Category Archives: Author Websites

How To Choose The Best Background For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

How To Choose The Best Background For Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

When planning the design of your author website, the background should be at the forefront of your mind. At Web Design Relief, we know it’s easy to focus on the text and the elements that will pop and grab your audience’s attention. But keep in mind: Your website’s background takes up most of the page—on every page—and should complement the atmosphere, tone, and overall experience for your readers. Here are tips from our designers to help you choose the best background for your author website.

Guide To Choosing A Background For Your Author Website

Use Texture And Patterns

There is no reason why your background has to be limited to a solid, flat color, so experiment with different textures! Floral- and nature-themed backgrounds work well, as do industrial and geometric textures. Keep your genre in mind and be sure your background suits your writing.

But be careful: It can be easy to lose your content in a too-busy background. If you opt for a background with a lot going on, like a colorful pattern or picture, make certain that your text and images have drop shadows so that they still stand out, or use overlays and filters to soften the background where you have a lot of text. Make it easy for people to read your content!

Incorporate Color

Color is one of the best ways to evoke the atmosphere you want your author website to convey. While black and white are the most popular choices for background colors, there are many other colors that will match your mood and still allow for legible text. If you write romances, you might want to consider using pastel, rosy tones. Meanwhile, a thriller or mystery writer might find that a background of deep jewel tones captures the right mood.

Ideally, you want visitors to stay on your author website for a long time, learning about you and your writing. But if your background features glaring neon colors that aren’t easy on the eyes, your readers will be bouncing off your website in a hurry. Some colors to avoid are intense blues, yellows, and purples—which can be particularly difficult to view for any length of time.

Be Consistent

While having the same background on every page is standard web design, certain pages or sections of your website may call for a different shade or texture. But be sure to use shades in the same family of colors or similar textures to match the overall look of the rest of your website.

You may find yourself falling in love with many different backgrounds, but every page shouldn’t look like it belongs to a different website. Having multiple pages or sections without a cohesive style will appear amateurish and overly busy—and make it harder for your visitors to focus on your message. A consistent look carried throughout your website will reinforce your author brand’s effectiveness.

Offer Contrast

Whether your background colors are muted or bold, it’s important that your text is legible. Choose contrasting colors to make certain your words will stand out against the background. A good rule of thumb: White text works against dark backgrounds, and black text works against light backgrounds almost every time.

Stay Away From Animation Or Video

Animated backgrounds or backgrounds with embedded videos no longer have a place in modern web design. Not only are they too busy, but these elements will also slow down the loading speed of your website—which is a huge design mistake. Also, animated backgrounds won’t work on tablets and phones. With most people now accessing the Internet using these devices, your website must be mobile-friendly.

Consider A High-Quality Image

While solid colors, trendy textures, and eye-catching patterns are typically used for backgrounds, images are another great option. A good photo can add depth and emotion to the overall experience of your author website. You might use a landscape based on the setting in your writing, or from where you live now or your childhood. You can purchase beautiful stock imagery or use your own high-quality image!

Designer Pro Tip: Because your background takes up the entire page, the image you use as your background must be big enough to fit the space. An image that is less than 300 DPI (dots per inch) or smaller than 1,200 pixels in length will appear blurry and out of proportion—which will make your website look unprofessional.

Test Your Background

Before you debut your new background, it’s important to confirm that it works with all the elements of your author website. Once you add content, your background may unexpectedly shift, become chopped up, or lose its quality—so be sure to self-test your website before pressing the update or publish button.

Don’t assume a background that looks good on your own desktop or laptop computer will look good on every computer. There are countless different computer screen resolutions. Try changing your screen’s resolution or borrowing someone else’s computer to see how your website’s background will look on other screens. And testing a background on mobile phones and tablets is crucial, since these are often used by your audience.

The right background on your author website will reinforce your author brand, complement your genre, and make the best impression on your audience. If you’re not sure about making the correct choice on your own, hire a designer like the pros at Web Design Relief!

 

Question: What type of background do you prefer on a website? Why?

The Psychology Of Using Color In Website Design | Web Design Relief

The Psychology Of Using Color In Website Design | Web Design Relief

As a writer, the written content of your author website will get a lot of your attention. You’ll want to be sure it’s intriguing and typo-free. But the tech experts at Web Design Relief know there’s an important website design element that some writers overlook: The colors you use will have a big impact on how visitors perceive your website. Color engages the brain in multiple ways and can affect the entire mood of your author website. Knowing the right colors to use will help you effectively tempt visitors to explore your site, interact with your information, and maybe even buy a book! Here’s how to successfully use the psychology of color in your website design.

The Psychology Of Using Color In Your Author Website Design

Use A Color Wheel

Knowing how to use a color wheel is a necessary step in the web design process. For example, when you understand contrasting colors (like purple and yellow) or complementary colors (like red and orange), you can use that information to plan your color palette. Contrasting colors will draw your visitor’s eye to your key points, while complementary colors can influence the overall cohesion of your design.

Know Your Audience

Colors mean different things to different people. A prime example is the color yellow. For adults, yellow is an unappealing color associated with warning labels and caution signs—yet it’s a favorite among children. Purple is often more appealing to women and less appealing to men, and vice versa with gray. Colors also fade in and out of popularity, so take a look at current trends in home décor and fashion when choosing your website’s color scheme.

