Category Archives: Design Tips & Tricks

Think Like An Editor: How To Revise Your Author Website For The Better | Web Design Relief

Being a writer has its advantages, especially when it comes to creating a website. As a writer/editor, you have a keen sense of your own vision, and your instincts can guide you to create a website that supports your larger author brand. Ready to apply your editorial instincts to your author website?

Web Design Relief Presents 6 Questions To Help You Think Like An Editor When Creating Your Author Website

Is your call to action clear and focused? Writers are excellent at persuasive writing—so a good writer can craft an effective call to action for an author website! What’s a call to action? It’s basically the one primary action you want a visitor to take when reading your author website: sign up for an author mailing list, buy a book, etc. With great editing skills, you can create a call to action using subtle persuasion and some smart layout. Learn more about creating a great call to action.

Is the layout effective? Your layout should funnel visitors toward your call to action, so deciding how to organize the content of your website is a lot like deciding how to organize the content of a book. What do you want visitors to see first? The “above the fold” or top part of the homepage of your author website is as important as the first five pages of a manuscript. Here’s how to get your most important info on your website’s first page .

Are the visuals powerful? Your website’s first impression lies in its visuals. Do your images make a powerful, memorable, unique statement? If your talents run more toward the written word than to artwork, be sure to enlist good help—just like you’d hire a freelance editor to help with a manuscript.

Is the copy clean and SEO friendly? SEO (or search engine optimization) is a key component of an effective author website. Being a writer—and understanding how to shape a sentence—is a HUGE advantage when it comes to Web maintenance. Why? Search engines scan the text of websites in order to index them. If your author website doesn’t have your name on it a few times, a search engine might not be able to associate it with you. Learn more about how to edit for SEO copywriting techniques.

Does your author website tell a good story? As a writer, you probably have a good appreciation for the power of story. But are you telling your personal story as powerfully as you could? In a world shaped by social media, who you are can be as persuasive as what you’re writing. Learn more about how to make the most of your personal story through good editing .

Does your author website encourage visitors to have an emotional reaction? Writers are masters of emotions—exploring them, conjuring them, and letting people experience them intimately. Just like a great piece of writing, a great website inspires an emotional reaction via eye-catching visuals, strong text, opportunities for engagement/interaction, and smart layout. Use every tool in your writing arsenal to stir up a bit of emotion in your visitors.

And The Best Thing About Editing An Author Website Is…

As long as your Web developer creates a website that you can easily maintain and edit, your author website offers you the perfect opportunity to let your creativity shine!


Question: Which of the elements on our list do you believe is most important to an author website?



Navigation Menu Options For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief


What’s the most important feature of your author website design? You may think it’s the home page image, or the email signup form, or even the typeface used throughout the site. While these are all vital to the success of your website, Web Design Relief knows that perhaps the most essential—yet overlooked—element is your navigation menu. The navigation menu of your website shows your visitors how to find the information they’re looking for, so it needs to be easy to find, understand, and use.


There are several website navigation styles you can choose from to suit your overall design requirements while still making it clear where to find everything with just a few clicks.


Horizontal Menu: Straightforward and reliable, this is the default choice for many web designers. This menu design is typically found at the top of the web page, either below or above a banner. Sometimes the menu and the banner can be side by side.


A horizontal menu is usually the best option for websites with a long list of drop-downs and submenus under each category.


Vertical Menu: If you want to try something different, you may opt for a vertical menu. The vertical menu has seen a rise in popularity in recent years: Here are WordPress themes that use Vertical Menus. You’ll often find these menus on the left-hand side of a website.


A vertical menu is a smart choice for author websites that feature a lot of blog articles. This menu style leaves space in the center of the webpage for a grid-like display of blog posts. You can also use a vertical menu for a website that showcases a portfolio of images. Make sure to keep your menu links short, since the longer they become, the more center space your vertical menu will take up.


Fixed-Header Menu: This menu style is perfect for an author website with a lot of information. A fixed-header menu stays at the top of the page—no matter where your visitor scrolls to on the website. Your visitors can easily navigate through your website since the menu follows them and remains accessible wherever they are on your site.


