, but all of my fonts are in the same family (serif or sans serif).

C: The more fonts the merrier!

 

Does Your Author Bio Appear Professional?

A: Yes, my publishing credits and bio have been thoroughly proofread!

B: My author bio is acceptable, but has not been updated in quite a while.

C: I have no author bio on my website.

 

Are You Integrating Your Social Media Feeds?

A: I have icons or widgets for my author Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more!

B: I just post handles to my social media accounts. Or most of them anyway…

C: What’s a social media feed?

 

Do You Offer A Safe “Contact Me” Page?

A: My contact page keeps personal information secure and requires CAPTCHA verification.

B: I give my personal contact information (my email address and phone number) on my site.

C: I don’t want web visitors to contact me!

 

For Book Authors: Are You Including Links To Multiple Booksellers On Your Website?

A: I sure am! I include buttons to Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and more!

B: I post information on where people can buy my book, but don’t have direct links.

C: Google is free! If people want to buy my book, they can find it themselves!

 

If You Are Blogging, Is Your Blog Up To Date?

A: Yes! I update at least once a week and especially if I have new info to share with my readers.

B: Not really. I update my blog every few months.

C: I am just now remembering that I have a blog.

 

How Easy Is Your Website To Navigate?

A: Very easy! I have a menu bar, and a header logo that takes users directly to my homepage.

B: Most of my website’s pages are directly available through my homepage, but some pages are hidden.

C: I can’t even navigate my own website.

 

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

A: Absolutely! Every element on my website is optimized for mobile use.

B: My website opens on mobile, but it is a bit difficult to read.

C: The last time I opened my mobile website, I had to visit the Genius Bar or Geek Squad.

 

ANSWERS:

If you picked mostly A: Congratulations on a stellar website!

Your website works as a first-class, professional platform for your writing career! Display it proudly.

 

If you picked mostly B: Your website is close, but needs a little work before it qualifies as a professional author website.  

You may have great intentions for your website, but they may be executed poorly or need some updates. When it comes to professionalism, there is no cutting corners. Your website may benefit from some much-needed TLC, like a yearly update.

 

If you picked mostly C: There’s no way around it—your website needs help.

Some websites need a complete overhaul. With the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the Internet, your author website can quickly fall behind in functionality, and this could hurt your writing career. If your website is difficult to navigate or full of broken links, visitors will bounce. And if your author website looks second-rate and is filled with typos or grammar mistakes—readers, editors, and agents will assume it reflects on your writing quality.

If you’re ready for a professional-looking author website, the experts at Web Design Relief can help! Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will build you an author website perfectly suited to your needs—and we have a package for every budget! Schedule a free consultation today!

 

Question: What is one thing you want to change about your author website?

Great Ways To Use Moving Elements In Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Strategically incorporating motion into your author website design is a smart way to grab the attention of your followers and publishing industry pros. At Web Design Relief, our experts know that using moving elements in your author website will engage visitors in ways static images cannot. If you’re ready to get moving, here’s how to boost your website’s appeal with motion graphics!

A Simple Guide To Using Motion Design In Your Author Website

Scrolling Headers: Your header is the first thing visitors see when they click onto your website, so make it eye-catching. While static headers can get the job done, a scrolling header with multiple images and graphics allows visitors to watch or manually click through different images that represent your writing and who you are as an author.

 

Image Carousels: Your list of publications is essential information that should be showcased on your author website. Instead of having a page with flat images and text, you can feature your cover art (or artwork from the literary journals where your work is published) in a carousel so visitors have an interactive way to see all of your publications!

 

http://mybloggerpedia.blogspot.com/2012/03/blinking-read-more-buttons-for-blogger.html

Flashing Icons and Buttons: It is an excellent marketing strategy to include on your website social media icons that allow visitors to instantly follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and buttons that can be clicked to buy your book. You can kick up the engagement potential of these powerful design elements by making them blink, flash, jiggle—any kind of moving animation. These dynamic design elements will guide fans and followers to exactly where you want them to go.

Mouseover Changes: Ideally, your visitors will eagerly click around your website and discover all of your content. Want to make the experience even more engaging and appealing? Have the buttons, menu items, icons, and other elements on your site feature “hover over” changes—graphic changes that happen when a user’s mouse hovers over a trigger area. Mouseover control may become your favorite go-to element!

https://blog.prototypr.io/stunning-hover-effects-with-css-variables-f855e7b95330

Text Marquees: You see them on the news, and they are just as eye-catching on your author website! A moving marquee of text at the top of your website is a great way to alert Web visitors to your latest news and updates. When you release a new book, publish new poems or prose in a literary journal, or schedule a book signing or reading event—having that information scroll continuously across the screen will keep your followers in the know!

https://www.myspacegens.com/handler.php?gen=marquee

 

One Important Note About Using Moving Elements On Your Website

When it comes to using moving and animated design elements on your author website, remember: Less is more! Too many flashy buttons or flying photos will look tacky and overly busy. If visitors don’t know where to look and have too much vying for their attention, they’re more likely to bounce off your site. We recommend a light touch when using moving elements so your website visitors will be intrigued but not overwhelmed.

 

Question: Which motion design element do you find most appealing?

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