Break It Down By Genre

Certain genres are associated with specific colors. Bright colors are more likely to catch the attention of a younger audience and work well on children’s books’ websites. On the opposite end of the spectrum, dark colors like black, navy, maroon, and indigo can be used to establish an ominous, foreboding mood—perfect for horror, mystery, or thriller writers. If romance is your genre, consider using soft, floral colors like lilac and rose pink. Check out more examples of smart color use here:

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Count On True Blue

Still not sure what color you want to feature on your author website? Blue is a consistently popular color choice for websites because it appeals to all genders and ages and is associated with a calm mood and a strong sense of trust. Take a look at some of the most popular sites on the web like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Amazon (the book-selling machine!)—you’ll notice the color schemes are overwhelmingly blue.

Avoid Fifty Shades Of Gray And Other Monochromatic Blunders

Once you’ve decided on the prominent color for your author website, it’s important to include some visual variety. A well-designed monochromatic website can be striking, but don’t overuse one single color to the point that it loses its intended effect. Instead, choose a palette that features both contrasting and complementary colors. Check out some attractive color palettes here.

See In Black And White

Did you know that black and white technically aren’t colors? They’re shades! These shades are design staples because they work with all colors in the spectrum—and should be important elements in your website’s design. White space makes it easier for visitors to focus and read your content, while a smart use of black will make your author website look more formal and professional.

How To Apply Color Theory To Your Design Elements

Headers and Footers: The best place to showcase your personal branding is in your header and footer. This is where you should feature your name and branded images or logos—which means they are the most effective places to feature your colors of choice. Remember to highlight your personal branding with colors that align with the genre of your writing.

Backgrounds: Your background is the design element your audience will see the most, since it’s on every page! A white background offers the best legibility for your text, but you can use color if it’s muted enough that your content still stands out.

Buttons and Links: Your buttons and hyperlinks are your calls-to-action—and this is where you definitely want to catch your visitor’s eye. Avoid complementary colors and instead focus on contrasting colors to make sure your buttons and links grab attention and stand out.

While color is an important element of website design, remember there can be too much of a good thing. Avoid making your website a busy, crowded rainbow where visitors won’t know what to focus on or be able to mentally connect to the proper genre.

If you’d rather leave your author website color selection to the design experts, Web Design Relief can help! Sign up for a free consultation today!

 

Question: What is your favorite color palette for a website?

A Guide To The Best Navigation Menu Bars For Your Website | Web Design Relief

A Guide To The Best Navigation Menu Bars For Your Website | Web Design Relief

The menu bar on your author website controls how visitors navigate your site and access your important interior content: your biography, publications, contact form, and more. So while the menu bar may not be the most exciting element in your author website design, it shouldn’t be overlooked. A poorly designed navigation bar may seem cluttered, unclear, and dysfunctional to your visitors—definitely not the first impression you want to make! The experts at Web Design Relief have created a guide to the best navigation menu bar options to help you choose the style that’s right for your author website!

The Best Navigation Menu Bar Choices For Your Website

 

Standard Menu Bar: Horizontal menu bars are the standard in website design. Usually featured at the top of a web page, they can also be placed in the footer or beneath a customized header. The standard menu bar looks professional, is straightforward and easy to use, and works best when offering navigation to three to eight web pages within your website.

 

Sidebar Menu Bar: The vertical menu bar is another popular choice in web design. It is typically placed on the right-hand or left-hand side of the page in a separate column. By having your menu bar off to the side but still visible and functional, you can bump up the focus on your other content—like your book cover, buttons, and personal images.

Hover-Activated Menu Bar: A modern twist on the traditional horizontal menu bar, this type of navigation only appears when users hover their mouse near the top or side of their screen. It’s ideal if you have content or images you don’t want obscured by a menu bar. The downside is that hover-activated menus are not immediately visible and may potentially add a layer of difficulty to navigating your website.

 

Hamburger Menu Bar: Three little lines have revolutionized the way we use menu bars! Most web-users recognize the three lines, reminiscent of a stacked hamburger, as an indication to click. The Hamburger Menu keeps all of your navigation tucked away until it is clicked; then it opens into an optimized menu bar. This navigation option is very mobile-friendly and the standard for most mobile and tablet-based websites and apps. 

Mega Menu Bar: Submenus—menu items that drop down and expand once clicked—are a staple of Mega Menus. This menu bar style is best for large-scale websites that require expansive navigation to dozens of pages and is a great way to avoid clutter. A Mega Menu isn’t usually necessary for a typical author website, but could be a good choice if you have a lot of published works or projects to feature.

 

Multimedia Menu Bar: Swapping or pairing text with icons and images is a fun approach to a menu bar. You could use a mailbox icon for your contact navigation, a book icon to connect to your publications page, and so much more.

 

Choose The Navigation Menu Bar That Works For You

Different menu bar options will work for different writers and genres—and still fall within professional web design standards. You might even consider using different menu bars for your home page and interior pages. But don’t go overboard—consistency is key in a professional and effective author website design!

If you want help choosing the best navigation bar menu and other design elements for your author website, the pros at Web Design Relief are ready to help. Schedule a free consultation today!

 

Question: Which type of navigation menu bar do you prefer to use?

5 Ways To Make Your Author Website More Searchable And Visible Online | Web Design Relief

Every writer should have an author website; it acts as your online “business card” and information hub. If a literary agent, editor, or reader wants to know more about you and your writing, they’re going to look for you on the Internet—so it’s important that an online search engine like Google quickly brings your author… Continue Reading

7 Ways To Support Literary Journals Via Your Author Website (And Make Friends Too!) | Web Design Relief

Literary journals are an important, fundamental part of the publishing community. At Web Design Relief, we know that a good literary magazine will not only provide entertainment and inspiration for readers and writers, but will also offer writers the opportunity to build up their publication credits. And with tight budgets and hardworking, often volunteer staff… Continue Reading


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