Floating Anchor Menu: Websites that want to be extra mobile-friendly or are overly long will benefit from a floating anchor menu, which allows visitors to quickly scroll to the section of the page that the navigation refers to. Anchor menus function in the same way as the fixed-header menu. If your website is one page, this type of navigational menu may be your best option!


Icon Menu: Rather than using the typical, spelled-out text menu options, you can shake things up by using icons to represent your navigational links. A visitor looking for a store page would click on an image of a shopping cart; someone interested in contacting you would click on a mailbox image.


Bottom-Page Menu: Want to turn visitors on their heads? Try a bottom-page menu! This style is ideal for a website that wants to immediately focus attention on a main image or on a splash page.


And once you’ve determined the best look for your author website’s navigation menu, you may want to consider redesigning your website’s footer!


Question: Which navigation menu design do you think your visitors would prefer?


Put Your Best Footer Forward On Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

When designing your author website, you want to be sure that, from head to toe, it will make a great first impression on your visitors. So you’ll spend a lot of time considering different styles and looks in order to choose the most eye-catching header, an intriguing home page design, and maybe even a new head shot. But before you launch your author website, Web Design Relief has a question: What about your website’s footer?

You might think your website’s footer doesn’t matter and that no one is going to look at the bottom of your page. But consider this: Your footer appears at the bottom of every page on your website. So ignoring the potential of your site’s footer is like getting dressed up in a sleek black tuxedo…and then putting on clunky brown shoes.

6 Ways To Maximize The Impact Of Your Author Website Footer

Social Media Connections. Never overlook an opportunity to connect with your visitors and fans via social media. Putting social media links and buttons in your footer—and at your visitors’ fingertips— makes it easy to cross promote and reach your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and more!

Literary Awards and Quotes from Reviewers. While visitors are perusing your website pages, you can keep your literary awards, accolades, and affirmative quotes from reviewers in view by placing them strategically in your footer. This positive reinforcement can help turn browsers into buyers!

A Book Carousel. This is a great way to feature multiple book projects that will appear in a scrolling element on every page. Showcasing your books in a carousel lets your potential fans easily see all the books you have available, which can boost your overall sales.

About Me and Contact Info. Typically, the About Me and Contact Info appear on separate pages on your author website. Your website will stand out from the pack and have the potential to engage more viewers if you put your basic contact information and a short bio with a head shot in your footer.

Copyright Notice. This is a standard element that should be in every website footer, and one we felt is important to mention. The copyright notice should include the © symbol, the year of your website’s publication, and your name. The footer is also where you note the designer if your website was created by a third party.

Call to Action. The footer is a great place to remind your visitors to follow you on your social networks, sign up for your newsletter, or join your email list to receive exclusive freebies. And be sure to mention where and how they can purchase your book!

Important Design Elements For Your Website Footer

In most cases, your website footer is a smaller area. So you’ll want to feature only the elements that focus on your main goal, whether it’s selling books, building your email list, or growing your social media connections. This is not the place for an information dump—if your footer is too busy and disconnected, visitors will simply ignore it.

Also, the design of your website footer shouldn’t look like an afterthought slapped on at the last minute—integrate the design into your overall theme by incorporating similar graphic elements and colors. Use an easy-to-read typeface that stands out on the background.


Question: What does your author website footer include?





5 Website Tips Self-Published Authors Need To Know | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re a traditionally or self-published author, your author website should be a brilliantly designed online magnet for your specific audience, providing updates on new releases, promotions, and events. A great author website is your virtual showcase in the online world. Self-published authors, however, have a few unique requirements when it comes to successful web… Continue Reading

Will This Latest Author Website Design Trend Work For You?

Remember when you clicked on a website and music instantly started playing? Or when badges, ribbons, and starburst effects ruled? As with any emerging field, web design trends have evolved. The complex designs of yore have given way to simple, minimalist designs. The reason: A rising percentage of users access the web on their smartphones,… Continue Reading

How To Get All Your Best Info On The First Page Of Your Author Website

Your author website is the online destination for anyone interested in learning more about you and your writing. Typically, you have less than eight seconds to capture your visitors’ attention, so you want to feature as much of your best information as possible on your home page. While you may be tempted to immediately hit… Continue Reading

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